On full autopilot, I make the coffee, preheat the lunchbox thermoses (all 3 of 'em) and begin to make breakfast.
My face takes on that concerned blank look a 9-month old has when things are comin' down the pike and headin' for the diaper.
(They say Life is like a race track - ya end up where ya started. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Pampers to Depends.)
My body suddenly tells me that I'm on the launching pad, the cherry picker has been disengaged, and countdown has begun.
I scurry to the Reading Room, flip up the convertible top to the Throne and....
The water level is almost up to the rim.
I grab the accordion plunger and gently press down.
Voooop-ah. Voooop-ah. Voooop-ah.
The water level goes down to a normal level. Great. OK.
I flip the handle. The water comes back up to the rim.
Voooop-ah. Vooopp-ah. Voooop-ah. Voooop-ah.
Water's down. Flip the handle. Water to the rim again.
My mind hears a succinct, professional voice. It has a slight Texas drawl.
"We have T-5 minutes. T-5 minutes."
I erupt (bad choice of words) into panic mode. Up until now I was trying to be polite and keep the bathroom dry, a thought which is relegated to the bottom of the list.
"T-5" takes top priority.
The accordion plunger contracts/expands as fast as Myron's accordion on "The Lawrence Welk Show".
I pause, gasping for air. Hey, even Myron took a break while the orchestra played.
The drawl chimes in.
Flush. Back up to the rim.
I hit the pre-ignition stage.
A public-utilities tsunami surges around the base of the Throne.
The blank concerned look of the 9-month-old reappears as a realization dawns.
Heavy exertion in a stooped position is NOT the way to postpone blast off.
The accordion plunger merrily bobs in the bowl as I fly out the front door, jump in the car, and drive to the 24-hour grocery store in town - the only place open at 4:45 in the morning.
And, yes, I did commit the sin of speeding.
I walk into the kitchen about 17 minutes later, less stressed, more relaxed.
I pour a cup of the Elixir of Knowledge and reflect on my NASA experience. The first sip has me thinking about defective plumbing and our family's dietary habits.
The second sip runs smack into 1 John 1:9 as it bounces off that little dangly thing in the back of my mouth before the long drop south.
If we confess, He'll forgive, and cleanse us. Unclog us.
As far as the East is from the West...which is much farther than from the Little-House-On-The-Corner to the Septic Plant over by the Park.
(Never could figure out the placement on that one. Not many people use the swing-sets and picnic tables when the wind's from the West)
Yeah, there's that.
There is no clog He can't unclog. No matter how bad.
And He flushes it away and sees it no more.
As far as the East is from the West.
And that's a very nice thing to realize.......especially at 4:30 in the morning.