The Mexican Hamburger, The Beach, & A Moral?

The Mexican Hamburger

Karen had to be as exhausted as I was. We had flown all night up from Mexico City. Our flights had been substantially lower in cost if we flew out of Toronto, so even though it was a three hour drive from Rochester NY, that’s what we did.

It had been a great mission trip and we were ready to be home and snuggle into a real bed together. We were newly married and had spent a week sleeping in separate tents cause the missionaries we went with were apparently from the 1800,s and “we didn’t want to have any appearance of impropriety,” whatever that means.

We had spent a week up in the hills of a small Mexican town and had been a part of a medical mission. Seeing as neither of us had any credentials in that department we spent our days in practical serving and prayer. We spent our nights freezing in our flimsy sleeping bags, alone. Though the weather was a perfect 70 degrees in the day at night it was colder than a naked Eskimo…Now if only I could make money writing similes...

Karen had also played a large role in preparing our meals with the local women. We had a great time with the name of each of the meals as every meal had the same ingredients, tortillas and beans. Tortilla pancakes for breakfast, with beans! Tortilla sandwiches for lunch, with beans! And tortilla hamburgers for dinner, with beans!

When the mission was done we caught a bus back to Mexico City for our flight home. Needless to say, we all were ready for a good meal at a restaurant. The missionary leading the trip took us to one of his favorite spots before heading to the airport. The menu was in Spanish but its pretty obvious if your looking for it, hamburguesa.

The other thing that had been haunting my cold lonely dreams for a week, hamburguesa!

I asked our team leader if he thought the hamburgers were safe to eat. He shrugged, “Yeah, they should be fine.”

The hamburger didn’t taste right but I ate it anyway. Why? Cause it wasn’t tortillas and beans, I guess; and also, I trusted our team leader.

We caught taxi’s to the airport and after several hours waiting on the tarmac because of mechanical difficulties, we finally headed home.

As I already mentioned, it was an all night flight in which neither my new bride or myself could sleep. We finally arrived in Canada and said goodbye to everyone we had missionary-ed with. Then we caught a shuttle to our car and started the three-hour drive home.

I wasn’t feeling good, I was dizzy, light headed and exhausted but figured it was due to the sleepless night, not bad hamburguesa. Even though I could hardly keep my eyes open I told Karen I would drive; it’s what new husbands do. She let me, its what new wives do.

Karen drifted off. About half an hour into the drive I had already used every tick I knew to fight sleep. The exhaustion seemed oddly overwhelming. I couldn’t understand why. I had done much longer trips with less faintness. At one point I almost pulled over to ask Karen if she would drive. But I thought, “If I’m this tired, she must be as well.” So I soldiered on. We were driving in a flat farmland section of highway when I saw it. It was out in the field to the right of the highway.

It was a rabbit. But this was no ordinary rabbit; it was three stories high and about half a football field long. It was bright pink and it was made out of marshmallow. It looked like a Peeps. You know, those marshmallow candies that are sold during the Easter season.

At first I was awed by the sheer size. Then I became terrified as it looked at me and jumped once, twice and landed directly in front of our car. I jerked the steering wheel violently fishtailing the car onto the right shoulder while slamming my breaks bringing the car to a screeching halt.

Karen woke up screaming. “What? What happened?” I shook my head and rubbed my eyes, the rabbit was still there. It just sat there, in the middle of the road, watching me. “What happened? Did we get a flat? Are you OK? JASON?!”

I finally looked at Karen and said, “A huge pink peeps bunny just jumped out on the road in front of us.” And then “I think you better drive”…

The Beach

A year and a half ago we went on a family vacation to the beach. At the time Eva was two. Weeks before going on this vacation the whole family told her about the ocean. The entire drive to the coast we told her about the ocean. She was primed for big water. When we checked into the 30-story beachfront hotel we immediately went out onto our balcony 18 stories up to finally show Eva the unending body of water. Her eyes took it in and she understood. The ocean was big.

If you have been on vacation with small kids at a beach then you know it can easily take an hour from the moment you decide to go swimming to the moment you actually leave the hotel room. Especially if you have Anglo Saxon skin like we do. Bathing suites need to go on, boogie boards need to be gathered, towels need to be accounted for and sunscreen needs to be lathered in generous amounts upon every surface that could even possibly see sun.

Along the way, the kids become almost unbearable. There understanding of “be patient” is waiting 3 minutes between asking when we were going swimming. While we prepared Eva got caught up in her older brother and sisters euphoric expectation. The kids would run to the balcony and look at the “osen” as Eva called it and laugh. Then they would find us to ask if we were ready and when could we go.

Finally it was time to head out. We stared out the door and I called for Eva. There was no response. I walked through the Hotel rooms and found her naked in the master bathroom trying to get into the tub. I asked her what she was doing and she said, “Bath daddy.”

My daughter wandering through the rooms, upon seeing the bathtub, forgot about ocean. She had removed her bathing suite and was preparing for a bath. She was more than willing to trade the ocean she had not experienced for the familiarity of the tub.
Water is water right?

Suddenly God spoke to my heart and said, Jason the promises I have for you are the size of the ocean, don’t get distracted by bathtubs.

A Moral?

Just cause you are hungry for a hamburger doesn’t mean you should eat the first one available. And further more, if its not tasting right, for goodness sake, stop eating it.


Not all water is created equal.