Thursday’s thrill

June 22, 2018

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Kids. Grandpop. Sparklers. And a match. Perfect.
Having to say goodbye to these three kiddos for another year. Less-than-perfect …and a reminder of the less-than-perfect shortness of our days for this not-so-young-anymore auntie.

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Wednesday’s wonder

June 20, 2018

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PaCharley: What was it you got your degree in, again?
Peter: Math
PaCharley: Ah yes. You know about “e = mc squared”?
Peter: Yes, that’s from Einstein-the theory of relativity.
PaCharley: Right, the theory of relativity … would you like for me to explain it to you? Of course, I don’t have enough time at the moment, but … (laughter ensuing all around)

I might have laughed hardest tonight at PaCharley’s dinner table joke. Not sure if it was the sheer humor of the joke that did it, the belly happily full of fried chicken, or the eclectic company surrounding us at the prison ministry meal. Probably some combination of it all. But it somehow made sense of my morning’s surprise sighting. A hope. A promise. A light.

Tuesday’s turn

June 20, 2018

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You just never know …
I was not exactly a happy camper upon discovering we were car-less today. In our usual life, it’s no big deal to rely on feet and bicycles …that’s just, well, life. But here, in rural America, we lapse into vehicle reliance like everyone else. And not used to this particular area, we also don’t know the mechanics to trust. So the first part of the day was spent on the phone, looking at maps, and refiguring how to (and whether to attempt to!) accomplish the intended errands and business of the day. Some things just would have to go. When all was said and done, though, we found a recommended repair shop that had a space for us, we managed what was necessary, the car ended up just needing a simple tune-up, we ran into an old friend and caught up a bit … and in the midst of it all, we managed a rather too-good-to-be-true-interlude as we explored on foot …you just never know :)

monday chronicles

June 19, 2018

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A girl. A hen & a chick. A relaying of my grandma’s fresh breath trick as the two of us pluck fresh parsley and munch on it. An ordinary Monday …

Memorably ordinary

June 17, 2018

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Four years. And being the old farts that we are, we commemorated the day in a delightfully ordinary way. We ran. We (I) swam. We talked. We walked. We shopped. We mopped. Ok, scratch that last one. We didn’t mop …but surely no one who knows this wordy nerd is the least bit surprised by my inability to resist a rhyme …
Ok, seriously, though, the highlight of the day was a rambling conversation with our new, and future, neighbor. Virginia shared with us all the local buzz, and shared a jar of her apple butter. We hardly managed more than two words at a time during her rapid-fire oration. We learned about the neighbor whose trade is firearms and blades, and about her recently deceased relative who was a fire and brimstone preacher for decades …”Maybe you’ve heard of him…?” We shook our heads apologetically but I don’t think she noticed as by that time she had moved on to relaying the shenanigans of another neighbor’s recent party. I missed a fair bit of the details Virginia shared but, truth be told, I didn’t much care. I am smitten, still grinning ear to ear at the thought of her delightful self. Yep, pretty darn good on the anniversary celebration front!

Bring on summer!

June 14, 2018

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I’ve noticed a tendency I have to feel that only the “important” or “productive” parts of my days are worth documenting for public consumption…ironic, considering the truth of things is that I am more propelled and energized by a genre of life events that I would be more apt to call “silly” in my normal self talk:
-the first sip of a perfect cup of coffee (admittedly, in my world, creamed and sugared. I so want to be a black coffee person. I so cannot seem to get myself there!)
-a good swim, when the motion of my arms and legs seems synchronized with the water flowing over and around me, and when my thoughts shift into an almost fluid flow along with my physical self.
-the feel of sun soaking into my skin after a swim, warming, soothing.
-the taste of a food I’ve missed while out of the country each year
-seeing something that makes me, and my husband, laugh together as we shake our heads in an old fart “what is this world coming to?” sort of way.
These are the sorts of things that get me out of bed in the morning. The small and the mundane. So as much as I want to do great and significant things with each of my days, and as much as I may want to put those great things out for the world to see, those great things just aren’t the things that mean the world to me.
Realizing this about myself, I’m wondering if this summer is a time to come to terms with this reality, and document the daily, no matter how trivial it may seem to be. We have the gift of a summer that is removed from the”daily grind,” as it were. We have six weeks of time to be off the school clock, to travel as we see fit, and to be with the people we are so far away from for so much of the time. What if it is right and good, in this season, to be at peace with less outward productivity, and to not be ashamed to share small goodnesses with the world, without trying to justify myself or prove how I am earning my keep in the world when not doing the 7:30 – 4:30 workday/international/service life? See, there I go again-making sure it’s obvious that summer freedom is not my normal state of being!
All that to say, I would like to do a little personal experiment this summer; namely, I want to share the mundane here, with no apologies, no justifications, and no unnecessary explanations. I will share the gifts others are giving to us, in the forms of hospitality, hosting, time, and love. I will share the small (yes, “silly,” even) things that make me smile, that lift my spirits, and that motivate. I may even share the not-so-pretty, if that is what the day brings. I don’t know for sure what it will look like, as summer brings us a lot of unknowns and needs for openhandedness (not my perfectionist, productivity-oriented, super-scheduled forte, I can assure you!). But so be it … and bring it on!

*photo of mom’s broccoli salad, which she not only makes in large enough quantities for me to consume giant bowls of upon stateside arrival, but that she also delivers to me if I am not staying at her place at any given time of any given summer