Thursday, September 27, 2007

Just Thursday

I should be working on my sermon. I will be shortly.
Just thinking as I checked in on some of the RGBPs'sites, how long the 16 days will be without posting, or checking in and seeing what's being pondered and shared, and not playing the Trivia game. Ahhh, it will be fast from the computer. As much as I will miss this web community, their is the call to experience something new and entirely different. Can I be open to that if I drag what I've left behind with me?
No, it will be an immersion and I will fast while on vacation.
God bless all of you and know I will miss you. I do look forward to catching up when I return after Oct. 20th. Be well. Take care. Pray for one another as I will pray for you all. Pray for LH and I as we travel halfway and more around the world to South Africa and into another culture. May we be gracious guests and receive the hospitality of others even as we have extended hospitality in our little corner of the world.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


So to get ahead of our trip, I have been doing laundry and making piles of clothes. I think I have more shirts than days we'll be gone. I do it every time. (Course, us gals with shelves, sometimes, end up wearing our lunch or dinner on our shirts).
This means I will have whittle things down and hope I make the right choices.
I also have 4 books to take with (unfortunately 3 are hardback) and all the other stuff (shampoo, lotion, etc. and then there's the meds, prescription and non.) Not to mention, shoes. Do I bring one pair or two pair sandals? white Tennis and beige ones (for the bush and more rugged treks). Shoes? Don't get me started. It's not easy fitting an 11 W, with bunions. I have sandals that are too tight and too loose (those are the ones that used to fit great and over time and being worn are now too loose). Which ones won't give me blisters or hurt my bunions? It's always a challenge. How many shoes have I bought only to later discover they hurt more than they did when trying them on?
Well...the lesson of packing for me is taking only what I need, what is comfortable, what can be worn more than once and combined with other things. I always have an extra something, just in case. When all is said and done, I know I'll still have more than necessary. Some people can pack real light - even through life. Others are dragging steamer trunks of stuff. I think I fall somewhere in to the right of center, but not too off.
The challenge for me is what can I leave behind and not miss or regret not bringing with? Does it really need to come with me?
I ask those same questions when I leave a position as well. It has been helpful for me.
When you are stuffing the suitcase (s) of your life, ask those two questions and you might be surprised at what you are thankful to leave behind, what you will miss, and the discerning of what you really need to take with you; will it lighten your load or weigh you down?
Packing is always a challenge for me. You simply can't take everything with you and some things aren't necessary for where I am going or the time of year (the season of my life) I am going. Maybe, some day I will learn to travel with less but thankfully, I can handle 2 suitcases and let it go at that!
Thus endth the Lessons of the Luggage!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


LH's birthday is today! Last year we celebrated his half-century mark on the Isle of Iona. Today, it will be 87 F in the middle of rural OH. No cool sea spray, brisk winds, rainy drizzle, or the holy sense of being that is Iona.
In the hustle and bustle of readying for our big trip, the start up of Sunday School and Confirmation class, planning the two worship services during my absence and the one for when I return, plus Session, motivating the Nominating Committee, I feel drained and exhausted. I can't believe that one week from today we will begin our journey to South Africa. For me, it has been a dream and I long to meet my friend with whom I have been in contact since sophomore year in HS. Her Dad and mine worked together for five years in Ghana in the late 1940's. It warms me to think that perhaps her Dad and mine will be smiling upon us from heaven seeing their offspring meet for the first time on African soil.
In a way, this is a bit of a pilgrimage, to meet my friend and to be on the African continent where my Dad was (although not literally in the same area of Africa). I long to smell the smells, drink in the landscape and the people, to hear and taste this unique place. I want to look up at the starry night sky and see different constellations of stars. To see the different trees and blooming flowers and vines and bushes. To walk on the red, dusty earth that is Africa. To be inspired by the faithful and yes, even to experience the want, need, and poverty. To see the animals in their native environment. Aye, long have I waited and yearned to be in Africa. The time is drawing close, anticipation mounts, and there is still much to do until then.
As long as I remember to pick up something like a birthday cake for two, I won't let LH's birthday get lost in the preparations and busyness of these swiftly moving days.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Taking the weekend frost advisory to heart,
I pulled the basil out of the garden Saturday night. If it frosted, I saw no sign of it in our backyard. Although one town over on the golf course it did.
I knew if I left the basil in, we'd have a frost and I'd lose it. I knew if I pulled the basil, it would not frost and no more fresh basil.
I'd rather have dried basil than no basil.
I have lost too many basil plants to frost.
The other herbs are fine, although their days are numbered. I will pull them the end of this week and dry them. The garden will look very empty. Tadmore the Toad will burrow into the ground to stay warm instead of rollicking in the forest of herbs, parsley bush and arched over chives. There is a sadness to the letting go of another growing season. For I know what yet lies ahead; the cold, bleak, grey dreariness of winter. I rejoice over all that has borne fruit (8 tomato vines that are heavy with tomatoes in various stages of ripening, and several herbs), yet the sadness still remains.
The flowers are spent and will die off or snuggle underground until the longer, warmer days of Spring when they will reappear and delight my winter weary soul.
There is a spiritual lesson in letting go and surrendering. Each autumn I learn the lesson all over again.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I bought 5 red plastic portfolio folders (the kind with the pockets) for the Confirmation Class. Don't ya know it, there's a big label slapped across the front!
Removing the label in one piece has proven a futile endeavor. I am scrapping the label off bit by bit with my fingernail. I have 4 more folders to go. I am ready to string up the idiots of the company that makes these folders!!! I'd like them to peel off the labels on their folders in their board room. This is the 21st century, by gum, surely there are adhesives that come off more easily!!!
I am greatly peeved!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

God be present in, with and through all the remembrances of this day, 9/11.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Our Friday afternoon jaunt into Amish country was short and the accident took the joy of the outing away. LH was just unsettled the rest of the day. To top it off, I didn't find what I was after: a set of 4 tasteful quilted placemats to give as a "Thank you for your hospitality" gift to my friend in South Africa. Apparently, it was the end of the summer tourist season and not yet the beginning of the fall/winter season and the quilt shops were depleted of anything more than 1 or 2 of a kind.
Any ideas on what I could bring that would be uniquely American and not made in China? It must fit in a suitcase, be somewhat lightweight and preferrably non-breakable. I'm open to ideas!

My penance is over and joy, o, joy, I have my van back and it looks like new and drives well. After over a month without the van it's taking some time to adjust to it again. This morning I reached to roll down the window!!!
Which just proves a point - any new behavior can be learned in a month.
I was able to pick up my van late Thursday afternoon. On Friday, LH and I decided to head to Amish country. He drives his car. No sooner to we pull into the Old Fashioned Hardware Store parking lot with inches to spare between the parked vehicles and outcroping, then an SUV begins backing up right into me. I just knew we'd be hit and fortunately, the SUV driver pulled out slowly and we were nearly at a standstill so the damage was minimal and I was not hurt! It did put a damper on the rest of the afternoon and LH was very upset. It all could've been a lot worse.
Can you imagine the Body Shop when LH brings in his car. "Didn't we just fix and return your wife's van?!!?"