31 July 2008


Today is a day of celebration.
You might argue that everyday is such, and probably should be.
But today is my sister's birthday. That alone dictates a celebration.

Our grandpa loved nicknames. We all have one. Mine happens to be Cleffy. But my sister, Hildred, who I celebrate today, well, Grandpa called her Hap. There is something in a name and I think Grandpa knew that Hildred would inspire and provoke happiness.

And she does.
And so it is more than fitting to break out into ridiculous smiles, belly laughter, and much mirth in celebration of my sister.

Happy Birthday Hildred. Happy Birthday Hap!
May your generous spirit dwell with you, too.

29 July 2008

Subjects I avoid

My coworker told me recently that it is 100 days until our presidential election.
(I haven't checked the math but perhaps it's less than that by now.)

Confessions: I don't know who I will vote for (is that a whom sentence? I don't know for whom I will vote?). I am weary of politics.
If I'm watching tv and a political ad comes on, I flip the channel like I fear an electronic virus might overtake my house much less my computer or television. I have friends who are very certain about what candidate they are supporting. I appreciate their passion and their knowledge. I can't presently match their certainty or zeal.

Part of my weariness is laziness. I haven't researched things. I don't want to talk about the issues because I don't really know what I trust.

At the end of the day I just keep thinking, no candidate will save our nation (if that is even an appropriate wish) or the world.
Jesus is still the only Savior.

Now that is a subject I like to talk about.
No weariness.
Just energy.

Wonder what HE thinks about our country? Our systems? Our treatment of people? Our use of money? Our political process? Our conversations?

Do I really want to know?

28 July 2008

magnets and more

A long time ago...like literally months and months, a friend of mine threw out a fun challenge that we post pictures of "what's on your refrigerator?" I fully intended to do so. I immediately took this picture (way back then). But, unfortunately, I never created the post. Until today, because this very photo popped up on my screensaver to remind me.

So, the commercial asks, "what's in your wallet?"
But I'm asking, "what's on your fridge?" Does a clear or cluttered fridge communicate something about your style, personality, organizational preference, family life, etc?

Any takers out there?

26 July 2008


There is something so glorious about the final moments of the sun.
Not so much the same with trips. Anticipation on the way TO something generates excitement. Returning gets the job done, but seems to inspire different reactions.
Thus different tactics may be necessary for a long road trip.
Take my sister Hildred and I as an example,
we are arguably the most funny people in the world when we travel.
At least, after about four or five hours in,
and typically under the cover or darkness,
we think so.

On this current trip, I learned a new word, "crunk."
You might not be familiar with it. But it apparently is a word
to describe how craziness translates
into a state of rather extreme silliness
without any use of alcohol whatsoever.

And so, in some crunk moments, some of these photos were snatched.
Time passes pleasantly and possibly more swiftly in crunk moments.

Now if only I could find a way to communicate the sound of crunk laughter,
you know the kind when the very sound of your own laugh prompts a bout of hilarity?
Yep, that's the one.
It is good for the soul!

22 July 2008

shrimp cakes, shrimp cocktail, jumbo shrimp...

So, I'm in Gulf Shores. And it is beautiful.
Last night, we went with Forrest and Bubba on a boat, to get shrimp.
Well, okay, not with Forest, but with Cap'n Lori.
We hauled a literal boatload of shrimp and other fish.
The beauty was, we got to feed the leftovers to dolphins.
And they,
well, they are amazing creatures.
I could watch them play,
swim, jump, even feed,
for a long long time.
(Unfortunately, I couldn't quite get my camera
to react quick enough to catch them.
But you can probably use your imagination with these photos!!)

Nice work Father!!

14 July 2008


Friends from Rhode Island visited last week. They stayed at Beth's house. But we all wanted to gather with them. So we decided to camp for the weekend. Three families. Nine children. Nine adults. And did I mention, one blue racer snake? But that is for another post.

I love camping.
I love awakening because of sunlight edging the tent.
The bird songs and chatter beckon morning activity much more hospitably than an electronic alarm.
Campside laundry seems to wave an invitation of hospitality and play.
Fireside conversations are among my favorite.
Pancakes, grilled food, smores, among other things are delightful.
Rain's dance on the tent provides a comfort in sleeping that surprises me. (Of course, it always rains when we camp).

More than any of that, though, the pace of camping draws me.
It is the very rhythm that forces and allows one to separate
from everything else and simply be.
You become more present to each other, to the elements,
to simple tasks, to the moments.
I love the idea of waking up to stir the fire
and provide a cozy place for people to gather, get warm and converse.
I may be crazy but it seems like food
tastes better while camping,
perhaps because often so many hands are used to prepare it.

I like the freedom from distractions.
yes, one might be distracted wondering if your kids have wandered too far away.
But it's different out in the woods then in a neighborhood,
even in the best of neighborhoods.
It seems right to engage in life in this way at this pace.
Part of me feels restored and realigned while camping because it allows me to be present to God and people in a different way.
I like it.
I guess that's all I'm trying to say.

Oh, and, that first really cool picture, I stole it from Karen. I hope that's okay Karen.

03 July 2008

a girl, a sister, and their nephew

The days of summer fly at an alarming rate. With the break from school I've been trying to read "fun" books that have piled up, neglected given the attention demanded by my course reading. i've been re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia. About the time I finished A horse and his boy, I had opportunity to hang out with my sister and our nephew and we had an adventure of our own (admittedly, not as exciting or charming as the book but an experience none the less).

Moments with family are rare for me but I anticipate them greatly.
On this particular outing, our nephew traveled to Chicago and then he and my sister met me in Michigan City. MC was chosen for it's location on the lakeshore, and the proximity for both of us, not so much for what might be "on offer" activity wise.

As I arrived in MC, I drove to a few places to check them out. I mentioned to one particular gentleman who was collecting entrance fee money that I was meeting some people and asked, "what is there to do here?"
He seemed a bit puzzled as he responded, "do about what?"
Perhaps that should have been the indicator of the day...
As you might gather from this photo, folks in MC are concerned about what NOT to do there. As Jonathan and Hildred are so blatantly disrespecting the posted rules by standing next to the "no standing" sign. Such rebels.