Tuesday, December 18, 2012


 . . . I didn't do anything I was supposed to do.  I didn't go to the meeting in Effingham.  I didn't go to Faith in Place.  I didn't go to the Maynard Lake Ladies Christmas party.  I stayed home and prayed my way through a pile of work and the feeling that I was going to be sick if I kept going and going.  And I think it worked.  I feel different today.  As if maybe when Christmas comes I won't be cringing in the corner, but ready to sing and celebrate. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Children's Pageant Today

Working with the kids to put together the children's pageant has been no end of fun this year.  They've jumped right in, laughed at the jokes, worked hard, learned lines, come to practice, and . . . it's going to be another cute program.   And I've learned something:  Cute is as good as it gets, probably, for children's pageants.  Never thought I'd say that  . . .  
Love these kids, though.  My heart breaks for their little heart breaks.  And I wish they didn't have to struggle with the limits of the people, like me, who are trying to raise them well.  And I wish they could all be healthy and smart and have sunny dispositions and grow up in an easy and simple world.  They aren't, they don't and they can't.  But they go at living with such earnestness and enthusiasm.  So I am tremendously impressed by them. 
When I was a (much) younger woman, I didn't think I liked kids. And I still don't like "kids" as a big category any more than I like any other big category of people.  I'm not a big believer in any particular brand of human existence.  Age, religion, ethnicity, gender.  I haven't found a group that I think is made up of all great folks.  I don't know if you've noticed this, but some people stink.  There are stinky old folks, stinky believers of every persuasion, stinky people of every race, stinky women and men. Some kids stink, too, and it's just as hard to figure out who the stinkers are when they are three feet tall as when they shoot up to 6' or more.   But, with the short ones, there is more hope, I think, that they'll wise up and actually love something or someone other than themselves.  Taller humans - it takes a big shock to wise them up.  Kids are getting big shocks all the time.  Some adjust in the direction of being more beautiful and human.  I like to be around to see those shifts, when they happen. Maybe I do like kids, after all.  Nah.  I love every single one of these kids.  And I like them, too.   But I probably still don't like "kids".     

Friday, December 7, 2012

Talking to myself

Today I need to talk to myself about doing what needs to be done.
It's my own fault that I have no morning, afternoon or evening left.
I take responsibility for that.  I made the mistake(s).
And, judging from my inability to commit to blocking off some time,
I will probably make this sort of mistake again and again
until the consequences become too hard to bear.
At which point I'll stop.  Or die.  Either way.

But here is how it is going to work:
I'm going to stop by St. Matthews and see if I can get my stuff from Beit Jala.
This morning I am going to pick up Bob and take him for coffee.
I need to mail the Just Eating stuff to Bill Metcalf.
I am going to call the ink place and either get the cartridge I need or not.
Deal with it.
I'm having lunch with Keith at Fiesta.  That's at 12.
Wash windows.
Load the tables in the car and get them to DCPH by 4.
Put up the Christmas tree.
Cry a little bit.
You know what won't get done on this list?  The windows.  The Christmas tree.  The crying.  Oh.  And the vacuuming won't get done either.  And making a decent dinner didn't even get on the list. 
Time marches on.  Properly chastened, I begin my day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What's your sign?

Dec. 6

Makes me happy: Yesterday I bought images from John August Swanson and learned a little bit how to use Dropbox.  And I prepared a much nicer Advent Devotion. (But no one came.)  The kids (minus the little ones) are taking the play very seriously.  So rehearsal was fun.  And Michael was back, which helps a ton.  And the best news of all is I slept and slept last night.  Til 5:30 this morning.  (I am a little bit bone tired, and spent at least part of yesterday just wandering from here to there, in a sort of exhausted haze.)
Looking toward today (with hope) - I meet Connie in Homer at 9.  And Rachel is coming down at 3:30 to talk about women's retreat possibilities.  And I do NOT have a planning committee meeting tonight.  Maybe I'll go to sleep again.  Oh.  That would be great!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Another poem I want to remember

“My Name”
Once when the lawn was a golden green
and the marbled moonlit trees rose like fresh memorials
in the scented air, and the whole countryside pulsed
with the chirr and murmur of insects, I lay in the grass,
feeling the great distances open above me, and wondered
what I would become and where I would find myself,
and though I barely existed, I felt for an instant
that the vast star-clustered sky was mine, and I heard
my name as if for the first time, heard it the way
one hears the wind or the rain, but faint and far off
as though it belonged not to me but to the silence
from which it had come and to which it would go.
Mark Strand, “My Name,” from Man and Camel: Poems, 2008.

Dec. 2

Sunday - the First Day of Advent.
Come, Lord Jesus. 

The sanctuary was full of nativity scenes, and the tree looked great.  Choir loft was full.  Communion, which I love.  Lighting the Advent candle.  (This might have been my favorite part of the service)

Speaker 1:       “The house lights go off and the footlights come on.
Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise.
In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised.
The conductor has raised his baton.”  (Frederick Buechner) 
Speaker 2:           Advent is the name of that moment.

I preached a first person sermon as Joseph, just for the record.
We had some excitement when a member who shall remain nameless locked her granddaughter in the car as she was leaving.  I called roadside assistance and they said call 911.  So the firetruck came and they got the toddler out.  And she never even cried.  She's as tough as her mom and her grandmom and her great grandmom.  That's a line of fantastically strong women there.  
After church I went to Good Shepherd and made a presentation about Just Eating.  Then to the Elks for their annual memorial day service.  Home to the Christmas thing-y.  It went fine. We had more visitors this year, I think.   The Unity Choir Girls were lovely.  By the time it was over I put on my jammies and went to bed.  And now I'm up too early.  I love to sleep.  Why do I not do it more? 

Dec. 1

Not a moment to catch my breath on the day before Advent.  I'm the textbook case of "Hurry up so you can wait." 
Picking up advent wreath makings for kids at hanging of the greens. 
Pageant practice. 
Loading/unloading/ sitting at the shop local event (which discouraged me about alternative Christmas.  Hardly anyone bought anything.) 
Hanging of the Greens. 
Presentation for FinP. 
I guess some people run around like that all the time.  I wonder how they do it. 

Gratitude Day #30

Grateful for Friday . . . Hmmmm.  Venison Stew at Dublin's Irish Pub was delicious.  And I didn't run out of gas on the way there.  Two things.