Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

Aha... another week has gone by and I have NOT needed to run to this blog for solace -- venting -- or reflecting! A good sign.

Last Sunday, Sabine, Charlotte and I went to a very small Episcopal Church in nearby Monroe. It really is a house church in size but has the appearance of a church. I led the worship for a group of about twelve. I think the liturgy made all of us feel at home. The congregation has asked me to come and lead their worship for the next three months until they get organized. Their former priest had come from Madison each Sunday for about the last ten years until he became ill and was no longer able to make the trip.

During the week, Sabine has also been encouraging me to write down some of my “stories” from my childhood, high school, Marines, police and clergy life. So far, I have written down about 100 “story prompters” and titles – now I have to start writing! I think it should be interesting to at least members of our family. And if it has a wider appeal that would be okay.

During the past week we have got a lot of the chores done on the farm. Son Joshua has come out this past week helped us by chopping and splitting firewood, cleaning up the donkey pen, and after years of searching, finding a patch of golden morel mushrooms!

But on Friday, Round 5 of the chemotherapy came on with a vengeance. It really knocked Sabine for a loop with severe nausea and we had to reschedule our weekend plans. Miraculously, after a very long night’s rest on Friday, she popped back – and even went out on a run early Saturday morning and was able to attend a wedding at our old parish in Portage.

Needless to say, I was a little worried when this happened. So our life continues with “flexibility” being the word of the day.

After things settled down on Friday, my friend, Jeff, came by Saturday morning and took me for a little “spin” on our bikes in the rolling hills of Blue Mounds… my legs were a little wobbly as we ascended the four mile climb to Brigham Park (ugh!). I keep thinking I am younger and should be able to keep up with this kid! Then I realize that it takes two days to recover from this hill-frolicking and I guess I should expect to slow down as I enter my 7th decade.

During Thursday’s chemotherapy at UW Hospital, I was scanning my email and found Garrison Keillor’s “Poem for the Day” on his “Writer’s Almanac” entitled “Matinee.” And when I read it to Sabine we both ended up with tears in our eyes. The mark, I guess, of good literature! Here it is:

after the biopsy,

after the bonescan,
after the consult and the crying,

for a few hours no one could find them,
not even my sister,
because it turns out

they'd gone to the movies.
Something tragic was playing,
something epic,

and so they went to the comedy
with their popcorn
and their cokes—

the old wife whispering
everything twice,
the old husbandcupping a palm to his ear,

as the late sun lit up an orchard
behind the strip mall,
and they sat in the dark holding hands.

[“Matinee” by Patrick Phillips, from Boy. © University of Georgia Press, 2008]

Spring has come to New Journey Farm – even though we have had frost the last two mornings. The apple “bonsai” trees are blooming. We have finally found the elusive spring morel mushrooms.

Two geese are sitting on their eggs... the water still flows from the hills at sites that always were dry and Josh got his car stuck on the north hill while camping with his buddies.

Now this was an opportunity that comes only once in a while -- this was a guy thing...

And time for my “new” truck to strut its stuff!

Putting it in 4WD, we tried to tow Josh's car out but the ground was just too muddy.

Now the challenge – would we be able to get the truck out?

Putting it in LOW 4WD we slowed climbed the muddy trail, gobs of mud flying to and fro.

We made it to the top!

And the lads joined us for the trip out.

Now we have a real working truck and Sabine signals our victory!

Life is good. And God is good.

We must always remember that!

On Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost at Trinity Episcopal Church in nearby Mineral Point. God said in the Book of Joel that one day God's Spirit would be poured out on all of us – men and women, young and old, slave and free!

In spite of all this, Sabine and I feel both blessed and drenched in this Spirit!

And for you, my friends, how has God's Spirit been poured out on you?

When was your last Pentecost?

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