Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

I guess technically what I did on my Summer Vacation was to take pictures of what my family was doing . . . so here's What We Did on our Summer Vacation:

:: learned to play cribbage

::hit golf balls off the dock

::transported a large number of nerf and water guns across state lines

::jumped off boats

::went to fireworks

::convinced Kate it was OK to go fast in the boat

::looked at the baby loon

::roasted marshmallows (and peeps) with cousins

::went to the ocean

::gave assorted people a pie in the face

::went to the fair

::ate fried Snickers at the fair

::visited the beaver dam

::let Sam play with the point-and-shoot on "hikes"

::celebrated my in-laws' 40th wedding anniversary

::celebrated Kate's 5th birthday

::skiied outside the wake

Not pictured:

::the pool

::the hailstorm

::the splashpad

::attempts to take a decent picture of the cousins (not a good picture, just a decent one).

So what did you do this summer?

Summer Job

I think I told you about one of my on-campus jobs, the Art Gallery. I had another job one year, at the "child development center." That's a story for another day. While I got to be an unemployed, not-scrambling-to-pay-my-school-bill prima donna during the school year, during the summers I worked a variety of jobs.

I worked at McDonald's in high school, and then I got a job in the men's department at Sears; whatever other jobs came and went the Sears one I worked on and off until I graduated and moved to Bloomsburg to teach.

The summer after my freshman year I worked at EDS; a friend of my parents suggested the job. First I interviewed for a sales position but I wasn't aggressive enough and ended up as a "independent third party verifier" for people switching long distance. (How totally does that date me? Remember switching long distance to get a better deal? Oh, this company offers 4 cents a minute! After 5 PM! or 7, I can't remember. What a waste of time and energy. We should have just skipped ahead to now when we just use the computer to interact to people; now if there's an awkward silence, we can walk away until we think of something clever, witty, or insincere to say. My husband just said he doesn't think long-distance carriers exist anymore.)

I read a script of questions when my phone rang and occasionally people freaked out even though I had no interest in whether they switched or not. Towards the end of the summer, the work really slowed down and I was "let go" a week before I planned to leave.

The weird thing was (well, not weird if you know my parents) is I rode over there (across the river) with the guy from the church who recommended the job. Kevin. He talked a lot and I wished to be anywhere else. I was in love with John-John and didn't know he'd broken up with me before I left to come home for the summer. I waited every day for him to write to me (again with the ancient history references! All through college we [my friends and I] wrote letters. Some were works of art, collages from magazines interspersed with self-centered ramblings and earnest but misguided lamentations on the difficulty of following [or finding] God's will, and occasional drawings or even pictures, if we'd remembered to get double prints [because yes, our cameras used film.]) but he only wrote once, at the end of the summer, and put a cowrie shell necklace in an envelope and that's when I knew he didn't love me because the necklace was broken and also ugly.

Since I rode with the guy I got there an hour before I had to be there so I sat in the cafeteria and read David Copperfield. It was awful but I kept slogging through and kept track in my journal of how many pages I read a day.

I thought about becoming a vegetarian and I think I taught Sunday School at my parents' church. My parents wouldn't let me go to Washington DC for July Fourth even though Kelly and Greg and probably a few other really cool people were going to be there. I was very depressed (not just about that but the whole summer, which I can see now but at the time I'm sure I thought I wasn't being holy enough) but I made money. Between EDS and Sears it was enough to make it possible for me to not work while at school. Which freed up a lot of time for cheerleading and flirting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sweet Baby K

Five pictures of my five-year-old:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I and Love and You

Kate: "The guy in the song says, 'three words became hard to say, I and love and you,' but those aren't hard to say: I and love and you. See?"

So I try to explain it to her: they're easy to say when you love someone and if you stop loving someone they become hard to say.

But, I add, I love you and always will. You can't do anything to make me stop loving you. And God loves you. And you can't do anything (ever) to make God stop loving you.

Oh, but baby girl. I hope that you never find yourself where you think I and love and you are hard to say to someone. Or that you are not the one being told they're too hard to say to you and your beautiful, trusting heart is broken. I pray that you grow up loving and respecting yourself so your heart doesn't break but maybe is hurt for awhile and recovers. That you are secure enough to wait for life and time and God to bring you the right one and you can say I and love and you directly and wholly and without reservations and for the right reasons and for ever.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Afternoon

Hey, guess what I did? I took some pictures of the making of my clam chowder with the thought that I'll do a post on it.

Don't hold your breath. But it could happen.

Summer is winding down and I am really sad about that. I love fall, and winter has some nice parts, and spring can be lovely (OK, what I'm trying to say is I like having seasons), but summer. . . Who was it, Henry James?

Summer afternoon - summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language.

I love how carefree and relaxed we can be in the summer. I love that my kids get to run wild in Maine. I love being able to go places and do things we don't have time for the rest of the year.

I guess it's the limited nature of it that makes it so special . . .

from Emily Dickinson:

Water, is taught by thirst.
Land -- by the Oceans passed.
Transport -- by throe --
Peace -- by its battles told --
Love, by Memorial Mold --
Birds, by the Snow.

from Joni Mitchell:
don't it always seem to go/that you don't know what you got till it's gone

. . . although with summer, we know what's coming and that it needs to be enjoyed because we'll be snowed in soon enough. But I still like that lyric.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things I Never Heard in Fundamentalism, Part 2

From Daring to Draw Near: "Perhaps we should . . . [concern] ourselves less with the form prayer takes than with the attitudes underlying the form."

This quote is from the "David" chapter. White says prayer here, but as the chapter goes on he is talking more about worship.

"There is [no] evidence that the disinhibited praise (David's dancing while the ark was being brought back to Jerusalem) offended God. It might not have been compatible with some people's ideas of dignity, but who should be concerned with our dignity before the Most High? It is God's dignity that matters. And God's dignity consists in his innate worth and majesty, not in his capacity to disguise his deepest emotions. The dignity that can only be maintained by always concealing what I feel is not dignity. It is known as being a stuffed shirt. We were not made in the image of a Stuffed Shirt."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Best Intentions . . .

I'm making a blueberry buckle and it smells yummy. I *thought* this afternoon that I would take pictures and share the recipe because the other year when I wanted to make it in Maine I couldn't find this specific recipe online and I wanted to share the yumminess with the world. But maybe another time. I did make a half-hearted stab at getting the camera out to take a picture before I put it in the oven but alas, the camera was upstairs.

And there was dessert to put in the oven.

We had a lovely, lovely vacation (thanks for asking). I didn't take the camera to Funworld (huge step for me, to go have fun and not make it about taking pictures). There was something else we did that I didn't take pictures of but I can't think of it right now.

Oh right. Blueberry picking.

My timer just went off so this post is finished.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


My husband is on vacation this week. For a long time he'd be "on vacation," as in, we were able to have a week in Maine at my in-laws' camp, but he was still on the phone and sometimes even worked 2.5 days of the week he was "off." This is the second year in a row (!!) that he's been able to have the phone off (or at least on vibrate most of the time).

It is truly lovely. It's so nice to have him here, and for him to be able to relax, hang with the kids, make me breakfast sandwiches, and only occasionally check his phone. Maybe I'll tell you all about it when we're done.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Whine Production

Whine production has been greatly increased lately. Sam is eating fine but Kate has objections every night. We give her a time limit and tell her she can eat by that time or go to bed at that time.

So that's really (not) fun.

There's a great deal of complaining about non-food things too, things awful parents would suggest, like going to the pool (at home) or taking a boat ride (at the camp). We noticed it particularly after I got back from South Carolina and would look at each other, eyes wide, wondering when did these spoiled children arrive?

I was working on a big lecture in my mind when a friend posted this link* on facebook. Craig and I talked about how, instead of insisting they be more grateful, we show them what we mean when we say "appreciate all that we have."

*yeah. there's no link. I can't find the post. I've been through the whole month of July and can't find the one I want. I invite you to head over to A Holy Experience and look yourself; it's a post that begins by saying "what if all we had each day were things we gave thanks for the day before" and then there's pictures of sticky notes on a window and she talks about how they write down something they're thankful for on the sticky notes at lunch.

So we've tried. Writing this now, I realize it's been a week. We did this last Monday with my parents and not since. But (thankfully), we have tonight.

For beautiful, heart-squeezing, choked up moments of amazement, this can't be beat. We each get a little piece of paper and write one thing on it that we're thankful for. More often than not we each write three or four. Sam covers both sides sometimes. Kate draws pictures or we spell for her the word she wants. Then we read them out loud.

(insert cool, well-lit, short depth-of-field shots of their papers here that a good blogger would have)

Because we have a lot. It's so easy to look around and see what we don't have so this stopping and thinking about what we do have . . . it's sweet. It usually ends with hugs all around.

I'm thankful for my healthy, verbal children who can communicate effectively (if not always pleasantly) . . . and thankful, too, for this new path of thankfulness God is direcitng us to.

'Cause I was having no luck bottling that whine.