Friday, March 28, 2014

friday five: are we blooming yet?

For this week's RevGals Friday five Deb invites us to share:


1. Your favorite spring flower. (Is it blooming yet? If so, share the joy by posting a picture of that loveliness with those of us still waiting!)

 Daffodils in the 'hood
I adore both daffodils and tulips, but in my section of the south the heat tends to be too much for tulips. Although I keep intending to plant dafs, our late fall cycle of weather tends to go from 80 to 40 overnight, making it difficult to find the right time to get those suckers planted. Maybe this year I'll go by the calendar and not the thermometer.
2. Your spring cleaning routine. Do you have one? Is there a family memory or tradition around it?
I don't have a spring cleaning routine. With three dogs cleaning is a constant necessity, the timeliness of which I fail on a regular basis.
3. A personal area of growth where you have seen some success lately. It can be personal, physical, spiritual or familial.
Since I have started a new business (canine massage) I am confronting my tendency to procrastinate or not take necessary action. I've been reflecting lately on the fear of success, or at least asking myself the hard questions about why I'm not taking the action I know would help propel me forward in positive ways. It's not easy inner work, and although I don't know if I've seen any particular growth, I'm going to go out on a limb and be grateful that at least I'm probing more deeply in this area than in the past. A breakthrough might prove interesting.
4. When does “spring” usually arrive in your area? Are you holding out for late May? Or are you one of the lucky ones who has already put away her sweaters and mittens?

 In St. Louis a few years ago
As a native Yankee I'm conditioned for a late spring--the aforementioned dafs and tulips appearing in April. Here in Tennessee (where I've been for 15 years) I still can't used to seeing daffodils emerge at the end of February. This year they are quite late, having just bloomed (and by our front walk, a lonely volunteer is in full bloom). Our temperatures, like elsewhere, have swung wildly, so t-shirts as well as winter coats are at the ready.
5. A verse or set of verses from Scripture that speaks “new growth” to you. 
This may seem like an odd choice, but it is a favorite. It is the gospel passage read at our wedding, reflecting that a marriage, a new expression of a relationship, was like new wine. "Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." (Mt 9:17)

Friday, March 21, 2014

friday five: land, sea, and air

At RevGals Jan invites us to share some of our travel experiences. I'm choosing a diverse route to sharing some of those rich times.

1) While growing up my family did all our travel by car: each spring we ventured from Connecticut to South Carolina to the family tree farm, often detouring to historic sites along the way; in the summer we vacationed with a cousin who had a house on Cape Cod; in the winter we skied with another family with whom we spent lots of time and shared activity. 

On one of our trips to the Cape I asked my dad how the Vietnam War started. For what seemed like an hour he laid it all out for me, a captive audience. Thinking about that now I am enormously impressed that he had a grasp of the facts and was able to explain it with a certain amount of detachment, and his explanation didn't leave me in the dust. That was typical of my dad, who enjoyed telling a story, but could do so without making it overly complicated. Do I remember any of it? Ha!
(That's dad maintaining a seaweed-free path into the water at the Cape. I've never known anyone else to do that, anywhere! but he loved taking on that responsibility each summer)

2) A childhood-->adulthood friend and I spent our teen years writing stories about the heroes of a short-lived television series from our tween years, The Young Rebels. We were both enthralled with the era of the revolutionary war and indulged our passion and fantasies with all sorts of adventures and romances for our intrepid revolutionaries. One fall when it was time for me to return to college in Indiana, she joined me on that trip and we drove to and through parts of Pennsylvania to research the history of the area about which we were writing, seeking authenticity. I still have copies of documents that we uncovered, pictures torn from magazines that inspired the look of some of our own characters, historic buildings that starred in our scenarios, and the fictionalized genealogies we created. It was the kind of journey I look forward to taking again to explore my own family's history and the places that shaped them, and occasionally those that they helped shape.

3) I was fortunate to spend a week sailing off the coast of Maine one summer with five others. Extraordinary memories, gastronomic delights from the galley as well as some of the small, seaside towns, and nights on deck admiring the star-studded sky stand out in my mind. The sailing was pretty good, too, but recedes compared to everything else. It was a unique adventure, cherished in my heart.

4) Another extraordinary piece of travel took place too many years ago. A trip to dance in Scottish castles is probably the highlight of my travel life. For two weeks twelve of us traveled with our own musicians (fiddler and pianist), donned ball gowns and full kilt regalia, and danced in the likes of the ballroom of Blair Castle and the kitchen of the ruined Castle Campbell. We dined on sumptuous foods, sipped single-malt scotch, and laughed regularly until our sides hurt. Twenty-five years later friendships are still maintained and enjoyed, and the memories run as deep as the music in my soul. 

5) On the first anniversary of the call to my first solo pastorate, the beau of a parishioner offered to take me flying in his two-seater plane. I accepted! I have always enjoyed flying, and it was a treat to view the area from above, including seeing (and attempting to photograph) my house, the church, and other local areas of interest. I always feel honored when people share such passions, offering a glimpse into worlds I would not likely see otherwise, and this was such a time.
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