Saturday, April 30, 2005

Small town living has it's blessings. When I ran out of gas on the highway coming home from an upstate swim meet with my LD, I was able to pull in at a roadside shop. I went inside to ask where the nearest gas station was. I asked the gal behind the counter who owned it (I knew she'd know her neighbors) and then I called the gas station. I called the owner by name when she answered the phone and said, "'s St Casserole, how y'all doing?" I spoke to her as if I knew her and told her my problem. She sent over her son who put in enough gas to get me to the station for more. He wouldn't take any money and said, "Mama said she hoped you'd come by. She hasn't seen you in years." This was charming as I did not know his Mama from Adam's housekitty. We went by the station, filled the gas tank and I went inside to pay. Mama and I greeted each other as if we'd known each other for years. It wouldn't be polite to forget someone even if you never met them. Is that sweet or what?

Small town living has it's down side when rumors get going and won't stop. I was having lunch when the preacher's wife came over all concerned. She asked me if it was true that the LH and I were separated. I 'bout started crying because that question hurt. I told her that was not true and she must have us confused with someone else. I asked her to tell me who'd told her this rumor and she refused. I can't stand that. Let me know who is saying what and I'll call them and deal with it. Don't do that junior high school thingie of saying mean stuff but not giving the hearer a way to fix it. I pressed her for the name but she wouldn't budge. Made me angry.

Small town life has sweet moments for sure like yesterday when I was having a pedicure in our local Cut 'n Curl. The gal two chairs over and I began to visit. I didn't know her but enjoyed the chat. I finished with a new coral OPI polish (wish I could remember the name!) on my toes. As I was leaving, she asked me how my cat was doing. I was shocked as she called my Old Man Cat by name and I didn't understand how she knew him. Turns out that she was his first owner and was the previous owner of our home. I hadn't met her in all these years. She told me that O M C was born in 1984 in a neighboring county on farm. He was a gift to her daughter. When she divorced the previous owner of our home and moved on, he would not let her take O M C and she's missed the kitty ever since. I invited her to come by and see him. She was stunned that he was alive still. Can you believe he is 21 years old? He's on daily IV's for his kidney disease but eats well, runs, jumps on my lap and seems ok but more frail. His eyesight is very poor and he doesn't feel the need to groom himself much. I comb him and damp mop him with a washcloth.

This is all the big news I have. My sermon is 7/8's finished. Thanks for being here.

Friday, April 29, 2005

O Ye Possums Awake!

Oh, how wonderful! Oh, what Joy! I saw an opossum in the back yard this morning! The robin may be a harbinger of Spring but a possum is a sign of joy and wonder.

Several years ago, I found two large garbage cans upright outside the greenhouse. Both were filled without about 2" of water from a rain storm. One held four tiny bodies of curled up baby possums. I wept. Possums are a yard's best pal because they clean up the mess, make no trouble and are throwback prehistoric animals in our world. I love 'em. (Note to LLS: consider the imaginary playmate I had under my bed on Pecan Ave. You were barely born then so I guess you don't remember? Jelly donut memory here...)

I gently poured out the water in the cans watching the baby possums flow out on the ground. I couldn't stop crying at the thought that my carelessness had killed the finest yard creatures in the world. Why hadn't I taken the time to make nail holes in the base of the plastic cans so that water wouldn't collect in them?

I wandered away, too upset to do anything outdoors. Later, I came back to the cans and the babies were gone. I don't know if the babies were "playing possum" or if a predator had come for them. I never found out.

For years I've been searching for possums. Not an easy thing to do as they are quiet, night time wanderers who do not want to see people. Early this morning I saw a white and grey possum stroll around the azaleas pausing to check out some delicious potential treat in the grass. The possum looks like a close to the ground cat. If I hadn't seen the long skinny tail I might have thought it was Yukko, the neighbor's kitty.

Is April great or what? Beautiful Spring weather with cool mornings and evenings. Plenty of green growth, the season of pruning and celebrations! Eastertide means He's loose!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Sweet Patootie Day

We marked twenty-four years of marriage yesterday. Not much of an accomplishment in many ways because the road of marriage has been a pleasure to me. The bumpy parts were times of grief over miscarriages, depression, death of parents and public misery but even those were shared so the bumps were bittersweet. We shared the bumps as lovers and friends with each other so the pain was not less but owned by two hearts.

There isn't a perfect relationship anywhere. When people comment on their marriages, even the good ones, they say something like, "It hasn't been perfect........" Of course it hasn't! It's goofy to expect relationships to be perfect and to grade ourselves next to perfection. Rather, has the relationship shown the grace to proceed through the loneliness and crap of life with sparks of joy and understanding?

I love the LH. Everyday I'm grateful for him. Without his humor, perspective and even temper, I'd be less of a person.

I salute my Patootie. May God grant us 24 more years together.

Seeking God

I can't imagine that it is easy being a seeker.

Prayer must seem like a shot in the dark, voicing words or interior speech toward an unknown target. What are proper subjects for prayer? What words to use? What if I am wasting my time?

I'm digging my memory to recall what seekers tell me about beginning attempts to pray to God.
I don't remember a single day that I didn't know about talking with God in prayer. I listened to my mother's prayers as a tiny kid and had her counsel on how to pray throughout her life.

I've had times I felt I could not pray, though. Life presents us with situations where we stumble into confusion over how and when and even why to pray. I remember days when I couldn't figure out how to talk with God about situations. The language stumped me as did organizing my intentions or reasons for praying about a certain event. I was grateful to discover that one can pray without words. Silently focusing on prayer without much clarity or just groaning toward God is prayer, too.

How does one begin to pray when one is inexperienced with trusting God to hear? I suppose the answer is to just pray. (Curse Nike for aphorismic contagion!) Begin with simple conversation to God with God in mind. Doesn't have to be perfect. Doesn't have to be organized. Tenative conversation which asks God for help or understanding is prayer.

One doesn't master prayer. Prayer is talking with God and listening to God's response. No one is an expert although some people have more experience with prayer than others do. Cut through the socialized mess of our thoughts and place our deepest selves in front of God. Then, be patient. Or, if you can't be patient, keep talking to God. Present that need over and over again.

Ask God to help you learn about prayer. Ask for help.

Let's ask the bloggie pals what they'd add to this...... Comments, please.

Monday, April 25, 2005

LD Wins Seat on Stu Co!

Election results tallied over the weekend by Backwater School Officials reveal that LD is a winner for the Middle School Student Council

Thrilled Middle School student, LD, received word while in P.E. class that she was among the ten new members of the Student Council. Listening to the results in the acoustically challenging gymnasium was difficult but when her name was announced a cry of delight went up from the crowd. A field of thirty ran for the ten seats so many tears were shed by those who were not elected. Those not elected included two of LD's pals so the results were bittersweet.

(I do not know if the kid with the printed t-shirts won.)

It is a HAPPY NIGHT here at campaign headquarters. The victory party continues.......
Although it's a tad after 7am. the LD is moving slowly toward school. The Student Council results are announced today. As I fell asleep last night I heard her roaming the house and found her at 11pm. holding a roll of drawing paper. "I can't sleep," she said. "Go to sleep," I said. I hope the results go well for her.

My bloggie pal Mark of the Lepper Colony comments that he ran for Stu Co every year without success. I understand this. I'm proud he ran year after year. Shows leadership initiative. However, my evaluation is the perspective of an adult. As a kid, I was too shy to even consider running for a school election.

The "many rooms" John 14 sermon went well. Or at least I got a number of positive comments after preaching. I think I hit a nerve with my congregants because I spoke about grief. Grief is universal to us all. My sermon was about Jesus preparing his disciples for his death and absence then about our grief over deaths in our lives and the pain of absence from loved ones.

On the way to church yesterday I saw: goats, horses, buzzards, cattle, cats and my favorite for the week: a lone chicken in the middle of the main town road. The chicken was poised in the middle of the road trying to make that decision---should I stay or go? As I proceeded through the stop sign, chicken blasted across the street into the bushes.

I live a city life, even here in the Backwater. I don't see chickens unless they are in a plastic pack at the grocery store.

Our humidity is low and the days cool. Oh how wonderful! I want to prune more azaleas! I want to be outside!

I'll post election results as they arrive.

Glad to see you all. My local pal who reads this blog told me that my entries were like "brain gas". I'm not sure this is a compliment. I did laugh at the idea that I blow off brain steam here on the blog and assume it is, at least, true partially.

Friday, April 22, 2005

This is no ordinary Friday! Today is the middle school election for student council. The LD's campaign speech is ready along with her outfit and attitude. Voting is today with the results coming on Monday.

Did I tell you that one candidate had t-shirts made for her campaign? I'm not talking buying a three pack of Hanes then writing "Vote for Cissy" with a marker. I'm talking printed, good quality, cap-sleeved t-shirts for a middle school campaign. I discussed the campaign with another Mom, who I'd not met before, and told her with a straight face that I'd ordered pizzas for both lunch shifts with "Vote for LD" in pepperoni on each pie. She looked stricken and guilty that she hadn't thought of this first until I burst out laughing.

It has been one heck fire of a week.

Sermon prep continues at a slow pace. "In my Father's house are many rooms....." is whirling around in my head but won't be the focus of my sermon. I just can't understand what that phrase means even if I've read four commentaries.

The weather is so lovely. Warm days, cool evenings and a spring-ish quality of light which is more beautiful each day. If I turn my head, I can look out the french doors into the courtyard and see blooming hibiscus, in coral and red; tiny yellow flowers, a rose about to bloom and fresh green ferns. And, to add to my happiness, I've an old man cat on my lap.

The preachers gather tonight for supper. I'll be glad to see them all. I'll bring an appetizer and I may make an entirely uncool, too sugary candy bar pie.

Glad to be back with you. Hope all is well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hello? Is anyone here?
My keyboard is dusty. Cobwebs on my screen. Been off-line for days.
I think I'm back. Two techs, three home visits, much fiddling with this computer.

I missed you all.

The Ps.23 sermon went well on Sunday. I was glad to be back with my people after 2 Sundays off.

I'm the home campaign manager and chief financial officer for a middle school student council race. I woke up this morning worrying that her posters wouldn't communicate quickly enough as the students pass by them. Oh puleeze! Must I be competitive even about a child's stu co race? I attached ribboned cards to about 60 wooden pencils last night. I bought suckers (known to you as lolipops?) for hand outs then discovered that she can't give out food incentives. The election is Friday. Thank goodness that the campaign begins today and ends on Friday. My nerves couldn't take it. Cheers to the LD for entering the race. Someone bring me a sedative for my nerves....

I think I've forgotten how to blog. More later and glad to see you!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Psalm 23

There's been a suicide in the community. It's time to teach and talk about the misery of despair.

When the preachers met for coffee on Wednesday, three of us began talking about the lectionary for Sunday. It seems to us that Psalm 23 is a good place to begin a discussion about depression, hopelessness and being bone-crushingly lonely. Walter Bruggeman, retired professor of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, has a sermon on Psalm 23 in his The Threat of Life. I'll read it after I finish my sermon so that I don't let it influence me. It's too early in the process for me to see someone else's sermon. The other preachers think it has great power for seeing the Psalm and I'm sure they are correct.

I'll be focusing on the "he prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Misery and depression sure feel like enemies to me.

O Lord of Life, be with the family of ......... Let them know your presence through the words and actions of their friends and family. Let them be comforted by those who love them.
Teach each of us to live so closely to you that we cannot think of our lives apart from Your life. Keep us in your loving care so that we may hold on to this life until it's end. Comfort those who struggle with hopelessnes and despair. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.

(I had to call the computer tech again. I'm back online again for awhile, I hope.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Sermon Blogging (Easter 4)

First thoughts on the lectionary passages for Sunday, April 17 (Fourth Sunday of Easter):

Acts 2:42-47 this is a Pentecost passage. The people were happy and sharing their bread. All possessions were shared. Except for notable experiments in "shared living", we Westerners read this passage and start shouting about communism. Of course, communism meant forcibly shared with inequity, while this passage is one of happiness where the fervor of Life in the Lord overflowed in making sure everyone had what they needed, with "glad and generous hearts". Impressive.

Psalm 23: I've heard 2k sermons on this text and do not tire of it. My favorite translation of the first line is: "the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need." Will use this as the responsive reading, most likely. Here, as in the Acts text, need is being met.

IPeter2:19-25 The downtrodden are reminded that just because one is mistreated, one doesn't respond with mistreatment. Not just an ethical ideal but a response to following the One who
"suffered, he did not threaten." Christ "entrusted himself to the one who judges justly." Ah, the idea of trust. Who do we trust with our lives? "By his wounds you have been healed (2:24b)" See reference to shepherd and being returned to the fold.

John 10:1-10 Need to explain gates, sheepfolds and sheep recognizing the shepherd's voice. See chapter 9 to understand who Jesus is talking with when he uses this shepherd metaphor. Lovely passage. Pulls together shepherd images of other passages but flips the Pharisee's understanding of shepherds (ew, yuk! stinky lowlifes!) over to show the shepherd's protection. Ultimate protection of sheep.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Part 2

If I were seeking to find out about God, I'd look at Christianity first. I'd move slowly and take my time to think about what I was seeking and where I might find it.
I would begin with the Bible but not think I needed to read it from beginning to end. I'd look at the first pages of the first book in the Old Testament, Genesis, and read the first couple of chapters or so. In my notebook, I'd record questions and thoughts about this account of how God made the world. How has this idea of God creating influenced history, philosophy and current events. Why does this story have to be a literal one or do I feel somehow that it is literal and I just never considered this before now?

I'd go to the gospel of John. "Gospel" means "good news". John is in the New Testament, go to the back of the Bible. Look for John in the "Matthew, Mark, Luke" area. I'd begin reading it with a desire to see the story with as few filters as possible. Not an easy task for anyone who has grown up in a christian influenced culture or environment. What is John trying to say and why? Who does John say Jesus is? What does John tell me about Jesus?

I might, in my early days of looking for God, not go to a church unless I felt comfortable. I'd want to have some information about the church under my belt and not want to be thinking I'd master God by going to church. However, if I had a friend I trusted who I could see was practicing her or his faith, I might go to worship with the understanding I was searching not finding at this point.

I'd be wary of churches whose main interest in me was getting money. Or making me say that I was "saved" until they explained, in language which made sense to me, what "saved" meant. If they handed me little folded papers with pictures and the words, "4 spiritual laws", I'd run. If they told me I was going to hell until I believed, I would run. And, if they tried to make me be like them in the first few weeks, I'd run. Honest search has integrity. I wouldn't let anyone take that from me.

I'd like to be told that no one is a finished Christian but that all are practicing. I can't stand arrogance in any situation so finding it in the faith sphere angers me. Doctors practice, lawyers practice, Christians practice. I want the journey to count for something (it does in every other area of my life) not just the final destination.

And do not try to scare me with threats of hell. Good grief! I live in a terrifying world of terrorists, politicians who care nothing for me, drug companies who do not tell the truth but push their merchandise and public schools with gun problems. I don't need any more fear. I'm not reading the "Left Behind" series to get myself to God, either.

I'd be looking for a love that won't let me go that loves beyond any love I can even understand and a faith which I can immerse myself into my entire life. I don't want a faith I can master the way I mastered algebra or driving a car. When I'm 70, I want to be asking questions and pushing the envelope with God.

Help me think this along, folks, I've been on this road so long that I've almost forgotten my own beginnings. I talk with people about faith 'bout everyday and I'd like to do right by them.

The church hasn't hurt me by theologically abusing me or teaching me stuff that ruined my life. I'm grateful for this. The hurt I've experienced with church has been the ignorance of those who think I'm missing the most important appendage needed to serve God. Even this prejudice didn't turn me away from God. Church isn't the end-all, it's the way for us all to be together on this journey but it isn't a substitute for God. I love the Church even if some church people creep me out. But hey! I'm not looking for the church to be perfect. If you are looking for this, you are setting yourself up for great pain. Church is composed of people who are as flawed as anywhere else in society, sometimes worse. As the LH says, it's good for these flawed people to be in church because it "keeps them off the streets".

More later.

How Do I Get to God?

I may be starting a series here.

I've never known a time without knowing God in my life. I was taught about God as a little child and the fascination caught me. This is not to say that I haven't had many, many times when I felt I was praying to a blank wall or wanted to punch God out. Nor does it mean I've achieved a level of holiness that you all should imitate.

But, let's pretend, I'm just starting out as an adult and I want to know about God. Where shall I begin?

I'm aware that "christians" don't appeal to many people. If it's not the stunted view of the world shown by the right wing believers, it's the goofy Precious Moments sentimentality of the pious and overly-devoted. I'm not attracted to either. Don't want a stunted world view. I want an understanding of God which recognizes God's magnitude, mystery and ability to transform human hearts. As for the Precious Moments type of faith, I'm too hungry to be fed by sentimentality. I live in a real world, not a fantasy where sweetness and light is enough to fix the problems of life together. Give me more.

I might begin my search by looking at my life and noting where I am broken. What am I missing when I look around my world? What am I paying attention to that is empty rather than life-giving? After considering these questions, and others, I may have a direction to follow. If knowing God means anything, it must have something to do with ordinary life. Life of lunchboxes, taxes, partners, death and etc. Otherwise, it's back to the Precious Moments concept of faith and it's brother "I'll just name what I want and claim it" thinking. (If this worked then all five year olds would have a pony, a real live pony, in their back yards).

I might have to spend a good bit of time thinking about my anger at God. Presumptious thought that I, a speck on the windshield of life, am worthy to have anger at God, but Geez Louise! who among us has not wanted to punch out God? As the author says, "our arms are too short to box with God." Yep. Where am I angry? Is it because my childhood taught me that authority figures aren't dependable? Do I worry that I will be abandoned, unloved and uncherished at my life's end? Has the grief of death convinced me that God doesn't give two hoots about me and my life? Have I found that when I really put my weight on God, God didn't help me?

I worked on the anger issue for years and haven't completed it, yet. For several years I ignored God because all the faith stuff was getting on my nerves. I could not relate to the christians around me. I cared about different things. I didn't want to be holy as they were holy. I didn't realize that we come to faith as individuals with all our individuality intact. It's us, as we really are, that we bring to God, not some copy of how someone else does the faith.

My anger sizzled again when I had my first encounter with infertilty. It was clear to me that I was "worthy" of having a baby but I couldn't get past all the infertility stuff. Doctors, more doctors and miserable physical stuff interfered with my relationship with my loving spouse. I believed I deserved a baby and I was being denied. Made me mad. Hurt my feelings. Made me wonder what in the heavens God was doing not making my body produce a baby. Crappy mothers conceived in the alleys of bar rooms while I was a shining example of goodness and couldn't conceive. (Try to read this without laughing at my audacity. I must have thought there was a "good girl premium" in the cosmos. I thought I deserved what I asked for and so I was angry as the dickens.)

I'll not tell you how this worked out and what I learned. This is an entry about how to get to God not how I figured it out or was led to figure it out.

Let me take a break here as my family is getting up and I have to concern myself with waffles, finding socks and encouraging children to "have a happy day". More later.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Odd day. I've a vacation Sunday. No sermon to prepare. No bulletin to create. No panty hose and preacher clothes today.

How did I spend the day? I did nothing. Wasn't an intentional Sabbath but rather a day of feeling out-of-sorts and icky. Icky because of the theater popcorn last night which, I believe, had been popped with oil from last year. Out-of-sorts because a day I'd planned to use for holding hands with my LH during worship didn't happen. He sat near me most of the day feeling rotten, too. Between us, we went through a box of kleenex, grumbled about pollen, popcorn and feeling poorly. I like doing stuff with my LH but illness doesn't count as companionable time.

However, he is companionable, though more quiet, even when he is poorly. He's a prince and I mean it.

Today feels like time stuck somewhere not-so-pleasant because it feels like wasted time.

I'm sorry I've been wailing about needing time away from the pulpit. I'm ready to go back to my regular week with regular study time and reflection. I'm ready.

Talk to you later, tater.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Here's a question for you:
Are there any stories or story lines left to tell? Has anyone researched and catalogued all the plot lines of fiction? I think I remember reading about this at one time years ago but I could be dreaming.
I know that everyone has a story to tell, a personal perspective to reveal in words but what stories have yet to be told? I'm not thinking of a blow by blow report of the End Times here but have all the varieties of human experience been novelized by now?
Just wondering.
Tell me, if you will, what stories have not been told yet?
Is there a series of a clergywoman who investigates murders? I'd read this series.
Is there a novel about life written from a cat's perspective?
Tell me, what book hasn't been written as yet?

Missing You

Yikes! I've been off line for days! The computer tech showed up on Thursday. I've been looking for him since early Lent.
I missed ya'll. I missed my email. I missed the NY Times online.
I didn't get to read the Papal funeral stuff online and forgot to watch TV so the longest serving Pope of my lifetime went out without my minute by minute attention.
I missed reading your blogs.
I'm sure I missed the email from NPR asking me, no begging me, to become a commentator because they lack a clergywoman's perspective and want the nation to hear my accent. I promise to say "caint" rather than "can't" when they do put me on the air.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Spring Dishwashing Press Release

Today is a beautiful day here in the Backwater. A beautiful day in a beautiful month, I think. Temperate weather, blue skies, not warm enough for mosquitos or wasps with lots of pruning to be done, preachers to drink coffee with and a new dishwasher coming this afternoon. Yippee!

The Old Man Cat is venturing outside to enjoy Spring. With the Gang of Terror Cats gone he can sun on the driveway and sit on the courtyard bricks remembering his youth as Squirrel Mangler or Running For No Reason Cat or Big Cat in the Neighborhood.

I feel great, too. Pruning has upset my shoulders and one elbow but with tylenol and ice, I continue to rejoice in cutting back the straggly azaleas. I saw a pile of fire ants yesterday and heaped OT curses upon them. I hope I didn't frighten the neighbors.

The new dishwasher will be here this afternoon and the installer will place it under the kitchen counter where I will load it to the gills and turn it on. The Casserole Family dishwasher gets a workout. I realized durning the mourning period for the old dishwasher (after it's death) that no one in this family knows how to wash a dish by hand. I'd like to nominate this as one of the signs that I do too much for them. Go ahead and report me to the Mother's League of Bad Moms. I know I deserve a public reprimand. I taught the LD to wash by hand. The LS did a good job under the tutelage of his sister and the LH merely passed by the full kitchen sink and rose above the situation.

I washed dishes almost every day. I can tolerate a full sink dirty dishes and with all my travels last week, I was pushed for time. I hoped others might want to try washing dishes but this was just another fantasy. Anyway, while washing dishes I recalled my grandfather's suggestion that we learn to enjoy the tasks we have to do. He's right and I've applied this wisdom to the many household jobs which I do each day or week which if I considered them intently would make me run out of the house screaming. Do about anything around me but do not bore me.

Housework is boring. I wait for the new dishwasher with a grateful heart and enough dishes to make the new dishwasher feel welcome.

Blessings to all of you today.

I remain,

Monday, April 04, 2005

Brides, Cheese and Grooms

The LH and I went to our presbytery's annual pastor's retreat for the weekend. I tease by using the phrase "lovely husband" here in the blog but the retreat was full of preachers who introduced their wives by saying "my lovely bride." The freshest couple (as in years married) have three children so there were no "brides" present. It's just so durn cheesy to say "lovely bride." I introduced the LH as my "lovely groom" several times to the old guys just for fun. I did it dead pan and hooted inwardly.

I'm not all that fond of my colleagues in general but in particular they can be a refreshing treat. I had time to visit with some of my favorites and some of the spouses. The LH was the only man spouse attending. Hard to believe that I was the only clergywoman invited or attending. By the way, I was the first clergywoman from my denomination ordained in this state. The research has been done to verify this. I hope it gets me first seat on the plane to Chicago in November for our big celebration of the ordination of women.

The cheesy factor was high during the event. My favorites were the preacher and his "lovely bride" who wore matching shirts and pants for the weekend. Other cheesy moments included the use of sports examples to explain the ministry to us by our charming old speaker; singing antique praise music from twenty years ago and hearing some of the war stories of the old pros.

I can handle cheese. Cheese is a combination of a desire to be personable and inclusive with an out of it, really really uncool world view. Hey! I can do that!

After working out the logistics of leaving the children home and attended appropriately, I was happy to get out of town and have a break from leading Sunday Worship. The LH liked the change of atmosphere from his colleagues and usual Saturday chores. It was fun.

I like it that we have these weekends which are, invariably, advertised with the word "mandatory attendance" and I wish we'd enforce attendance. Some preachers missed because of scheduled weddings, unscheduled funerals and lack of money from their congregations to attend.

God bless all of us who are in the ministry. God lead us to find a time to rest and renew. And, thank you, God, for our "lovely brides" (and "grooms") Amen.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Goodbye to All this Empire

Oh rats! The LH gave me yesterday's stack of mail this morning. I wasn't home until last night and flopped on the sofa as soon as I returned so I hadn't see the mail. I got a notice from a NY state attorney that "St. Casserole" is a copywrited name of a client in Italy and that I must desist using the name for this blog. There goes my empire of t-shirts, coffee mugs and tote bags, too. I hadn't even gotten around to learning how to load pictures or even a favorites list. I have some readers I would hate to lose.

The LH and I do not know any NY state attorneys to contact to help us nor do we want to spend money on fighting what seems to us to be a silly case. Why would I be confused with an Italian St. Casserole? I know 20 words in Italian, not enough to write one blog entry. I don't want to anger the other St.C so I won't say more.

I'll have to change my blog name. Do you have any suggestions? St. Fried Chicken does not work nor does St. June Cleaver or even, St. Backwater. Help me out here. I have until the 3rd to make a new blog.

Rats. Double Rats.

The Bees

I love our home. It's a comfortable house for our family. We bought it years ago and have done many repairs, replacements and so on. I'd like to have a month where we do not have some kind of repair bill. I'm facing a new dishwasher soon, etc.

I've never lived in a new home. I grew up in a house built in the '20s and have lived in a succession of dorms, apartments and homes built long before I thought of them.

Our home has a history, of course. The neighbors remember the family who built the home in the 60's and the family who re-modeled it 20 something years ago. In that re-do, the family added a greenhouse which in it's day was quite the thing. The greenhouse is standing but is a shadow of it's former glory. It's a big building with a gravel floor in the greenhouse part, cement slab in the tool/lawnmower section and an additional cement floor for further storage. I'm not saying it's a British conservatory although it is a well thought out building. The greenhouse portion has slat tables for potting, a heater for the winter, fan for the summer, water hoses, etc.
Even has a phone connection from the days when a previous owner taped his spouse to see if she was whooping it up outside of marriage. (The rumors of her infidelity blew around town and have stayed in the provincial imagination after all these years with an old lady asking me if it was true that we had a mirrored ceiling in our bedroom. Nope.)

The greenhouse is on it's last legs. During the last big Blow, part of the roof sailed away. The doors were removed last Spring for some reason never explained to me by my LH and lovely children. Rather than being a pleasant place to pot plants, the greenhouse has turned into the dump for those things we keep for no reason and those we may need in the future. I am thinking of the load of french doors buried under broken yard furniture which we salvaged for some reason. Even though we unloaded a majority of stuff from the greenhouse when we had a chance last Spring, the space has filled up again. I wonder if junk walks in there at night when no one sees it.

As Spring comes to the Backwater and our piece of God's Good Earth, the carpenter bees arrive. These are big fat black bees who travel in pair and look like floating mini tootsie rolls. Their reason for living is to bore holes in untreated/unpainted wood while dripping a yellowish pollen and lots of wood dust. I love watching them. They bore round holes then bore at an angle, hibernate/reproduce then come back when the weather is warm. I see them in the Spring and Fall only. I've read that they do not sting but haven't messed with them to find out. Their buzzing is loud which makes me think they don't want me standing close enough to see if they bore at an angle.

Their temporary business then absence is a good sermon illustration. So is their ability to bore what looks like a perfect hole. It's amazing to me that God created such a thing as carpenter bees. I spend a good bit of time thinking about how bees and all other living things live together and how we share the same Creator. If I did not see the bees, I wouldn't know they exist. I wonder what I am missing of God's plan and involvement because I do not see.

I cannot wax eloquent about roaches, fleas, flying cockroaches, fire ants, gnats and mosquitoes. I'm not sure I would have made these creatures. It's beyond me to know the mind and purpose of God.

What's going on with you?