Is there something you are waiting for? More than waiting but anticipating with eagerness? It seems like the first day of spring is something people anticipate and are happy to see arrive whether or not the actual day is spring-like or not, just the realized date is enough to say winter is in the rear view mirror.
I’d forgotten today was the first day of spring but all my colleagues mentioned it. I started thinking about other things I look for to arrive. It seems to be a past time I experienced more in my growing up – waiting birthdays, for sleep overs, summer vacation, going to high school, college, weddings, births, special visits.
Now that spring has come, what am I waiting for, anticipating with eagerness in the same way I delight in the coming of more daylight, warmth and sunshine and flowers? How about you?
Betrayal – pretty heavy topic for anybody, but especially for kids. I’ve been asked to lead the children’s time in church tomorrow, something I do about once every two months. It is fun, it is challenging, it makes me think.
What I love about our church is the willingness to take on big topics in an intentional way – to look deeper into scripture and examine historical context and then be challenged to make it meaningful today. This Lenten season before Easter, there are some members in our church participating in an all-church read of the book, The Last Week. Each Sunday we explore one of the days in Jesus’ last week. So we began with Palm Sunday – strange to be waving our cedar branches a month early. Tomorrow we will be up to Wednesday and “betrayal.”
I don’t have to follow the scripture for children’s time but I try to at least think about it and how I might talk about the themes with children every age from 1-16. There are many ways I feel betrayed as a grown up right now but I am not going to try to get into personal or national or global matters in this venue; I want to speak to instances of trust and betrayal that come from what children move through and think about on a daily basis. I’m glad I have enough contact with children to stay in touch with some of that.
So I’m at the drawing board, thinking of stories to share that tell of trust and betrayal, of hurt and healing, and hope.
when it rains it pours
a phone call from my son that has me worried about him
a text from my daughter as she tries to figure out priorities
dinner with a friend whose husband has DACA status but they leave tomorrow to visit a sick relative in Mexico and are worried about their return
taxes to do, lawyers to talk to about wills etc.
it’s supposed to rain for awhile I hear
It started last fall when I heard about a “Catio tour” in Portland, Oregon. I looked it up online and shared the photos with my cat-loving husband. He had just presented me with a new kitty for our 35th wedding anniversary and I knew he would love this idea for our adventurous 5-year-old male cat and it would be a way to honor the request from the Humane Society that we keep our new kitten an indoor cat.
Mike loved the idea and his designing brain got busy figuring out how we could do this on our condo patio. This is what we’ve got so far.
He is busy stapling carpet to poles and creating mazes with cardboard boxes. Last week, Mike was down at Home Depot buying supplies and one of the floor helpers asked him what he was building. When Mike answered the guy said, “Oh, what good daddy you are!”
Yup, that’s who I married, an awesome kitty-daddy.
At my last work place there were little pranks and gatherings among the staff that created a sense of unity,”spirit” and ultimately, relationship. Zebra duct tape had significance, there were notes about significant birthdays and traditional gift exchange opportunities. A more recent addition this year were gatherings by staff participating in “escape” challenges.
There were a couple of staff who really spear-headed these events but everyone felt included in the jokes and invitations were always open for participation at any level. I remember the principal remarking how special it felt to have these kinds of activities happening between staff because of the relationships it fostered.
Now I’m in a new work place and I’m learning a new culture. So far I’ve learned these staff have had a silly sock exchange for birthdays in the past but are now going to take part in “CauseBox.” The day I started work was someone’s birthday and I saw the little bouquet of flowers from a member’s garden appear on her desk along with cards and chocolate in the work space.
Last week, one of my team members mentioned that our lead mentor had a birthday coming up and she wondered about pulling down an old pinata from storage and filling it. Of course everyone got on board to secretly stuff this colorful paper bull and today we hung it on the deck and took turns whacking it with a broom. It was joyful and silly and satisfying and the birthday girl felt well celebrated.
I’m looking forward to participating and getting to know this group of people in future off-the-record times together.
There is a small town just north of where I live with a set of numbered streets running perpendicular to its Main Street – like so many towns of similar age and history. And like other towns, there is no 13th street. I noticed this when I was a teenage driver going out to the fairgrounds in the summer. The street was labeled “B.C. Avenue.” I assumed it stood for “Before Christ” because the town was settled by the Dutch and is known for being quite conservative.
Now I’m not so sure. I recently drove out to visit a family living on British Columbia Avenue – the street between 12th and 14th Avenues. I’ve tried to find out if it has always had that designation or not but Google has failed me – or it has always had that name. It is a nice way to recognize our near-by Canadian neighbors who, (at least currently,) are not trying to build a wall between our countries.
I have a new computer at work and when I sit down and look at its gleaming surface and uncluttered desk top I am thrilled. I eagerly set the screen saver and played around with themes and created some new files.
I do love new computer stuff. I’m the one in the family always eyeing the next version of cell phone. I never thought I’d have a use for an Ipad and now I am coveting an updated version and would also take it as a welcome sign if my laptop at home just suddenly died – even though I haven’t backed up all my photos on it.
When I think of other “utilitarian” items, it is really only new techy stuff that makes my fingers itch. I’m still using my wedding gift pots and pans of 35 years ago and I really haven’t added much to my kitchen cupboards except a new French Press, (obviously a priority, and because I occasionally drop and break them.) My mom passed on a great sewing machine, and I have an adequate vacuum and iron. I did upgrade my digital camera a few years ago and have my eyes on a new, but relatively cheap bike.
It’s probably a good thing I have a new computer at work. Figuring out how to use it effectively will keep me from eyeing – and possibly buying – something new for personal use!