March 16, 2011

Debra and I have been married for two months, as of this afternoon. Life is busy and transitional, leaving less focus than optimal for artistic pursuit. Does that mean there is less balance in my life, or is there simply a different balance?

Life, also, is good in this marriage experience. While I don’t expect this blog to become a journal of marired life, that reality will be evident, of course. Faulkner now has an indoor counterpart named Minou, Debra’s black cat for the last 15 years. That brings new appreciation for the Get Fuzzy comic strip.

Sharing photos has become difficult with the slowness of iPhoto on this old computer. A new one is in sight, but it might still be a while before funds make it possible. When it happens, I’ll pick a few representative photos of the wedding and the Texas trip to share.

Thank you for the comments about Balance, both here and on Facebook. I look forward to renewing meaningful written exchange with you before another long time passes.

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Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm  Comments (5)  

Ever Seen a Kayak on a Buick?

Well, here you go. One of the big fun items on the recent family vacation was kayaking in Santa Rosa Sound. Getting there, we did fairly well with the carpooling thing: twenty of us arrived in five vehicles. Here’s the Rendezvous getting ready for the trip down.

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The boat is a Necky Elaho HV, which weighed a little less than the car. It does make a good-looking ensemble, though. And once in the water, it performed to the satisfaction of its operators.

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Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 9:45 am  Comments (2)  

A Break

Something happened yesterday that had not happened in a long time: I did not write in my journal. For 935 consecutive days, I wrote in my black Moleskine notebook, filling several along the way. But yesterday, I did not.

What began as an attempt to journal something every day of the year stretched to more than two-and-a-half years. During previous attempts, a calendar year would go by with two or three or just one day unrepresented by something written.

Usually when I have missed a day like that, it happens because of something good distracting me from the pattern of the pen. And I notice it with a small jolt soon after midnight. That’s the way it was on December 25, 2005, the last time I missed. I became aware of the lost entry at 12:12 AM on Dec. 26. And I noticed yesterday’s miss at 12:14 AM today.

So what was the good thing that distracted me from the habit? It was a day full of diverse activity — church work and personal errands. Lunch at home rather than on the road cost me a usual writing moment. During the evening — another time when journaling gets its chance — I decided to watch episode 3 of Lonesome Dove, borrowed from a friend church member who declares it the best western ever made. As I watched, I paused for a phone call from my sister, Jill, and that fun conversation lasted a long while. Later, a little deeper into the movie, Victor called, and we hunkered around our usual subjects of disc golf, computers, non-standard music, and people encounters. All of that still left me plenty of time to write, as I remarked to him that it was 11:00 before saying goodnight. But the movie came back on, and I was back in the dust and spirit of Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.

So I missed. And I laughed about it. Because I was full enough to not notice the time.

Published in: on July 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm  Comments (3)  

Congratulations,Tommy!

On Saturday, my brother-in-law received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Seminary. After so much hard work, study, and research across the span of years, it was exciting to see him meet that goal. Here are a couple of after-ceremony shots.

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Wonderful children!

Published in: on May 18, 2008 at 9:11 pm  Comments (4)  

Coca-Cola Sign

Driving home Monday after spending Sunday night with my parents, I came a different way than usual. In downtown Union, SC, these weathered walls revealed layers of advertising from the last century.

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If the right paint is used at the beginning, what is added later won’t remove the imprint that is there. I’m grateful for my parents who sacrificed to provide the right paint for their children.

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm  Comments (5)  

Antreville Wedding, Abbeville Bricks

Officiating a wedding is one of the most under-appreciated functions that a pastor can perform. It’s not that way every time, obviously, but parents with money and families of society tend to view the church sanctuary as their private gazebo and the clergy as a noisy part of the chancel furniture. Wedding policies, in their minds, are for people without enough extroverted gumption to circumvent or ignore them. Mention of God is tolerated, just as long as it is clear that the bride is the center of attention and the reason we are all here. The fact that I don’t allow such nonsense to prevail in weddings that I lead keeps me safely away from the gates of society’s plush boundary. And I’m pretty okay with that, except for some sadness for those who can’t realize the loud emptiness of what they call the good life. But even when the pastor doesn’t gently redirect the parents’ misguided wishes, appreciation is low. As soon as the pastor dismisses the congregation to the reception, he or she is then dismissed from further thought by the wedding’s party. There is no intent to develop relationship with the church, but mainly pragmatic recognition that the church is bigger than the clubhouse, prettier than the Moose Lodge, and less expensive than either. (This discussion is primarily true for non-church members; members whose children get married in the church are generally better, and those occasions are great blessings.)

But that’s not what I wanted to write about. (How long has that been brewing?!) I got to attend a wedding this past weekend, and it was fun. A cousin was married at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Antreville, where I was raised, so it was a nice little homecoming for me. I saw people who were my Sunday School teachers when I was a kid and a high school friend I had not seen since high school. Cousins came from Tennessee and Charleston and Hilton Head, and I got to sit in the pew and be one of them.

The wedding accomplished, we stood under the old cedar trees where the men used to smoke between Sunday School and preaching, and caught up with each other. Then we drove to Abbeville. Here’s a photo of some of the gathered cousins, taken inside the Belmont Inn, the site of the reception:

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The couple dancing on the porch while wedding party and guests stand around.

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To make an odd posting even moreso, let me show you some pictures of bricks. I like bricks, and Abbeville has lots of them.

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The Belmont Inn

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The Opera House

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The Courthouse

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The Main Street Square, and old buildings with antique shops

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After I drove away and was headed back home toward Lancaster, I remembered that I never spoke to the pastor. He was not the pastor of that church, and I didn’t know him, but I still wanted to say hello. I saw him at the reception, standing with a koozie-wrapped beer bottle and talking to some other guests, but I never broke away from the cousin hilarity to speak. Hmmm. I wonder how he felt about the whole thing. I just hope some folks from the family made him more welcome than I did.

Published in: on April 28, 2008 at 9:59 pm  Comments (7)  

Deep-fried Macaroni-&-Cheese Nuggets

My day off, this week, started a night early at a baseball game! Friends Bryan and Laurie met me at the gate. We found our cold, wet seats and prepared to enjoy opening day. The wind, rain, and cold temperature made it a challenge to get comfortable. It was my first visit to this ballpark, which was built with intentional homage to Fenway Park.
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Here’s the first pitch of the season for the Greenville Drive.
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The nuggets named in this posting’s title were part of our ballpark menu; other similarly nourishing items kept us busy, too. We had some good conversation and lots of laughter. We also agreed that it’s not a good idea to use baseball as a way to taunt someone who is experiencing sub-zero weather — it might backfire on you!
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Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm  Comments (7)