Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sixty years ago a little sister was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin. She grew up to be the most wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend. She's a little on the short side, but makes up for it in spunk and verve. She's a little on the messy side, but nowhere as messy as she used to be. She loves to read and to teach others about the love of reading. She loves cats, chocolate and shoes. (Remember the yellow Minnie Mouse pumps from the Imelda Marcos era?)
She has an uncanny ability to match colors. She can braid little girls' hair lickity-split. She made many prom dresses and Easter dresses that were much better than the store-bought ones. She bakes a killer loaf of banana bread. She can sing the harmony to any popular song from the last one hundred years. She has the most distinctive, beautiful handwriting. She is a good sport (usually), even though we tease her mercilessly.
She is tender-hearted, faithful and someone I love with all my heart. Happy Birthday, Mom!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
No, I haven't given up on my blog... I just haven't had anything I've wanted to blog about in a while. Plus, we are in the full busy, busy, busy mode of the school year, the church year and all of our other activities.
I'll be back -- I promise!
Friday, September 12, 2008
- I like it when situations come full circle. A couple of years ago, Little Church on the Desert had a search committee for a new youth director. One young man came from out-of-state to interview. I really, really liked him during the interview process, but he did not end up as the youth director. Today I find out (via Facebook) that he is attending the same seminary I did and is working at a church as a youth director. It is nice to hear what happens to people like this!
- David is 9 months old today. He has two and a half teeth now (one just broke through the gums) and two more are poised to make their appearance. He can wave 'Hi!' and is going to be an early walker.
- I am struggling with a situation that I'd rather not blog about -- but please pray that I can forgive and forget...
- Tonight is the first meeting for this program year of the 'younger' Presbyterian Women group at Big Church, which I attend as a member, not as a pastor. I love these women and am looking forward to catching up with everyone.
- Tomorrow we are going to a friend's 40th birthday party. I am so blessed and happy that we've become friends with so many of the younger couples at Big Church. They've all been friends for years, but they've welcomed our clan with open arms and included us in all their social activities.
- School continues to chug forward for Thomas, Lily and Brett. We're in a pretty good routine with our schedules and that is nice. Lily and David are napping now and I'm glad to have a few minutes to myself.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Ever since John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, I’ve been imagining the conversation I would have with my paternal grandmother about McCain’s choice. Since she died of Alzheimer’s back in 2006, this is a very hypothetical conversation. But my grandmother was a Republican – a die-hard, elephant-tchochke-collecting Republican – so I know she would have been interested in this development.
As a young mother, Grandma was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives and served on the committee that rewrote the North Dakota state constitution. She served as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. and as a parliamentarian for many civic organizations throughout her life. In many ways, Sarah Palin is reaping the rewards of the work done by Republican women like my grandmother. Fifty years ago, my grandmother was asked questions by the local media about her husband “allowing” her to run for office. She sent her own children to campaign for her door-to-door. I’ve seen hilarious campaign propaganda with my dad and his siblings in mid-1960s clothing and hairstyles, sitting around the dining room table with my grandparents, looking like the ultimate ‘Goldwater Family’.
And so my grandma would support Sarah Palin, right? I think she would. I think she would be proud to see a woman running for this important office. I think she would support her working while raising young children. I think grandma would resonate with that western, frontier mentality that she knew from growing up in Colorado and from living in California, North Dakota and Arizona. They shared taste in hairdos – thick, dark hair piled into precarious-looking beehives.
My grandmother only met my daughter once; and by then her Alzheimer’s was quite advanced. But grandma sat with me every day for a week, as I spooned baby food into Lily’s infant mouth. Grandma mentioned over and over that Lily was such a pretty baby. They shared their dark hair, their chocolaty-brown eyes, and their pretty olive skin. I am sad that grandma is not here to teach Lily to play cutthroat gin rummy or to make pancakes just the right size for dolls.
However, I am happy to not have the Sarah Palin discussion with grandma. The media is reporting that white women are rapidly switching their allegiance from Obama/Biden to McCain/Palin because, as a Caucasian mothers, they feel that Palin ‘gets’ them. Yet, as a Caucasian mother with non-Caucasian children, I find myself puzzled by the appeal of Palin. But I am glad that my daughter is heir to a wonderful tradition of intelligent, courageous women who work hard for their causes and their beliefs.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Las Manitas Closed Forever.
One of my favorite Austin restaurants is now closed. We went there back in February, when we were in Austin for Stan's funeral. We saw the singer Patty Griffin eating huevos rancheros at the counter.
Brett and I bought our 'promise rings' (we couldn't afford engagement rings at that point) from the little gift shop next door. Some of the fondest memories of our dating and seminary experiences took place on this short block.
One of the quirks about this restaurant was that the restrooms did not have their own sinks. You had to come out into a public hallway to wash your hands in front of God and everyone. It was probably not designed for this purpose, but it publicly shamed non-hand washers. Which I am all for.
We loved living in Austin. The town's unofficial motto is 'Keep Austin Weird'. Great place.