Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Five: Fall Transformations

RevGalsBlogPal Mary Beth writes:

For this Friday's Five, share with us five transformations that the coming fall will bring your way.

  1. Fall 2008 will mark the beginning of our older son Music Man's senior year of high school. It seems as though we were just walking him into his kindergarten class...and now, we are scheduling senior pictures and college visits. It is an amazing and bittersweet time in our lives!
  2. In late September, our younger son Gamer and I will be testing for our black stripe in Taekwon-Do. Provided that we pass, we will be some six months away from testing for black belt. We have been working toward this goal for nearly three years!
  3. In October my mom and dad will mark 50 years of marriage - WOW!!! We are planning a weekend away together with them, once our high school finishes its game against our cross-town rivals. Go Cougars! Go Mom and Dad!
  4. It's coming a bit early to be counted as a fall transformation, but our pastoral staff has been reduced by one, due to the departure of our associate pastor after 9 years of good shared ministry. We will be entering the call process, and I will be working to maintain healthy boundaries as two pastors' worth of workload stretches out before me.
  5. I am beginning to get serious about the transformation of my physical health through increased exercise and healthier diet. I have joined SPARK and am tracking nutrition, exercise, and other goals for the sake of a healthier life. Goal is to lose 50 lbs by next March, when I begin my 50th year and test for black belt.

Bonus: Give us your favorite activity that is made possible by the arrival of fall.

The Captain and I love to watch the leaves changing color. We often try to sneak to Northern Michigan for a few days to celebrate our anniversary and witness the masterpieces that God paints there.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Five: God Days of Summer

Presbyterian Gal writes: It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.

I remember the Al Pacino movie though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.

As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily. In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
My sweetest summer memory from childhood involves strawberries - a field with clusters of wild strawberries behind the home where we lived during my pre-school years. We lived out in the country at that time, without neighbors close by. The field was my playground, where I met my imaginary friends, and a sweet daily snack was waiting.

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
Shorts and a sleeveless tank or polo shirt - I think this has been true all my life!

3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
Caprese salad - Tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, basil and EVOO...S'mores prepared at a lakeside campfire...a Tanqueray and tonic with lime as "Captain" and I sit looking at the stars.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.'s so hard to identify just one! Every family vacation has its cherished moments. Probably one of the most memorable was our family trip to the Canadian Rockies in a truck camper when I was 13. We were driving through the Beartooth Mountains in Montana - my parents in the truck cab, and my younger brother and I in the overcab of the camper. With each hairpin turn we approached, our position in the camper made it look as though we were going right over the side of the mountain. At first it was terribly frightening, but then as we realized we were at the edge but not going over, it felt like a great rollercoaster ride. In the end, our screams became too much for my dad's concentration, so we had to climb down from the overcab and sit at the table!

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way?
For me, sunset views on the bay from aft on our cruiser have been holy moments. There is a time each sunset when the water takes on an opalescent hue - I can't find quite find the words to describe the color. But my heart feels especially close to God in those moments.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit?
We have air conditioning, so there is always a ready escape indoors. If I've got some free time or time with our family, we go to a local theatre and see a movie!

(All pictures from Google Images)