Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The girls and I left Thursday after swimming lessons to drive to my parents' in Sugarcreek. I forgot to pack lunches (or just didn't feel like it ;-) and so to avoid fast food or save money or something (?) we ran into Target to grab something for lunch, which took sixty-seven minutes and cost three times the fast food. We emerged with three bags of school supplies and two world maps which means that school is in fact going to happen again, somehow, though I am doing a grand job at ignoring reality.

(Also: three processed kid lunches contained within about sixty yards of packaging. My kids got to make their own turkey sandwiches with fake cheese in the car and this was the bestlunchever! and for about ten minutes I was the bestmomever!)

Friday I went to an event to celebrate the The Budget's 125th Anniversary. I write an article for the local section. But there is a second section which is made up of letters sent from 900 Amish communities all over the Americas. The letters share details of their community- the crops and weather, who is visiting, who is sick, etc. It is a way for communities to keep in touch with one another- an original facebook. I just love this paper, and community. I am so glad to be a part of it.

We drove home late Friday evening and I worked all day Saturday. Just enough time to unpack the car, and pack it back up again Sunday morning. Jim had to work Sunday, the girls and I headed to Mohican state park to camp with my family. Stop at the mall to buy my mom a birthday gift. Stop at Wal-mart for prepackaged boxed lunches all over again. (Tell me one quick lunch that is not guilt-inducing? I'm all out of ideas). Stop to buy a birthday cake. Stop for the bathroom. We can make this drive last allllll day.

We got to float down a river and eat burnt marshmallows and do all the summer things within about twenty-four hours. Home again last night, to no groceries and a week's worth of laundry and soggy towels and muddy shoes.

And a broken washer.

That was four trips in the car and one child who has a really difficult time in the car, which makes it really difficult for the rest of us. Four times packing and unpacking, a bazillion soggy towels and a dirty van and too much sugar. Maybe this weekend was all I needed to be almost, just a little bit ready for Summer's end. Almost.


Thursday, August 6, 2015



Every summer has a theme and for our family this has been a summer of work. We've worked on the house, worked in the yard, worked on Math, worked on our bad attitudes. I have spent the summer working on the class I'm going to teach for our co-op. We have worked to ready the house for company and worked together cleaning up. I began a part-time job this spring. Summer is Jim's busy season at work and some weeks all we do is pass each other- quite literally- as he comes home from work and I leave for work; I work one weekend day and he works the other.

I like to work. I am glad for all of the ways I need to work right now.

I like my job. It is a good job, the hours are what I need and I am thankful for it. It is stretching me in ways I need to be stretched. I've tried to blog about it but it is too complicated and too boring to tell all the details; what and how and why I believe the Lord led me to it. And because I can be conflicted about everything, I've needed to sort and re-sort it out in my head; is this work meaningful or important?

Jim reminds me that most people don't get to do work that feels all that meaningful. It is the fallen condition of work. For now, my work is to make money and bless my family. I have a new sensitivity for people doing hard, meaningless work forty hours a week. I think a lot about this. There is a great lack of teaching on this subject.

But we can work as unto the Lord. We can offer our work to Christ. We can love our co-workers and pray for them. We can pray always. And Christ is there.

p.s. One night I was lamenting that I don't have contemplative time anymore. I said to Jim,I've not been reading or writing like I used to. My mind is too full of details, I only think in logical ways anymore. I feel shallow. My husband's ever-logical, wry response; Who gets to live a contemplative life all the time? Welcome to the world of the rest of us shallow people who have to go to work everyday to make money. Me, laughing: That's true. Thank you for being an engineer so I can be a mystic. ;-)