Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hair today

So I wimped out. The young lady who does my hair gave me a reminder call that I had an appointment Saturday morning, and that was enough to push me over the edge. After talking to my sister-in-law, I decided not to attend the Walk to Defeat ALS. Instead I got my hair done. It's a becoming shade of dark red now.

Monday, September 15, 2014

My computer crasheth

My PC seems to have given up the ghost. I'm doing this on my Kindle. I have to examine my bank account and determine my next move.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Year after year

Every September is the Walk to Defeat ALS in Bellingham. I've been there eight times now, and next weekend will be the ninth time, God willing. This year my immediate family did not set up our own team because, dreadfully, terribly, horribly, there is another family team we can join, that of my cousin who died of ALS last year.

Some years I have been the one to set up a team online at the ALS website. Always I do a moderate amount of fundraising. But this year I've been putting off even signing up at all. Every time I think about it, I feel an aversion, and I realize that the thought of it is depressing.

This evening, as I was walking my dog around the back yard, I wondered why I should find the idea of the Walk depressing, and the thought came into my head, Year after year I walk, but he's still dead.

He being my brother. I'm tired of my brother being dead. I've had enough of that.

The first time I participated in the Walk, in 2006, he was there.

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He was there, but he had less than two months left to live. All the years since then, he's been gone.

2007



2008



2009



2010



2011



2012



2013



And, next week, 2014. Still gone.

I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life everlasting. Someday we'll walk together, again, forever. (But the wait feels long.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crisp

Fall was in the air today, for which I was heartily thankful. Windy, with leaves blowing around. There's something wild and exciting about that. I did hear a rumor of hot weather again this weekend, but I hope it's not true.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The cool sequester'd vale

The long, hot summer drags on. Yesterday I was so hot! During the night I woke up feeling too warm to sleep, so on my cell phone I looked up Lynden weather. It said that Sunday was predicted to be much cooler than Saturday--yet the Sunday predicted high is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Saturday it was over 90! For my international readers who think in Celsius, that means that today it is going to be about 27 degrees and yesterday it was about 32 degrees. High humidity yesterday, too.

No wonder I felt crabby and irritable in the afternoon. Even my dog was getting on my nerves.

Right now on Sunday morning, it feels fairly pleasant indoors with the windows open. I am once again missing church. It's just so tempting to sleep in and have a slow, quiet Sunday morning by myself.

This is how I feel about almost every gathering except family:

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I don't mind socializing at work, although even there I talk more to off-the-cuff knots of 3-4 people than at the full staff meeting. At church, I keep moving through the after-church coffee time, but I am happy to get together with my small group. And I like having extended brunch with one close friend, where we talk for hours. But I must say that I do love staying home alone and sometimes wish I could do it far more often, though I suspect it's a wholesome discipline for me to have to go out and interact with others.

My longing both for quiet and solitude and for cooler weather makes me realize why I so like these lines from Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard:

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

I want to keep the noiseless tenor of my way along the cool, sequestered vale of life, far from the madding crowd.

Monday, September 1, 2014

New possessions

There are two things I've bought lately that have pleased me very much.

A few weeks ago I ordered a silver bracelet from Monastery Greetings. It has the most famous saying of Julian of Norwich stamped on it:

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"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." From the 13th revelation of the Revelations of Divine Love of Julian of Norwich:

But Jesus, who in this Vision informed me of all that is needful to me, answered by this word and said: It behoved that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

or:

Synne is behovabil, but al shal be wel and al shal be wel and all manner of thyng shal be wele.

I first encountered this saying in college, in a seminar on T.S. Eliot. In Little Gidding, one of his Four Quartets, he quotes it. I always liked the singing, round feel of it, as well as finding it a comforting saying.

For the past two years, almost, I've been looking for a renter for the upstairs of my house, so that I can continue to live here. In July, that was accomplished, so in August I bought myself this bracelet as a celebration.

The second new possession, which I just bought this week, is an oak sideboard for in my kitchen.



My kitchen has less than ample counter and cupboard space, so I was looking for such a piece of furniture. I searched the local craigslist under "buffet table," but realized from the search results that I needed to look for a "sideboard." One of the first things that came up was this beautiful oak sideboard.

I had received an oak table from my parents when they moved into their retirement home, and I felt that this sideboard would go with it perfectly. I wanted it so badly that I almost wanted to pray for it, but I didn't know if it would be right to pray for a material possession just because it is beautiful. Anyway, the Lord blessed me with the ability to buy it, and with dear family members who helped me move it into my house, and I love it.

So I hope I am not materialistic to love these things. Instead I will claim the rabbinic saying that God will hold us accountable for every good thing he provided that we did not enjoy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Knitting up that old ravell'd sleave of care

Tonight I hope to sleep the night through and wake refreshed. Lately, I either don't fall asleep or fall asleep for a few hours then wake up for a few. It doesn't help that I can't resist turning on my phone and opening my Kindle to see if anyone in my family has written an e-mail or if any friend has either posted something on Facebook or "liked" a post of mine.

I got back out my light-thingy, as the technical jargon goes, to help regularize my sleep schedule.



After I came back from my travels in April, I had favorable jet lag, and then the days started getting wonderfully long and the mornings beautifully light. Now the sun does not come up quite as early, and it's been a long time since I travelled into an earlier time zone, so I need to train myself to wake up again with this light.

It has a timer so that the light turns on after my alarm (aka my cell phone) rings. I see that and think, "Oh, good, now I can wake up," then my eyes roll up in my head and I start snoring. Fortunately I have a small furry backup alarm that sticks its nose in my face and perhaps even gives me a hearty kiss. Being woken by a kiss makes me just like Sleeping Beauty.

Anyway, I am mostly getting up on time, but I want to get up more easily and feel less tired during the day, so I'm trying to train my body to sleep for 8 or more hours a night. Here I go.