Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back to the Grind

Yesterday was the first day for the students attending our parish school. Lucky for them, it was only a half day. Lucky for The Rev. and me, because we were able to meet his secretary and two of the teachers for breakfast before school. With school beginning for The Rev., he will be both a teacher and a student, as he teaches catechism to the 7th and 8th graders two days a week and attends an advanced Spanish class two days a week. My work schedule is in a bit of lull right now, but it will soon kick into high gear and we will be back to scratching our heads and looking at our respective calendars to figure out when we can take a day off together.

I had to work yesterday, so I followed The Rev. over to his secretary's house for breakfast. I drove behind him as he maneuvered the $5 car through morning traffic.

"Why were you leaned all the way over while driving? Did you have a kink in your back?"

"No, only one the passenger side windshield wiper works, so I have to lean over to really see. Hey can you jiggle the passenger side headlight for me?"


"Jiggle the passenger side headlight for me."


"Because when you jiggle that side, they both go down, otherwise, the driver's side light stays up."

Rather than question the nuances of driving a car that would fall apart from the rush of a really good bass thump, I leaned over and jiggled the headlight. Sure enough, they both clicked down with a mechanical whine. Later on that night, we decided to try an Italian restaurant for dinner. We left the restaurant later than we expected, and we got stuck at a traffic light. The Rev. is usually a very patient man, but he must of used most of it at school earlier that day.

"Hey, why don't you get out and hit the pedestrian walk button and make the light change."

"Does that fall under the category of jiggling a headlight?"

"No, it falls under making a light change."

Fortunately, the light changed soon after and we drove home. We were not in the five dollar car.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I managed to get away to the business center tonight to jot down a few things about my impressions of Idaho. It is absolutely beautiful up here, and I am quite appreciative of the pine trees and the grass, given that my view out my back door usually includes scrub and palm trees. The work aspect has been quite rewarding, but the local flavor can best be summed up by a license plate frame on a dusty, beat-up pick-up truck. It bears this simple, heartfelt message:
"Keep honking, I'm reloading."

Monday, August 14, 2006

4th Commandment

"What do you mean, whimsy? I am a serious gardener."

"Oh, okay, you are a serious gardener."

"No, really, I am a serious gardener."

I decided to heed the 4th commandment and not bring up that for several years the garden was a patch of weeds that harbored my parent's cat, the occasional racoon, and a variety of long legged bugs.

Monday, August 07, 2006

There is something to be said for whimsy

Only my parents would send me a picture of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich made with a tomato that spans the entire slice of Wonder Bread. The tomato, of the heirloom Brandywine variety, came from their garden this summer. Too bad they didn't send me a picture of the aforementioned sandwich being eaten, with mayo and tomato juice dribbling down my father's arm. That would classic.

The also sent me pictures of their watermelons. My parents are not serious gardeners, and most of their agricultural success has come from whims. When I was in high school, my father labored for an entire week in record heat to lay out beds for asparagus. He wouldn't garner his first harvest for three years, but on that whim, my parents had asparagus with nearly every Easter ham for several years after that first random thought of hollandaise covered spears popped into my father's head. The same can be said for the year he decided to plant hot peppers. We kept one Indian family of pepperheads in habaneros for an entire summer, not to mention a cabinet full of pepper jelly and several jars of salsa. I can also recall the summer of pumpkins, when Dad decided to plant pumpkins and wound up with two beauties that weighed over 100 pounds each and were the talk of every trick-or-treater on Halloween night. We brazenly left them out on the porch, smug in knowing that any punk teen-ager trying to smash my father's babies would give himself a premature hernia trying to heft the enormous squash out into the street.

This year has been the year of watermelon whimsy, and there they lie on the ground, fat zeppelins of juicy red goodness. As mama told me tonight, "We have tomatoes coming out the wazoo, and the neighbors are beside themselves over our watermelon patch." I can just see it, right now, with late summer sunlight coaxing the crickets and the cicadas into song while my parents sit outside in their lawn chairs, red watermelon juice trickling down their arms while they spit seeds into the grass. Like any good Southerner, I am sure the folks at church and my parents' neighbors are getting bags full of 'maters and a couple slices of watermelon.

Maybe I can convince Dad to try something more exotic next summer, and something that can easily be shipped cross country. I'd be happy with a watermelon, so I could sit outside on the patio and have red watermelon juice trickle down my arm as I spit seeds into the grass.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sunday Thoughts

I went to another church today. No, not to get another opinion, but because I had to work. I enjoy these Sundays, and I find it refreshing to hear another minister preach. When one is married to a minister, one gets quite used to a certain pastoral style. I can only liken it to saying The Lord's Prayer. You say the prayer, but are you really saying the prayer? You hear the sermon, but are you really listening?

I was reading a magazine put out by a church body recently and it recounted the account of Martin Luther's barber asking the reformer how to pray. Luther wrote A Simple Way to Pray in response. Basically, it is about praying one's way through the catechism. For some reason, it piqued my curiousity, so now The Rev. and I are doing just that. We are making a point to get up a little earlier in the morning, read from a selected chapter of the Bible and then pray our way through the Catechism. Mom and Dad, we prayed on the 4th Commandment yesterday, so good thoughts were sent your way. The Rev. and I will recite the commandment and the "What does this mean?" and then say a prayer. Let me tell you, I haven't sat in a catechism class in almost 20 years, and I had to reach down deep to pull out the explanation of the commandments. A bit rusty, but the words managed to stumble out of my mouth, with The Rev. filling in the blanks.

Bible study always leaves me amazed at what God does for me. For me! Wretched me, who called another driver a moron this morning and often speaks before she thinks. Have mercy on my Lord, and fortify my desire to read and learn your word and to not get sucked into watching all 10 episods of Vh1's "I Love the 90's."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Having a pet is not unlike having a child

.....except in regards to college education.

One of my first posts was how I got the nickname "Pastorschick." I had a flashback to the day in the North Carolina woods when The Rev. was outside with the dog trying to get her to go to the bathroom so that we could give the vet a sample when we take her in for a visit. First, the dog did not want to go outside. She just looked at us from her perch on top of my pillows on our bed and yawned. Then, after I pulled the "bad mommy" vibe, I pushed her out the back door. She came back after two minutes and waited to be let back inside and I purposely stuck my foot into her chest to prevent her from making an entrance. SHE HAD TO PRODUCE!

"Hey, did she poop?"

"I don't know."

"Well, shouldn't you be watching her?"

"She just walked away for a minute."

Now the rest of our morning discussions have been dominated by "We are such bad parents, showing up to the doctor without a sample."