Sunday, June 29, 2008


We're back! We were in Pittsfield, MA, and the Berkshires on our yearly pilgrimage to the place where we got engaged (8 years ago), to Tanglewood and the live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, to Bonnie Brae campground, where the neighbors are louder than the campers.
On our way out there, winding along route 9, we kept rattling off what we were about to see, stopping at places that we've stopped every time, and I said to Scott, "in 10 years we will just have the exact same conversation from door to campsite every year." But each year new memories are built, and different friends and family come out with us, and it's a little different. This year was marked by some rain, especially on the lawn before the PHC show started. Garrison Keillor walked out on the lawn in the pre-show moments, singing to us and stealing muffins from people's picnics.
After the show at Tanglewood every year, when the broadcast has signed off and no one is listening on the radio, Garrison comes back on stage and leads us in a sing along. We usually do some fun patriotic old songs that everyone knows, since it's usually around the 4th of July. This time though, he came back on with all his musical guests and performed for a full HOUR. A whole hour of extra fun with the cast and the hearty few hundred who stuck around, crowded under the shed, in the sauna-heat, swaying and singing at the top of our lungs. SO cool.
Now we're home and it's too rainy out to unload the car, so we're lounging a bit. It's vacation week here so we're looking forward to a lot of lounging like this.
We have a good, good life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

talky talky talky

I don't have a voice for yelling. I was a cheerleader in high school, but somehow, I lost that big voice I had on the basketball court sidelines. I wonder if I ever was that loud...?
Anyway, I'm no shrinking violet now but my voice does not carry. In Youth Ministry, I was never one to yell "QUIIIIETTTT!!!" and if I ever did need to get a group's attention, I'd usually turn to someone nearby and say "can you yell for me?"
Often, in groups, I will say something and realize that no one has heard what I said, or is even aware that I'm talking. I've been in groups where I've repeated myself several times and no one even notices me. Usually when that happens, I just give up the effort and move on. If I ever have anything really important for the group to know, I get myself heard- often what ends up lost is some funny quip or story that no one really needed to hear, anyway.
The older I get, the less I like talking- I love long silent days where I don't talk to anyone much at all, I hate talking on the phone. I like listening to people talk though- I listen to podcasts on my ipod, not music, and I listen to public radio all day at work. I like that listening to the radio means not having to hold up my side of the conversation. I'm an information junkie- I love to hear and learn and know things.
But while I'm not so much talky, boy-oh-boy I love to write. Sometimes I feel like I'll pop if I don't grab a pen and start writing. I'm so glad to be alive at a time when I can email instead of phone, text instead of call on the cell. I'm ever so glad I learned to type when I was in high school.
Just because my voice doesn't carry far, doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Wow, how did we get to the end of June so fast?? I can't believe it's almost time for our annual camping trip and the 4th of July. For me the trip to Western Mass, while in no way "roughing it" is such a fun kickoff to the Summer months, my favorite time of year. We got engaged, don't you know, at Tanglewood during the broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, and now go back every year to that sacred place.
Then, after that, comes a Summer tailor-made for me. I'm an Olympic junkie, and love-ove-ove the Tour De France. And did I mention I'll be turning 40 this year, complete with a big old love fest party in my honor, in August?
Then Fall brings grad school and another great year at my parish. I feel a little bit like a spoiled child. It's nice work, if you can get it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

1 Cor. 13:9-12

When I was little I thought countries declared war- now I know that's not true. Now I know that leaders of countries declare war, and people do the dirty work for them.I hear about the hatred of America and think "but... I wasn't FOR this war! I don't WANT to be at war! Don't hate me!"
I also thought that adults didn't lie, or pick their noses- turns out I was wrong about those too. (Let's face it, fingers can do what kleenex can't!)
I thought that song "Paradise By the Dashboard Lights" was about baseball- and I thought, in a baseball game, that a "Walk" meant that the batter hit the ball so far out of the park that he could walk around the bases without worrying about getting tagged out.
I thought that plain, ground, crumbled hamburger was yummy.
I thought thirty was Totally Grown-Up.
I've learned a lot since then- I was way off on a lot of the things I believed as a kid! But, in retrospect, I'm glad that I had those kid-beliefs before learning the Truth. The things that I thought then were a nice, cozy foundation for the truth I was to take in later on in life.
I've been thinking about my image of God, in light of the CS Lewis book I read- he said that your image of God needs to be smashed over and over, so it can grow. He said that if you forever settle on a high-school or childhood image of God, He won't be big enough to handle your grown-up problems- meaning you'll not be able to trust Him because you've limited the size He can be in your world.
When I was little, God looked and felt a lot like a Grandfather. In high school I fell head over heels in love with God- He was a lover (not in the dirty way!), a partner, a friend, a sympathetic confidante. When my faith in the Church was at crisis point, He was like Puppy, my old stuffed dog that I slept with for far too many years as a kid- comforting, stable, grounding. Now He is like a wise professor. For a long time I yearned for the God I envisioned in high school, but now I know I was looking at God the wrong way- in a way that He and I had outgrown.
But I'm glad I had those kid-beliefs before learning the ever-evolving Truth of who God is. My relationship with God, like so many of my most important relationships, is cumulative. One new image doesn't exactly wipe out the last. God didn't totally stop being Grandpa, or Puppy, or my sympathetic friend.
I kind of can't wait to see Who He will be next.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not Happening

Last night we spent our last $20.00 until payday on two tickets to see "The Happening." I don't want to ruin this movie for you by mentioning specifics, but then again, I DO want to discourage you from seeing it. It's awful. I'll just point out one biggie, and let you decide for yourself:
The premise of the movie is that there's something in the air that's making people go crazy an do bad things to themselves. No one knows where it's coming from, but they soon pinpoint the wind as a bringer of the badness. So here's the thing: in the entire 91 minutes, not one person covers their mouth and nose. Not ONE!
Really, that's all I'll say- but isn't that enough, really? If you're really determined to spend your ten dollars, send it to me in thanks for saving you from this movie-going experience. Feel free to add another $8 for a soda.

Friday, June 13, 2008

early love affairs

When I was in high school, I fell in love (didn't we all?). I loved a boy named Dan who was troubled but not getting into trouble. He was a brooding, funny, sweet, moody, deep and fun musician of a kid, and I sure learned a lot through that relationship.
Because I loved him, I wanted to learn about the things he knew about. I wanted to be part of the other things in his life that he loved- not out of jealousy, but out of a desire to share in his happiness, to learn more about why he was the Dan he was.
He loved music, was a bass guitar player, and especially loved the band AC/DC. We listened to their tapes (no CD's yet) in his car on the way to school in the morning, and at his house we watched videos of their concerts. I remember long hours sitting on the edge of his bed watching him learn to play along with their songs. Soon, I started to like AC/DC too- I even bought a tape, and listened to it on my own. Through our relationship I also discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan and lots of great classic blues stuff that I still really like today (for the record, I was always a classic rock kind of girl, which may be one reason Dan thought I was okay).
Also in high school, I went on the Search retreat that was so popular in Maine, and the same thing happened- I fell in love. It really felt the same as loving a boy- I wanted to know more, I craved that warm feeling I had felt when I grew so close to God on Search. I wanted my friends to know about him too. And I wanted to know more about the things that God cared about- out of a desire to know more about why He is the God He is.
Turns out the things that both of these early loves exposed me to, became things I love too. I am glad to have loved Dan, and I am glad to Love God and be loved back by Him.

the club lives!

I just wrote and deleted a snippier version of this entry, and now I'm feeling much more mature and ready to express myself appropriately.
I'm sure disappointed in the appointment of the new co-director at the Youth Min/Young Adult office... it's not surprising that they would create and fill a spot like that with someone who appears to have made a career of being in the Old Boy's Club at the Archdiocese, but I was really hoping things were changing.
And I guess that's all I'm going to say.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I went to my Spiritual Director today and yet again God blew my mind. I knew it was going to be a good day, despite the gloomy weather, and couldn't wait to get to the parish where my SD works to tell her all about the exciting stuff going on in my faith life.I was talking along, completely missing the wowser-meaning in my own words, and she stopped me and said "Wow!" She essentially slowed me down enough to get me to look at the amazing way God is working in my life. She was right- Wow. I left her office exhilarated, blown away, peaceful, relieved, fascinated. It was an emotional realization that she guided me to and through- we spent a lot of the rest of my appointment time just looking at each other with our mouths wide open. Now I feel exhausted. I'm looking forward to parsing this all with God and seeing where He will lead me next.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy Anniversary, our-style

Tonight, for our 7th wedding anniversary, we went out for a romantic dinner, and then walked on the beach, kissed by the shore, and took the long way home.

Well, our version of this romantic story is this: we went to Skip's in Merrimac, an old-fashioned burger joint that sells its burgers flat and greasy and with a heaping side of curly fries. It's become a tradition for us, since one aimless anniversary when we were broke (as usual and as we are this year) and didn't plan ahead... our road trip took us to this happy place and we've gone back every year since then. It's not fancy and it suits us perfectly.

After that we went to Plum Island to walk the beach and look at the sunset. We got there just in time to see the pretty colors but the tide was high and the sand was damp- and cold. So, we did some requisite beach kissing and headed for home, stopping for snacks on our way.
Now we're back in our favorite spots in the living room, in our jammies and cozied up for the night.
Thing is, all our days and nights are pretty great, so there's no need to go all out on the anniversary- it's great to remember where we were 7 years ago today, but it's even better being here now.