Some days (often Tuesdays) the web is wonderful.  I can’t keep these to myself.

~ I’ve already linked once to Nancy Wilson’s post on January attitudes.  It’s worth a second look.

~ I received a trial (print) subscription to Books and Culture.  I knew I would never get any “real stuff” (read cleaning, cooking, dusting, teaching) done if I received this oversized periodical on books regularly.  Instead I get the free newsletter which comes on Tuesdays and is manageable. 

~  Today’s Book and Culture newsletter has N.D. Wilson’s article about the debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Christian pastor Douglas Wilson. 

Cindy had a sidelink to a reading schedule for Calvin’s Institutes.  My dear friend Lisa and I have been talking about doing this together for a while.  Lisa moved last year and is still unpacking boxes of books.  Start digging, Lisa, before we get too far behind!

~ We are moving towards a more liturgical approach to the calendar.  We’ve been celebrating Advent for a few years; today we’re celebrating Epiphany.  We’ve kept our decorations up (that involves a changing of the mind) and our lights on.  I am encouraged by Kristen at This Classical Life who writes:

When Yuletide ends there is a mixture of sadness and joy, the sadness of knowing that every day cannot be a holiday, but the joy of knowing that each season brings newness and fresh delights.

I really like the words Yuletide and Eastertide.

~ The end of the Christmas season is called Little Christmas in Ireland.  The men take over all the household chores and the women go out to restaurants and pubs.  Hmmmmm.

~ A friend on Facebook recommended The Book of Ebenezer Le Page for those interested in Guernsey after having read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Her quote from Ebenezer will make you want to get the book today.  

Meanwhile it snows.  My husband went to work yesterday at 4:00 a.m. and shoveled snow for ten hours (not his normal duty).  He came home, ate dinner and went to bed at 5:30 p.m.  One trip to see our Seattle grandson has been canceled due to snow; it is quite possible our plans this week may go the way of the snowplow.  I have pictures of Noah, but it’s not the same as cuddling him myself. 

The monochromatic landscape is beautiful and achingly quiet.  Yesterday my neighbor took me to her back window.  There were 100 birds on her apple tree having a feeding frenzy.  Some birds looked drunk.

I have new and old books to read, pots of tea to drink, real work to do (gasp!), and food in the freezer.  We’re hunkering down.  Life is an adventure!       


16 thoughts on “Destinations

  1. I will follow up on some of your suggestions, but allow me to add my recommendation to the reading of Calvin’s Institutes.  That was one of my New Years Resolutions and Princeton Seminary’s website makes it soooo easy.

  2. You know it’s quite unfair for you to be posting all these new “reads” today when I’m on my 2nd day of the new quarter at school, already overloaded with required reading, much of which I don’t necessarily care for!!! However, one of the requirements is Sherlock Holmes. So far, no one I’ve asked has read his stuff, which surprised me. I’m wondering if Collin has read any of his stuff, since he seems to like mysteries. If so, ask him to give me his synopsis on Sir Conan Doyle.And I talked to Shirley in Illinois on Sunday and she hurt her back shoveling snow on Saturday. Talk about bad weather! They drove in ice at Christmas to spend it w/ their daughters, where they encountered MORE ice coming out. When they got near home, they were met with fog so thick, her DH was driving on the wrong side of the road several times. YAY CALIFORNIA!!!!!

  3. Blessed Feast of Epiphany to you.  This is the first year I’ve kept my tree and lights up this late… wasn’t really planned, but it happened.  Kristin is right, there was a bit of sadness.  A friend at church, who grew up Old Calendar Ukrainian, was appalled when I admitted to her last year that I took my stuff down on Jan. 1st.  LOL.

  4. Carol,  I so hope you get to hold that Seattle grandson soon!  I can only imagine the ache to cuddle him.  I thought of you when my sister in Portland was snowed in over Christmas.  We have still only had a few flurries and two or three minor icings.  I enjoy one snowed-in experience per year and will miss it if we don’t get it.  Terry, who has to go to work even when it snows, doesn’t share my sentiment and would just as soon move to Florida.I took my tree down Sunday because it was getting so dried out and I was scheduled to work this week.  I always shoot for Epiphany or the weekend closest to it.  I do love the liturgical calendar as much as I’ve experienced it so far.Sandy

  5. Oh, excitement, Carol!  I’m glad you’re on board for reading the Institutes.  I need accountability.  Just reading the introduction, I find myself looking up historical information, like did Francis I really read Calvin’s stuff?At any rate, I own a ESV Bible and determined to use that one for my reading…. but it is not a study Bible per se.  That’s part of my problem with daily reading…. not staying on track.Now, what shall I watch while I’m riding that stationary bike?

  6. @sonskyn – “Sonja Ignora” – You make me laugh!  Growing up, the only “church holidays” that informed our calendar where Christmas and Easter.  I hadn’t a clue what Advent meant.  The church calendar begins with Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.  Next comes Lent, Holy Week and Easter.  After Easter is Pentecost.  We are slow movers; it began with awareness (today is Pentecost), moved on with a special meal, and continues as we learn more and add to our observance.  A few years ago, we began to mark Advent.  Yesterday was the Feast of Epiphany, and I honestly didn’t make it a feast (we had fish, coleslaw and bread for dinner) but we noted it was Epiphany and deliberately kept our decorations up longer.  A friend recommended eating African food (magi from afar?) and having oranges to represent the gold.I am clueless about Lent and still have unresolved ideas about it.  So far we have not done anything with Lent. But we have made Easter a longer and more thoughtful time in our family (instead of thinking about it on Saturday night) and I’m getting pretty excited about the fabulous ways we can celebrate Pentecost, a time when the gospel opened up to the Gentiles.  One year I had a buffet with as many different foreign foods as I could manage.  Another time I bought as many different fruits (representing the Holy Spirit) for a delightful fruit buffet.  Our goal in all of this is to widen and deepen our faith and understanding.I don’t know anything about this site, but here is a better explanation of the Seasons of the Christian Church.

  7. thanks Carol – I have printed the dates, and will read the appropriate info at its appropriate time….will have to put it in my (new) diary though.Yes, Easter, Christmas, Pentecost are the ones we also are more familiar with… although a little voice tells me that I know more than I think I do… I’m looking forward to get to know the rest of the calendar as the year unfolds. 

  8. I am a liturgical Christian (Orthodox) and agree, the cycle of the feasts and the fasts is such an amazing way to live, it really helps you to see God’s grace. I’d love to hear more about your explorations – if you don’t mind me asking, what denomination are you attending?

  9. @mmewhinn – Mimi, of course I don’t mind.  I love to tell (and hear) about spiritual journeys.  They fascinate me.  We are in the CREC (Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches) denomination, a form  of Presbyterianism.  I grew up Plymouth Brethren, and have been part of Baptist, Evangelical Free and Reformed Baptist churches.  I have two dear friends who have converted to Orthodoxy.  One went from Pentecostal to Baptist to Episcopal to Orthodox.  He is now in seminary in NY, training for the priesthood.  The other was a man I called Dad, a teacher at a Plymouth Brethren Bible School I attended; I lived with his family for a year.  He converted to Orthodoxy in the last decade of his life.  It is odd, but every Orthodox friend I know is a convert.  Did you convert or are you cradle?  

  10. Ooooh, interesting, thank you for answering, I don’t know a lot about Presbyterianism, but like you am always interested in hearing about other’s journeys and worship.How neat that you know some Orthodox  converts. I am also a convert, I have a Catholic background (but not really raised Catholic) and wandered a bit through Episopalianism, and then into Orthodoxy. Hope your new grandbabies are safe, we have a lot of rain and flooding going on.

  11. Carol — we just took our tree and decorations down tonight, Epiphany 4. It was sad indeed, but time. I LOVE keeping it up longer, I DESPISE that the radio stations stop playing Christmas music on the 26th [after starting in OCTOBER, for pete’s sake..] …. and if you haven’t explored Lent or the Easter Vigil, and you’re going to, then you’re in for a real treat. I grew up ‘doing’ or at least marking Lent, but the Great Vigil of Easter has brought it all to life for me. Robert Webber has some great stuff on the church calendar for evangelicals if you’re looking for some good reading…

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