Simple Gifts in May – The Late Edition

~   May means lilacs and asparagus.

I love lilacs from afar (my husband is allergic).

I enjoy asparagus close up.
Yesterday a friend fixed it with butter and brown sugar.
I admit that sounds a bit different.
But it tasted yummy.

Pizza tastes delicious.
Our friend Isaiah ate pizza last week.
He’s coming home June 12th!!

~  The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
And the Lord gives back.
Isaiah was given, taken away and is being given back.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

~ Baby Isaac was born last week to our friends. 
Our church prayed publicly for a child to be born.
Yesterday was Isaac’s first day in church.  More tears of joy.

~  My husband is reading Andy Catlett: Early Travels.
I love that he is reading Wendell Berry.
Every murmur of appreciation
is followed by a what? read it aloud! from me.
Last night he read this, a perfect recap of our month.

We measure time by its deaths, yes, and by its births.  For time is told also by life.  As some depart, others come.  The hand opened in farewell remains open in welcome. […] And time that is told by death and birth is held and redeemed by love, which is always present.  Time, then, is told by love’s losses, and by the coming of love, and by love continuing in gratitude for what is lost.  It is folded and enfolded and unfolded forever and ever, the love by which the dead are alive and the unborn welcomed into the womb.  The great question for the old and the dying, I think, is not if they have loved and been loved enough, but if they have been grateful enough for love received and given, however much.  No one who has gratitude is the onliest one.  Let us pray to be grateful to the last.

~  Perceptions are funny things.
Recent visitors’ perception of our church:
1.  The women sure are happy.
2.  Wow, that’s some good singing.

~ New discoveries this month
Music:  Jamie Soles
Art:  Frederick Morgan
Food:  Jamie Oliver (via Netflix)

~ Deep, philosophical questions:
Should I catch up on my unfinished reading
or start new with
The Summer of Southern Literature?
(doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?)

Perhaps Southern Lit needs a year?

~  A new season, a new transition.
I’ve been teaching my kids at home since 1994.
And that job is completed.
I’ve accepted a full-time job at a local pharmacy.
My title is Manager of Internal Operations.
My husband and I decided that it would be good
for me to work 2-3 years to fulfill our financial goals. 
I’m using my gifts in an unexpected way.
A big change.

~ A never-done-before, breath-taking wedding processional
I’m playing for a wedding this Saturday.
The bride wants to come down the aisle to…
Amazing Grace.
I need to make some stylistic decisions.
I’m thinking quiet, elegant, open chords.


12 thoughts on “Simple Gifts in May – The Late Edition

  1. Hey C – been eating Asparagus by the bowlful here – I’ve been roasting it with just a little olive oil and sea salt, and then adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar when it comes out. oooh MY is that yummy…The only problem with all the asparagus-eating is the… well…. the…. ummm… residual effect of it on one’s digestive system. I don’t need to say more, do I?:)Stephie

  2. Thanks so much for the Wendell Berry quote as we are in Madison, WI as I write to visit Val’s cousin’s Chris and Mary.  Chris is in a beautiful hospice and has a very short time left, humanly speaking. I managed to get two days off (let’s hear it for Porgy and Bess!!) and we’ve had a wonderful time visiting and helping Mary cope.  That quote at the end our visit expresses what we’ve been experiencing!

  3. June is always a reflective time for me with saying good-bye to students graduating, celebrating my sons’ birthdays, and celebrating my wedding anniversary — the Berry quote struck me deeply and I shall be copying for rereading and reflecting. By the way, I’m about to start a book that seems like something you may have read — _This House of Sky_ by Ivan Doig — are you familiar with it or the author? He’s new to me, though the book was written back in 1978.

  4. @hiddenart – Collin has been working full time since February at a local restaurant/pub that opened.  He is washing dishes and doing food prep.  Mt. Emily Alehouse fit a niche here and is wildly successful.  Collin helped grow the hops the last two summers and still does that when he can.  No plans for college this year.@wonderloveandpraise – We often travel in prime asparagus growing country in May and stop by a little roadside stand and buy 20 pounds of asparagus.  I’ve tried to freeze it, but don’t like the results.  So we give some away and eat it every night until it is gone.  Yeah.  It has a way of making itself known.@dharperino – Oh Danny.  I will pray for you and Val, for Chris and Mary.  Oh.  I’m so glad you could both be there with them.  @LaurieLH –  I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that title.  The author’s name vaguely rings a (distant) bell.  What are ya gonna do this summer?  Won’t you have free time galore now that your graduate work is completed? 

  5. Oh, my. Carol, I read this entry, all EXCEPT the Wendell Berry quote, not sure why. Then I read Danny’s comments, and HAD to read it. See, tomorrow I go with my dad and sis to see about setting up hospice care for Joan. I am dreading it, even as I know we all want the best for her. Thank you for this.

  6. You will be in my prayers as you begin your new job at the pharmacy.  Being on the “learning curve” instead of the “teaching curve” can be so draining- please don’t be impatient with yourself for the next couple of months.(Another reason to have “Southern Lit Summer”- the relaxed, grace-giving pace?!)

  7. @jackug – I have to tell you a funny story. Because your identity is a mystery, for a while I had a suspicion that you were one of my brothers who wished to remain anonymous. I actually had dinner with this brother last night (I’m visiting in Chicago) and when Wendell Berry’s name came up he was completely blank. Who is Wendell Berry? he asked. Just one of my favorite authors, I answered..So when I read your two comments today about Wendell Berry I almost laughed aloud. That theory was blown to pieces.

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