Wednesday, August 02, 2006

how'm I gonna fit this great big post into dis little box?

I have so much to write about, I don't know how I will be able to get it all in...

I am amazingly refreshed. (Notice I didn't say that I am refreshing because I just mowed the lawn and I frankly stink like a thing, as we say here.) But I do feel alive and present in my life for the first time in a while and it is a pretty amazing feeling. Robb's parents took the two older kids to MI with them for a week and then dropped them off in PA with my parents on their way back to VA. That was some logisitical feat, let me tell you. That left Robb and I with just Charleigh for a week, and she still sleeps a lot. Good times.

Then, early Saturday morning, we loaded up the car and hit the road: destination, upstate NY, with a pitstop at my parent's house to say "hi" to the kids (who stayed with Poppa and Nana while we went on to camp: making that 2 weeks with just one kid). We filled the cooler, listened to books on CD and had a very smooth and long road trip through St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dayton, Columbus and then the relative boon-docks of northwestern PA. I think what made it fly by was the books on CD...

I am still reeling from our first choice called, "Under the Overpass" which was the record of two college students who chose to live as homeless men in 6 cities for six months. The book chronicles their experiences as Christians looking at the world from a very different vantage point in the heat of Washington DC, the damp of Portland, OR, the cold of San Francisco, the misery of Phoenix and finally San Diego. It was truly an amazing story and I feel like an idiot for not being able to put into words how this story will stick in my brain. These guys are young and idealistic and have hearts of gold. I can only imagine how this choice will affect the lives of many people who hear their story.

Next, we took in Lauren Winner's Mudhouse Sabbath, a book I've wanted to read for a long time. Winner is one of my favorite writers and I loved this effort to explain how Christians can benefit from the deep tradition of orthodox Judaism. I'll be thinking about this one too.

We also polished off another "reading" of Velvet Elvis. Man, that book is something.

After a laid back Sunday at Mom and Dad's, we had another 6 hour drive to Camp Bayouca, where Robb was the speaker for Junior High week 1. You can check out his anecdotes on the Grenzian. I personally love this gig. Robb is doing what he loves, where he loves to be, so it is more like a vacation than anything. The Missionary Cottage (or Lucky Lake House, as we like to call it) sits down by the lake and I spent big chunks of time lying on the dock, reading and chilling. Charleigh played in the sand and water, and I took her out for a canoe ride (I love to canoe). Robb and I had tons of time together and on Friday, my fellow-venturer and good friend Amy hit the sales in the pouring rain. She introduced me to the collossal "Thrify Shopper" store and we guiltily tore ourselves away after about 3 solid hours of heavy thrifting. Good stuff, friends. Pretty much the very definition of a perfect week.

One of the great things that also evolved was that Sara came back to AR with us. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Sara was in the youth group in our church in MI, just graduated from Bible college, and is basically a member of the family. We haven't decided if she is our sister or the daughter I had at the age of 10, but basically she has indentured herself to us to serve in any way possible. ( You can check out her blog at And just to make sure that she didn't get away, I tampered with her car. Just turns out there is a limit on how far a 91 Geo Prism transmission will go. Just outside Elmira, NY, would be the precise location. So we ditched it. Right there. Bye Bye little Suzy. Hello Pick-A-Part. (anybody out there got a car they are looking to get rid of cheap?). For those of you keeping score, that's three adults, one car.

Interesting factoid: I think it is hotter and slightly more miserable in northwestern PA than it is in Arkansas. That might be because of the insane humidity or the complete lack of air conditioning, or perhaps even because my poor parent's basement flooded ...again. The kids had fun with Poppa and Nana, but don't call there anytime soon because I'm pretty sure they are sleeping...round the clock.

So here we are again. We have more work to do than is probably humanly possible. We now have two jobs to find and a car and all that jazz. Another Vintage service on Sunday looms with lots of unfinished work. I have apparently lost all the important papers needed to enroll the children for school, but don't tell them because they are already nervous little wrecks. But hey...we still have a couple of weeks of summer left and I feel happy. Relaxed. Chill. It feels nice.


klasieprof said...

SO you NEVER did tell Us your ebay password~~~@!!!!!

ness said...

bummer huh? never figured it out...just changed it....

akr said...

under the overpass rocks my socks off...especially after all we were talking about with minister to the poor!

Darla said...

just so glad you're back... i have so missed this little corner of my world... you make me smile.

word verification: poopmd

i hope that makes you smile! ha ha ha ha

Courtney said...

so glad you guys made it back safely and had fun...but, what? no mention of seeing your sis in PA? I'm hurt--ha ha
Wanted to thank you again for the dished from Gram. There is something oddly comforting about having something of hers in our little home and the gold and white tea cups fit perfectly with some dessert plates my father in law gave me from an I just want to have a tea party!!
The summer of love and good times is quickly coming to an end here since I start work on Monday but it's been an incredible summer, wouldn't you say?

ness said...

amyamy: truly a gem among books.

Darla: hard to believe that you can miss someone you never met, but I feel the same way when you are away!

Sis, it has indeed been a summer of love...crazy love....I couldn't mention seeing you without the "pill-bug incident" which frankly merits its own post. Still gagging a little bit. : ) Yup on the teacups: still drink my coffee every single morning out of Grandma's fire king mug with an orange daisy. I take it with me everywhere I go!

poopmd: giggle giggle

Courtney said...

I'm not ashamed that my kid eats bugs, don't you be. I'm more embarrassed when she immediately greets the refrigerator repair man by getting on her knees and barking like a dog!

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