May 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
Weekends are great. Often, weekdays/nights can be too. A Wednesday surprises you with dinner with friends. You can take yourself to the early movie on Tuesday to get the cheap (a.k.a. normal priced) fountain drink. Sometimes you meet a friend for scones on Monday morning. But, weekends. The unfettered time stretching out before you as an actual oasis, not a mirage. Long weekends, that rare breed of 2 days+ to do your own bidding, are welcome indeed.
My mom and I drove to Huntsville this past weekend for many reasons: to see my cousin graduate high school, to visit my brother, to take my Grannie out to lunch for an early birthday outing, and just generally enjoy being out of the routine. Work and under-the-weatherness kept my dad at home, sadly, or we would’ve hiked something, to be sure. We stopped by the Huntsville Botanical Garden on Saturday to explore the Lego sculptures on display. I’m often bowled over by any form of artistic expression, and these Lego sculptures by Sean Kenney provoked the same reaction. Such time and attention to detail and planning these obviously took and patience working with Legos…which are tiny! There were lily pads, a rose, a dragonfly, a life-size gardener, a butterfly, a bison, and more. It was the kind of day so beautifully sunny and breezy that it eclipses all memory of days where the weather isn’t so fine. When we weren’t eating, we played Carcassonne and saw the second Avengers movie and slept in. Times like these remind me of when my brother and I were younger and lived at home and did things together all the time. Growing up and moving out are a natural progression of life, but I do find myself wistful for those days when all 4 of us were under the same roof. The wistfulness coexists with the gratefulness for such a family that desires to spend any amount of time together.
May 19, 2015 § 1 Comment
My mom and I used to plan weekends together, or just days where we’d do whatever we wanted together; we called them ‘girly days’. We’ve been to Louisiana and Franklin, TN to see plantations when I was in high school. We took a cooking class in Birmingham together. We spent a blissful few days in Asheville, touring the grand Biltmore estate after I graduated from college. We ventured to New York for my birthday one year to see a Jane Austen exhibit (me) and go to the top of the Empire State Building (mom…well, ok, me too). But, it’d been quite awhile since our last all-girls’ hangout fest.
Enter the Scott Antique Market. I’d heard of this place from friends and seen advertisements before. Mom had just recently been talking to a doctor at her work about it, and we schemed that we would go. It’s open the 2nd weekend of every month and May’s just happened to fall on Mother’s Day weekend. Couldn’t have worked out better if we planned it. We took our time driving the scenic route from my parents’ home in central-western Alabama, winding along back roads and through towns with no stoplights but picturesque old churches into Georgia and finally to the metropolis that is Atlanta. All day Saturday was reserved for the Market. The first building claimed us for the better part of the day, and I’m sure there was plenty we missed. (Especially at the 2nd building were there was a city of tents outside in the hot-hot sun.) There were some gorgeous, genuine antiques that were way out of even our dreaming price range. I had thought I might find some chairs for a dining table I’ve had since my first apartment alone, and that I’ll need now that my roommate is moving out and taking her table and chairs with her. I didn’t bank on it though. Come to find out, it was my mom’s sole motive for going. And, the stars aligned and we found some! According to the dealer, they are 100 years old. I’ll have to get a picture of them with the table.
After being fortified by Fellini’s pizza that night and breakfast at the Flying Biscuit Cafe the next morning, we added a vintage bookstore and a tour of the Margaret Mitchell House to our rambles before heading home. This time we took a shortcut called the interstate. Having such uninterrupted time with my mom was a blessing and reminded me of the importance of taking that time to spend with her. She is someone who always listens, gently advises, can’t work her phone, laughs like a seal, snores to wake the dead, and puts others above herself every chance she gets. She takes more delight in finding old books for my dad, chairs and an old map of Ireland for me than she does in looking for herself. (Though she did enjoy a bizarre dig through a table covered in brass jewelry ephemera once she caught a glimpse of a Santa motif she could turn into a pair of earrings.) The steadfast love of the Lord truly never ceases, and neither does my mom’s.
April 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
Or biscuits. Biscuits count, right? I took these Herb Goat Cheese Drop Biscuits (inspired by Joy the Baker, of course) to a brunch/lunch with my small group on Easter Sunday. Out of context, “small group” has very little meaning. Sometimes churches call them community groups or home groups. These names are good attempts to categorize something that’s not Sunday School and isn’t a prayer meeting. But they don’t quite capture what they become.
I have been in some church groups that were more formal Bible studies. Some were all female and usually ended up being about singleness, let’s be honest. This particular group at this particular church has morphed some in the last year or so. Besides the 2 couples who lead, most of the rest of us have only been going to the church for a little over a year. When we were all put together in this group, we barely knew each other. In some ways, we still don’t. But we keep coming back every week to talk about the week’s sermon, our struggles and frustrations, our doubts, even. We’ve begun to open up more and more and grown more comfortable with each other. To someone looking in on our meetings, we look pretty homogeneous: white men and women in their 20s and 30s. In quite a few ways we are much alike, but I’m regularly surprised by and grateful for the differences that arise. We might not have chosen each other as a group to be a part of, and yet I think that is a strength and a blessing. We may struggle to communicate or relate or understand where each member is coming from, but we are committed to work in that direction. We’ve laughed together at ridiculous trivia, and cried together at the loss of loved ones or confusing news after our little group’s first baby member was born. Theological debates get just as much airtime as the sharing of our hearts. Listening to and being listened to each week, on Thursdays, has connected us.