22 June 2007

Friday Five: Oh Boy It's Summer!!!

Ahh, summer.... that magical season of no school... *g* Boy did THAT change once I got to college! But summer is the Time When Baseball Happens, and when life ramps up even MORE.... *g*

Here are this week's Friday Five prompts!

1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)

ribs, chili dogs (no onions, please!) and beer. Spaten Optimator doppelbock, bitte... :-) Now THAT'S beer!

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (and/or the National Anthem...)

3. A childhood summer memory

Laying in bed late on a hot summer night, listening to the lulling sound of crowd noise and the dulcet tones of Curt Gowdy or Ken Coleman as they gave the play-by-play of any Red Sox game... the crack of the bat as a hit is made; the rising roar as the ball sails out of the park... Daddy whooping in the kitchen... Ahh, childhood....

Of course another memory is sneaking downtown on a school day, caging a cab ride on the B&M Railroad from some co-worker of my Dad's... spending my allowance on a bleacher seat at Fenway Park... going to the Ladies' Room during the 7th Inning Stretch, only to be accosted... by my Dad, who growled "What in H*ll are you doing here?" I paused, searched desperately for a response, then realized HE should have been at work. I put hands on hips, and growled right back: "What in H*ll are YOU doing here?"

We agreed to disagree on the topic of responsibility; he later drove me to North Station and told me which train to get, gave me ticket money, and told me to keep my trap shut. And to never sit with him when I play hooky. *g* And I never did... In all those years we never ONCE sat together at a Sox home game.

*wibbles a bit* I miss my Dad... he's been gone 20 years come this December.

4. An adult summer memory

Attending a Civil War re-enactment (something I've done a lot since I was 13) and going to the latrines at about 5:30 AM... it was nearly sunrise on one of those Virginia summer mornings where it is actually cold and there's a clinging mist rising from the hollows until the sun burns it off. I trudged across the field, did what was needful, then came out and wandered back toward my tent... when I encountered the Federal commander, in full uniform and mounted on the biggest darn Warmblood I'd ever seen to that point. Man and horse alike, they could have ridden into the heart of 1863 and fit in perfectly.... (OK, and it would have been my duty to capture them as a good Johnny Reb, but that's neither here nor there. *g*) I just stood there, stunned and delighted, taking it all in. There was NOTHING within visual range that hinted this was anything BUT the past.... it was a magical moment for sure.

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)

A friend and I rise before the birdies, head over to the farm and load up the horses... we've packed a picnic lunch and the cameras, not a laptop in sight, and the cell phones are present but not voting, turned off and tucked into the saddlebags. We drive the horses over to the Manassas Battlefield riding park, unload, tack up, and head out just as the sun is rising. The weather is gorgeous. The sky is that painfully, wonderfully clear blue against which everything stands out in perfect relief; only a few wispy clouds in the sky, sunny otherwise and just warm enough to be comfortable, but not a smitch of humidity. (Rather like the day we had today in Old Virginia...) We amble along for a while until lunchtime hits, then we dismount, untack the horses, and give them grazing room on a picket line while we eat. The food is yummy, and one of us manages to take at least one perfect picture before we head home. Neither horse throws a shoe OR a rider.

Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.)

The Episcopal church where I sing is fairly laid-back (and what my deacon calls "a step above snake-belly Low" in liturgical style!) so casual clothing is pretty much a part of the landscape anyway. The parish I serve as pastor (St. Brigid's) is on hiatus until we figure out what we want to be when we grow up, so my own church is rather quiet these days. Considering how hot it was in the shared space we used to use, though, it was shorts and t-shirts under the vestments... *g*

15 June 2007

Friday Five... Ahhh, Books!!

Today's Friday Five is all about books! What a lovely topic!

Let's see now, hmmm...

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????

Historical fiction, fantasy, some science fiction. I write the first two as well as read it; I tried writing SF, but was told I wasn't weird enough to do it properly. *snorts* I guess there's weird, and then there's WEIRD.... *g*

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?

Depends on the book. If it's a massive tome and I'm short on time, I almost have to savour it; but I have been known to stay up literally all night because I cannot STAND to not know what happens next.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?

Rumer Godden's China Court, a book that I read almost by accident. I got in trouble with my paternal grandmother, who lived with us (perilously easy to get into trouble with her, really doggone hard to get OUT of it once in... so this was a frequent thing!). She locked me in the study and told me she'd be back for me later; she forgot completely, and in between sleeping, I read the only book I could find. *wry grin* It is nevertheless a stunningly beautiful, sad, hopeful book; glowingly written, memorable characters, and it struck a chord with me that resounds without hesitation even now as I think about it. I read it about once a year.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?

I think I would have to say Julia Cameron's Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. I have always been able to find my way back to my own creativity in the bad spaces when my muses have gone walkabout without me. She's also written a number of other books in the same vein, all of which I can recommend--but this one, the first, was life-changing for me.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)

There's a turnpike stairway at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC that is the absolute perfect place to read, regardless of weather--but I live 67 miles away, and cannot always get there. *g* So... I think the best place to read is either in a hammock in my back yard, or on the chaise in my living room. When in the LR, of course my favourite accessory is my cat Thranduil... :-)

14 June 2007

I've Been Tagged! :-)

I've been tagged by cpclergymama for my first random eight. This should prove interesting! *g*

I have to post these rules before I give you the Randomness:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they are tagged and to visit your blog.

And now the Random Eight (sounds like a boy band... *g*)

1. I was born in Massachusetts, and still can produce a perfect Bahstahn Accent with very little provocation...
2. My father, grandfather, and older brother were all railroad men in their turn--and all for the same railroad, the Boston & Maine (B&M) though in my brother's tenure it is no longer known as that officially.
3. I own a marvelous horse named Jasper, who is a cross between a Foundation Quarter Horse (dam) and a Connemara "pony" (sire). His pic is on my profile.
4. I am a born and bred fan of the Boston Red Sox; therefore baseball is a religious exercise for me. *g*
5. I can tie the stems of maraschino cherries in a knot using only my tongue (clear sign of a mis-spent youth!)
6. I am honorary chaplain to an ROTC battalion based at a university in the District of Columbia; I adore my kids and their Cadre!
7. I write novels, mostly fantasy, in my *cough* copious spare time.
8. I'm a published historian in the field of World War One military aviation.

I haven't been around long, but these are some folks I've enjoyed reading so far. I tag:

1. Pastor Paula
2. Purechristianithink
3. Mrs. M
4. Mother Laura

01 June 2007

My First Friday Five...

1. Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world?

I wanted desperately to be a teacher and preacher. I wanted the world to survive long enough for my children to see peace...

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)

I finally got to be a preacher, but don't get much chance to practice... Teacher I've been, and wish I could go back to, but the lure of Mammon and a well-paid telecommuting position as a tech writer/editor has its hooks into me way too well.

My one surviving child is now a young man of 25; he has seen personal peace, but the world is in rather INteresting shape as he matures. Maybe he'll be part of the solution!

My dream of teaching is still alive and kicking though, and I will prayerfully explore that as I go. Preaching, yup... Have any of those things changed? Probably. I have changed a lot since I was in high school; it took me rather a long time to grow up properly (as opposed to the skewed way I did... *g*) but I think I'm on track now.

3. Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Comforting, challenging or frustrating?

Frustrating, I think... Hope has always been one of my hot-button words because of a rather, hmm, problematic childhood and bizarro marriage. :-) I like Hope, I try to cultivate it, but it runs away a lot and sends "Passive Aggressive Enabler" in its place for recess time. *wry grin* Based on that, if faith = substance of things hoped for + evidence of things not seen, I'm a little leery of seeing the outcome, if you catch my drift... In the end though, I have a strong belief in the faith that is in me--and I can easily wrap my brain around the concept of faith being the evidence of things not seen as a basic foundational concept. Maybe I need to stop trying to diagram Paul's sentences quite so much. :-)

4. If resources were unlimited and you had free reign to pursue a vision, what would it be?

Oooh... too easy to dream, too expensive to pull off, but you did say unlimited resources. *g* I had this idea years ago: that it would be way cool to move to an area where a large migrant worker community passes through, and establish a kind of "safe haven" and learning space for them and their families. Sort of a leg-up kind of place, so that while the able adults are working during the day, the elderly and kids can have access to teachers, computer labs, and stuff to enable them to get some experience with things they might not otherwise get. For all of them there would be clean, safe places to sleep, with temporary storage (to which they hold the key) for their belongings; everyone would get a good breakfast in the morning, and know that there would be lunch brought to the work sites (and fed on-site to the elderly and kids), with dinner available in community in the evening. Hot showers, stuff like that, also available...

5. Finally with summer upon us- and not to make this too heavy- share your dream holiday....where, when and who with...

:-) Anything involving horses, Wales, mountain and forest-type places to ride, and camping. With maybe an overnight stay in a few castles. Who with? Hmm... interesting thought that...