This summer has been a huge gift. I don’t know where to start or stop, but some of you have been asking so I’ll write for a bit.
Frost has said it well, “As way leads on to way.” Conversations, places, people that I didn’t orchestrate and here we are.
A large part of the summer found me with school books and a pen again at Christian Light. My highest regards to the many faithful who plug away beyond the ten-week summer sprint to avail our communities to high quality curriculum year after year. Your halos shine bright. I wonder how long we will have the privilege to write our own school curriculum. What an incredible opportunity. Delving into these pages again awoke a passion that i care deeply about our schools and what we put into them-into our children. Thank-you for the brainstorming sessions we shared, the stimulating conversations in the office or over grilled burgers, the collaborating. This is much bigger than one can do alone. This is also pushing me to grow as an adult, to pursue classes that build writing skills, to stay alive as a teacher.
And then it was the end of July, and a plane whizzed off to Belize. Luckily, I was aboard. Running through airports is not fun, and I did it this time. Lesson learned-give yourself more time. Having lived there for four years, I always go back and find a part of my heart. This year was no exception. No exception. Actually as friendships mature the ties grow stronger. I’m so encouraged to be faithful because I see the faithfulness of my friends. I see the faithfulness of young ones embracing Jesus and walking in His footsteps. I see faithfulness through very hard times. Little ones that were in my 2nd-3rd grade classes are now the leaders, teachers, and brides. The wedding was so hot. Outside under a pavilion, 400 strong we gathered to witness. While the warm breezes fanned us, we listened to the long-winded preachers and the lovely choir, then scarfed down delicious rice and beans and chicken with fresh squeezed lime juice and melting ice cream. It wasn’t an exotic trip, just a week with precious moments; it was bubble tea and tacos with my spanish friends, planting flowers, playing spot-it over cups of iced coffee with another and talking life and laughing. a. lot., barbecue and delicious tortillas, catching rides to visit others, bouncing over speedbumps and thru muddy dirt roads, catching up with a teacher from Guatemala, joining in the heartiest hymn sing your ever attended, walking one afternoon in the sweltering sun to see another long-ago-student of mine and her mother and to learn that she was just diagnosed with cancer, so we sat and talked and cried and prayed together. It was reading stories to the ‘neighbor children’ that used to call at the gate, now one of these-no-longer-a-child will teach school in the same classroom i taught in. God, give me faith to believe bigger and grander. It was reconnecting with former missionaries also back to visit, late nights and full days. And all too soon the plane zooms off and I had to be on, unluckily this time.
In between and among these two paragraphs…
there was a camp-out on Skyline with girlfriends. We go back to school days…that night still makes me smile!!! So good. When it began to drizzle, we were offered shelter by a neighborly camper along with beer and cigars. 🙂
there was a family reunion….i think we number thirty-seven…where do all these people come from some wonder. i do too. tents, rain, campfire bombs, singing, good food, a covered bridge excursion and a random ride on a Amishman’s haywagon….so much fun with nieces and nephews…
another sunday afternoon with a friend by a creek, sharing life and wisdom
another afternoon with a sister and the kids in the pond and more sharing life and wisdom
another afternoon with a friend on a downtown mall in Pittsburgh…it turned into a progressive supper, starting at a French bakery, ending with tofu and blackberry tea, and a variety of other mushrooms and cheeses in between. oh yes, and a parking ticket.
garden goodies the days I stopped in at Mom’s house—always good food and company there
another sunday at Lake Huron…so, so pretty….so, so fun. such good friends.
Now it’s August. Teacher’s week at FB was again such a gift. we gave. we took. we came away inspired.
I was impressed this summer that God knows exactly where I’m at. And he really cares about me. Story one. I’m half an hour from home, sitting at a gas station, texting before I get back on the road. I jerk up to see if the car pulling alongside is going to sideswipe me. The driver motions me to roll down my window. He looks trustworthy so i cautiously put my window down. Is he lost? What does he want? We converse and he says he’s a mennonite and noticed I’m one too. Do I have a baby in the back, he asks. Um, no, it’s my luggage, i’m on a two-three week stint. oh, more conversing…a few more mennonite connections. After a few minutes he says he just wants to bless my trip; he tosses a couple of twenties in my window and away he goes. What is this startled woman supposed to do but keep on her way, thank God for the extra cash, and watch for more angels!
Story two. I’m flying from Atlanta to Pittsburgh but have a six hour lay-over in the Atlanta airport. I go to a Delta desk to see if i can go stand-by. “That will be $75, ma’am.” And besides the plane was full so no chance. Good luck. I wander to the approximate gate since my flight doesn’t show on the departures screen since it is too far off and I begin to kill time; catch up on social media, observe the milling millions, and all the good things one does in an airport while waiting. After about two hours i sling my backpack over my shoulder and head back to a departure screen again. Still no update. hmmm. Find a different Delta desk. “Ma’am, could you tell me which gate I’m leaving from so that i could at least sit at the right gate?” “Sure,” she replies, punch, punch, click, click on her computer. “Would you like to go stand-by on an earlier flight?” “Um, yes.” Then I gave her the previous story. “Oh, her manager just said there is bad weather brewing and they may put people on stand-by at no extra charge, because should a storm set in, they don’t want a bunch of extra people sitting in the airport.” So with a few more punches and clicks, she spit out a new boarding pass for two hours earlier, rerouted my luggage, (no guarantee your luggage will make it on the earlier flight she warned) and I went back down the long corridor amidst the milling millions, ate a bowl of rice and beans, and we were soon boarding. The skies were clear and my luggage was one of the first pieces off at the other end and it was so nice to get to my friends house at ten-thirty instead of twelve-thirty that night.