July in a jiffy

Goodness, y’all, is July nearly over?  What a varied, busy month.

Let’s catch up on all of the grace-full moments, shall we?

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I spent a relaxing, surprisingly cool evening watching the Durham Bulls (our minor league team) play with some pastor friends.  I love me some baseball.

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The next day, we had our fun community event called “Welcome to God’s Neighborhood.”  We learned about the Good Samaritan story and enjoyed all sorts of activities.

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We learned about our global neighbors by creating refugee camps.  Folks were very creative!Image

A local Gospel/bluegrass band called the Gospel Echoes played.ImageImageImageImageImage

The next week, it was off to Camp Monroe, our Presbytery camp, to be the camp pastor for the week.  I enjoyed worship with the children and youth twice a day, walking outside under trees and taking afternoon naps.  I also played guitar like I haven’t played guitar in years, leading music.  I need to keep it up.  Hayden enjoyed being the official Camp Dog for the week.

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This describes well the joys of camp life.

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Once we got home and all cleaned up, it was time to recharge a bit and then get ready for Sunday.

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Sunday afternoon, I baked some chocolate chip cookies because, well, it was Sunday afternoon!  Other delightful moments of whimsy include…Image

Discovering that my light post (that has been less light and more post for several months) simply needed a new bulb.  Now it does its job brilliantly.ImageMy dear friend Ali, who has moved back to Michigan, came back with her parents to move the rest of the things.  So, we met up for Swank and a stop by the Sunrise (our two very favorite places).  It was good to see her again.  Such a great friend!

And, day after tomorrow (or as folks in Belfast would say, “in only two more sleeps”), I’m off to Tejas for my annual family reunion at Mo Ranch.  I can’t wait.

cloud dancing

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Enjoying a delightful cup of Belfast tea from my friend Caoimhe who was kind enough to ship some over.  She sent me loose tea, so I’m enjoying making it extra strong and looking for designs in my tea leaves.  There was no Grim yesterday (thank goodness), but I did see Hayden, South America and a blob of tea leaves.
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A gorgeous stormy sky over Cameron.

Dancing my lil’ heart out at Zumba and having an absolute blast.  I find it shocking how much fun exercise is when there’s dancing involved.

Dreaming I was flying (and not in a teeny, tottering airplane).  It was exhilarating.

mary gets married

What a fabulous weekend I had in Indianapolis celebrating my dear friend Mary’s wedding.  She and I were in Belfast together several years ago.  I stayed in a place right out of The Shire (or a children’s book).  It was the most cozy inn, and like all hobbits, I stayed underground, in a basement room that was a lot more appealing than it sounds.

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Stairway to heaven?

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I told you it was cozy! Isn’t it charming?

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After the rehearsal, dinner and some fun shenanigans, Saturday brought the big day!  There was a bit of rain, but thankfully it stopped in time for the lovely ceremony in the gardens of the Museum of Art.  But before that all began, there were several hours of fun and preparation all holed up in a hotel room.

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Mary’s mother had the great wisdom to provide delicious trays of meats, cheeses, fruit and veggies for us to graze on all day.

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Mary’s sisters did her hair.  Isn’t it amazing?

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This is Mary’s niece, Ashlynn.  She was every bit as adorable as this picture evokes.

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Before I did what I came there to do (officiate), I wore plenty of other hats, including makeup artist and hair stylist (well, just for the front, which was lots easier than that intricate coif!).

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Then, with a few tears and kisses and lots of heartfelt words and prayers, they got hitched!  What a joy.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen two people as in love as these two.

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This is their amazing Doctor Who themed wedding cake.  If those words or that phone box mean nothing to you, look up that fabulous show.  I started watching it a week before the wedding, so as to relevant to these who were obsessed with it, and I am already hooked.

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After all the revelry and a refreshing night’s rest in my hobbit hole, I went exploring a bit in the neighborhood around my inn.  Here’s what I discovered…

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Das German Haus.

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Vibrant fire hydrants.

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Eloquent clouds.

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And even more eloquent puddles.

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Buildings being engulfed in ivy.

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A perfect raindrop.

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Bright, patriotic buildings.

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Jack’s bean stalk.

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The entrance to the secret garden.

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A chipper little bird hopping among the brick road (can you spot him?).

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An old abandoned church being torn down.

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And, as I wandered, I wound up right in front of Mary’s sister Caryl’s house, who was going to pick me up soon.  So I just knocked on the door and went in to hang out with those lovely people. Christian, her son, is showing me carrots from their garden.  Caryl and I proceeded to go to the most amazing Goodwill outlet ever, where I discovered a dress, skirt, top and vintage bag for a TOTAL of $3.50.  Wow.  Then we had divine pizza from a local joint and it was back to the airport after a full weekend.

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A cup of tea, shortbread and Doctor Who was the fitting ending to all the fun.