Busy, busy, busy!

I know I’ve been very remiss in keeping this blog updated, but I’ve been really busy. I hope all of you, gentle readers, know already – WE SOLD THE HOUSE!!! I’ve not been posting too much about that news because – although it’s been under contract for a week – we had to wait through the inspection and the “Option Period” to be morally certain the it was really going to happen! The buyers are happy with how the inspection turned out, so now all we do is wait for the appraisal and for the title company to do their thing. The buyers are already pre-approved for their loan, and the house is on the tax roles for more than we’re selling it for so we “should” have no problem with the appraisal. We’re set to close on May 18th!

We’ve started packing boxes and dumping stuff that we don’t care anything about. Thank goodness we did the major cleaning out back in 2009 when we thought we would be selling and moving in the spring of 2010 (silly us). We’ve still amassed lots of paper and other various assorted junk that needs to be gone through and sorted out. I’m going to try to have a small garage sale to get rid of the few books we still have that we no longer want (fall back is to take them to Half-Priced Books and get a nickel a piece for them).

We still have a little bit of furniture that we never intended to take with us, but that we needed to keep until we actually moved, like Al’s desk and the credenza I’ve been using as a desk. We’re planning to get new stuff from Ikea when we get there that will fit in the “shared” office. We will be in a one bedroom apartment until a duplex or three bedroom apartment opens up, so we wouldn’t be able to have office areas yet anyway.

We also still have our old recliners, a sofa bed and various occasional chairs that didn’t sell in the estate sale. Anything I can’t peddle in a garage sale will be donated to Interfaith Housing. They give their residents all the furniture in their apartments when they graduate, so they always need stuff like living room chairs and furniture. I’ll also donate all the clothes we have either outgrown or don’t want any more (like I NEVER wear skirts or dresses unless somebody holds a gun to my head) unless I can sell them in the garage sale.

I’ve prevailed on #2 son to come over for the weekend of May 11th and take the electronics apart and label all the wires for us. That’s the weekend before the movers come. It looks like we’ll have them sometime during the early part of the week of May 14th, and have the truck from Interfaith Housing at the same time. Then we’ll have the cleaning ladies in to do a final clean on May 17th, and we’ll close on the 18th. We’ll move into the Marriott Residence Inn just down the street as soon as the movers come, so we’ll have the car packed and ready to go when we get finished with the Title Company.

We’re booked into the motel in Texarkana for that weekend (I want to have a chance to rock Miss Claire McCasland, my new grand-niece). Then we’ll leave the car there with Betty and Keith, and take the train to Chicago to see #1 son and his lady friend. I’ll also have a chance to run over to Peoria to see if I can find the naturalization records for Papa’s grandfather. He came from Germany in the 1840s and was naturalized sometime during the 1860s, but that was in the days before everything was done in the federal court system. In those day, any county or municipal court or judge could do the naturalization paperwork, so I’m going to see if I can find the records there.

When we get back to Texarkana from Chicago we’ll take a little time and go up to Washington, AR, to take a few pictures in the old cemetery for the Eakins piece of the genealogy. Then we’ll go over to Burns, TN, to see my cousin, Anne. Then down to Madisonville, LA, to see #2 son and his family (and possibly see if I can look up some of the relatives who lived down there). I know some of them, at least, lived and died in Tangipahoa Parish.

Then when we leave south Louisiana, we’ll just be taking our time and driving west and north. We’d really like to avoid the interstates, and see some of the countryside. Big Al said he has heard of Rt 66 all his life, so we’ll pick it up somewhere in Oklahoma and follow it at least to Amarillo. We’ve never seen Palo Duro Canyon, as long as we’ve lived in Texas, so we may do that. We may take the Highway to Hell (rt 666) through New Mexico for a while. We may try to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Al has a friend in Tuscon, and I have a friend in Phoenix that we may try to stop off and see. We may go through Las Vegas, just to see our old house (if we can find it and if it’s still there). Other than that we don’t have any plans except to take our time and visit whatever National Parks, or National Monuments we run across on the way. We’ve never been to Bryce Canyon or Zion National Park, even though we lived in Las Vegas for a while, so we may go by there. We’ve seen the Grand Canyon and the Painted Dessert, and the Crater in Arizona, but we may go back to one or another of them. We’re just going to play it by ear. I don’t THINK we’re going to go by the Grand Tetons or Yosemite, but who knows. We’ll plan to be in Tacoma some time between the 15th and 30th of June.

Now I’ve got to get back to my rat-killing, and get some more of this junk disposed of!

Spirit of the Living God

I went to a workshop at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church today, led by Mark Yaconelli. He did a workshop here a couple of years ago and was such a hit we had him come back. His title was Living Without Anxiety in an Anxious World.

First we started out with learning about, and practicing Centering Prayer. He said there was really no way to “do it wrong,” just to let ourselves be open to God’s working in the silence. I learned about Centering Prayer a couple of years ago at a conference on Spiritual Practices, and have kind of adapted it to myself. I usually say the Holy Spirit takes a shower with me in the mornings. As I stand under the running water, I just let my mind go. Often during that time God speaks to me and gives me encouragement and often gives me tasks to do – later when I get out of the shower. After I get out, I usually just wrap up in a towel and sit on the edge of the bed looking out the window into our little patio. We have a wren who has been very busy building a nest and now feeding babies in our garage, so I get to watch her flitting back and forth with the choice bugs for her nestlings. I often take fifteen or twenty minutes just sitting there appreciating God.

After a break, Mark had us each get some Play-Doh, and just play with it, while asking our souls what they needed. I discovered my soul was a terrible punster, because it insisted I realize I needed to be needed while I kneaded the Play-Doh. After I squelched that giggling voice, I found myself shaping a cup and the song Spirit of the Living God began playing in my head. You remember that song, it goes,

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,

Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Then we split up into groups of three or four and talked about what we were feeling while we were playing with the clay, and I told my little group that I kept singing that song over and over to myself while I made my little soul-cup. We talked a little in the big group about what we were feeling, and then Mark had us bring our little soul sculptures and place them around the base of the cross.

Finally, we all joined hands in a circle around the cross and our sculptures, and Mark said, “To close, let’s sing Spirit of the Living God. Can someone start it for us?” Of course, I began singing right away, because after all, the Holy Spirit had been singing it in my ear for the past hour.

I just wish She would give me some warning when She’s going to show up like that. She makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when She does it!

What If the Resurrection Were a Lie?

The prompt for the Synchroblog this month is “What if the resurrection were a lie?” Cynic that I am, I am forced to look around and say “What if the world – we Christians – REALLY believed the resurrection were the truth?”

It seems to me, if we really believed it, we would be less concerned with money and more concerned with people.

We would realize that we are all broken and in need of love, instead of pretending that WE are perfect, but everybody else needs to have rules and regulations to keep them in line.

We would be more concerned with the state of this wonderful planet, instead of first focusing on the cost to clean it up or keep it clean.

We would drive more “friendly”.

We would happily pay taxes because we would insure the government was run by folks who were more concerned with other people than their own pockets.

We would stop trying to be “one up” on our neighbors.

We would stop needing to prove our worth by showing how much better we were than the next guy.

We would stop being “in control”, and would let God be in control.

We would look at the gay man, the crippled child, the homeless woman and see the Risen Christ.

And when we saw Christ in their faces and in their eyes we would do everything in our power to care for them – wash their feet, invite them to dinner, house them, care for them – LOVE them, without thinking of the cost to ourselves.

But never mind.

The cost is too high.

We might have to leave our comfort zone and then who knows who might take care of us.

But here’s the thing – the world is not a Zero-Sum place. There’s enough love, and food, and air, and water for everyone, as long as no one grabs more than their share.

There’s enough LOVE, because Christ is risen, Christ is risen indeed.

Here’s the list of other Syncrobloggers for this month.