This year Tim and I have planted and nurtured a vegetable garden, and I have just spent the morning preparing vegetables and soups for the freezer, our veggie garden is producing like crazy and it is hard to keep up with, that said it'll be worth it for a little taste of summer in the middle of winter :-). That got me thinking of the things I treasure, memories are often more valuable than possessions.1. A treasured memory from childhood?
I remember the chair pictured here very fondly. We all loved that chair: it was the per
fect size for reading, snuggling with Mom or Dad, and all kinds of fun to turn over on its back and/or side. I know it got re-upholstered at least once in its lifetime. I have treasured comfy reading chairs ever since. A close second to this memory is Ed, the black lab we had when I was just a wee little thing. He was the gentlest, kindest dog I ever knew. I used to fall asleep in the yard using Ed as a pillow. Any wonder I wanted a lab when we started looking for a dog? I'm happy to say that Jack shows the same patience and love to the Sisters that Ed did to me and my brothers.
2. A teenage memory?
This time of year I'm always thinking about football. At the moment I'm listening to The Junction Boys: How Ten Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Championship Team on my iPod, and it brings back memories of two-a-days on "the hill" back home in Wakefield, NE. You never forget the feel of the pads on your shoulders, the helmet on your head, the smell of grass and sweat and maybe a little blood if you got popped in the nose or mouth. I remember my senior season most fondly: we weren't expected to amount to much, but we only lost two games that year, both very close games
against teams that went on to high post-season results. We worked our asses off for what we got that year, and so far as I can remember, it was the first time most of us had went out and gotten something people didn't think we could get. Man, those fun Friday nights were worth every torturous practice beforehand.
3. A young adult memory?
Ranch Camp, Week #7, 1994 at Carol Joy Holling Camp. I have a lot of wonderful memories from my five summers at camp, but this one week will always stand out for me. My co-counselor was Tanya, on whom I had a bit of an unrequited crush, but despite me making calf-eyes all week, we got along great and worked really well together. Our campers that week were just incredible. They bonded really well from the start, even Blake, who was our big rebel/too-cool-for-camp kid that week. We hiked, we cooked out, we had an overnight sleepout on the hill; you name it, we did it that week, and it was the kind of week that makes you think you could do that job for the rest of your life. The Bible Study was particularly good that summer: "Jesus, Who Are You?" was the theme, and each day we studied one of the "I am" sayings from the Gospel of John. Thursday was "I am the Resurrection and the Life," and as you can imagine, we talked about death. This particular Thursday was a very emotional session, but in the best possible way. Our village walked to the Closing Program in one big long line, arms around shoulders, me and Tanya right in there with them. We both cried when the campers were all gone that week. Experiences like that are so few and far between, yet they carry so much weight in ou
r lives; who would have imagined a bunch of teenagers, most of whom I can't even remember individually anymore, would remain in my heart all these years later?
4. A memory from this summer?
Just yesterday, as I was hurrying the girls into the car to go to the gym, Ainsley looked at me and said, "Daddy, you just have to be patient with me!" That's just one snapshot of this summer for us: growing girls who are blossoming into real people right in front of us. Holy. Crap. Ferris is right: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." We've tried to take time to look around this summer, and I'm really thankful to be able to do it.
5. A memory you hope to have?
Lots in general: family vacations, happy weddings, great accomplishments for the Sisters, weddings, grandkids, etc. But one in particular we hope to start working on soon is a big anniversary trip back to Europe in 10-15 years. I'd dearly love to tour Ireland with Beloved; nights in the pub, days on the road, seeing the sights I saw in 1996 when I went with the Nebraska band, but with the appreciation I've gained over years of reading about Erin and her children. After some time in Ireland, a trip to Germany so Beloved can see "Luther Land" would be neat as well. We honeymooned in Bavaria, but Kristin hasn't seen Lutherstadt-Wittenberg, Eisenach, Leipzig or any of the wonderful sights I saw
during my J-term class in seminary. It would be great to spend a night or two in Haus Hainstein with my beloved, ja?
Bonus- a song that sums up one of those memories.
My folks had one of these gigantic counter-style stereo systems. They had (and still have) a chest full of LPs, but the ones that got the coveted spots inside the stereo itself were the Statler Brothers albums. My dad loved the Statler Brothers, and we all followed suit. I remember loading that record player up with three or four records and listening for what seemed like hours. I learned to harmonize from the Statler Brothers. (The fact that I'm likely doing the same thing to Ainsley and Alanna with Storyhill has certainly not escaped my notice.) Anyway, this is one of many songs I remember singing all those years ago:
Grace & peace,