Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy hour with wildlife

We stopped in at a certain chain restaurant tonight in parts east of Iowa, got seated, and a breathless hostess greeted us with, "Would you like to start off with one of our margarita squirrels?"

Swear on a stack of bibles, Plantrev and I both heard those same words. " thanks, how about some water for now?" While she disappeared, we looked at the drink menu. Ah, those were margarita swirls. Funny how two people can hear something absurd so clearly, though. Cheers (clink)!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


PlantRev and I leave this morning to continue care for my parents, whose coping skills are far poorer than I had hoped. But then we're off on our own to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary this coming Friday. More from the road, I hope!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Rounder life

Too much sitting is making me crazy -- and rounder. On a typical day last week, I drove for an hour to Iowa City, sat in a staff meeting, sat in the rector's office for our weekly chat, went back to my office to return calls and send messages, worked up a draft of another letter to students, had three staff people drop by and talk, tackled the summer budget, prepared for an afternoon small group meeting, and the morning was over.

Meanwhile, back in Davenport, Rev. Plantman had ridden his bike, walked the dog, painted the back door, painted the front door, cleaned out the garage, gotten some of the basement cleaned up, and the morning was over.

See? He's on the move, while I'm in a chair (various chairs in various rooms, but still...) and no matter where I am, someone comes by and chats. I love that. I wouldn't give it up. But I wonder if I might invite someone for a brisk walk while we meet. That depends. A person in need of privacy won't want a public meeting space. And I find that more times than not, the stated reason for requesting the meeting turns out to be a smaller part of our time together, leading to deeper conversation. Then I sit in the car and drive the hour home. Oh, the hours of sitting!

Maybe I need to be on a Standing Committee. (no, no, no....).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oil stock

I just heard this anecdote regarding a previous rector, who left Iowa for a larger city. His new parish wondered what a good welcome gift might be. He suggested an oil stock, since he was in need of a newer one. Well, they gave him oil stock (think Exxon...)!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Flood Crud in Iowa

Our Bishop took video camera in hand and set out on a driving tour of the flooded areas in eastern Iowa. His narration reminds me that I haven't asked for your ongoing prayers since the crisis first hit; I do so now. Flood relief here will take many months or years, in some cases. Episcopal Relief and Development and the Red Cross are receiving and distributing monetary donations. At the University of Iowa alone, the administration estimates the costs to be in the billions.

I invite you to watch and listen to the 7-minute video, which appears at the bottom left of the July 3 Episcopal Life Online.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bamboo wall

While at General Seminary last week, I was fascinated by the wall of tall bamboo that lined the main walkway. How do they get all that bamboo to grow so high? Someone in the Close clearly cares about flowers; the many garden areas are well maintained. On the other hand, the buildings are worn, sad, dingy. Horns honked ceaselessly from the street, and two construction projects (one that went on outside the seminary windows throughout the night till dawn) threw mud and dust our way all week.

The campus ministry conference, though, exceeded my expectations. The three guest presenters were superb. I'll be happy to attend next summer, and I'm delighted that we'll convene in Chicago!