Archive for December, 2008

A Weirdbird Christmas

Friday, December 26th, 2008


A series of recycled-sweater birds I made, in a burst of December activity… I sent several to faithful blog readers in my family. (Except my mom, who is allergic to wool… sigh.) 

We’ve had a lovely Christmas. My brother and my godparents both came into town on Christmas eve. We had a short but good visit with my godparents, who had the rewarding experience of giving Zag a large batch of Lego. The Christmas Eve liturgies were lovely in their assorted ways. Our bishop preached and celebrated at our late service, which was an honor and a pleasure. 

Tilt and Zag and my brother (who doesn’t yet have a blog name… hmm) and I spent a happy Christmas Day opening presents, playing with new toys (various Legos and a Playmobil pirate ship, a hand-me-down from a Cambridge friend that we held back for a special occasion), and eating – my mother’s gingerbread, shrimp and grits, and lasagna. We did Evening Prayer at the church – nobody else showed, but Tilt, my brother, and I had a lovely time singing and chanting together. Today we pottered around and shopped a little in town, then after nap, drove to visit friends for the evening. Now we’re lazing around the living room chatting idly about liturgy and Christian education. Maybe tomorrow some of us will try to go ski (cross-country), if the snow isn’t too hard and cement-like after our recent thaws. 

I’ll work a couple of days next week, but am trying to take some time off… enough that I get past the “Oh, I should sweep the floor… finish that sewing project… send out my ordination invitations…” mindset and remember how to just hang out.

Hymn, by Zag

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Thomas Troeger, Brian Wren, watch out! Zag composed this one the other day while we were walking in the woods near my grandfather’s house, where we took refuge when having the power out at our house became a drag.*

Mary is the queen and Jesus is the king.

Then one day he died, but he came back again.

He is with us at the Lego table, he is there when we are building with Lego!

And when he was dead, he was the sun and the moon and the grass.

And when he was the sun, he was shining on us. 


* Actually I was on retreat in Cambridge when the ice storm took out the power, but when I finished my retreat, I went to join Tilt, Zag, and Prize in their refugee luxury.

Too much…

Monday, December 8th, 2008

to think about, too much to do. I assist at my first funeral tomorrow morning. I think I’m getting a cold. I go on a three-day retreat on Thursday. I’m trying to send out Christmas cards, and ordination invitations. I’m sure I’ll be back here eventually…. but perhaps not this week.

My beloved Tilt has started blogging again occasionally, however – check him out at Always Another Windmill…

Prayer for the dying

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Thanks, all, for insight and care and support. 

The woman I wrote about a couple of posts back is dying now – maybe in the next 24 hours, maybe a little longer – much faster than expected. I went down to visit her in hospice this afternoon – she’d just been admitted yesterday – and was immediately accosted by a chaplain and a nurse, who had apparently just been trying to figure out how to contact her pastor… 

I was there about an hour and a half. The Boss is taking a shift there this evening, with more of her family present – this afternoon, it was just her husband and his brother. I feel like I was able to be a helpful presence, thanks be to God… 

Remember CPE? Remember how it tore me up? Remember me ranting about my supervisor, the terrifying, bullying, octogenarian nun? She was with me today, in spirit, in good ways. She helped me gently bully the husband into getting his little boys down there tonight, instead of waiting till tomorrow. (Jim’s recent comments here helped, too.)

And Sister X, along with my amazing friend DBN, was always so definite about approaching the person in the bed. Families often hesitate to approach their dying loved ones, for all sorts of reasons. Sister X and DBN taught me: Go to the person in the bed. Touch her, hold her hand. Talk to her. Sing to her. Pray aloud. Assume she can hear you; assume that your words and/or your voice will help her, soothe her, guide her on this journey. By doing all this, you show the family how to do it. Today I talked to V, and held her hand, and sang to her, and I think I helped show her husband how he could approach her and do some of the same. 

We’ll see how this unfolds in the days to come. Prayers welcome. 

It’s a nice hospice facility. The hospice movement is such a blessing. A hospice room is about a million times calmer than a hospital room. Even taking the theremin music into account. At least one can turn that off when one wants to sing hymns.

Boy, can we relate…

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Read, here.

A very brief precis on how this situation manifests for our family: For us, the issue isn’t so much that I can’t get childcare; almost always, Tilt can be with Zag when I can’t, though that does mean he misses out on some things he might otherwise attend. But I really want to improve our overall hospitality for households with young children, including providing childcare regularly at evening events, having play resources and spaces available during worship, etc. (more…)