Archive | August, 2011

in blog’s honor –

31 Aug
In honor of there’s no place like gnome‘s birthday today, I will host a fictional party to celebrate.

Would you like to come?
Oh, you forgot to rsvp?
[awkward silence followed by awkward laughter]
Just kidding!  There is no rsvp for this fictional party that I just made up for something that isn’t even tangibly real.  Come on over!  [But do bring your 3D glasses!]

Here’s the best – as I see it – of pinterest partying:

Source: None via Lindsay on Pinterest

happy birthday!

31 Aug

Happy birthday to you/happy birthday to you/happy birthday dear BLOG/happy birthday to you!

My blog baby – there’s no place like gnome at gnomepreacher.blogspot.com – turns two today!  Two!  Put on your 3D glasses and party hats and you could come celebrate with this dork on the left!

[I forgot to remember to celebrate her birthday last year.  what a bad blog host am I.]

Two years ago to this day was the summer night that I arrived in Dawson for my year-long internship.  [Here is the first ever post on gnomepreacher.]  The intern committee had helped me move into my apartment and taken me out for dinner.  I returned to my home-to-be for that year – oh, parkview apartments – and [dramatic pause] began to blog.  Gnomepreacher was born out of dreams to communicate with family and friends in Wisconsin while I lived on the prairie for a year, but she’s grown into a lot more.  
Since then, the blog has been with me through thick and thin.  It has shared with you joys and sorrows, losses and gains; many corny videos and even more gnome stories.  A trip to Alaska, friendly tales of polar plunges, and transitions aplenty.  Cakepops, macarons, and hamballs. The blog – through story and the infinite interweb – has connected me to people in strange and really wonderful ways.  
Blogging is never a chore for me.  It’s not unusual that when I’m away from my computer, I’ll write posts in my head, some of which are published, others of which are not.  I feel grounded in my writing and in the sharing.  If there is a day or – gasp! – three when I don’t blog, it feels like something is missing.  I love doing this.
Once more, I thank you for reading.  Even when I forget to say thank you, know that I’m grateful that you share in this with me. You share in and take interest in the stories I live and write.  If I were not in the middle of moving and packing, I might have yelled cakepops for all!  But I am moving and packing [or at least am supposed to be]… so not really.  Cakepop false alarm.  
Happy birthday, blog.  To many more.

a love letter to autumn.

30 Aug
Honey baby,

I can’t wait to see you again.
I’m so excited to be embraced in hooded sweatshirts, long-sleeve cardigans, and have scarves wrapped around my neck.  I want to wear socks to bed and be kept warm by a stack of quilts that have been given to me in love.  
I want to sit in an adirondack chair and sip coffee in your crisp mornings.  I want to open the windows of my house and not close them until there is a chill throughout the rooms.  I will simmer stove-top potpourri and make orange pomander balls.   
I long to watch the leaves change and bake any and everything with pumpkin and cinnamon apples.  I want to invite friends over to carve pumpkins, play with other red, orange, and yellow crafty-goodness, and eat soup that has simmered on the stove for hours.  Oh, and the squash.  How could I forget the squash?
I’ve missed you so much and can’t wait to be reunited.  The days will be sweet and wonderful and lovely in so many ways.  You’re my favorite.

Love,
your schmoopsie

overwhelmed.

29 Aug
I am feeling completely overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed to tears.  I’ll cry at the drop of a hat or the start of a certain song on the radio.   I’ve been feeling such for the last couple days.  I realize that writing on my blog is not going to help that overwhelmed feeling disappear but it might make me feel the tiniest bit better simply to write.  Writing for me is therapeutic like that.  
The overwhelmy-ness [new word?] stems from lots of different places.  From the stress of moving, the long to-do list, and the uncertainty of what my life will be like in the next month … in the next year.  From the thought of how crazy September will be, needing to rely on other people to help me [self-admitted control freak], and sneezing six times.  [literally, six times.  just now.  last time that happened, I popped a blood vessel in my eye.  true story.]  I don’t even know where to begin in this packing bit.  I’m still in this crazy place of unpacking from previous trips and needing to clean and repack and that makes the spacial and strategic part of my brain hurt.  [And not only repack, but pack in stages, knowing that all of my things will not be moved at once but over the course of a month.]  I suppose there is a time when I just simply have to begin.  I feel stress in certain relationships within my life and struggle to know where I stand in others.  I’m tired and have not been eating my vegetables.  
It seems the best way for me to combat this overwhelmed sense in life is to simply ignore everything that needs to be done.  
 This morning I visited with Grandma, returned books to the library [okay, that was on the to-do list] and checked out a few movies [watching movies is not on the to-do list].  I picked up Molly Bea and we set off for a bit of shopping.  Now sure, there were things I needed.  [a toaster.  batting for a sewing project.  conditioner.]  I could have done the trip in a little over an hour if I was strategic about it.  
Instead of being strategic, I was with Molly.  We were gone for close to four hours, spending far too much time in Target and having far too much fun in Jimmy John’s while reading 20,001 Baby Names.  
We carried this cloud of batting to the cut counter.  
I’d have had it no other way.  After stopping at the grocery store [for vegetables] and to chat with my gracious mover-man [a brother of my best friends from high school – he’s being entirely selfless and awesome to me by moving my furniture], I figure I was gone for six hours easy.  Now I’m home and writing this.  One of these days I’m going to need to address this thing called packing.  And some minor car repair.  And packages that need sending.  And a few phone calls and financial bits.  
I think I might take a nap.

[AAA] betty and i.

28 Aug
Oh, the things Betty and I saw while driving to Alaska.  Here is from western Alberta onward …
[the idea didn’t occur to me until then.  for dumb.]

So.

28 Aug
I arrived home after my Minnesota adventures and have since proceeded to do nothing on my to-do list.
Oh, the list is long, friends.  Long.
Lots to do in the next week before I move.
I move in one week.  One week.
… … … … …
ONE WEEK!
I’ve watched Friends and Good Will Hunting.  Went to church.  Had a noon-day meal with extended family.  Napped.  Skyped with the sis.  Began creating a this-is-what-driving-to-alaska-looks-like video.  Responded to long-neglected emails.  Slept.  Spent hours on Pinterest.  [I created a new autumn board; I can’t wait for cooler temps and pumpkin everything.]
And I think that’s it.
So … … …

Confident.

26 Aug
While I was in Austin, the interim pastor and I drove to Rochester to check out the Mayo hospitals and stop in at the synod office.  I was stoked to stop in at the synod office because, though I had been there a couple times before, there was a new face to greet.
My Stillwater “mom,” Karen [at whose house I stayed last night], is now on staff at the southeastern MN synod!  We first worked together at Trinity Lutheran in Stillwater, then she joined me at seminary, and now we’re both in the same synod.  It’s quite awesome that she follows me around.  *wink*
I was excited to see and hug Karen and chat a bit about her work at the synod.  When I arrived, she was in the back conference room, meeting with a member of the synod staff whom I had not yet met.  We talked for a bit about my call, about the drive to Alaska, and about the ordination that had taken place on the same day as Karen’s big annual parade party.  [When Karen’s husband, Mark, heard that my ordination was going to be on the same day as their parade party he said, “It’s too bad that Lindsay will have to miss her ordination to come to the parade party!”]  It was a quick visit but it absolutely made my day.
Yesterday, when I arrived at Mark and Karen’s in Stillwater, Karen shared what her colleague [the woman on staff whom I had never met before] said after I left.  The synod staff member said something to the tune of “what a confident young woman!”  Me?  Confident?  That would often be one of the last adjectives I would use to describe myself, let alone someone else who just met me.  I’m well aware that confidence in myself and what I do has grown significantly in the last years but I never imagined that people would see that in how I present myself or interact.  
This post may border on bragging [apologies] but it felt awesome to be described in that manner.  Kinda makes me feel even more confident in who I am and the ways I’ve grown in the last years.  Confident.

Baby’s all grown up.

26 Aug
My baby went to college last weekend.
Okay, not my baby but my baby sister. 
We had done the college shopping weeks prior, filling two carts at Target all while coordinating towels, sheets, and storage crates.  I arrived home from Alaska late Saturday night and early Sunday we were off to move Emma into her dorm room.  Lots of changes are happening on Aarback Road these days!

We moved her in and helped her begin to unpack.  We toured the campus and ate lunch together and then had to say goodbye.  She’s only an hour from home and has a car, so it’s not quite the ordeal as when mom and dad dropped me off three hours from home with no car or cell phone as a freshman at Luther.  Not to mention, Emma makes friends so easily and is super friendly, much unlike her shy older sister.  Still, I remember those first few weeks of college – mine were rough.  I’m hoping Emma adjusts and begins to love every minute because seriously, I miss the college days.  She’ll do great.

[AAA] I’m a pastor.

26 Aug
I’ve already begun to get mail addressed to “Pastor Lindsay.”  Sometimes the envelopes also read “The Rev. Lindsay.”  [I don’t like those envelopes.  Far too formal for this girl.]  I’m a pastor.  whoa.  I had this realization while in Canada on the drive.  I’ve meant to share this story with you for a long while but craziness has ensued since returning to the lower 48.  
I arrived in Prince George and was ready to find a hotel for the evening.  At my second stop in the decent-sized town, hoping to find a room for less than $100 [a difficult task in Canada it seems], I met a super helpful clerk at the front desk of the Ramada.  I told him I was looking for a room and wondered how much it would cost.

Is this trip business or leisure?
Uh … leisure?
What company do you work for?
[silence with a likely dumb stare]
I’m trying to find the best deal for you.  Maybe your company will offer a discount.
I’m a pastor … [sarcastic laugh]
Oh.  Okay.

My first reaction was to laugh.  A discount?  I’m pretty sure not.  There are many perks to being a pastor [senior rates at the YMCA in Austin!] but I’m going to guess discounts at hotels in Canada is not one of them.  [Or at least not that I’ve ever heard.]  I thought to myself, yeah right.  I don’t think so.  
My second thought, as I walked away in search of a cheaper room, was to walk with a bit of a spring in my step [a la Professor Lose].  I’m a pastor.  How super cool awesome is that?  I’m a pastor!  It felt great to say it aloud, to own it, and to know that after much schooling and work, I’ve reached the profession – the call – that I am so excited to have.  I’m a pastor.  [huge grin]

[ps.  curious to see more photos from the AAA?  you should be able to click this link to access my facebook album of the adventure.]

home.

25 Aug
This word is on the brain.  Home.
According to my handy dandy dictionary [yeah.  I’m going to the dictionary.  *cliche*], a home is the place where one lives permanently.  I’m going to have to disagree, mr. dictionary man.  [I’m picking a fight so I’ll make the dictionary male.]  I’ve felt lately like I have more than just one home.  It’s not about permanent residence but about a lot more.
I spent last night in Dawson and when I return to this small southwestern Minnesota town, it feels like I’m going home.  The downtown is familiar, the air is sweet, and it’s where my Grace family lives.  It took me a long while into my year-long internship in this town to say that it ever felt like home, but now, even after I’ve been gone for almost exactly one calendar year, it still feels like going home.  
I arrived and promptly went to the home of my friend, C., to check in with him and his family which included a new addition of baby brother.  I drove up to the house, C. came running over, said, “Hi Lindsay!” and promptly ran past me and jumped into the driver seat of the car.  For the rest of my visit, that’s where he and his sister sat, pressing buttons, wearing my sunglasses and enjoying Sprocket.  It was fine by me because then I could hold the new baby, sweet as sweet can be.  I even got to feed him a bottle.  I think I want one some day.
From there, I picked up Mr. Organist and we went off to the Taste of Grace, an annual fundraiser supper at Grace.  I was wonderfully greeted and hugged by many congregation members.  [Others just kinda looked at me, realizing I was an anachronism.]  I loved it.  Harry, the member who consistently called me Sweet Pea, found me and used the nickname more than once.  [Only he can pull it off; I think I’d punch anyone else who tried such a name so get no ideas.]  I loved the catch-up conversations and the laughs.  I love the people of Grace.
I had a wonderful time with many former coworkers – a party that lasted until 2am and a lunch the next day thrown on top like the quintessential cherry.  It was the perfect night to sit outside and be like we used to be.  I think the staff agrees with me when I say we were tight-knit; I consider them great friends and I miss not being with them every day.  We talked about decorative grasses and extensively about oatmeal. [yeah. we’re that cool.]  The following day I had awesome conversation and lunch with Lori, the interim pastor I worked with upon first arriving in Dawson.  She has become a great mentor to me and it had been a year since we had seen each other – a year!  Certainly too long and not to be so long in the future, as plans will hopefully work to cross paths in Austin.
Now tonight, continuing the nomadic lifestyle that is my August, I stay in Stillwater with my Stillwater family.  Mark and Karen have welcomed me into their house so many times before; I even know where the spare key is.  [No, I will not tell you.]  It’s another place to me that feels like a home.  I feel comfortable, welcomed and always loved when I step inside these doors.  I feel known.  It’s a safe place of friends and great conversation.  
While my driver’s license currently reads with an Edgerton address as my permanent residence, that soon will change too.  Minnesota plates will be attached to Sprocket and my license will hold an Austin address.  A parsonage – to which I move in just over a week – will become yet another home to me.  The Edgerton home fits the dictionary definition; it is certainly a place that is a home and always will be.  But I think there’s more to home than the dictionary tells us.  It’s a place to feel loved, welcomed, and appreciated.  A place with friends and family, and a place you love to gather, to stay, and to visit.  Edgerton, Dawson, Mark and Karen’s house, and more to come – I’m blessed with many homes.  Incredibly blessed.
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