Archive | July, 2012

Friday night.

27 Jul
A high school classmate of mine posted a photo on facebook earlier today.  It was a photo of a beer next to cleaning supplies.  The caption?  An ice cold Corona with lime + cleaning supplies = single girl Friday night.

Here’s my version:
Red wine + new fabric + cakepops = single girl Friday night.

What’s your Friday night equation?

housekeeping: a life update.

26 Jul
Just a few things I feel like sharing:
Dear Grandpa Sid [affectionately referred to as geeps or popsicle] had a minor heart attack a couple weeks ago.  He is at home and feeling better [from what I’m told].  Hospice care is on call and helping out as needed.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
An article on why it is hard for young adults to make and retain significant friendships.  I can relate. [Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?]
I’m ready for a new quilt project.  I’m going to slowly but surely tackle this scrappy one.  And a quilt shop is in the plans for tomorrow after the monthly horror of Lindsay attending the local care center board meeting.  [danger.  danger.]
I’m going home following worship on Sunday.  It has been well over half a year since I’ve been home.  Over half a year.  How can that even be?  [oh.  that’s right.  life is crazy.  that’s why.]  It’s a trip to see family, see friends, meet a new baby, say farewell to cousin, Connor, as he leaves to study abroad in Ghana, and hang out with as many lovely people as possible.  I’m looking forward to it.
In honor of Connor and his departure to study abroad, there is a party on Sunday night.  I’ll be the one bringing cakepops that look like the flag of Ghana.  The cakes are in the oven right now; wish me luck.
Root veggie chips, delicious as they are, do not constitute a meal.  Root veggie chips, delicious as they are, do not constitute a meal.  [I need the reminder.]  Root veggie chips, delicious as they are, do not constitute a meal. 
It’s been a rough week.  [see previous post.]   With all of the people time from last week, I could go a week and a half in solitude and still not have recovered.  Alas, there were members in Rochester I had to visit.  I dragged my feet but, truth is, once I was there, in the hospital room, I was glad I had went.  One of the people I visited was a dear older woman who was actually our pulpit supply last Sunday while I was gone.  She’s done it before many times.  Well, she had a minor heart attack Sunday night due to stress.  shit.  Me, asking her to preach, caused her a portion of that stress and thus indirectly was a cause of her heart attack.  She told me not to worry but you know me.  I worry and feel terrible.  shit.  Great job, Pastor Lindsay.
As I left the office to drive to Rochester, administrative assistant Marilyn – dear Marilyn – told me to treat myself.  It had been a hard week.  Go to Panera, she said.  Get good coffee, she suggested.  Treat yourself.  I did.  I went to Trader Joe’s and bought a bottle of $4 wine to which I will now return.
As you were.

angry fist shake.

25 Jul
Sometimes I feel like shaking my angry fist and yelling with such indignation,
Curse you, introspective, processing mind and truth-telling friends!*
Don’t we all?
I’ve had one of those days.  I still haven’t recovered from a sleep-deprived week in NOLA.  I’m overwhelmed at work.  I hate that while I normally say, “We should do that this summer when we have more time!,” I now find myself saying, “We should have more time come fall.  Let’s do that then.”   [which is a lie.  we all know fall won’t be any slower.] Work is busy and right now seems all about budgets and writing job descriptions and administration; things I know absolutely nothing about.  I feel inadequate to do my job.
Twice today, amid tales of my day and how I feel dumb and inadequate and unable, I had friends tell me to go easy on myself.  To cut my own self a break.  I am the worst negative self-talker in all the world [or at least one of them].  What happened to the Lindsay with self-confidence, positivity [which, ironically, is one of my StrengthsFinder themes], and optimism?  I’m not sure where she has gone but I should probably find her.  It would be great if she would return.  Until then, I’ll shake my angry fist at the knowledge of what’s wrong and my current inability to know how to change it.  I’ll work on it.
At least it was a good hair day.  Had that going for me.
* but I’m thankful for truth-telling friends and a certain self-awareness.

NOLA: a summary.

24 Jul
I’ve returned to good old Austin, MN.  phew.  What a trip.  There is more info on the ROG site, which maybe you read.  Maybe you didn’t.  Either way, here’s my summary in true list form. 
The awesome:
— The speakers each night.  My favorite was Nadia Bolz-Weber.  You can watch her talk here.  It is totally worth your 20 minutes.  Not all pastors are stuffy and old and pious.  Amen.
— beignets at Cafe du Monde were pretty delicious.
— walking a mile while carrying a 40 lb. container of water.  It was a part of the 100 Wells Challenge education.  The ELCA is currently raising money to bring clean drinking water closer to people living in Africa.  It’s not uncommon for women and children to walk four miles each day just to get water.  The Red Oak Grove youth and I waited in line to carry 40 lbs. around ten times [which equaled one mile] in an air-conditioned building.  It was only a taste of what people in Africa must do.  And it was hard!  I did one lap and wondered how in the world I would ever do nine more.  Somehow, with a combination of breaks and pushing the jug on the smooth concrete floor for little bits, I made it.  All the youth did too.  [Two of the ladies admitted they cheated a little bit; they coerced a boy into carrying theirs for a segment of a lap.  Oh, girls.]
— bonding with the ROG youth.
— seeing seminary and synod friends!
— flashlight hellos.  I never did run into the Dawson group but twice they gestured hello across the superdome by waving their flashlights and phones in my general direction.  I waved my bright orange hat in return.  For cute.
— worshipping with no leadership role.
— a service project day that took us to a local Boy’s and Girl’s club to read with them.  What a great experience.
— It’s estimated that 38,000 Lutherans each doing four hours of service will be of value to the city of New Orleans worth more than $2million.  How awesome is that?
— a ride in a streetcar through the garden district.  [with crabby kids.  but we’ll forget that detail.]
— great music.  dancing.
— the openness with which sexual orientation and bullying topics were addressed.  It needed to be said; I’m glad they took the opportunity.
The not-so-awesome:
— the bus ride home.  We were part of three buses which caravanned together.  Basically our group and a group from Mankato.  Note to self: If ever a large trip like this is organized again, go with one bus and only one bus.  Three was not so much fun.  Whenever we stopped – be it bathroom or meal stops – the lines were long.  Communication between leaders was not great.  I will say – with my nose in the air – that our group was so well behaved.  It was the other group that, well, had attitude.  The other group also had a child that decided not to eat anything all week and only drink Mt. Dew and Red Bull, which led to a four hour layover in the middle of Sunday night at a hosptial in Memphis.  Our trip home went from an expected 22 hours to a horribly long 29 hours.  It was miserable.
— little sleep.
— having a diet consisting of Subway and fast food for a week.  I went to the store tonight and my cart was mostly fruits and veggies.
— little to no Lindsay time.  Things were tense there for a day or two.
— swollen ankles.  Last night, they looked like they were drawn by a cartoonist.  Swelling is going down but they’ll be elevated again tonight as I go to bed.  
— we depart from the First Lutheran parking lot and we wave to all the family gathered.  One of my youth says to me, Aww.  You have no one here to say goodbye to you.  Thanks for reminding me I’m all alone.
Trust me when I say the awesome outweigh the not-so-awesome, even if the lists seems pretty even at first glance.  It was a good trip.  And now I can say I’ve been to New Orleans and – if I’m honest – I can say that I don’t ever need to go back.  [Unless it were to be to a b&b in the garden district.]  Bourbon Street has no appeal for this girl.  No thank you.  The next gathering: Detroit in 2015.  I’m thankful it won’t require an overnight bus trip!


21 Jul

If you are so inclined, I hope you’ve checked out for some photos and daily happenings. I’ve been too sleepy at night to write in two places!

It’s been great so far. Really, it has. The days are long. We walk miles each day. Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the group’s want to shower three times a day. (No. Suck it up.) And how they don’t follow the dress code. (Please change your shorts.) And how they ask if the mass gatherings every night are required. (Yes. And they’re awesome.)

But really, it’s good. We are exploring a new city, hearing inspirational speakers each night, and bonding thru puddle jumping. (It’s been raining cats and dogs here the last two days. I’m glad I packed that umbrella and keens – shoes that can get wet and it’s all okay.) We’ve been worshipping and singing praise songs that I haven’t had opportunity to sing in years. Most days, I wonder if I’m enjoying myself and loving it all more than the kiddos.

The introvert in me finally got some time alone today. Last night, it got ugly. I was so crabby! A little time alone today and even a small glimpse and chat with friends (Josh, Kate, Karen, and Cassie) goes far with me. I’m feeling much better and much less crabby.

Just one quick story and it’s not even about one of my kids. We did a day of service yesterday. (All 38,000 Lutherans here will do four hours of service in their stay. It’s estimated that will help the city of New Orleans at a value of over $2million.) We boarded a bus with a couple other groups and went to a boys and girls club to lead a literacy camp and field day.

I was with the group assigned to read aloud with the kids. There were five from my group and three from another. Pennsylvania. One of them was this red-headed totally awkward boy. Totally. Everyone else found a little person to read with except him. I went over to him and asked him if he would like to join a group. No, that’s okay, he said. I’m not good with kids. I’d rather be in a library sorting books than reading to kids.

I told him all he had to do was sit down and read. Ask them their name. Engage them and show then that he cared. He had to show up and be present. Yeah, he said like he had heard it all before.

We switched groups and there was a girl in this next one that approached him. They sat on the couch and she took the book from his hand. She read Charlotte’s Web to him for a long time. In fact, she stayed longer than she even should have, wanting to keep reading. He showed up. He took a risk. He cared and he listened and by doing so, he shared love and shared joy. And I think that’s part of what this week is all about.

A few photos:


17 Jul

I’m here. In New Orleans. And it’s hot.

We drove through the night last night and it was as I expected it to be – not restful. But we made it and didn’t smell too bad after the long journey.

We registered, checked into the hotel, and headed out in the heat for a true New Orleans style meal. I had a muffuletta sandwich, really having no idea what it actually was but wanted to pay homage to Muffuletta’s, a restaurant just down the street from Luther Sem. It was a decent meal but ‘uge. I ate maybe a third of it.

A group of gals and I went out exploring the town after dinner. As expected in the French Quarter, it was an eye-opening experience. Even for this gal who has traveled a fair bit, there were some surprises. And I’m sure it’s only the beginning.

When we got back to the hotel, it was one of lindsay’s favorite parts of the day (and what I anticipate will be a favorite part of this whole experience) – running into and hugging people I know! I saw Mr.Pete, a ministry man I first worked with in Stillwater, and my friend, Kate, who I haven’t seen for nearly two years! It was wonderful and I anticipate more run-ins with favorite people from the past and present!

Now it’s bedtime. Tomorrow is swamp tour day and the first official day of the gathering. I must bid you goodnight.

But first, here is a photo of my massive sandwich –

And I’m off!

16 Jul
To New Orleans!

We board the bus at 4:30 this afternoon and will drive through the night.  The five youth from Red Oak Grove are pretty psyched.  I am too; once I get past the whole sleeping-on-the-bus thing.  [I’m bringing drugs.  In the form of dramamine.  It always used to knock me out.  We’ll see about tonight.]
I’m not taking my computer but will try to do a blog update now and again via the iphone.  [so please excuse any typos, grammatical errors, and the fact that I can’t align it justified via phone … though that will likely bother me more than you.]  I will for sure be blogging [nearly/hopefully] everyday at  It’s the church website and I promised updates.  Those will be entirely PC and upbeat.  If at any point I feel otherwise, it’s here I will turn.  That is your warning/invitation.
Happy week to all of you!  I’ll feed the alligators a marshmallow or two for you.  [swamp tour!]

saturday adventures.

15 Jul
It was a weekend of gnome chew toys, caves, dining cars, and ice cream.  
The occasion was visiting seminary friends.  Justin and James arrived Friday evening and stayed through church on Sunday morning.  Justin, my favorite person who used to always wear one black sock and one white sock, was visiting from Pennsylvania for the week, and it had been over two years since we had seen each other.  Two years!  Far too long.  James is still on campus at Luther but is also connected to Pennsylvania – a state he will hopefully be moving to soon for first call.  Pennsylvania is far away from Minnesota, she pouts.
They came and brought housewarming gifts.  One for me and one for Mabel.  For me?  Ninja cookie cutters.  [My confirmation kids will go crazy with excitement and envy.]  For Mabel?  A gnome chew toy which she destroyed within the first hour.  It was fun while it lasted.  Maybe I can patch up what isn’t chewed through; it could be a one-legged gnome.
Can you see Mr.Gnome’s red head?  And belt?  And entrails?
Saturday we were off for adventure.  Somehow we decided on Lanesboro, MN as our initial destination.  [The SPAM museum was vetoed.  They don’t know what they’re missing.]  We walked the tourist main street, scouring for the perfect lunch locale.  We stumbled upon this dining car, sandwiched between two tall brick buildings.  Luckily, there were three stools open at the counter so we squeezed ourselves in for some grilled cheese and fresh cut french fries.  
It seats about fifteen people between the counter and two tiny booths.
Do you know what Lanesboro is known for?  First, it’s spot on the Root River biking trail.  Second, it’s the rhubarb capital of the world.  [Did you hear that?!]  They even have their own soda flavor – Rhu-berry from the Spring Grove soda company.  They plant rhubarb in gardens like we plant hostas.  The festival is in June.  I know where I’ll be next year.
From Lanesboro, we were our typical indecisive selves.  We explored the town of Whalen.  Population: 63.  [It didn’t take long.]  Then we decided we needed to find ourselves a cave.  There were two options and we went for Niagra Cave in Harmony, MN.  [32 miles from Decorah.  I remember going to the cave while a student at Luther … but actually remembered nothing about the actual tour.]  We went 200 feet below ground in a series of tunnels, cathedral-like cave rooms, and up and down lots of stairs.  It was pretty cold and pretty cool.
And, then, I mean, how can you be only 32 miles from Decorah and not go?  Not possible.  We drove through the Luther campus and ate peanut butter cheeseburgers at T-Bock’s.  We took in the sight from Phelp’s Park of the Upper Iowa River and then had to stop at the Whippy Dip.  I mean, how can you be in Decorah and not stop at the Whippy Dip?  Not possible.  Justin had never been to the Whippy Dip and never to Decorah.  Done and done.  Check that off your midwest bucket list.
obligatory whippy dip photo.
We arrived back at the parsonage around 9pm.  James went night-night early; Justin and I stayed up.  We talked [I value deep and honest conversations with this friend. Thank you to Justin for being a great listener and conversationalist.], watched a movie, and Lindsay did not finish her Sunday morning sermon.  How was I supposed to write my sermon when I had a long-lost friend to be with?  Not possible.  I will take no grief; I know I made the right decision.  I eventually got to it.  It’s just been a long time since I’ve only gotten four hours of sleep.  [worth it.]
They left after church today and I don’t know who is more sad – Mabel or I.



12 Jul
Please excuse my absence.  Life is ca-ray-zee with no signs of letting up.  I leave on a bus for New Orleans on Monday.  Posts may be few and far between in the next week and a half.  Such is life.
Even in the last five days, I have little to say, but let me tell you a Marilyn-the-administrative-assistant story.  They’re always good.
I went into work on Tuesday around 9:30.  Banker’s hours, Marilyn says.  I don’t even open my office door; I just head straight for Marilyn’s office to check in.  We exchange pleasantries and then she delivers exciting news.
The girls and I went to the casino yesterday, she said.
Oh, really?
I was the big winner of the group.  I always give 10% of my winnings to the church and I’ve decided to give that portion to Red Oak Grove.

That’s very nice of you.
She smirked and pushed a nickel and penny my way.  Here you go.

She won 55 cents and rounded up to a six-cent tithe for the glory of God and mission of the church.  
Thanks, Marilyn.

a wedding story.

7 Jul
Reason #147 it would be awesome to have a boyfriend/be married: A built-in date to wedding receptions.
I had a wedding to do today – the one I told you about ages ago.  They’re not members and their pastor refused to do the wedding because they have a son.  [A mighty cute one.  He’s nearly three and walked down the aisle in a tux and with a sign that said, “Daddy, here comes our girl!”]  Anyways, I said I would do it and though things were slightly unorganized [as any good wedding is], we got through it – microphone, weather, and unity sand all cooperating.
Ceremony?  Check.  
Wine reception at the winery?  Check.  
Pastor Lindsay stopped at the Old Navy outlet briefly because it was on the way to the dinner?  Check.
Then it was reception/dinner time at the Holiday Inn – the time I dread as a single introverted pastor.  Luckily, I was assigned a table and a seat so I didn’t need to awkwardly find one.  The plan was to pray for the meal, eat the meal, and then hit the road.  It pretty much worked, though the prayer was proceeded by the bride swearing profusely about some relative or other at the head table as I asked her about the schedule of things.  And then during the prayer I could hear the bride sobbing in the background.  The table I was seated at was with spouses of wedding party people.  Most of them had been on the party bus between the ceremony and the reception.  Many of them were very drunk.  I was seated between ladies and gents giving the middle finger, cursing, and then covering their mouth and pointing to me and whispering, “We’re sitting with the pastor!  Who would put the pastor at our table?”
That’s the story. 
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