Archive | August, 2014

Vacation: Part 1

31 Aug

The first part of my Pennsylvania vacation is complete.

I spent the last two nights at a resort in the Poconos just outside of Stroudsburg, PA. It was lovely. The Poconos – where there are miles and miles of road that look like this:

Can you imagine this place in the fall? Wowza.

Dave and I flew into Newark, rented a car, and made it to the resort just in time for the ceremony rehearsal. Dave was a groomsman in his younger brother’s wedding and it was a lot of fun for both of us. Dave got to connect with family; I got to meet said family. We enjoyed rehearsal dinner at an Irish pub in town, danced bunches at the reception, and ate lots of delicious food.

And did I mention the venue for the wedding was this?


Um, yeah. What more must one say?

We left the resort this morning and headed to Bethlehem. Dave used to live here and so he gave me the tour. After going for a walk and eating lunch out, Dave dropped me off with my seminary friend, James, while he headed back to New Jersey to catch his flight home. I’m staying in Bethlehem through Wednesday to explore with James.

So far, I have purchased unique Peep flavors from this, the hometown of the company who makes those disgusting-yet-somehow-good marshmallow birds. I saw the church James serves and he cooked up a delicious supper of buffalo steak burritos. We played a dorky game and now have both settled in for the night.

Tomorrow? Crayola. Maybe I’ll draw you a picture.

Life lately.

27 Aug





Doggy dip.

24 Aug

It was the sixth annual doggy dip at the Austin community pool on Friday. Apparently, when the regular people-swimming season is over, they open the pool up to four-legged friends and their humans. Mabel and I decided to check it out. Whether we go next year again is up for debate. Here’s why –

At first, things were going great. We went to the shallow kiddie pool and Mabel splashed around and stole other dogs’ balls. Then a dog pooped in the pool. Not completely unexpected. Then Mabel pooped in the pool. Oy.

I pulled her out of the pool and she then followed another canine friend to the other pool. The deep pool. I’m pretty sure Mabel thought it would be just like the kiddie pool because she got ahead of me and decided to jump into the deep end with no hesitation. Pretty sure she freaked out when it suddenly was NOT as shallow as the kiddie pool and she couldn’t touch the bottom! Thank goodness she is a Labrador who knows how to swim. She however, had no idea how to get out. Solution? Lindsay walked around the perimeter of the pool, shouting her name, and she swam to follow me along the edge of the pool.

Finally, after much debacle and trying to jump up the wall, Mabel figured out how to walk the ramp out of the pool and we left. Promptly. Enough of that. I mean, she had fun. She was exhausted and had a blast. But it was maybe just a little too crazy for this human.


Let me tell you about Bob.

18 Aug

I feel like I want to tell you about Bob.  You can begin to learn a little bit about Bob by reading his obituary here.  I opened it up this morning and admittedly teared up upon seeing his picture.  I’ll miss Bob a lot.

Bob died this past Saturday night.  It was one of the first times, as a pastor, I was called in the midst of a dead slumber, had to change out of pajamas, and make my way to the bedside of someone who had died.  I’m so glad they called me to have that privilege.

I’d been visiting Bob quite frequently in the last weeks.  He had begun the hospice process and was actively dying.  I always loved visiting Bob because a.) he’s awesome and b.) so is his family.  He also would never let me leave without eating something or taking a fun size candy bar for the road.  He was the sweetest.  And his family – love them.  There was so much laughter in that house.  In those last days, it was a holy, holy place.

From my very first Sunday at Red Oak Grove, I was never Pastor Lindsay to Bob.  I was “hun.”  Good morning, hun.  Thank you, hun.  See you later, hun. Good job, hun.  Sure, hun.  Would you like to join me for lunch, hun?  I consider it an honor to have been one of Bob’s huns.

Bob was a great story teller and had just the perfect manner of speaking with a twinkle in his eyes.  He loved to read old western novels and he loved to laugh.  Many times, he would pull a clipped piece of newspaper from a wallet with a joke for me to read.  Classic Bob.

Bob’s angel, his life-long sweetheart, Doris, died about six months ago.  Because she died in the midst of winter, the family waited to bury her cremains until just two weeks ago.  We met at the small cemetery where the family had dug the hole.  Doris’ ashes were placed and everyone in the family had the chance to spread a shovel of dirt around and beside the urn.  Even Bob.  Bob, with the help of his sons, stood from his wheelchair and helped place his beloved in her final resting place.  *cue tears*

Bob was ready to die and to see his angel once again.  That’s actually what he would say – that he’s ready to check on his angel.  *cue second round of tears*  Bob’s funeral is on Thursday and though he was ready to die and died in such a beautiful way (with his six children surrounding him and caring for him in his last week), we will all miss Bob.

Holy cow, guys.

10 Aug

Holy cow. Life is so good right now. Let’s start at the beginning of the weekend.

First, on Friday morning, I baked lemon-blueberry-zucchini bread and it turned out delicious. I ate some with my college friend, Deb, and her daughter, Isa, as they arrived for a day visit from St. Paul. We did a craft together and then we visited the animals at the Mower County Fair.

Next, we drove to Owatonna to meet up with Joe and Amanda at a playground. Fun fact: Deb and Amanda were college roommates freshman year. They lived across the hall from me. Deb and Amanda caught up while Joe, Isa, and I played on the swings.

Deb and Isa had to return to the city. Joe, Amanda, and I stopped at jD and Lauren’s house for a short while. They met, made connections, and I traced Elliot on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Then we went out for supper and shopped for wood at Lowes.

The next morning, I drove to Lanesboro to meet up with sister Emma and (crazy) cousin Molly. We met in Lanesboro because kayaking the Root River was the agenda. We ate lunch and then signed in for our trip. A-kayaking we went! It was an adventure to say the least. We decided we needed pie from the famous Whalen pie shop afterwards; best. decision. of. the. day.

Now, today, we had all sorts of more fun. There was church, of course, but then this afternoon consisted of bike rides, geocaching, and eating outside – three of my most favorite things with some of my most favorite people. First, we tried to take a ride on the Spam Belle, this rickety boat on a tiny lake in Austin. They have posted hours they supposedly run … but no one was there to drive us around the lake. Shucks. But then we used Dave’s house as homebase and the four of us tooled around the city on bikes. Great fun was had by all. Once we returned home, it was organized craft (button trees!) and movie time.

My guests leave tomorrow morning or so and that means I’m sad. The last couple days have been so full of laughter; so wonderful. Life will now slow down again, at least for a couple weeks (until I head to Pennsylvania to be the visitor instead of the visited for a couple days). I have no more slated visitors for the rest of the summer. But it’s been a great summer of visitors. So fun. Life is so good right now.








Whirlwind week is (almost) complete.

4 Aug

The past week has been a blur. Literally, I looked at the calendar and realized, somehow, a whole week has passed since my to-do list was stacked against me. Three funerals in five days. Sermons preached, bulletins printed, ham sandwiches eaten.

I’m home now, in my sweats, watching mindless television, catching up on magazines that have arrived, and drinking coffee. And I’m beat. Adrenaline saw me through and now it’s leaving. I’ll sleep well tonight. (I better because tomorrow is all about day camp planning and prep!)

But hey – here are some fun things:

Randomly, out of the blue, in complete surprise, my Aunt Janice and Uncle Bill showed up at the parsonage in their motor home last Friday. I didn’t even know they had a motor home yet planned to show up at my place. They spent the night, treated me to breakfast, and then were on their way. A short visit but very fun indeed!

My mom and sister sent me a “I hope you survive your crazy week” care package. How sweet was that!? It included candy and gnomes! Candy and gnomes!


I’m about to venture into the world of RIT dye and drop cloths for office curtains. I also just bought a whole bunch of buttons. After a week of little creative time, I’m itching for a project or two.

Okay. That will do. Off to more coffee and mindless television. Maybe a nap too.

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