Isaac’s Nightly Prayers

October 16th, 2011 by Rainey

In the evening before bed, our family finishes reading books together and then does something that we call “Happy/Sad” in which we each talk about our happiest part of the day, our sad part of the day, and what we are thankful for that day.  It is a nice ritual and sort of Ignatian Examen-ish.  We sometimes tag on a prayer but sometimes our son is so tired at that point that we then move on to what we call “Sack of Potatoes” in which he flops haphazardly onto our bed as if he has been tasered all spread eagle and eyes closed, and then is carried, like a sack of potatoes, into his room and his bed.  Recently, Zeke has been saying a prayer each night after arriving in his bed however, leading us in his sort of “Look!  A Squirrel!” way through that evening ritual before we begin trying to cajole him to actually give up the fight and go to sleep for pete’s sake.  Some of the more recent prayers have been:
“Dear God, please let all the sick people in the world feel better.  Amen”
“Dear God, please let me feel better and stop coughing.  Amen”
“Dear God, thank you for toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Amen”  (That one is my particular favorite.)

Tonight’s prayer was, for anyone who knows our son, simultaneously hilarious and mind-boggling:
“Dear God, thank you for sleep.”


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Notes from Pastoral Visits

December 13th, 2010 by Rainey

“I’ve never really watched television,” she said.  “My daughters will come in in the evening and I will be sitting here with the lights low in my chair. They will ask me why I don’t turn on the television or something.  I tell them that I after all those years at the Crown factory that I like the quiet.  I find it soothing and peaceful.  I can finally hear myself think.  My mother used to like television.  She would call me at Sears where I was working in the afternoon and say, ‘I can’t believe what happened to Josh!’  ‘Who’s Josh, Mother?’ I would ask.  ‘You know…Penny’s boyfriend.’  ‘Uh huh.  Who’s Penny?”  Those soap opera people became like her family!  The more she struggled with the Alzheimer’s the more real they got.”

“My mother would remember everyone in my family except for me after a while.  After I had been the one to care for her and keep her in my home.  Every once in a while I would bring her home for a weekend from the home that Dr. Clark got her into in Culpepper.  And she would come in and point out the different pictures on the wall that she had given to me and tell Naomi, my sister, ‘All these pictures used to be mine.  And I wanted my daughter Mary to have them.  But this lady here must have stole them!’  ‘Mother, I’d say, I AM Mary.’  Finally, one day as I drove her back to the home I had had enough.  She had recognized both my sisters and told them that she loved them, but she just wouldn’t talk to me.  I pulled over on the side of the road.  ‘Who do you think I am?’  And she looked up and said, ‘I don’t know.’  ‘I’m Mary, your daughter!’  And she said, ‘You’re no daughter of mine!’  That hurt me really bad.  That she would not know me after all those years.”

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Letter to Zeke: Three Years

December 13th, 2010 by Rainey

I have no excuse to have skipped most of the months between your second birthday and today.
I guess that is just the reality of raising a two-year old.  You keep us really, really busy.  I have joked that you have two speeds: fast forward and off.  And it is really hard to get you to turn it off.  I remember one night on the way home from a dinner with friends you sat in the backseat and cried.  I asked you why you were crying and you told me you were crying because the moon was out and you did not like the night time.
Truer words may have never been spoken.  You do not like to sleep or let go of any shred of wakefulness.

This has been an interesting year, full of words.  A few days ago you told me that you and your father were going to play David and Goliath, “Would you like to join us, Mommy?” you asked.
I told you that you were my favorite little boy.  You told me that I was your favorite little mommy.

You inform anyone who will listen about predators and prey.  You love dinosaurs, alligators, pirates, sharks…anything that has the potential to hurt someone.  Your favorite Bible stories are Jonah and the whale, Daniel and the lions, Joseph being thrown into the pit, and David and Goliath. You also like when Jesus walks on water and when he brings little children back from grave illness or death.  But you don’t understand why Jesus died.  You wonder about why the dinosaurs died.  Why mothers and fathers sometimes die in stories.  You ask us to read those parts over and over again asking, “Why?” each time.  It is a good question.

Once, we were acting out the story of Peter stepping out of the boat to try to walk on water.  You had played the role of Jesus, stepping out onto the water and saying “TA-DA” quite a few times.  Finally, I told you that daddy would be Jesus, I would be the other disciples and that you could be Peter and walk to Jesus.  Immediately you began to sing, “YOU CAN FLY, YOU CAN FLY, YOU CAN FLLLYYYYYYY!!!” Peter Pan style.

And it’s true.  Why walk on water if you can just fly?

I have begun to realize how many fairy tales dovetale into Bible stories.  We’ve played David and Goliath when Goliath ends up falling down the beanstalk.  We’ve acted out Jesus on the water when Peter became Pan and flew away.  It must be awfully confusing…

At least you are getting the sense of a story.  The other night you asked me to tell you a story in bed.  You started it off, “Once upon a time there was a little boy named Isaac.”  I began to fill in details and then you took over, weaving a story about bedtime and monsters who ended up being kind and mornings full of granola and sunshine…it was pretty cool to watch.

You love the Natural History museum in DC, you love the Natural History museum in Martinsville.  You love the “airplane” museums in DC and Dulles.  You love Chick Fil A.  You love the farmer’s market with the big wooden ship and you help me cook sometimes in the evenings.

Every evening you sing our blessing.  One Wednesday night I told you to be quiet because the pastor was going to say a blessing.  He got halfway through before you loudly insisted that YOU wanted to pray and began singing your blessing instead.  Sweet, earnest little boy.

Today you held the bottle of one of the children at church on the way to school.  You promised not to drink it so that I could return it to her mommy who had left it behind by accident.  You talked about why the bottle was glass and asked why it was cold.  You wondered about the squishy outer protective sleeve.  You wondered why the baby needed milk.  You talked about nursing. And when we pulled into your daycare you handed the bottle back and said, “See?  I didn’t try to drink it!  I didn’t break my promise, Mommy.”

You talk about things that astound us almost everyday.  And at the same time, you are still working so much out.    You don’t understand why uncooked eggs are bad for you when they are part of cake batter. But who does?

You amaze us everyday.  Happy birthday, little man.

We love you!

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Letter to Zeke: Twenty-Eight Months

April 14th, 2010 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

This was a fun month.  We celebrated Palm Sunday with Grammy and Grandpa and Easter with Aunt Katie, followed by a short visit from your Nana the next weekend.  Though your introverted parents are exhausted from hosting so many lovely guests, you were thrilled to have all the attention.

On Palm Sunday you dressed in your cute green and white checked shirt (color planned to match the palms, thank you very much) and your new green crocs.  You were styling during our church-wide Easter egg hunt.  The preschoolers hunt for eggs on the playground so that they aren’t knocked out of the way by the bigger kids.  My hope was that this year you would look for eggs rather than being more interested in the gravelly pebbles.  Though you didn’t collect pebbles, you also found the eggs incredibly uninteresting, choosing instead to go play on the playground equipment.  There is little you like more than a good slide.  Kinley was upset that you might be climbing the ladder at one point to get an egg that was just out of her reach.  We asked if you could hand her the egg.  You gladly tossed her the egg and then went down the slide again, happy to forgo the whole egg-related competition for some sliding and climbing.  I ended up picking up a few eggs for you and then re-hid a couple for some boys who arrived late.  You didn’t care a whit.

Easter was, as always, a busy affair, as was the entirety of Holy Week.  On Thursday your aunt Katie arrived and kept you while mommy was at the Maundy Thursday service.  Miss Mattie kept you while mommy was preaching at the community Good Friday service.  (You went to McDonald’s, demanded a red dragon toy, and pleasantly ordered her about for a couple of hours.)  On Saturday we dyed Easter eggs for the first time.  You LOVED it!  After they dried we added some stickers.  It was a lot of fun.
On Easter morning I had to leave by about 6 to lead the sunrise service at the retreat center, so you and daddy were on your own.  You looked adorable in your green and brown shirt and your brown chucks as well as your very first tie!  You waffled between being proud of and being annoyed by it.  So cute.  After the marathon of services, your aunt Katie, mommy, daddy and you went home to see what candy might have been left for you.  We didn’t talk much about the Easter bunny, though you had heard about it plenty from kids at school.  When asked what Easter was about, you told me that “Jesus died.”  Not quite.  But you got the general idea.  When asked who Jesus died for, you would yell “ALL OF US!” and then go on to enumerate those you thought were particularly gifted by the resurrection: “Mommy, Daddy, Isaac, Caleb, YOU AND YOU AND YOU!  And bears.  And eggs.”  We got a little off track.  But the general idea was still intact.  When I tried to interest you in the actual resurrection, you decided to go do something else.  Ah well.

You received far too many gifts from all the loving people at church and from your grandparents.  Then we headed to Miss Mattie and Papa John’s for Easter dinner.  Then you napped in the car with daddy so that mommy and aunt Katie could go to a movie.  We ended the day at the Lewis’.  Which made it near about perfect.  :)

The weekend following Easter Nana came up and brought you a new big boy  bed.  You were ambivalent and wary.  You did not want the crib to be taken down, though you hadn’t slept in it in ages.  You cried when daddy was taking it apart, telling me that it was “Falling apart” over and over.  We had some quiet time talking about how it is hard to grow up sometimes because it brings changes that are scary even as they are exciting.  After we rearranged your room and set up the new bed, we bought some fire truck sheets and a pirate quilt.  You still were not convinced.  The past few nights have involved a good bit of coaching and cajoling you to sleep and you aren’t staying asleep through the night yet in the new bed, but it is getting easier.  Change is hard sweet one.  But it isn’t all bad.

We have fun with you everyday.  You tell stories about alligators and sharks.  You play outside in the castle and we go to parks and playgrounds.  You run around full speed wherever you are going, sometimes scaring us to death.  And you are, as ever, our sweet, crazy boy.



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Letter to Zeke: Twenty-Six and Twenty-Seven Months

March 30th, 2010 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

Boy, time flies when you are having…fun.  Actually, time just flies.  Remember that as your days and weeks and months become shorter and shorter as you grow older and older.  But also remember how your days stretched out in front of you like rolling hills and valleys, out to the horizon when you were this young.  Each day is an adventure for you, with its ups and downs.  I love seeing how you greet each new day with boundless energy and try to hold onto the last dregs of it each evening, savoring it all until you finally let go enough to let sleep overtake you.

Each morning you bang out of your room into ours and demand “ola” [read:granola] and then proceed to dodge clothes and shoes and coat until the very last minute before we need to leave for school.

These past few months have been full of ups and downs as usual.  You spent a lot of time with daddy at the end of January while mommy was at the youth winter retreat and then at Duke for meetings.  You had a good time, as always with him, exhausting him completely by the time mommy returned.

We had fun at a basketball game at George Mason at the end of January with all the youth.  You were given a chick-fil-a stuffed cow with its own parachute as promoters rushed to the rafters to drop them on the fans.  You clapped for the team, but mainly wanted to run around the outer parts of the arena.  We had more snow than we knew what to do with over the past few months and the beginning of February was no exception.  We were able to shovel out enough to go watch the Saints win the Super Bowl over at Dan and Megan’s.  And you stayed up the whole time, loving the energy of all! the! people!  Our little extrovert.  Someday we will figure you out!

We had lots of fun until Ash Wednesday when mommy fell down a flight of stairs, spraining her wrist and giving herself a concussion.  I told folks that I knew Ash Wednesday was a day of remembering that we are fallible and breakable, only dust, but that I didn’t need that kind of reminder.  After a trip to the ER, a splint, and a heavy dose of Tylenol 3, I spent the rest of the week sort of alternating between floating on meds and hurting.  Lucky for you, Katie and Nana and Papa all spent time at our house, spoiling you rotten and helping your mommy and daddy out with the basic necessities of each day.  You did not like that mommy had a “boo boo” one bit, and especially disliked my inability to pick you up and put you down in the crib.

So…perhaps in response?…you have taken to sleeping by yourself on the futon where I can lay beside you until you fall asleep, where you can pick at your daddy until you drift off, or where you sometimes even fall asleep all on your own.  You are showing us each day that you are more and more ready to be a big boy.  You use the potty all on your own each morning and night and sometimes in between.  You are asking to wear “pull ups” during the day, despite the fact that we have never really mentioned them.  You are sleeping on the futon and will be getting a twin bed in a couple of weeks.  Life is, as always, speeding along.

And boy are you telling us all about it.  We have long and complicated narratives going on each day.  You told me yesterday that at school you played with “playdoughandsandandbucketsandshovelsandthisbottleofredwaterandoutside,” pointing to each thing as we left to get in the car.

This past weekend the Lewis family gave you a hand-me-down play castle.  You absolutely love it and it has spurred another feast of imaginative play.  On Saturday I was a giant storming the castle gates, you were a giant, we had a picnic in the castle, you were on the lookout for monsters, we sailed on a boat next to the castle.  There were sharks in the water.  Then we acted out our bedtime routine.  Your sock monkeys were babies.  I was a baby.  You had to change my diaper and take me to church.  You had to pick me up from the nursery and then I was instructed to ask to go back to church.  Instead you drove me home and made me go to bed.  Your daddy and I couldn’t stop laughing.

I love this age.  You are so full of interesting ideas and games and imagination.  You still love animals and they have starring roles in most of our games.  Sharks and alligators seem to be the most popular.

The other day you found an orangutan from Nana and Gramps’ house in Ohio that you had stolen over a year ago when we were up there visiting.  You told me, “I like dis monkey.”  I told you it was an orangutan.  Then you proceeded to call it an orannnnutann for the rest of the morning, named it Tyson, and made me read it a book.

You are a lovely, lovely boy.



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Pilgrim’s Chapel

March 29th, 2010 by Rainey

I have made a sort of promise to myself to take a walk most everyday at some point.  Today I needed that walk to clear my head and reframe.

This morning Apple Blossom tickets went on sale.  I am not sure what sin my parents committed or I committed that AB ticket sales would fall on Holy Week this year.  But they did.  And so, in addition to writing a Good Friday sermon and an Easter sermon, I also had to take on the role of money-changer in the temple and sell tickets to parades for a youth fundraiser.

After the clock struck three, the tickets were officially off-limits for the day, so I decided to try to get some fresh air and move on to the next thing on the agenda: sermon prep.  I had been playing with ideas for Good Friday all morning between selling parking passes and front row seats, but was having a hard time getting my hooks into anything worth pursuing.  And if I did, I didn’t have time to pursue the thoughts for long before the phone rang, alerting me to the presence of more ticket purchasers downstairs.

So, the clock struck three and I took a walk.

I decided to make my way down to our local coffee shop on the walking mall and then head back to the church.  On my way down, I noticed for the first time in five years of living and serving in Wchester, the Pilgrim’s Chapel at the Episcopal church down the street.  I think I knew that it existed.  I probably have noticed it before, to be honest.  But today it clicked that it actually existed and could be somewhere I could go.  After procuring my small cup of coffee, I made my way back towards the office.  Again, my eye was drawn to the chapel, so, in a weird, jerky motion I grabbed the handle to the door and tore inside.

I am not sure why I felt like I was trespassing.  Maybe it was the big sign alerting me to the alarm system that was posted on the front door.  Maybe it was that I don’t work at that church or attend there.  But, I am pretty sure that the entire point of the chapel is to reach out to people who don’t necessarily go to church there.  How strange for a pastor to feel ill at ease entering a chapel.

I was struck by  my own awkwardness.  It seemed to run parallel to the spiritual awkwardness I seem to be mired in recently.  I am usually a pretty happy, content person.  I know how blessed I am.  But I have felt restless and unmoored for the past few weeks for no discernible reason.  So, just as I awkwardly grabbed the handle to that door, I also awkwardly, reluctantly, finally stared my own need for God full in the face.

I flipped through the first few pages of the Book of Common Prayer, priming the pump, as it were to begin to pray the prayers of my own heart.  And, while they might normally flow easily, I needed that priming today.  I sat silently for a while.  And then, staring at the tile floor, I began to pour it out.  When I could finally lift my eyes up to the wooden cross on the wall, I began asking God for direction.  Is this uneasiness the sign of a new call into a new direction?  Am I sick?  Why do I feel so awful?  So off?  What do you want from me?

I turned to my right and looked at the only stained glass window in the chapel.  It was of Joseph leading a donkey, Mary riding it, holding the infant Christ.  An angel covered them, holding them in the span of wings and body, pointing.  Jesus had already been born.  They weren’t looking for somewhere to give birth to a child.  Mary was looking at the baby.  Joseph was looking at them both.  The angel, hovering, eyes on the family, finger pointing forward.

I don’t have any idea what this feeling means.  And I am still asking for answers.  But I felt better as I ducked out of the chapel today.  The window did not show the road ahead for the family or where the angel was pointing.  But the angel hadn’t left the family behind to lead the way.  The angel hovered, covered them, moved them forward, even when they weren’t ready to look up and out.  That is enough for today.

I am just going to keep trying to walk a little bit each day.  I figure I will find out where I am heading when I am ready to look up.  Until then, I will be grateful for the unexpected chapels I find along the way.

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Sabbath Manifesto

March 25th, 2010 by Rainey

I know I read about it online.  Oh, the irony.

The Sabbath Manifesto, started by a group of techno-savvy, young Jewish artists, seeks to reclaim a bit of what it means to truly observe the sabbath.  The ten principles they outline are these: avoid technology, connect with loved ones, nurture your health, get outside, avoid commerce, light candles, drink wine, eat bread, find silence, give back.

Sandy and I thought it would be a great idea to try this out.  We picked this past Sunday to begin.  Now, it should be noted that this past Sunday may not have been the best model of Sabbath rest.  In addition to two church services, Sunday school and a visiting sister, I also had a large Community United Against Antisemitism and Racism event that lasted four hours in the afternoon.  Day of rest it was not.  BUT, we at least began in our quest to unplug a bit, avoiding television, laptop, and ipod touch.  I had to check my blackberry once to figure out how to get to said event and I called Sandy on the phone to let him know I was on my way home.

One thing the experience proved was that you have to actually plan ahead in order to truly observe the sabbath.  You have to clear your day a bit, figure out where you are headed before you get on the road, and print directions before you log off the computer the day before.  It is hard to connect with family when you are working the whole day and YES, being at church is work for anyone who is in ministry, as is a community event for which you served on the steering committee.

So, I wouldn’t really count our first foray as a success.  We kept technology to a minimum, but the joy of the sabbath was not really grasped.  We gave back…but maybe we gave too much for one day?  We spent little time with loved ones, we drank no wine and ate no bread, we lit no candles.  Sandy and Zeke and Katie were outside, so that was good.  Maybe their sabbath was more faithful than mine.  We avoided commerce-mainly because there was little time to squeeze it in.  And the silence and nurturing of health didn’t happen until we fell asleep at 9 pm after a grueling day.

I love the spirit behind this manifesto.  We are going to try again.  But we will plan a bit better this time, I think.  Pick a day with less going on.  Palm Sunday, anyone?  Maybe not.

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Professional Development

March 14th, 2010 by Rainey

So Yay!  I am now serving on the steering committee for CBF’s Current network and got accepted to the Lewis Fellows program at the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Seminary!  Yay!  Busy, busy…

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The Left Reverend “Little Momma” Pastor

March 10th, 2010 by Rainey

I have a lot of names at my church.  Pastor, Kristin, the “Left Reverend” (an attempt to make fun of the ‘right reverend’ title that is surprisingly apt when applied to me), “Little Momma” (I don’t know what that means except that I have a toddler?), Reverend Whitesides, and, my personal favorite, “Rev”–this one from a lot of the older men.  I LOVE THAT!

So I have a lot of names.  And I wear a lot of hats.  I am the associate pastor.  Which means I do a little of everything.  I am THE pastor if our senior pastor is away, which he will be for three months next year while on sabbatical, and I preach, teach, lead, organize, visit, counsel, etc. on a regular basis when he isn’t gone.  I am also the Youth Pastor.  Which means I organize our youth ministry leaders and volunteers, our teachers, and our youth council.  I teach on Wednesday nights for youth group.  I write curriculum.  I handle all the planning, calendaring, and communication for the youth ministry.  I have coffee and lunch and conversations on facebook and through textmessaging with teenagers almost daily.  And I basically go on every event/trip that the youth take, including week long trips in the summer.

The beauty of my job is that there is a lot of room for creativity.  Four years ago I created the first ever intergenerational mission trip our church had taken.  I researched, planned, recruited, scouted the site, led the training sessions, and led the trip.  From that first year our relationship with that town has blossomed.  We take regular trips there every summer and we are doing a reverse mission trip this year as well for the teenagers in that community.  Now I am hard at work thinking about and talking about young adult ministries that our church can work on.  So that is exciting and new.  I can also create curriculum and lead the youth ministry in the ways I feel led.  For instance, in the past few weeks we have gone to the Holocaust Museum and talked about the Christians’ appropriate stance and response to hatred and violence.

I love my job.

I am also a wife and mom.  Kristin, Sweetie, Mommy, Mama.
At five everyday I pick my child up from daycare and go home to make dinner.  On Wednesday nights we go to church and he eats what I packed him in the high chair at the “youth table” before terrorizing the senior adults with the plastic animals that lie in a  bin in the corner of the fellowship hall.  For the first couple years of his life, my son accompanied me on youth trips and mission trips.  He came to a girl’s spa night and tried to swim in one of the foot spas. He is a church baby through and through.  Thoroughly spoiled and thoroughly loved.

My husband takes care of our son on weekends when I have funerals.  He gets him ready on Sunday mornings to head out the door.  He picks him up from Wednesday nights at church so that he can be in bed before I get home from the deacon’s meeting.  We make it work.

I think a lot about balance.  What it means for me-for my family-to do all of these things.  Sometimes I feel like I do none of them very well.  But when I think about giving up any one of my “names” or my “hats” I feel sick.  All of these puzzle pieces, as often as I struggle to fit them together, are part of who I am.

The word vocation, as many people know, comes from the Latin word vocare which means “to call.”  In my life I truly believe that I have been called to do all of this.  Whatever “this” may be on any given day.

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February 11th, 2010 by Rainey

As my husband has said, we have just made it through some sort of insane snowpocalypse here in Wchester.  What started with a storm that dumped about 3 feet of snow on us ended yesterday with another half foot or so and crazy winds that created snow drifts even higher than before.

I have never much beat around the bush about it: I do not like snow.  My mother, who is a native Ohioan, can’t understand my antipathy towards the white stuff, remembering fondly, I suppose, days of yore when she frolicked and sledded and generally enjoyed being cold.  I, on the other hand, have never lived as far north as I do now.  And, though people had been threatening me with stories of bad winter weather, for the first five years or so of living up here, it had all been pretty mild.  I could deal with it.  Well, that has all come to a bitter end with drift upon drift of the foul stuff piling up on our cars, our sidewalks, our roads…

Now, I know that I should begin looking at the positives.  Isaac and I, each night, have begun to talk about what we are thankful for as we say a modified version of evening prayers.  I list things and he will throw out other ideas as he nurses….”CAT!”  etc.

We have recently been talking about how thankful we are that we have a safe, warm place to live and food to eat and a way to cook that food on these cold days and nights.

But, despite my groaning, I am learning to be thankful for more than that.

1.  I am thankful for the joy that the snow has brought Isaac.  He absolutely loves going out in the foreign white world.  He is hemmed in on all sides by the walls of the path his father painstakingly created from the backyard to the front.  It has been such a novel experience to have him have to stay put within confines that are rigidly set.  But because the snow is taller than he is, he does just that, choosing instead to pick up large chunks of it and throw them or try to eat as much snow as he can before his cheeks go numb from the cold.  When the wind isn’t blowing, he seems to like the snow just fine.

2.  I am thankful for my husband’s ability to shovel the daylights out of some heavy, wet snow, creating the afore mentioned paths for Isaac and I to walk on, and also digging out our cars so that I wouldn’t go completely insane from cabin fever.

3.  I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know my neighbors.  Sandy shoveled out our next-door neighbors car and sidewalks.  She brought us brownies to thank us.  (Actually, let me clarify.  This is our no-bones-about-it-crazy-neighbor.  I will save the stories for another time.  In reality Sandy dug out her sidewalks.  She then brought us brownies and a thank-you note that also included the request to dig out her car ‘in case of emergency.’  Four days later I am pretty sure she has not gone anywhere.)  Barring our crazy neighbor though, we have also met neighbors down our little road who seem perfectly sane as we all converged on the sidewalk to shovel together.  We talked about our kids, the snow, snow gear, where we worked.  Our dogs and children gleefully jumped through the snow together, reveling in the first blue sky in days.  It was really nice.  Later, when a truck got stuck that blocked the whole entrance to our neighborhood, I pulled up to try to come home.  A guy I had met that sunny day ran up to me to fill me in.  They were all out putting chains on the man’s tires.  Yesterday, Sandy pulled over to try to get someone’s car unstuck.  As he worked a van full of men pulled up  beside us and three men piled out, one with a cowboy hat on no less, grabbed a shovel, and happily pushed the car on the road together.  Then we all got in our cars and went on our way.  Snow has a way to bring us together.  It shakes us out of our cars and work-bound routines, forcing us to slow down and talk to each other, help each other.  That has been good.

4.  I have really enjoyed the way the snow has made me slow down and spend time at home this past week.  I have baked animal crackers with Isaac and played long, strung-out imagination games with him and Sandy.  We have read books together and Sandy and I cooked together for the first time in recent memory.  I am a type A person.  I like to plan my days and my weeks.  But when something like this happens I am forced to slow down and open my eyes a little bit.  Try to enjoy the present moment without worrying about the next few days.  That has been painful in some ways.  But good for me.

So maybe snow isn’t all that bad.  It has some benefits, though I must say that if I don’t see snow like this for another five years, I won’t be sorry.

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About Living in the Spaces

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