Thursday, August 26, 2010

What I Did This Summer

Some of us who are old enough to remember when going to school was about something other than taking tests can remember that first writing assignment of the year--What I Did This Summer. I'm not sure whether our teachers ever really used those things to assess our writing abilities or if it was just habit, but I thought about those essays as I saw the school buses pass this week. I also remembered that it had been all summer since I had updated this blog. So here's what I did this summer.
Our summer began with hosting Hal and Martha Hopson for a church music event. Like most people who sing in church, I had sung his stuff for years. His nephew is a friend of mine in Huntsville, but there is still something a bit daunting about working directly with a composer so well known. All of that went out the window when I picked them up at the airport. Two of the most delightful people I have ever met. I am happy to count them both as new friends and look forward to staying in touch with them. They told me about an organization for worship and liturgy that I didn't know, so hopefully we will connect there sometime in the not too distant future.
The end of June took us to the Music and Worship Conference at Montreat in North Carolina, which has become a highlight of our summer. The choir director was demanding but excellent this year. All of my workshops were helpful and well done. The only bad thing about Music and Worship week at Montreat is that it's just a week. The bookstore always drains my bank account, but it's good to be able to browse and handle books instead of getting them from Amazon, which I usually do.
The last day, literally after the last event, we received news of my mom's unexpected death. That meant returning to Florida to preach on Sunday and get a new round of clothes (Burying your mom in shorts and a t-shirt doesn't even work in my family, although one of my cousins' children did show up in hot pants!) and then going to Kentucky to make arrangements and begin to sort through her affairs. They are a mess, but my sister and I are working through them. Some of you know that affectionately referred to our mom as Her Majesty. She was a difficult woman, so her death has brought all kinds of emotions, but mostly frustration. I was there again last week to dispose of stuff and begin the process of selling her house. There is more drama involved than needs to be told here. If I ever write that book I've been promising or threatening for years, it might all get told. Maybe not.
Kyle got to go spend a few days with his brother in Chicago in July. They went to Wrigley while they were together. If you're a Cubbie, you know it's been mostly downhill since then.
We did manage to steal a few days to visit Charleston with friends from Alabama in August. Beautiful city. We hope to go back and see some of what we missed.
We celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary, Deanna had a birthday, and so did Kyle in the midst of it all.
We are excited about our involvement in an effort to feed the hungry in our community that is finally going to happen in September after more than year of planning and delays. I'm also helping a leader development event happen in our Presbytery this weekend. Great team of folks have done most of the work.
It's hard to believe that Labor Day is around the corner, but, of course, at our house that means ROLL, TIDE--it's time for 'Bama football. We'll keep an eye on what our Cats in Kentucky do this fall, too, but we'll be mostly Tide boosters this fall before we turn our attention toward Lexington when basketball season starts.
I guess if I've already conceded the World Series again this year, am counting Tide wins before they happen, and am already looking forward to basketball, summer is about shot. Hopefully, I'll have a bit more time to keep this thing something like current. Hope your summer has been more restful than mine, and that your fall is faithful, fun, and productive.

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