Thursday, July 21, 2016

Still hot at night

A strong memory of my first days after moving to IL for grad school was how hot it was at night.  I'd be walking around campus town with some new friends (primarily Europeans) wondering how it could still be 80 degrees F at 10 pm.  Well, I don't have to dig deep into my memory vault to recall what that feels like.  I can just step outside.  It's 10 pm and the heat index is 100 degrees F (but a whole lot cooler than that in my modern home).

 Did you know that Janny will start kindergarten in about a month?  She graduated from preschool, and we'll miss her super teachers.  As part of the prep for school, Jill took the girls to the doctor today.  Along with the usual lecture about feeding the kids more, we learned that Janny's hearing is slightly below average (I don't think that fully explains why she says 'WHAT?  WHAT DID YOU SAY?  I DIDN"T HEAR WHAT YOU SAID!' very loudly a thousand times a day, but it might) and that Clara has a slight heart murmur that might mean nothing.  I guess that it's good to know these things???  Or maybe that's why I avoid the doctor like the plague.
Speaking of Europeans in IL, my company hosted a whole bunch of interns of such background this summer.  As part of a farewell celebration of their time in America, I led a bike ride from our house to the Sydney dairy barn.  Spain, Italy, and Ireland all represented, along with India, China, and some US citizens.  The most pleasant sounding of all the homelands was Turin, Italy (the chance to be on a snowy peak while looking over the Mediterranean sounds excellent).  But don't count out India.  I've been told of a happening tech city populated with mostly young cosmopolitans (and not too crowded either).
 This week we're hosting a couple of middle schoolers from China.  Our neighbor (below) is sort of a co-host, providing either transportation or watching the young girls while Jill drives the English learners to class.  5 people don't fit too well in the old Mazda.  But don't worry, we'll probably get a new car some time in the next 10 years (134000 miles on it now).
Finally, TCBC softball is BACK!  We've played 3 games since my last report, and we've won 3 times.
How can this be explained after our rough start?  As you might have guessed, the answer is Jill.  Yes, my wife Jill!  3 games ago, we were in a bind.  We had 8 players (which is technically enough to play, but having only 2 outfielders is tough).  So we looked around.  And we saw Jim's expecting wife, Matt's wife, and then, flowing down the sidewalk, 2 daughters in tow, the most lovely lady you've ever seen: Jill.  After a short negotiation with Matt's wife, Jill agreed to play.  She played catcher.  She batted 4 times, and 4 times hit the ball in fair territory on her first swing.  And, as you know, we won the game.  She didn't play in the next 2, but her indomitable spirit filled each player, including those new guys that I had never seen before but have joined our squad because at least 1/3 of the regular guys are gone every week.  

May that spirit continue on.

Oh, and we visited the local Vineyard church last Sunday.  My last visit to a Vineyard church was to the church in Anaheim (CA) as a middle schooler in the late 1980s.  At that time, there was a good bit of, um, spirit.  Apparently, that degree of spirit is much reduced, but I still really enjoyed the experience.  The aesthetics of the stage were really lovely -- a deep blue/purple in contrast with my own church's stark white.  The clergy and leaders are extremely open about spiritual struggles and encourage attenders to receive prayer both after the service and at a special healing prayer time.  With quite a few of us struggling through grief, anger, etc. this summer, this is an excellent emphasis.  

1 comment:

Jill said...

Happy to bring my positive energy (if not much else) to the softball field. And I'd like to say a word in favor of our white church sanctuary -- It has excellent natural light, which feels honest and I love. And the architectural design is definitely of an era, which I think gives it character.