Friday, August 08, 2008

God-Days of Summer

I haven't done a Friday Five in forever, but here it goes! Over at Rev Gals, Presbyterian Gal writes this Friday Five:It’s August. An oppressively hot and humid month where many of us live.

I remember the Al Pacino movie though not much about the plot. Just that it was very, very hot. And he had giant sweat stains on his shirt.

As I pass through this year’s dog days in my felon ridden neighborhood (OK, just two housefuls. But isn’t that enough?), I am trying to focus on the blessings apparent around me, past and present, that I might not notice, necessarily. In that spirit, this week’s Friday Five goes thusly:

1. What is your sweetest summer memory from childhood? Did it involve watermelon or hand cranked ice cream? Or perhaps a teen summer romance. Which stands out for you?
My earliest memory is when I was in pre-school and my sister and I would play in my grandmother's giant garden. We would steal the sweet raspberries off the bushes and just marvel at their delectable taste. Fresh air, good earth, make believe play, and sun-kissed berries...ahhhhhhh

2. Describe your all time favorite piece of summer clothing. The one thing you could put on in the summer that would seem to insure a cooler, more excellent day.
My flip flops. Hand's down.
3. What summer food fills your mouth with delight and whose flavor stays happily with you long after eaten?
Cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden. mmmmmm.

4. Tell us about the summer vacation or holiday that holds your dearest memory.
When I was about 8, my family took a road trip from North Dakota to the Oregon coast where we had a family reunion with my new step-cousins, aunts, uncles. We rented a big house...and I remember seeing the ocean for the first time. And, playing in the waves for hours, and being terrified of rip-tides all at once. My other thought is moving to Florida right out of college to be a youth pastor. A very elderly woman in the congregation took me to the beach club where she donned her bathing cap and took me swimming into the Atlantic Ocean on a very hot August day. It was endearing. Oh, Oh, Oh, but also, I am remembering three amazing sailing trips with other young adults in my congregation to the Bahamas and the Keys. Living on a sailboat for 10 days at a time...what FUN!

5. Have you had any experience(s) this summer that has drawn you closer to God or perhaps shown you His wonder in a new way? My spouse's mother died unexpectedly two weeks ago. So many people have crawled out of the wordwork to send cards and gifts of love and beauty. I am so touched by the love of community in times of grief. It is complete and total grace. The other experience is the call of a morning dove outside my office window in the quiet of Sunday mornings. It is such an exquisite song that it breaks my heart open....every day I hear her.

Bonus question: When it is really hot, humid and uncomfortable, what do you do to refresh and renew body and spirit? Well, sitting on the deck with a really, really cold beer is nice. Or...heading to the movie theatre....


Presbyterian Gal said...

Karlajean, you have had some excellent summer fun!

Sailing trips so rock, don't they!

Thanks for playing.

EmJayDee said...

Great post. I join you in thanks for the sense of blessings associated with people's response to the death of your family member. It can be a time of mixed emotions. Thinking of you.