Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day Weekend

It has been a busy weekend in some ways but not typical as we neither had much company nor went anyplace.

Today I stayed home all day--always a rare and welcome treat. Brian had taken their camper from Wayside Farm last weekend up nearer their home so they could camp out with friends this Labor Day weekend. He brought it down this afternoon. Trent and Bree came with him, and he dropped them off to play with Samuel, which was good. By the time I got around to fixing supper, they needed to be on the road to be ready for work and school Tuesday, so they didn't stay. Since we were eating up leftovers, that was just as well. Ha.

Gerald and David and Katherine had all spotted our mother deer and twin fawns recently, so that was part of our supper conversation. Sam and I haven't gotten to see them yet.

Saturday morning I woke at 6:45 to happy young male voices floating through the house from the kitchen. David said he had set the alarm for Samuel and Josh for 6 a.m. rather than the 5:30 they preferred. Since he had to take Josh back to Marion for soccer practice at 9:00, they had to get their play in early. The night before, I had had ambitious thoughts about frying the pound of bacon in the fridge for these young adventurers, but the boys sounded quite content fending for themselves in the cereal cabinet, and I have little ambition or conscience when I first wake up. Gpa Gerald said he had heard them all the way to the end of the lane when he went down on his morning walk to pick up the newspaper at the roadside. By the time he got back to the house, the boys had great plans for his taking them on the "mule" and then on the paddle boat around the lake, and Gpa was kind enough to comply.

Saturday afternoon I had the first signing for Down on the Farm: One American Family's Dream, at the Crab Orchard Library, but I was somewhat torn as a friend's' brother was having a funeral at the same time. However, it was good to have several friends and my pastor and wife (after the funeral) show up and to get to visit with them.

It was especially good of Jane Perr to drive down from West Frankfort to buy a book. When I was working in family literacy in Franklin County, Jane was a wonderful volunteer at our Family Partnerships group. However, the thing that always impressed me most about Jane was that she did so much volunteer work anonymously for elderly friends in addition to organized volunteer work. If someone was blind and needed help feeding her cats or someone needed a ride to visit a child in prison or whatever, Jane quietly met that person's need.

In the present crisis, our very national survival may depend upon the generosity of Americans. While at the church house on Saturday morning, I happened to answer a phone call requesting supplies to be taken Tuesday to First Baptist Church in Marion, where a semi will be loaded to carry donations to Brookhaven, Mississippi. Churches there have opened their doors to over 14,000 citizens who had to leave their homes. The churches are feeding the people, but personal and medical supplies are needed, and this is something folks in Southern Illinois can help out with.

At our Sunday dinner table, David shared that a truck of food from the food pantry at Marion Second Baptist Church had already gone to another community in Mississippi. And we read in the paper where Monte Blue is collecting supplies to take to the community where Kelli had started college before the hurricane hit.

We had a good evening service at our church last night with the younger son of a new family being baptized. This brought several visitors. His previous pastor came and baptized him and spoke to us. Although the visiting preacher said it was appropriate to ask why just as Jesus did, there are times when we should not dwell on the why God allowed something to happen. His message based on Jesus' explanation (or actually lack of explanation) for tragedies in Luke 13:1-5 made it clear that we are not to presume to judge why a tragedy happens to someone else. Rather Jesus said to worry about ourself and repent. Bad things do happen to good people -- as we have all observed during this week of national tragedy.

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