No Fear of Drowning

This morning at 2:30 I pulled (carefully) out off of the sidewalk driving a 15 passenger van with a trailer attached, full of sleepily eager students and staff.

To the airport we went. Conversation was pleasant with an undertone of excitement on the long drive to Denver. I think many of them were still in a state of disbelief. For at least one, this would be the first time flying, and her introduction to air travel would be no small trip. Denver to LA, LA to Seoul, Seoul to Chang Rai (Mai? I can never get those two straight).

I requested to be their driver because what I wanted most was to go with them all the way to Thailand but the airport is as far as I could get this time around…. Continue reading “No Fear of Drowning”

Wanderlust and Wonder

Geography is not my strong suite. This, despite the fact that I have a strong desire to visit every nation. I think this desire stems from the fact that of all things I am mostly relational. Even my enjoyment of nature comes from the fact that I unconsciously (and consciously) interact with animals, nature and even inanimate objects as if they are secretly human. So when I meet someone from another place and I get to know them a little, I want to see where they are from.

I saw this documentary a few years ago that took place partly in Mongolia and afterward

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I would sit around imagining what it would be like to be there in person. What does the air smell like? Is the air fresh like my hometown in Washington or is it still and full of decades of bodies and meals cooked like downtown Chicago?.. Continue reading “Wanderlust and Wonder”

Convergence

My friend Susie and I drove to Chicago for Thanksgiving. This was not a short drive, let me tell you. To her praise, Susie did the majority of the driving.

We left Wednesday evening and drove through the night… took a slightly “scenic” route and got even more scenic somewhere in Iowa when we missed an exit. We survived and the trip there, though several hours longer than it should have been, was pretty miraculous and full of laughter. We drove through the suburbs and picked up my friend Dave and from there headed into the city… Continue reading “Convergence”

Birds Have Nests

The simple definition of sojourner is “a temporary resident”. To me the word conjures up so much more.

As we were reading Exodus, I was moved by the command in 23:9 which says “You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.”  God is talking to people of Israel who had spent the last 400 years as slaves in Egypt. They were clearly not treated like honored guests there, but driven hard. They were oppressed, to be sure.

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Anytime, too that either Exodus or Leviticus talks about a Sabbath rest of any kind, it mentions the sojourner or the “alien” among them… Make sure they also get to rest. Any guest should be treated like family. Conversely in Leviticus 25 it talks about what you should do when your own brother is too poor to own his home or even “maintain himself” (vs. 35), you are to treat him like a sojourner- you won’t make him work for you like a slave, but treat him as an honored guest.

There is God, being funny again. Treat strangers like brothers and brothers like strangers. It actually makes so much sense, right?.. Continue reading “Birds Have Nests”

Treading on the Heights

On Sunday I headed out with my good

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friend for a short back country camping trip. We left in the afternoon and headed up Highway 20 toward the North Cascade Mountains.  The weather was incredible!
It took us about 4 hours to get up to Harts Pass and since the hike we wanted to hike would take possibly another 4 hours, we decided to camp there for the night at The Meadows campground.
The colors all along the way were amazing and constantly changing. On the East side of the mountains near Winthrop, the colors are a palate of sage green and lavender… creamy yellow and a muted orange/brown.

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At Harts Pass there are a lot of burned trees- white and black toothpicks which were maybe used to poke all those bright holes in the night sky. Also, GREEN, really green with dots of purple, bright yellow and white flowers.

We were visited in the night by some large beasty thing. We did not see it, but heard its heavy footfalls in the gravel around our tents. I’ll be honest- I was scared. I think it was only a large dear or elk but in the dark I have a vivid imagination and to my ears it sounded more like some alien creature looking for freckles on which to feast.
Nevertheless we awoke uneaten early the next morning. After breakfast and reconfiguring our packs, we headed up again…  further up and further in…. Continue reading “Treading on the Heights”

Woman! WHOA man.

Finishing off time with family right now- we’re flying down I90 in the RV. Sarah and Jill sit up front listening to music a few years newer than what we heard on the way to Idaho. Right now it’s the soundtrack to So I Married An Axe Murderer. Where do bands get names like “Toad the Wet Sprocket”?

Everyone is pretty “done”.

I feel done but I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for the 10 days I have left in Washington. I already feel like I’ve set out in a boat by myself and am heading out to sea… excited for the adventure, longing to share it, missing home.

Here is what I will attempt to accomplish in the next 10 days: Continue reading “Woman! WHOA man.”

Tale of a Tire

Here we are in Idaho after a long adventure.

My sister Jill has a big ol’ RV which we rocked out in, flying down the sunny highway between Seattle and Spokane – 80’s style. Jill’s music mix featured AC/DC, Billy Squire, Rush, Fleetwood Mac and much more music from our childhoods. While the kids entertained themselves with technology and games, we sung along loud and tuneless and felt the bonds of always knowing each other blasting at us through the speakers of Jill’s ’92 Flair.

Those hours were good… those hours of rolling down the road in a rocking living room – but our carefree moments were interrupted by a sudden THUMP…. BUMP…. Continue reading “Tale of a Tire”

Running headlong

I had a talk yesterday with Jessica about The Unknown.
Somehow the unknown used to seem less scary. Maybe I was naively optimistic about the possible outcomes. Now I am not quite a cynic, but I am more wary. Also I have learned how awesome it can be to be known and know others… to get good and comfortable in the familiar.

When I think about moving to Colorado sometimes I feel afraid. It’s very unknown and I will be leaving some pretty incredible people who have become so dear to me…. Continue reading “Running headlong”