Vacation 2011 – Day 1

Today begins our first family vacation. We’ve done shorter trips before, but this is four stops, nine states, four stops. one car.

Destination 1: Spring Hill, TN, to visit neighbors who moved south.

Everything has started out well. We hit the road at 5:50, a bit ahead of schedule. The kids didn’t go back to sleep, of course, but they kept busy with books and games. There was a delay just south of Louisville due to an earlier accident, yet we still made it to our destination in time for lunch.

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After catching up we ventured into downtown Franklin for some window shopping followed by dinner at Papa Boudreaux’s.

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The crawfish and shrimp étouffée was delicious, as you can see.

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Now, we’ll relax at the pool for a bit before turning in for the night. Tomorrow we continue the journey south to our next destination.

A New Season of Purpose

I dusted off my Divine Hours this morning and was struck by a thought from the Concluding Prayers:

and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose

This may be obvious, but I have lately noted that God’s purpose is seasonal. True, there are overarching themes, a persistent direction in which God wants his people to head. But the details, the specific tasks and actions are seasonal. They are timed to a person’s individual circumstances and setting.

Over the past two years I have often felt like I wasn’t doing enough when church gathered. I often came empty-handed, bereft of ideas for my brothers and sisters. I had nothing to offer for their edification and encouragement, and I often felt guilt because of that.

It seems that I am finally ready to hear the wise words others, in particular Tom Fisher, shared with me: Relax. There are seasons of giving and seasons of receiving, and for the moment you might be in a season of receiving.

Thanks, friends.

Tabula Rosa

There used to be a time, when I could write here without much effort. I could write and write and write. Ideas were easy to come by.

Not so much these days, as should be obvious from the number of posts I’ve had in the last year or two. In fact, I started to write something the other day and had to stop. I looked back at some goals for 2010 and could only think, “What the hell happened?”

A lot has happened. In fact, these last two years have been a bit of a blur as a lot has changed.

I went back to school, got laid off, finished school, and started a new career.

Luke started kindergarten, Jake started Cub Scouts, and Samantha is about to turn ten. All three of them are attending a local Catholic elementary.

Church has grown and shrunk. Friends have moved. We got a dog.

Like I said, lots has happened.

Which leads me to wonder what the future of this space holds. I’ve been blogging too long to just give it up. I think. I’ve got nearly eight years worth of links and ideas and thinking. I don’t know if it’s of any use, but it’s not taking up any space on the bookshelf.

But what about the future?

Well, I don’t know, but I’m not making any commitments. I’m just playing it by ear.

This post is all about saying something. Anything. Just to so I don’t look out here and see nothing for the last several months.

Dayton Public Schools untold stories: Thurgood Marshall HS

Here’s a good interview with Mr. David Lawrence, principal out at Thurgood Marshall HS in Dayton where I did my student teaching this past fall. For what my opinion is worth, I was impressed with the job he and his team are doing out there. I had hoped to be teaching there, but logistics didn’t work out that way. Regardless, I think that Mr. Lawrence will overcome the challenges that face him and his students provided they are given the chance.

Dayton Public Schools untold stories: Thurgood Marshall HS.

Are You Rich? : Planet Money : NPR

First the quote:

A married couple — a law professor and a doctor — live in Chicago and make more than $250,000 per year. They have three kids. Are they rich?

In a blog post last week, the professor said he and his wife are “just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.” He says they pay nearly $100,000 a year in taxes, and he lists the family’s other expenses.

My two cents: Before anyone considers this question seriously, they ought to first begin with the fact that the majority of the world’s population lives on $2 a day or less. Start there; then consider whether or not you are rich.

via Are You Rich? : Planet Money : NPR.

Book – Jay Winik – April 1865

My latest nonfiction was April 1865: The Month That Saved America by Jay Winik. An excellent book! Good history writing must strike a balance between fact and narrative, and Winik achieves that balance.

The book focuses on the title month, April 1865, tracing the remarkable events that ultimately – but not inevitably – concluded the Civil War. From Lee’s surrender to Lincoln’s assassination, from Johnston’s insubordination to Booth’s capture; Winik faithfully reconstructs the tension and uncertainty that surrounded those upon whom the fate of the nation rested.

2010 World Cup: Diego Maradona will run naked through Buenos Aries if Argentina wins World Cup – ESPN Soccernet

Those of you still deciding who to root for in the Cup, consider someone other than Argentina. No one really wants to see this.

Diego Maradona has promised to run naked through the center of Buenos Aires if Argentina wins the World Cup.

The Argentina coach made the promise during a radio show. The unpredictable Maradona was speaking a day after Argentina defeated Canada 5-0 Monday in its final warm-up match before the World Cup.

via 2010 World Cup: Diego Maradona will run naked through Buenos Aries if Argentina wins World Cup – ESPN Soccernet.

Book – Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

Another book down, and this one was for fun and fluff. The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins that was recently featured at the Dayton Metro Library website. The themes are more serious than I was expecting. The setting is a future America controlled by a brutal state. Annually, teens from the nation’s twelve regions are pitted against one another in a vicious, gladiatorial style event, the Hunger Games. We follow one of the contestants as she wrestles with the brutality of the games and her own need to survive.

Despite the gravity of the book, it fit the bill for a quick easy read. Being juvenile fiction helped, too. I’ve got the second book, Catching Fire, on the shelf, and the final book, Mockingjay, is due out this August.