Monday, July 20, 2009

Forty years

My dad tells me that he got me out of bed on July 20, 1969, to watch the live shot from the moon. I was just ten days from turning five. Today, 40 years later, it occurs to me that I'm one of those who witnessed it. However, I don't remember it.

I do remember seeing news coverage of Robert Kennedy's assassination the summer before. I do remember the nightly news starting with the words, "Today in Saigon..." I do remember seeing The Beatles sing "Hey, Jude" on The Ed Sullivan Show. Those are some of my earliest memories. Those, and Pastor Greunke's white rabbit fur tie he wore on special occasions, like my sister's baptism.

The photos of Apollo 11 still amaze me and when we know now that my son's hand-held video game had more oomph than the entire lunar module, it really is an unbelievable accomplishment that they made it there, and back, and lived to tell about it.

What's the next amazing thing we will accomplish?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Knit one, purl two, and breathe...

Breathe... there's a lot of power in this word and the reminder brought to us recently from Leo Babauta on his blog, Zen Habits, is one that I could benefit from reading daily.

My trusted advisor, Liturgy Geek, reminds me of the benefits of knitting during times that require our focused attention. I sat through a particularly interesting General Synod committee meeting last month with two other women, as we knit in the back of the room.

"I usually tell the speaker that I really am listening so they don't think I am ignoring them," said one of the Iowa women sitting with me.

"It allows my mind to focus on the subject if I can keep my hands busy," said the other knitter.

I developed an interest in knitting after spending Iowa Conference board meetings with a knitter-extraordinaire...she used skewers that looked a little larger than toothpicks to knit the cuff of a sleeve. Wow. Could I ever be that good?

After the knitter extraordinaire left the board, I picked up the knitter's place at the table. We were facing difficult times and meetings were very stressful. During a break at one of the board meetings, a older member of the board told me how it helped calm him during meetings. "My mother used to knit and it is very relaxing to me to watch you work the yarn and to listen to the click of the needles."

At General Synod, I think I ripped out the double-eyelet scarf pattern about nine times at until I realized that a more simple double moss stitch would actually work better than a more involved pattern... A more simple pattern allowed a rhythm to develop that was more satisfying and allowed me to breathe better. I'm a new follower to a blog, Holy Knit! who relates a similar story about knitting at General Synod meetings.

Knitting is often yoga for my hands...helping me to breathe into new places in many new ways.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Country Tis of Thee

Watching the PBS, "A Capitol Fourth" tonight, the Divine Miss Em quietly began singing, "My Country, Tis of Thee" along with the band on the television.

In her pink pjs, with a fudgesicle in hand, and said fudge around her mouth, the sweetest voice sang along. I guess I didn't realize she knew the song and it was lovely to hear.

Here she is at Yankee Doodle Pops on Thursday night in Des Moines. "Grandpa Scott" Stouffer sitting in front of her...

We're a bi-coastal family tonight. On this Independence Day, John, Dad, my mother and stepfather, are in England with Catherine and to celebrate Julie and Jim's wedding today. July 4 isn't the same in the UK as it is in the US, of course. It will be interesting to hear what John thought about a different kind of celebration today. No burgers, potato salad, watermelon, or sparklers.

But I'm sure there are fireworks of some kind - congratulations to Julia and Jim Elgar.