Little Bursts of Life

It just occurred to me today that I haven’t actually posted anything in quite some time. I consider it something of a fail on my part, considering how much I wrote weekly during grad. school (albeit, of a different sort–not too many of you want to hear me gush about Tudor England, Methodism, or hymnody); it’s exciting, however, that enough has been going on that I don’t spend all day coming up with something to share. Here are a few glimpses of the last couple weeks of our life out here in Ripon.


This is the first year in five years that I’m not working at a church. It’s weird. Sundays end by 10:30 a.m., and David and I have no idea what to do with the rest of the day. Which means, of course, I found a way to get involved and make Sundays longer. And no, it’s not with the choir (at least, not yet…more on that later). Immanuel UMC is a friendly, welcoming, exciting congregation, but their equally friendly and welcoming pastor does not use the lectionary. I like the lectionary. Which is why I’m teaching this year’s 5th and 6th grade Sunday School class about the liturgical calendar and why it’s awesome.


Several weeks ago, David and I obtained a whole bunch of seedlings from the local hardware store for free and decided they would start our garden. We–check that, David–had to dig up the land sans-rototiller (because the rent-a-’tiller store is open for TWO HOURS on Sunday), and Peter Cottontail ate all our pepper plants within 12 hours of planting them, but we’ve still got some late-blooming tomatoes, habañeros, buttercup squash and broccoli rabe we’re hopeful for. Plus lettuce. Really, though, this is just getting me excited for next year and all the canning and dehydrating and cooking potential next year.


U-Pack/ABF Shipping is a terrible, terrible moving company. Longer caps-lock and run-on-sentence rant to follow.


I’ve gotten a job working as a caregiver at a local assisted-living facility. I show up early in the morning and wake people up, serve them breakfast, clean their rooms, and (once I’m trained) will give them their medication and perform basic nurse-assistant duties. By being so involved in the resident’s daily lives and having an open-door welcome into all of their rooms, it’s an honor to get to know each of them so intimately. I also get to lead activities once a week, which means the cook and I have been figuring out a day for the residents to make refrigerator pickles.


I’ve gotten hooked on Green Monster smoothies, which seem ridiculous but are fantastically tasty and now I have all the non-caffeinated energy to do ALL THE THINGS. It looks like I eat slime almost everyday. 


David and I got to travel down to Decorah this past weekend, which meant that we were able to spend a nice couple of days with his whole side of the family. Lots of laughs, lots of food, lots of memories were had by all. It’s wonderful to have so much of our family within driving distance, especially since a lot of our family’s so far away. While walking downtown and listening to the Scott boys reminisce about their childhood shenanigans, however, it made me realize that life has slowed down enough for me to miss Boston and my family, too.


While we were in Decorah, the whole family (and a few neighbors) got in a conversation about politics over brunch after church (I know, we just break all the social rules up in the Midwest. Hah.), which inevitably developed into a conversation about “sides,” what constitutes “fact,” patriotism, and the inability to communicate with those who disagree. Although most conversationists fell along the similar side of the moderate spectrum, I (me! The crazy optimist!) realized I’m doubtful of whether anything in our country’s political rhetoric will ever improve unless something horrendously catastrophic happens. Think: “this church is just two funerals away from being a great congregation.”


Since I only work part-time and my shift often ends at 10 a.m., it’s been fun to fill my days with hobbies I used to be able to do only during school vacations. Thus far, this has been manifest primarily in reading awesome books and making foodstuffs, but will also include sewing, crocheting, and playing the piano soon enough. In the past week or so, I’ve made raspberry jam, salsa, bread, granola, dilly beans, and dried jalopeños, (if I haven’t forgotten anything…). It’s awesome to feel that self-sufficient and independent of the grocery store, let me tell you.


There will be longer updates on each of these soon, but that’s a quick summary of the last three weeks of our life in Ripon! Now that I’ve convinced you all to come visit, you should. It’s wonderful, and there are two (two!) spare bedrooms. Plus couches. You know you want to.


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