Friday, August 31, 2012

blue moon

blue moon over Duxbury Bay, low tide reflection
Looking at the moon over the water tonight is a multilayered experience.  

Although it appeared orange, it's a blue moon, the second full moon of the month.  So beautiful.

Today, appropriately, was also the day of Neil Armstrong's funeral, so I thought of him.  His family request: "Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."  (

Once in a blue moon, we say... What has happened today, only today? Today itself has happened, and all that is in it - all during a blue moon.   Blue moons don't happen often, but what happens today is unique to today.  How many little gifts were we given today?  That walk with Penny, our convent dog, will only happen once.  I hope there will be other walks with her before I leave for Haiti, of course, just as I hope there will be other conversations, other blue skies, other laughter.  There will be other really good things to taste (morning coffee, take-out Chinese, Greek yogurt!) and other finds (a book on cassette tape in 2012 and for only $1 - something to take to Haiti for battery-powered evenings in the dark!).  There will be sisters and friends and family to think of.  Each of these things is something unique, something to be treasured or at least recognized at the end of the day. 

What happened to you? What treasures were you given? What did you experience once in this blue moon?

Much for which to give thanks and praise.

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
O heavens and all waters above the heavens.
Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
      -- Canticle 12,  Benedicite, omnia opera Domini  
     -- Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65 ( BCP 88)

And then, with the gift of laughter, there is the background music for all these musings:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

some specifics from Haiti

So glad to hear that the storm hasn't been as lethal as it might have been.  Still pretty bad, but how much worse it might have been...

Port-au-Prince after Isaac - Saturday 8.25.12
I found an article with some specifics on towns, reports of damage, etc., and I'm hopeful that this website will be providing more details soon.  Here's the link:

at 8am:
Extensive damage are reported in the South. Electricity was cut to Jacmel. Many houses in Jacmel have lost their tin roofs. Jacmel and Cayes-Jacmel banana plantations destroyed.

Boulevard La Saline is impracticable, the road is invaded by waste. In Thomazeau a girl of 10 years died following the collapse of a wall of his house. Several tree branches and plates are scattered over the entire length of the route des rails. The Plain of Arcahaie is flooded. A church burst into flames in Pernier 50, EDH cut power, and firefighters have been there.

The PNH evacuated several people in Mariani, in Marassa 9, Station of Gonaives, Mgr Guilloux and to the Lycée A Isemery. The PNH informs that those who refused yesterday to leave the IDPs camps of Marassa 9 are now homeless after the wind had carried their tents. PNH is on site.

The civil protection and the authorities have evacuated about 5,000 people during the night.

and at 11am:
The DPC informs that about 5,000 people were evacuated during the night in five departments (West, Nippes, Grand Anse, South and South-East). More than 3000 in West of Haiti.

Communication is lost with the municipalities of Belle-Anse, Grand-Gosier, Anse-à-Pitre and Thiotte.

Strong winds and rain are recorded in Bombardopolis, Baie-de-Henne and Môle Saint Nicolas. Roofs were also blown away.

There is also a good article from the NY Times.

An excerpt:
News radio and social media users reported streets flooding in the capital, Port-au-Prince, some mudslides in rural areas, downed trees and power lines, and shredded tents that left people miserably soaked in the camps that house some 400,000 survivors of the January 2010 earthquake.

The brunt of the storm slashed through Haiti’s southern peninsula, its 60-mile-an-hour winds blowing the roofs off houses in Jacmel, a tourist resort on the south coast, residents said.

...Some in Sou Piste ran to a nearby health clinic built by Partners in Health, a nongovernmental organization, to take shelter, but Ms. Millien said she was afraid of what would happen if she went outside.

“The wind sounded like a plane landing, and I could hear people everywhere praying loudly and crying,” she said. “I looked outside in the night and saw mothers with their babies screaming and trying to run to the shelter.”

Lena Dorce, 23, who lives with her 22-year-old brother in Sou Piste, was among the frightened.

“At about midnight, the wind lifted up the whole house,” she said. “The neighbors were complaining because they said our house blew into theirs and would knock it down.”

Denise Esperance, 41, used a thin sleeping bag to cover herself and a neighbor’s child as they walked to the clinic. “I’ve been out of my house since 1 a.m.,” she said. “I couldn’t stand the wind and rain in my house so I ran to the clinic with my four children.”

Isaac hits tent city

brace for impact

I don't think anyone is too sure about current conditions as the storm hits.  I have an email from earlier in the day from the Port-au-Prince warden from the US Embassy. They would like updates on conditions for each area and have given a set of useful questions with which to report in.  Seems as good a way to get information as any...  Amazing what one can do with these new phones.

I don't have anyone sending me reports, but I did find a few useful updates, the first one from this evening.  So here, however limited, is the information I've been able to find.

First, the latest from the National Hurricane Center (

As is often the case, the Miami Herald has the best interviews.    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti: Haitians evacuate some tents, brace for impact of Isaac - Haiti -

An excerpt:
As Tropical Storm Isaac approached, some Haitians evacuated makeshift tents for shelters. Others decided to stay put.
By Jacqueline Charles

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- With strong winds leaving Haitians homeless even before Tropical Storm Issac’s arrival Friday, disaster officials stepped up their calls for Haitians living in vulnerable areas to evacuate to safer ground.

“Isaac is a threat to the entire country,” said Ronald Semelfort, director of Haiti’s National Weather Center. “All of the country could experience rainfall.”

But even with this warning, some continued to resist efforts to evacuate ahead of the storm. Many said they feared that leaving the camps would mean having thieves steal what meager possessions they had, or even worse give the government and aid groups an opportunity to completely shut the camp down without giving them alternative living arrangements.

“We have no trust in anyone,” said Carlo Destine, 34, a resident in camp Marassa, which is located just steps away from a dangerous river in the city of Croix-des-Bouquets.

On Friday as the winds began picking up and the rain began drizzling over a quake-battered Port-au-Prince, aid workers aborted an evacuation effort to relocate women and children to a nearby shelter.

“We’ve lived through this before, we’re not afraid,” said Lucien Pierre, 28, a mother of two, including a one-year-old, washing clothes outside her tent. “We’ll pray and watch.”

Read more here:

The NY Times says that the heavy rains have begun, which we expected. Good article:

Here's another:
An excerpt:

Government and international aid groups in Haiti's capital were prepared to evacuate several thousand people from settlement camps that sprang up in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. But the main threat appeared aimed at Les Cayes, a city of about 45,000 people on the southwestern coast that is prone to flooding during heavy rain.

Forecasters said Isaac could drop up to eight to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti is heavily deforested and just a few hours of steady rain can trigger deadly mudslides.

"That kind of rain is going to cause some life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami.

Isaac was centered about 65 miles (100 kilometers) south-southwest of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, late Friday, and its maximum sustained winds had increased to 70 mph (110 kph). It was moving west at 14 mph (22 kph). Tropical force winds extended nearly 200 miles (321 kilometers) from the storm's center.

So I'm praying especially for Les Cayes tonight.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Deacon's Diary: Isaac is coming!

Link to a blog post from a friend in Haiti:

Deacon's Diary: Isaac is coming!: Preparing for Isaac Hurricane Isaac is on its way to Haiti.   Looking at the National Weather Service reports, it looks like he will ...

Another link to a blog post in Haiti about preparations underway:

emptying the tent camps

4.30.12 building under construction, house paint buildboard, homes on a hill above Port-au-Prince

I've been asked a lot since I've been back in the US if there has been any progress in Haiti.  "Slowly but surely" is my general response.  It won't be quick.  It will take years, maybe decades. Hey, we still haven't finished cleaning up after Katrina six years earlier.  But there has certainly been progress.  I've seen new construction, roads graded, and more ruins taken down in preparation for new buildings. I've met the architect for the new Cathedrale Sainte Trinite in Port-au-Prince.  I've seen neighborhoods of new little houses go up, something that deserves its own post later.  But one of the most visible signs of progress is the clearing of some of the camps for displaced people. 

This is a semi-recent article from Le Nouvelliste, a Port-au-Prince newspaper:  Le camp de Delmas 2 se vide de ses occupants
Delmas 2 is down by the port, not too far from downtown. 

Les quelques tentes restantes au centre d'hébergement à Delmas 2 - Le Nouvelliste
The few tents still in the camp center
Here is an older article about the Champ de Mars:
Le Nouvelliste - La vie reprend peu à peu au Champ de Mars -
An excerpt:

Le Champ de Mars tente de devenir à nouveau le lieu de promenade et de rendez-vous le plus ouvert et le plus frais de la ville comme avant le séisme. Les grands débats entre étudiants, professionnels reprennent à longueur de journée aux endroits qui sont déjà vidés de leurs occupants. Toutefois,il reste beaucoup à faire pour reloger tous les déplacés et redonner à cet espace, considéré comme le coeur symbolique de Port-au-Prince, son visage d'antan.

...En février dernier, des responsables de l'OIM et des proches de la présidence avaient indiqué que d'ici fin juin prochain, le Champ de Mars devrait être totalement vidé de ses occupants. Il est sûr que ce délai ne sera pas respecté, car il reste encore les places Dessalines, Pétion, des Artistes qui ne sont pas encore touchées. « Le processus avance. Le plus souvent, des déplacés ont du mal à trouver un logement. Cela retarde un peu le processus », a fait remarquer un responsable.

Ceux qui rêvent des concerts organisés presque chaque dimanche, des défilés carnavalesques, des rencontres amoureuses au Champ de Mars tous les soirs, sans s'inquiéter de l'insécurité, doivent encore patienter. Apparemment, les vieilles habitudes n'auront pas trop tardé à revenir sur ce site symbolique où vivaient 5 000 familles pour quelque 20 000 personnes depuis plus de deux ans.

6/9/12   a park almost cleared out, ready to use as a park again
 Still, the work is not done.  There is an in-depth article from earlier this month in the New York Times talking about the complications of the housing issue: 

Years After Haiti Quake, Safe Housing Is Dream for Multitudes
By DEBORAH SONTAG, August 16, 2012

An excerpt:
Two and a half years after the earthquake, despite billions of dollars in reconstruction aid, the most obvious, pressing need -- safe, stable housing for all displaced people -- remains unmet.

In what international officials term a protracted humanitarian crisis, hundreds of thousands remain in increasingly wretched tent camps. Tens of thousands inhabit dangerously damaged buildings. And countless others, evicted from camps and yards, have simply disappeared with their raggedy tarps and rusty sheet metal into the hills.

There are many visible signs of activity across the country now -- public plazas cleared of lean-tos, state-of-the-art repairs in selected areas and housing developments under construction. Tens of thousands of Haitian families have found enduring solutions to their housing crises -- by rebuilding themselves, by getting reconstruction assistance or by securing one of the relatively few new houses.

But to spend a week exploring the disaster zone is to discover striking disparities in living conditions, often glaringly juxtaposed: Givenson's dead-end camp adjacent to a quarter that is a beehive of construction; William Saint Eloi's good fortune next to his family's trials; a devastated community revitalized on one side of a ravine but not the other.

In the absence of an overarching housing policy, Haiti's shelter problem has been tackled unsystematically, in a way that has favored rural over urban victims and homeowners over renters because their needs were more easily met. Many families with the least resources have been neglected unless they happened to belong to a tent camp, neighborhood or vulnerable population targeted by a particular program.

''It's the project syndrome -- one neighborhood gets incredible resources, the next is in total limbo, or one camp gets rental subsidies, the next gets nothing,'' said Maggie Stephenson, a senior technical adviser to U.N.-Habitat in Haiti. ''We have to spread the remaining resources more equitably. Equity is essential, and so are durable solutions.''

You can read the full article here:
5/10/12 rebuilding a wall alongside a major thoroughfare in Port-au-Prince
 One thing I most worry about as I sit here safely in New Hampshire and think about the storm now over Haiti is those with inadequate shelter. I don't only mean those in tent camps.  I remember some less than sturdy shelters in rural areas; I also think of those homes perched unsteadily in and above ravines around Port-au-Prince, the ones the government tries rather unsuccessfully to remove.  Pray that they don't get swept away.

public safety announcement of sorts regarding a plan to empty those unstable neighborhoods "so floods stop killing people"

Haiti braces for Isaac

Looks like Isaac has taken a dip south! Such good news - the center won't be over Port-au-Prince. The rains will be enough to cause serious concern, but at least now it won't be a direct hit from a hurricane.  Now if Isaac can just slow down a bit and head a little further south... Prayers for all in Les Cayes, Jeremie, and the rest of the southern peninsula. 

happy to see the storm dip south a bit - more, please?

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti braces for Isaac’s deluge - Hurricanes -

future Olympic skiers?

I was walking around Waterville Valley, NH, today on the way to play tennis (in a generous and creative manner of speaking...) and stopped to watch these kids learning to do ski jumping.  Middle schoolers (I'm guessing) upside-down in the air, making it look entirely easy as they landed on an enormous inflatable mat.  I should have guessed they'd find a way to ski in the summer, too. 

summer school for skiers



looking so nonchalant upside-down
Who knows? Maybe in a few years we'll be cheering for them as they go for the gold.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac heading towards Haiti

I just got an email message from the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince about the impending storm in Haiti.  It was not what I wanted to hear, but I was glad I did, given that I am a little out of touch with the news this week up here in the New Hampshire mountains.  I went, of course, to - where else? - to find a little more.  Look at that red track...  I am praying that it head significantly south or north, whichever way would hit less land. 

I do not like seeing that red track over Haiti.  We don't need that.

Here is the beginning of the message from the Embassy: 

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
August 22, 2012

This urgent message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Haiti that the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Haiti-Meteorological Service have issued red alerts for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is predicted to strengthen to a Category 1 or Category 2 hurricane and impact Haiti with hurricane force winds and large-scale flooding, likely within the next 48 hours. The National Hurricane Center predicts 8 to 12 inches of rain on average due to the storm in Haiti, with isolated areas receiving up to 20 inches of rain, increasing danger of flooding and mudslides.

The center of Tropical Storm Isaac should move through the Leeward Islands on the evening of Wednesday August 22, and pass near or south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday. It is forecast that the storm may become a hurricane by Thursday evening and approach the Dominican Republic and Haiti Thursday night/ Friday morning. Currently, Isaac is at tropical storm force, with maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts. U.S. citizens in Haiti should monitor the progress of Isaac by visiting: .

I ask your prayers for all affected.  Friends in Haiti, please stay safe.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills

This morning friends and I went hiking in the Appalachian mountains and found a lovely spot for Morning Prayer. 

 With such beauty around us, the Song of Creation seemed a most appropriate canticle.  God is so good.

12 A Song of Creation Benedicite, omnia opera Domini
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65


Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.


Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

1979 Book of Common Prayer pp. 88-90

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

wow, Epke!

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

I have just seen the most amazing men's high bar routine.  There was no doubt that he would win the gold.  

My sisters and I were gymnasts in high school, so as the three of us sat here watching and commenting, we really reacted to this one, shouting and, according to my amused and rather more blase nephew, "gaping in amazement."    My youngest sister was a serious competitor, working out 32 hours per week junior year of high school, so the rest of us benefit from her more educated commentary.

I can't offer you her commentary, but I did find a video to share.  Watch and wonder. 

* * *

My sister just informed me that this is the Netherlands' first gold in 84 years in gymnastics.  She also found another video from a different angle.  Enjoy this one, too!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

more on Haiti in the Olympics

Hey, I discovered that Wikipedia, that source of fabulously accurate research, is keeping up with results by country.  Here is Haiti's page:

Pascale Delaunay
2012 Olympic Team from Haiti
I also found a story on one of the women on the team on the Photographers Blog.
Linouse Desravines practicing for the Olympics 2012 in judo - Haiti
An excerpt:
Dream of gold
By Swoan Parker   June 5, 2012

Gold in Haiti should no longer be just a dream. Even before prospective mining begins in the country’s northern hills, the realization of it all could be little more than one month away. Without investing millions and weighing only 52 kg (114 pounds), 21-year-old Linouse Desravines, the country’s only judoka to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, is all it might take for Haiti to acquire gold...

Linouse, who is ranked #28 in the world in her weight class, is from Haiti’s north coast where she lives and regularly trains. In preparation for the games, Linouse was scheduled to stay in the capital for a few days and train with the two coaches, before traveling to France to continue training for seven more weeks before arriving in London.

Well, no medal this time, but she's only 21.  I hope there will be a lot of support for her for the next one.  That fundraising effort by Samyr Laine may be a great help. 
The women's events are over now, but it seems there are still some men's track and field events to go. 

Moise Joseph - 800m
Jeffrey Julmis - 110m hurdles
Samyr Laine - triple jump

Here is a fundraising event page for the Haitian track team from earlier this year:

Part of the fundraising ad:

$49,120 to send eight athletes to the Olympics.  I wonder if five of them qualified or if they were only able to send five because of the money?  I hope the country is proud of those who were able to represent them, whatever the situation.

Olympic fundraing poster for the Haitian team
Only five of these made it to the actual Games, but who knows... 2016?
 * * *
A random comment on the Olympics:  I am watching a Bulgarian Olympic gymnast compete on the rings.  He has grey hair.  I love that.  39 years old, and he can still compete in gymnastics.   Better yet, the reporter said he is one of the nicest guys around.  Good for him.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Luke 9:28-36
(art via Pax Christi Michigan)

Suddenly they saw him the way he was,

the way he really was all the time,

although they had never seen it before,

the glory which blinds the everyday eye

and so becomes invisible. This is how

he was, radiant, brilliant, carrying joy

like a flaming sun in his hands.

This is the way he was -- is -- from the beginning,

and we cannot bear it. So he manned himself,

came manifest to us; and there on the mountain

they saw him, really saw him, saw his light.

We all know that if we really see him we die.

But isn't that what is required of us?

Then, perhaps, we will see each other, too.

-- Madeleine L'Engle, Glimpses of Grace (San Francisco: Harper-Collins, 1996), 64.

Luke 9:28-36

28 Environ huit jours après qu'il eut dit ces paroles, Jésus prit avec lui Pierre, Jean et Jacques, et il monta sur la montagne pour prier. 29 Pendant qu'il priait, l'aspect de son visage changea, et son vêtement devint d'une éclatante blancheur. 30 Et voici, deux hommes s'entretenaient avec lui: c'étaient Moïse et Elie, 31 qui, apparaissant dans la gloire, parlaient de son départ qu'il allait accomplir à Jérusalem. 32 Pierre et ses compagnons étaient appesantis par le sommeil; mais, s'étant tenus éveillés, ils virent la gloire de Jésus et les deux hommes qui étaient avec lui. 33 Au moment où ces hommes se séparaient de Jésus, Pierre lui dit: Maître, il est bon que nous soyons ici; dressons trois tentes, une pour toi, une pour Moïse, et une pour Elie. Il ne savait ce qu'il disait. 34 Comme il parlait ainsi, une nuée vint les couvrir; et les disciples furent saisis de frayeur en les voyant entrer dans la nuée. 35 Et de la nuée sortit une voix, qui dit: Celui-ci est mon Fils élu: écoutez-le! 36 Quand la voix se fit entendre, Jésus se trouva seul. Les disciples gardèrent le silence, et ils ne racontèrent à personne, en ce temps-là, rien de ce qu'ils avaient vu.

9:28 ¶ Wit jou konsa, apre li te fin di pawòl sa yo, Jezi pran Pyè, Jan ak Jak. Li moute sou yon mòn pou li al lapriyè.  29 Antan li t'ap lapriyè, figi l' pran chanje, rad li vin klere tou blan.  30 Te gen dezòm ki t'ap pale ak Jezi: se te Moyiz ak Eli,  31 ki te parèt nan mitan yon bèl limyè ki soti nan syel la. Yo t'ap pale avèk li sou jan li tapral mouri lavil Jerizalèm pou l' te ka akonpli misyon li.  32 Yon bon dòmi te gen tan vòlè Pyè ak kanmarad li yo. Men, lè yo leve, yo wè bèl limyè ki te vlope Jezi ansanm ak de mesye ki te bò kote l' yo.  33 Antan mesye yo tapral kite Jezi Pyè di li: Mèt, sa te bon nèt pou nou te la. Ann moute twa ti kay, yonn pou ou, yonn pou Moyiz ak yonn pou Eli. Li pa t' konnen sa l' t'ap di.  34 Pandan li t'ap pale konsa, yon nwaj vin kouvri yo ak lonbraj li. Lè disip yo wè nwaj la ap vin sou yo, yo te pè.  35 Lè sa a, yo tande yon vwa ki soti nan nwaj la ki di: Moun sa a se pitit mwen, moun mwen chwazi a. Koute li!  36 Apre vwa a fin pale, Jezi te pou kont li ankò. Disip yo te fèmen bouch yo sou sa. Lè sa a, yo pa t' rakonte pesonn sa yo te wè.

  28 Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" 36 When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

28 Y como ocho días después de estas palabras, Jesús tomó consigo a Pedro, a Juan y a Jacobo , y subió al monte a orar. 29 Mientras oraba, la apariencia de su rostro se hizo otra, y su ropa se hizo blanca y resplandeciente. 30 Y he aquí, dos hombres hablaban con El, los cuales eran Moisés y Elías, 31 quienes apareciendo en gloria, hablaban de la partida de Jesús, que El estaba a punto de cumplir en Jerusalén. 32 Pedro y sus compañeros habían sido vencidos por el sueño, pero cuando estuvieron bien despiertos, vieron la gloria de Jesús y a los dos varones que estaban con El. 33 Y sucedió que al retirarse ellos de El, Pedro dijo a Jesús: Maestro, bueno es estarnos aquí; hagamos tres enramadas, una para ti, otra para Moisés y otra para Elías; no sabiendo lo que decía. 34 Entonces, mientras él decía esto, se formó una nube que los cubrió; y tuvieron temor al entrar en la nube. 35 Y una voz salió de la nube, que decía: Este es mi Hijo, mi Escogido ; a El oíd. 36 Cuando la voz se oyó, Jesús fue hallado solo. Ellos se lo callaron, y por aquellos días no contaron a nadie nada de lo que habían visto.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Marshall, Michigan

This weekend my family went to Marshall so that my father could take the services at Trinity Episcopal Church ( while the rector was out.  While my father sat in the hotel and did more work on his sermon, my mother and sister and I went downtown to poke around a bit.  It's a charming place with a small town sensibility, though I believe that at one time it was the state capital.  

a carriage ride through downtown Marshall

You know it's a small town by the parking meter prices, too.  You can use pennies.  Really.  In 2012.

one penny = six minutes

Just take a close look at this meter as my sister puts in her pennies.

That's right. Not only does a penny get you six minutes of parking, the meter doesn't even take quarters.  I love Marshall (I seem to remember Kalamazoo also having some similarly astonishing prices a few years ago).

"antiquing" in Marshall, MI

This is what I did not buy.  Even if I had money, the last thing I need at this point is stuff.  However, had I found this 15-20 years ago, it would have been mine.  I bet you could even cook on this little thing if you made a tiny charcoal fire inside.  Early Easy Bake Oven?

 I've never been much of a shopper, but antique stores are fun.  Strange, though, after Haiti...

Marshall downtown shops - love the buildings, too

There was some sort of consulting firm with a fish emblem.  "Fish don't sleep," their door sign said.  I personally think that's quite unhealthy (God gave us the sabbath because we really need that down time), although I can appreciate the marketing behind it.  However, I loved the slogan in the window:  "Think outside the bowl." 

I wonder if we could take this and run with it for the church, given the symbolism.  We would have to point out that even God rested on the seventh day, but we certainly do need to think outside the bowl.  (Fish must do something... Any biologists out there?)

Think outside the bowl!

It began to get cloudy while we were there, but we were fortunate that the big storm had not yet arrived. It was just enough to break the heat, and we were safely in the hotel by the time the lightning show began.

Marshall, Michigan - downtown shopping district on a cloudy Saturday

Fortunately, today turned out to be lovely.

Dad celebrated and preached at both services, and I was asked to speak about Haiti at coffee hour, which I was more than happy to do.  I also got to explain that there really are sisters in the Episcopal Church, and we really can be ordained. 

a beautiful Sunday afternoon showing off the interesting architecture in downtown Marshall

It's been a good weekend.  Now off to look at my to-do list before my sister and I head off on our next adventure.   How many different sets of relatives can we visit in two weeks?  You'd be surprised.