Posted by: Grandma LaLa | March 25, 2017

The courtesy of a greeting

Two events in my work life this month have inspired me to reflect upon the courtesy that is the fundamental core of a greeting.

In early March, the company where I’m employed celebrated its 60th anniversary in business. Quite a milestone! In a wide variety of expressions, from emails and texts to “selfie” videos of congratulations, many of our long-standing client customers and business partners sent their greetings.

Some people congratulated the company as a whole. Others specifically mentioned the business owner or even the staff person they have had contact with most directly. All of the people who conveyed greetings on this occasion were celebrating our identity as a business and our 60th anniversary.

In late March, one of my business colleagues will observe her birthday. Her day will start with each of us wishing her a “Happy Birthday!” And of course we’ll also celebrate her with a party of fun food (her choice!) and silly cards.

Whether it’s an anniversary, a birthday, or other special occasion, we commonly acknowledge that, when I express a greeting to you, I’m affirming something about you! My greeting to you shows my respect for you, my courtesy toward you, my appreciation of you. The courtesy at the core of a greeting is about you!

Think about it. When it’s my anniversary, would I say to you, “Happy Anniversary!” in greeting? Of course not! When it’s my birthday, would I say to you, “Happy Birthday!” as a welcome? Of course not! Our greetings to one another are courteous because they reflect and express what we know and value about the person we are addressing.

Even everyday greetings have this dynamic. When I say “good morning” to my co-workers, I say their name as an affirmation of them: “Good morning, Craig” or “Good morning, Linda.”

It’s time for this same level of courtesy, civility, and respect to be included in our holiday greetings. The ongoing uproar in American culture over whether it’s acceptable to greet someone you don’t know by wishing them a “Merry Christmas” fundamentally ignores that the purpose of a greeting is courtesy toward the other person. It’s not about you – or your beliefs – or your religious holidays. It’s about them – and their beliefs – and their religious holidays.

People of many different faiths celebrate holidays in December and January. So what shall we do? How shall we greet people in casual interactions when we don’t know what holidays they celebrate? If I don’t know what holidays you celebrate at year-end, I choose to say, “Season’s Greetings!” This honors you, without assuming that you must be identical to me (I am a Christian and I do celebrate Christmas).

For Christians to insist that everyone should be greeted with “Merry Christmas” because we are celebrating Christmas is the equivalent to expecting that on my anniversary I will wish everyone else “Happy Anniversary” and on my birthday I will wish everyone else “Happy Birthday.” That’s just plain silliness and it’s utterly lacking in courtesy.

I see and hear Christians who are self-righteous about this, insisting upon greeting everyone with “Merry Christmas” in December. For these brothers and sisters in faith, I would prayerfully request that you ponder scripture and the importance, as a Gospel witness, of meeting people where they are.

First Corinthians 8.13 is an excellent example: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother [or sister] to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to stumble.” As persons of faith, we are called to meet people where they are and to respect who they are, not to project onto them where we are or what we believe. Surely that includes how we greet them – in ways that welcome, not in ways that distance, dishonor, or disrespect.

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | February 19, 2017

Resist and persist in your unique way

This weekend, with our schedule more open-ended than usual, I’ve continued to contemplate the insights from Yale historian Timothy Snyder related to the challenges imminent and future for our core national values and commitments. Learning from the lessons of the 20th century to defend and protect our shared freedoms and diverse community. Focusing on one core issue and institution we will each defend, coordinating and interweaving our actions and advocacy with the unique efforts of other citizens.

Having claimed protecting our planetary ecosystems and (more indirectly) protecting the scientists whose research helps us to identify and make good choices for earth’s future, I’ve also continued to contemplate how best to direct my efforts. I keep coming back to my memory of a conversation in the late 70s.

The Indiana Disciples Peace Fellowship (of which I was the leader that year) had organized a multi-day walk in southern Indiana. The event, called “Meeting Halfway,” involved half of our group walking from Washington (IN) and half walking from Moscow (IN), culminating in a celebration in Bloomington (which was about midway between the two small towns). We stayed in local churches each night and walked on local roads and small highways each day, stopping occasionally to talk with fellow citizens. Our purpose was to engage citizens in conversation about the US and Soviet nuclear threats, talking about the nuclear freeze as one effort to reduce the likelihood of a nuclear conflict between the superpowers.

Bill Breeden was one of my walking companions for that event. Bill and his wife, Glenda, were long-standing peace activists. They knew Daniel and Philip Berrigan from joint anti-Vietnam-War actions in the 60s. They’d been arrested multiple times. They were living a very simple lifestyle “off the grid” in order to be free to make the witnesses to which they felt called. Bill was one of those people who finds a way to direct almost every breath to his convictions and his calling. It was humbling to walk beside him.

At some point in that week, I confessed to Bill that I felt deeply called to witness and advocate for peace and justice, but I didn’t feel called to do things for which I’d be arrested (such as breaking into federal buildings; destroying federal records; trying to find and damage missile silos; etc). I asked Bill if he thought I was selling out and choosing based on fear of the consequences.

Bill’s response surprised me, although knowing him it shouldn’t have. His response was entirely grace-filled; not one word of judgment.

He reflected that we human beings are each individual and unique. He believes that God calls us to defend, protect, and advocate for the same core values of peace, justice, and faithful relationship. But he also believes that God’s call comes to each of us in different ways and for different efforts. We are unique, so our calls to action will also be distinct.

He affirmed that some of us are called to take direct actions. Others are called to march and raise awareness through increasing visibility of the issues and concerns. Some of us are called to persuasively communicate with our national, state, and local government representatives. Others contribute to these core community values through our artistry, through our research, through our teaching, through our mentoring relationships with children and grandchildren.

Yes, some of the actions and efforts to transform our community toward justice need to be coordinated with others. Bill’s point, I think, was that every concerted effort contributes to power of the whole.

I agreed with Bill then ~ and I agree with him now. We’re not all called to march. And those of us that are called, are not necessarily called to join every march. We’re called to act and advocate ~ and to do so in ways that best use our talents, our perspectives, and our voices.

Resist and persist in your unique way. That’s what makes the fabric of our diverse national and international community the strongest!

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | February 19, 2017

Wahoo, weekend

Whew, a weekend without lots of plans. I should be working on assembling information and documentation for income tax, but after several stressful work weeks decided to take time to relax and refresh. We’ll get to the income taxes next week.

Record-setting temperatures started on Friday (02/17). The previous record for our area was 55; the actual high on Friday was 64. Similar trends are expected for at least a week.

No one day of weather displays a trend. But, on a day when I was already disheartened by congressional approval of Scott Pruitt to “lead” the EPA, this seemed like too much irony for a planet that is increasingly warm. So I chose to embrace the weather as part of my rest for these days off.

Friday night: walking in Mt St Mary Park with my husband after work, greeting people and canines whose names we’ll never know but whose delight in the warmth we could share; sleeping with the windows open.

Saturday morning: eating a simple breakfast and watching a hilarious episode of “Grimm” with my husband; starting a little laundry.

Saturday afternoon: making enchilada casserole and spanish rice for supper; taking a walk in a long-sleeved WFMT t-shirt in the warm sunshine; hearing and then seeing a flock of sandhill cranes in flight above me (I counted 30!), hoping they might stop on our wetland; seeing a red-tailed hawk on the lowest branch of a neighbor’s fruit tree as I walked the wetland loop, attentive to me but not obviously alarmed. Such gifts.

Saturday evening: eating a simple supper with my husband and my dad; laughing together about various silliness we had each encountered this week; watching Big Ten college basketball; spending a little time blogging; sleeping with the bedroom windows open. Life is good.

Sunday mid-day: enjoying the chance to sleep late without an alarm; spending a little more time blogging; reading and relaxing. Who needs laundry?!

Sunday evening: making homemade yogurt for the week; cooking quinoa; trying a new recipe for overnight breakfast cereal; making pimiento cheese spread for lunch sandwiches (thank you, Mabel!).

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | February 19, 2017

Resist and Persist

On the day that Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier and opponent of environmental protections, was confirmed as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, I found myself trying to make sense.

Trying to make sense of what is happening to the national community in which I’m a citizen. Where, in just three weeks, the new presidential administration has assaulted our values of sheltering refugees and immigrants; has started a witch hunt against scientists researching and reporting climate change; has appointed a billionaire who has never attended a public school (and who distrusts public education) as the new head of the Department of Education; has angrily lashed out at journalists and judiciary members who are doing their jobs, … well, the list goes on and on.

Trying to make sense of how to resist and persist for the sake of the human and non-human life forms on this amazing, lovely, and fragile planet.

I read an interview with Timothy Snyder, a historian on the faculty of Yale University, whose expertise includes European history in the 1930s. An insightful, disturbing, and yet empowering conversation about the reality of what we’re now facing in America. One of Professor Snyder’s observations touched me most:

“This is part of what contemporary authoritarians do: They overwhelm you with bad news and try to make you depressed and say with resignation: “Well, what can I do?”. I think it is better to limit yourself. Read the news for half an hour a day, but don’t spend the whole day obsessing about it. Americans have to pick one thing to be confident about, and then act on it. If you care about and know about refugees, the press, global warming – choose one and talk with people around you about it. Nobody can do everything but everyone can do a little bit.”

Well said. It’s not that any one issue is more important or more urgent than another. It’s just that we are each limited and finite – in energy, in stamina, in resources. So, as with every aspect of life, we have to prioritize.

There are so many issues and cultural dynamics that I care deeply about: refugees and immigrants; national security and individual privacy; racism, sexism, and xenophobia; religious oppression; freedom of the press; and more. Yet it’s the constellation of issues related to climate change and global warming that I feel most drawn to as my “one thing” to contribute. I need to stay focused on this, trusting that others in our richly diverse national community will help with the issues to which they are most naturally and passionately drawn.

Another article attributed to Professor Snyder outlined 20 lessons from the (early) 20th century that are starkly relevant in this challenging time for our nation. I need to read the lessons multiple times. Maybe daily. And take to heart #10: practice corporeal politics. Activism is important. Advocacy is important. So is rest in order to sustain the activism and advocacy. So is relaxation in order to find a loving, powerful, and empowering balance. So is taking a deep breath and long walk to cherish the very planet and myriad creatures we’re trying to protect.

Resist and persist.

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | November 12, 2016

For our young citizens

We awakened on Wednesday morning to the stunning news that American voters have elected Donald Trump as the next president of the United States and Mike Pence as vice president. My first thoughts were of you: Graciela, Josef, and Benjamin, the youngest members of my family; Alexandra, Maddox and Ava, Ximena and Sebastian, Liam and Ava, dear children in our extended community of friends and neighbors.

For us as citizens

With this news, I am afraid for you ~ afraid for what you might hear and say and feel in this new America. And so I wept when I learned that President Trump and Vice President Pence will have governing authority for our nation ~ and will set the examples for our citizens of what it is to be an American.

I have voted in all 11 presidential elections since I turned 18 years old. Sometimes my candidate wins; sometimes my candidate loses. That’s what happens in a democracy filled with lots of good people who have different opinions and different needs. I actively campaigned and happily voted both times for Barack Obama – and I’m proud to have helped choose our first African-American president. I also campaigned and happily voted for Hillary Clinton – and hoped to have helped elect her as our first female president.

The root of my shock, anger, and pain isn’t primarily that my candidate lost. She had some flaws (as every human does). It isn’t even that my party lost. It has some flaws too, and needs to work on these.

My sadness and outrage are about what this collective vote means that our people value and who we are as a nation. And that’s why I’m terrified for each of you as a young American, still learning what it means to be a good citizen.

The voters have chosen a man whose 18-month campaign showed us who he is: he isn’t able to empathize ~ to know in his heart how someone else feels; and he isn’t capable of remorse for his bad choices or genuine apologies. He has said hateful and hurtful things about Muslim Americans and Jewish Americans. He has said cruel and mean things about Asian Americans and Latino/Latina Americans. He has ridiculed and mocked people who have handicaps and other challenges. He has shown for several years that he thinks it’s ok for powerful men to touch and talk about women in ways that they don’t like and don’t want. After the election, he was asked by a reporter wondering whether he wanted to take back some of the hurtful things he said to and about other Americans. His response was, “No, I won.”

Graciela, Benjamin, Josef, Alexandra, Maddox, Ava, Ximena, Sebastian, Liam, and Maeva … I am so proud of who you are as young Americans. Each one of you already knows that these attitudes and behaviors are not what a loving person of faith or patriotic citizen would do. You know that you’d get a serious time-out and/or grounding for any one of these bad choices! Yet here is our president-elect, serving as a “model” for our nation and making such bad choices about how he treats Americans who are different from him.

People voted for Mr. Trump for lots of different reasons. Whatever those reasons, the implications are staggering. You know we talk about good choices and bad choices. And part of thinking through a good choice is not only what we intend from that choice, but also what could happen as a result of it.

I’m not just concerned about Mr. Trump’s choices, however. I’m also concerned about how his choices are becoming examples that other people, adults and even children, will follow in saying and doing hurtful things.

The voter choices that elected Mr. Trump approve the anti-Muslim, anti-Jew, religiously intolerant, and overtly exclusive things that Mr. Trump repeatedly voiced in his campaign.

The voter choices that elected Mr. Trump energize other hateful people to be violent in speech and in action against people of color.

The voter choices that elected Mr. Trump make it very clear that a substantial portion of the American electorate thinks of women as property: that we have no right to control choices about our bodies (such as pregnancy); that we should be judged and rated on the basis of our vaginas, our breasts, and our willingness to be silent when touched by powerful men in ways that we don’t like and don’t want.

Belittling veterans who have served and sacrificed their lives to protect us, mocking people with disabilities, excluding LGTBQ people from human rights … This is not the America I value. This is not the America I want you to experience or inherit.

Graciela, Benjamin, Josef, Alexandra, Maddox, Ava, Ximena, Sebastian, Liam, and Maeva … I am so proud of who you are as young Americans. You know that we vote for our president only once every four years, but we vote for what kind of nation we want each and every day. Each and every day, we vote by treating people like us and people different from us with compassion, kindness, and respect.

As citizens of our planet

The even-more-terrifying reality for me is that 80% of the American public believes that climate change is real, yet nearly 50% of the people voting chose a president and vice president who believe that climate change is fake and plan to reverse our modest progress toward protecting the planet for you and your children.

Our best scientists have been warning for years that the window is closing to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet. The best estimate has long been that we needed to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2017 or 2018 at the latest. Now we know that our president and our vice president will not only fail to help us do that – they will be giving the green light to industries to increase emissions and pollution, not reduce them.

So my fears for you as young citizens are not only immediate and short-term, for the harassment, meanness, and violence that you each could witness and even experience because of this election. My fears for you are also for the long-term and your futures into adulthood. Without big steps to cut emissions, our beautiful earth could well be uninhabitable in your lifetimes.

Our promise to you

I want you to know that Grandpa LaLa / Uncle Ron and I will continue to do everything we can to help create a community and a nation where all persons of good faith are treated respectfully and live safely. We will vote daily with our words, our actions, and our choices to help ensure that you live in an America where people are valued and respected. I want you to know that we will continue to speak boldly and act protectively for those in our world who are most vulnerable and least able to protect themselves. We will continue to make personal choices and take personal actions to advocate for a healthy planet and all of its creatures and lifeforms. Above all, we will do everything we can to keep each of you safe, so the promise for your futures is a bright one.

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | December 13, 2015

Leaning forward ~ November, 2015

We made good progress in October on the 2 new lifestyle choices for work and 2 new habits for home. So for November, we added two additional steps for each.

For work:

1:  Print only page 1 of resumes for interviews. If two pages needed, print on both sides.

2:  Bring homemade tea in thermos, using less plastic and metal for soft drinks.

For home:

3:  Use the extra filtered water (which Ron keeps beside the bed at night) for watering indoor and outdoor plants.

4:  One day per week, allow hair to air-dry after shower, not using the hair dryer or its electricity.

We are working on additional plans and goals for 2016. Small steps like these seem insignificant in the face of massive changes to the planet. But hopefully these small steps “leaning forward” will have a larger impact in our consciousness and self-awareness toward the bigger issues, too.

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | October 31, 2015

Leaning forward ~ October, 2015

Reducing fossil fuel emissions and climate change risks will require some major lifestyle adjustments and planetary efforts for all of us. But it also takes some small initiatives, snowballing into more powerful and empowering steps.

Starting more intentionally for our household as of October, 2015.

At work:

1:  8 hours per week (equivalent of one business day) I will work without overhead lights on for my office and desk. That will save 20% on lighting.

2:  I will turn off computer and monitor over weekends and holidays.

At home:

3:  We will spend more evening time together in the same room to reduce lighting needed.

4:  One day per week I will leave the main computer and monitor turned off.

I grew up in a home with parents who were already environmentally conscious a half-century ago.  We cleaned metal cans and took them for recycling.  We saved and salvaged yard wastes for garden composting.  We used and laundered cloth napkins, rather than paper products.  These small steps seem second-nature to me now.  Hopefully these other modest steps will seem that way a few years from now, too.

Four modest steps.  But over a year, with four steps added each month, perhaps this will make a difference.  If nothing else, in my own awareness and patterns of choice.  Maybe in yours as well?

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | October 25, 2015

For the young spirits

For Joe and Ben, Grace and Alexandra.
For Maddox and Ava, Jimena and Sebastian, Liam and Maeva.

Your young spirits have been in my mind and heart this week as every week. But especially this week, while reading a book by Naomi Klein about climate change. The scientific reality for our planet home finally struck me with full force this week, realizing that climate change will be an ecosystemic, economic, political, social, and possibly existential challenge for each of you for your entire adult lives.

We missed the two-decade window to reduce carbon emission (from fossil fuel usage) enough to stop a 2-degree Celsius temperature increase in this century.  We needed a 10% reduction in fossil fuel use.  Instead, adult choices and the globalization of high-consumption capitalism created a 10% increase in fossil fuel use and carbon emission during that time.

And now a new planetary threshold looms, with 2 years to prevent carbon emissions that could cause warming of 4 or even 6 degrees Celsius by 2100. If climate change is that extreme, the earth could well become uninhabitable in your lifetimes.

You’re too young to understand the risks and threats ahead, as well as the sacrifices required right now. But hopefully some day you will know and understand that some of us are doing everything we can to turn this catastrophic tide. For the sake of the planet ~ and for each of you.

I know that the climate change threat requires some big adjustments to make our lifestyles more sustainable. It also requires many small choices. I’m hoping to keep a monthly log to better stay on track with my own choices ~ and to keep your future more fully as the center of my present.

My dear friend Shonda posted a thought-provoking comment on facebook yesterday.

“Don’t kid yourself. If you see someone who says they are hungry and you do not give them your change to feed them, you aren’t kind. You are not charitable. That isn’t savvy, you are greedy. Don’t tell me they are just wasting the money on drugs or booze. I don’t care. If you told me you were hungry I would feed you or give you money if I had it. That is someone’s child. That is someone’s mother or father, their sibling. It could be any one of us. We are all one medical bill, missed paycheck or vet’s bill away from being that person.”

Shonda is a person of strong compassion and ethical character.  So I wasn’t surprised by her empathy on this moral dilemma, but I was surprised by her assertion that only one choice is ethical in response to immediate need.  She lives in a smaller community, where this pressing need occurs less often.  We had a good dialogue on the topic in the facebook feed, yet her perspective keeps filtering through my thought processes.  Enough to reflect further here for myself.

Compassion and empathy

I was raised in a family where compassion was a core value.  My parents welcomed foreign exchange students from the local university into our home.  My parents had us actively involved in helping to feed local homeless people.  And our family was regularly involved in relief efforts with migrant workers in the area who lived in abject poverty.  I was taught to see the real human person(s) who experienced need ~ and to see God’s spirit in that humanity.

As a young adult, I worked in rural congregations where I saw hungry people in small communities, often taking people to the local restaurant for a meal.  Then I moved to a large metropolitan area, where I worked in homeless shelters.  I observed first-hand what Shonda so aptly noted: that most of us are one significant crisis away from being hungry and/or homeless ourselves.

When Ron and I go into Chicago, there will easily be 100 or more people en route, asking for money.  Easily 20 or more people just at the train station, and more along every side of every block as we walk.  It’s not realistic in terms of our own limited resources to give to these individuals in the way I would have in a rural community where those needs were infrequent.

Yet I think Shonda is right that our culture increasingly dehumanizes and judges people in need.  Her post is a good reminder that each person who asks is a person with a history and a future more complex than their immediate need ~ and from my perspective as a person of faith, is a child of God.  Whatever we may choose to do or not do in response to that face-to-face request, surely our first (and internal) response needs to be one of empathy, not judgment.

Individual need and systemic factors

As Shonda and I talked more about her post, I realized that the face-to-face presentation of individual human need and suffering is always implicitly a greater moral challenge for me than just the individual need.

There are reasons the person is hungry.  Many of those reasons are deeply rooted in our social, economic, and political dysfunction.  When a person or head-of-household loses their job or suffers a catastrophic illness, why is it acceptable that our culture provides only for subsistence diet?  In some states, people aren’t even allowed to use food stamps for fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, or even cheese, nuts, or beans.  Why is this acceptable?

There are reasons the person is homeless.  Again, many of those reasons are deeply rooted in our cultural choices as a community.  Why is it acceptable that the minimum wage is less than $10 per hour (about $20,000 per year) for unskilled workers in the metropolitan area, yet just to rent a one-bedroom or studio apartment is at least $1,000 per month?  There isn’t affordable housing for rent.  In fact, the most affordable housing is often torn down by developers for pricey, high-end condos and apartments.  Why is this acceptable?

I realized anew, in talking with Shonda, that every individual face of need for me raises much bigger questions and demands much deeper actions rooted in compassion and empathy.

Ethical choices in the face of massive need

It’s a big planet with massive suffering and need.  So how shall we make ethical choices about responding?  Is there really only one acceptable response in the face of immediate need?  That’s not a simple question and maybe one that we need to live with as open-ended.

I keep remembering the 70s and 80s, when I was an activist in the nuclear disarmament movement.  There was a summer where the Indiana Disciples Peace Fellowship (of which I was a member and leader) organized a walk from Moscow (Indiana) and Washington (Indiana), meeting halfway in Bloomington.  We talked with people along the way, trying to raise consciousness about nuclear armaments and the planetary issues.

One of the pastors who joined this witness with his family was a strong activist and advocate for peace.  He knew Phillip and Daniel Berrigan personally.  He had been arrested with them countless times for protests against the Vietnam War and more recently for actions against nuclear facilities.

I admired his dedication and his willingness to make lifestyle choices with such integrity.  But I realized that this wasn’t my calling.  The calling of my own heart was to make a different witness in a different way.  And I worried that he would judge me for not making the same choice and taking the same risks that he and his family had.

Judgment was not his response.  Instead, he affirmed that we each have different responsibilities and different opportunities to witness and to make positive change in the world.  He affirmed that no one witness is “right” for everyone.  It’s a much more complex world than this.  In fact, he said, it really does take all of those different forms of witness to effect change.

That’s where I still find myself in the face of massive need and suffering of the diverse creatures on our planet, including human ones.  In the presence of such need, surely we are asked and expected to first respond with empathy and compassion, not with judgment.  And then we each must weigh our own limitations and powers, as we assess what resources we may generously give in response.

Some will choose to give a few coins to any person who asks.  Others will choose one person to take for coffee and a sandwich.  Some will decide to respond by giving to a local food pantry, while others will advocate for more generous government food stamp allocations and more investment in affordable housing.  Surely each one of these is an ethical choice rooted in a charitable, empathetic response to the persons in need. And surely all of these witnesses are needed to truly effect change in real lives.

Posted by: Grandma LaLa | March 22, 2015

Wahoo, weekend!

We planned a low-key, restful weekend. It’s been even better than we expected!

Friday afternoon: taking “comp time” from week to leave at noon; watching IU’s NCAA tournament basketball game with Dad on his high-def, big-screen tv. Season-ending heartbreak, but so good to share that time together.

Our version of stirfry vegetables ~ yummy!

Our version of stirfry vegetables ~ yummy!

Friday evening: making brown rice and stir-fry vegetables for supper, thanks to extra help from hubby chopping vegetables; hanging out with my husband; watching more NCAA tournament basketball online on our smaller monitor.

Farina, fresh blackberry-blueberry-raspberry blend, and online episode of "Grimm"

Farina, fresh blackberry-blueberry-raspberry blend, and online episode of “Grimm”

Saturday morning: enjoying a healthy breakfast of farina and fresh fruit while watching online the latest episode of “Grimm.”

Saturday afternoon and evening: hanging out at home; watching more NCAA tournament basketball online (until my “free pass” on CBS Sports ended without warning); and finally finishing the LaLa Adventure scrapbooks from 2014, remembering our grandsons’ fun-filled visits.

Artificial flowers to adorn the worship space, once the new organ is installed.

Artificial flowers to adorn the worship space, once the new organ is installed.

Sunday morning: meeting Dad for brunch at Colonial Café; helping Dad transport the gorgeous arrangements he made to celebrate the new instrument coming to The Holmstad for chapel and other events; making three trips to Walgreens (because I couldn’t remember which location and what account name I used for printing photos!); and of course, buying more boxes of Girl Scout cookies outside each stop.

Sunday afternoon: watching more NCAA tournament basketball online (yes, a fresh “free pass” today, I guess); saving minutes in order to watch the Iowa game tonight; working on other family scrapbooks for 2015; getting the envelopes ready for the first 2015 LaLa Adventure mailings.

Wahoo! A great weekend!

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