Chez Songbird, Children, Family

In the Nest

Tonight, all the birds will be in the nest.

#1 Son arrived yesterday. He’s involved in a production of Henry V, and for some reason the theater company decided to come to City By the Sea for a weekend. Needless to say, this is delightful! If you live in Greater City By the Sea, click the picture in the sidebar to find out more about getting tickets. And if you live in Greater Big Apple, they’ll be back there next weekend. He’s staying with us until — actually, I don’t know how long he’s staying, but I’m hoping he’ll be here Sunday night for the Lost finale. We’ll see.

Later today we’ll drive to Beantown and collect Snowman from Hot and Cool Conservatory. He’s had a great second semester and will be home for several weeks before heading to Land o’Lakes Arts Academy/Camp, where he has a job on the stage crew for the summer concert series. We’ll miss him, but he is eager to get back to the lake and the trees and the music, and who can blame him. We’ll have three or four more weeks to listen to him practice in August.

In the midst of this, I have a very busy week at church. My colleague is away on a trip with the choir (they left on a bus for Quebec at 6 a.m.!), and this is the week of Confirmation, so I have a service to finish planning. The 12 8th graders who have been my weekly charge since September have finished their work. We meet tomorrow night to rehearse for the service and have a party. Then they get another party with the congregation on Sunday!

And meanwhile, I’m in a full-on job search, receiving gratifying phone calls, letters and emails that I hope will lead to a settled call. (There have been a few “no” letters, too, but more of the other, for which I am grateful.) This throws life into minor turmoil as we wonder whether this will remain *the* nest. I can only hope that where the Mama Songbird goes, the little birds will follow, as their increasingly grown-up schedules allow.

But for today, there’s worship planning to do, and a rehearsal for #1 Son, and a long car trip in the late afternoon, and packing for Snowman I’m guessing, and a chamber group re-audition for LP tonight, and the high likelihood of a very happy dog when he has both his boys home later.

I hope there is happiness in your nest today, however it looks, wherever it is.

Friday Five

Friday Five: Friendship

Hugkitty  As posted by our dear kathrynzj at RevGalBlogPals:

I spent the better part of last week on a continuing education cruise with a group of revgals. Both the class on hospitality and the connections made with friends (old and new) were phenomenal. I always have a difficult time with re-entry into reality from times away but this, aided by getting nailed with strep throat, has been more difficult than usual. Not only does it a take a few days (weeks? months?) for it to stop feeling like I am on a boat, but my heart misses my friends.

In parish life the boundaries are clear and they are there for a reason, but it can make the life of a minister a lonely one. It is such a tremendous gift to spend a few days with women who not only are wonderful and gifted, but who also get exactly what you do and why you do it. The hugs are genuine and free and the laughter is awesome.

Many of us have friendships – past and present – with these same qualities. And so today we will celebrate Friday with friendship:

1) Do you remember your first best friend? What did you do together? Are they still in your life?

My first best friend was Ruby, and my first best boyfriend was my minister's son, David, and they are both in this picture below:

Court Street Baptist Kindergarten 1965

That's the Court Street Baptist Kindergarten in 1965, so I was 4 years old. I'm at the bottom left, Ruby is second from the right on the top row of children, and David is at the top left. After many years of disconnection, Ruby found me via the Internet a few years ago, and much more recently David and I became friends on Facebook! When I saw Ruby again in the summer of 2006, after a break of a dozen years, it felt like we had always been together. She's a very special person to me. I loved going to her house when we were little. David and I had the same birthday (which means we are both going up a notch on Tuesday), and we even had some of our parties together. I remember one in the backyard at his house, particularly. David's mother, who is the beautiful teacher on the top left, was my favorite grown-up in the whole world. I wanted to be her when I grew up. You know…the minister's…wife. 🙂

2) Did you ever have to move away or have your best friend move away from you?

More than once! Ruby might remember that after a six year absence to live in the Washington DC area, my family returned, and I sadly left behind my new best friend, Betsy, also a Facebook rediscovery in the past year. Betsy rode the bus to visit me, and I told Ruby all about her, but in the end, I didn't even introduce them to each other, I think because I was afraid that (a) they wouldn't like each other, or (b) they would like each other better! Silly Songbird.

3) Are there people in your life now that you can call 'friend'?

Oh, yes. What's funny is, I thought since I continued to live in City By the Sea after ordination, I would be able to keep up with my pre-ministry friends. But we are living very different lives, and I find my most trusted local friends are also colleagues. Then there is the wider circle, the friends blogging brought to me, not just RevGalBlogPals but so many others. It's been a privilege to meet so many of them in person over the past five years. Yes, I believe I had my first blogger meet-ups five years ago. Amazing.

4) What are some of your favorite things to do with your friends?

I guess the usual things: talk, eat, tell stories, go for walks, oh, and sing! We did some fantastic singing on the cruise last week. It meant a lot to me. I also like to knit with or around friends. 

5) What is a gift friendship has given you?

Unconditional love.

You don't have to be a RevGal to play; if you feel like talking about friendship, please do!

Easter, Easter Sunrise

Early on the first day

Stone rolled away (I wove the opening of the gospel lesson together with the end of the Psalm for tomorrow to create this Call to Worship for our early service.)

Call to Worship                                                        

Leader One: Early on the first day of the week…

Leader Two: Open to us your gates of righteousness,

All: That we may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

Leader One: While it was still dark…

Leader Two: This is the gate of the Lord;

All: The righteous shall enter through it.

Leader One: Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw…

Leader Two: We thank you that you have answered us;

All: We thank you that you have become our salvation.

Leader One: …that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

Leader Two: The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

All: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes!


101 Dalmatians

I'm reading it. I love it. This week has been too full for reading anything heavier. At such times I often default to classics or to children's books, most often familiar ones. But this is a new one for me. It's different enough from the movie to feel new, but close enough to feel familiar.

I like to go to the prairie or to Narnia when I feel overwhelmed. I fought off grief with Elizabeth and Darcy. Really, I've done that more than once.

Do you ever run away to fictional friends and locales when the world is a bit too much?