Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We're remembering . . .

There is probably not another state in whose residents have more of a state identity than Texas. From moving over to the shoulder to allow others to pass, to headin' on down to the rodeo on Saturday night to see children as young as 7 years old compete in various equestrian events, the many local customs give Texas the feel of an exotic locale.

But like any culture, Texas denizens comprise myriad lifestyles. We've enjoyed the unique experience of visiting both the Texas oil man among the pumpjack riddled plains of Midland, and the rancher/farmer, at home in the wide-open spaces near San Antonio. From them, we've learned the art of siphoning Texas Tea from the depths of the Permian Basin, and the rather messy business of long-distance animal husbandry.

The Mondays - oil family

Cousin Darin (Jody the photographer), Caily, and Lexi

Our time in Texas has been sweet crude, I mean sweet, and now our sights are set on the alluring brilliance of the eager diamonds of southwest Arkansas. And maybe along the way we'll see that magical-sounding land of Texarkana.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My sister passed her boards last week and is now a registered nurse! I'm so proud. I love you Miriam.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We're currently in Missouri. Yes, we did go to Cuba. If you want to know details you can ask when we see you. I've been in Missouri about three weeks and Dane about two. When we got back from Cuba we found out that my Mammaw had fallen and broken her shoulder and hip. We were planning on visiting them in July anyway, so we just decided to make it a little early.

Our visit here hasn't been exciting or sensational, but it's been good. This is the longest amount of time I've ever spent with my Mammaw and Pappaw. I've gotten to know them better and gotten to know what their day to day life is like.

Mammaw has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was 28 years old. Over the years it has been crippling. There was a nurse at the house the other day to assess Mammaw and she asked if she needed assistance with dressing. "For 20 years!" was Mammaw's response. Their life is not easy, but they face it head on. Mammaw with her dry humor and Pappaw with his jokes. There are times of frustration, but they keep on living the life they've been given.

Now I know...Trash day is on Thursday. Misty (their overweight dog) loves to go for walks with Pappaw. Mammaw likes Catalina salad dressing. Pappaw just plain loves food (like me!). Amy, their sweet home care assistant comes twice a week. Ola is their good friend and neighbor and giver of garden produce and is ready and willing to come sit with Mammaw at a moments notice. The tiger lily in their front flower bed blooms in early July. Pappaw is the chef and goes to the grocery store once a day on average. The Jackson farmers market is on Tuesday evenings.

We've been able to live life with them. Wake up, breakfast, wash up time, spend the morning working around the house or talking. Mammaw and I have read a book together (Dane has also been sucked into the story). We've heard Mammaw and Pappaw's stories from long ago. Mammaw likes a nap in the afternoons, but joins us in the kitchen while we cook supper. We usually end the day with some scripture reading and prayer. Not to mention Pappaw reminiscing like crazy and Mammaw telling him at least 100 times that it's time for bed before she joins in the reminiscing too.

It's all been normal stuff, but a very good time together.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh Carolina

We kicked off our Jubilee year with a vacation. Road trip with Miriam and Adam to the Carolinas. We camped out our first night, lulled to sleep by the sound of sawing logs. We did not have a roaring campfire, but were able to produce enough heat from burning pine needles and twigs (the wood was all a bit too damp) to cook some breakfast.

walk after breakfast

We headed for Pawley's Island to visit cousin Daniel and Renee. On the way we stopped in Gatlinburg for lunch because I had never been there. It's a cute little place. We watched salt water taffy being made and Adam treated us all to a sample. Dane stole a quarter from a wishing well to add to our Jubilee Jar (shame, shame) and got his sleeve wet in the process. Serves him right! I wanted to take the scenic route the rest of the way. I was just so tired that I didn't get to enjoy it much. Thanks for driving the windy roads Adam!

Dane and the wishing well

The beaches in Pawley's Island were beautiful. At Huntington Beach State Park we saw some real live alligators. No one was harmed in the process. Renee cooked up some yummy shrimp and grits for a real southern experience. We were introduced to singer Phillys Tanner-Frye at the greatest little art/music/coffee shop situated in an old house. Daniel loves the history of his "place" on this earth and shared stories and sights from Pawley's Island with us. It was a fun time.


On the way to NC, we stopped off for supper at Aunt Trudy and Uncle Donnie's house and got to visit with them and cousin David and his son, Colt. We spent a night with Grandma and Grandpa Haas and then went to my cousin Jennifer's beautiful wedding. Then, we drove all night just to get home by Sunday for ETEAM.

David, Uncle Donnie, Colt, Aunt Trudy, Dane and Michelle, Miriam and Adam, Renee and Daniel and Bella hiding in the background.

Jennifer the bride and Miriam

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Let the Jubilee Begin

The thought of a year of jubilee was a dream (or a joke) until the day our wonderful friend Alicia, before she moved to Bolivia, handed us a green jug with a load of change in it. "This is for your Jubilee Fund," she said. And thus our Jubilee plans began as did Dane's obsession with finding change.

The Sabbatical Year (Rest of Entire Rest, Year of Rest, Year of Release, The 7th Year) which is probably a more fitting name for what we are doing had many implications for the Israelites. To name a few:

1. Soil, vineyards, and the olive yard would have perfect rest. For our lives this means rest from a 9-5 income generating job.

2. Spontaneous growth of field or tree was for free use to the poor, hireling, stranger, servant and cattle. For our lives this means work that we produce will be for others.

3. Remission of Debts. For our lives I'm not sure...don't make others in debt to us, don't do things that would oppress the poor

4. At the Feast of Tabernacles, the law was to be read alound in solemn assembly before the sanctuary. For our lives this means reading scripture aloud together.

Jubilee in Hebrew is Yobel (a blast of a trumpet). This Year of Liberty was announced with the blowing of trumpets and yes, thanks to Dane, our Jubilee Year was started with the blast of a trumpet on June 1, 2010.