The leaves on my trees take the seasonal word “Fall” as a command, and today they are drifting groundward and swirling as the cool breeze gives them incentive. I’ve started the wood stove; we’ve hit today’s high temperature already and it’s not eleven a.m. The pontoon and dock get hauled in on Monday and I have some things to do with them before the crew comes. Meanwhile, two of our adult children still are here following yesterday’s family reunion (which was a fine and fun occasion) and I have airport runs to make.
A few years ago, when I was serving as a nursing home chaplain, I ran a chat group for the nursing home residents. One day I asked the group which fairy tale was their favorite when growing up. The answer: Jack and the Bean Stalk. Of course, that had to become Jack and the Bean Sprouts as a “mangled” fairy tale and that was the reading this month on WPCA-FM’s broadcast of my story readings. Two of my kids listened to the broadcast and their laughs came at the appropriate times. As you know, that tale can be found in the Some Mangled Fairy Tales paperback and in The First Gathering Of The Break Time Stories paperback. As an ebook, you’ll find it in Four More Break Time Stories.
Officially, as I write this, I’m on a two week “vacation” from duties at Wolf Creek United Methodist Church. Two of our capable members are taking Sunday services, which I think makes our congregation stronger than if I were to invite in a guest preacher. One of the challenges for a pastor is to entice people into a deeper walk with our Lord, and one of the ways that can be done is to have people deal seriously with our scriptures and their messages. Conducting services and preaching will do that. Meanwhile, we still have many prayer concerns, most of which deal with the need for physical and mental healing. Marina and I attended a memorial last weekend for a good friend who died following a stroke at age 90. Her husband, my favorite Renaissance Man, at age 94 continues to reside in his historical home with the aid of his children. Another new friend of the congregation is in his last week at Mayo Clinic, where they are optimistic about being able to knock back his cancer.
My story writing has been stalled these past few weeks. I have a story begun, with the beginning and the end in mind and partially written, but the characters will have to tell me what happens to them in between. We shall see. Meanwhile, the busy-ness of daily life sidelines being able to sit and complete this story. That may be just as well, since, sometimes, a story just needs to “jell” awhile until it comes together.