And The Livin Is Easy!

Summertime, and the change of pace sometimes isn’t easy. But warm and even hot weather is nice after a cool Spring. Heavy rains over the 4th of July apparently sent many of the cabin people home early; it was a fairly quiet Fourth, much to the relief of a few dogs I know. Marina’s current Seeing Eye Dog, Andy, is pretty calm about the loud noises; Gretel, his predecessor, was not. As Gretel said in her story that Marina is writing, “Andy is always so serious; I’m the cute one!”

Last night’s WPCA-FM story broadcast was The Duo, a tale from the¬†Yet More Break Time Stories¬†ebook that’s also found in The First Gathering Of The Break Time Stories paperback. It’s probably the most autobiographical of all my 27 published stories, although an author always takes something he’s experienced or heard or seen and lets the imagination take things from there. The story deals with a friend who, with his wife, forms a strong partnership that unravels after he gets elected to Congress. My lifetime friend Emily Adelsohn Corngold said the story is “Kafka-esque”. Again, I am privileged to be able to share my stories through WPCA-FM, whose 20th birthday I was able to help celebrate a couple of weeks ago.

Little progress for my brother Guy, who remains on life support out in California. I am grateful for the good care he’s getting.

Today marked the 55th Anniversary of Marina and my first date, a lunch atop a 13 story apartment building in Santa Monica. Gates Of Spain had booths facing the view of the Pacific Coast; you stepped up into the booth and, depending on which side you were on, you could see all the way south to Palos Verdes peninsula or north to a bit beyond Malibu. The restaurant was accessed via a glass elevator that ran up the outside of the building. Marina was pushing back against me as we ascended and I mashed myself against the elevator’s back wall. (My hero!) I still dislike heights. Today also featured a CT scan for me to try to figure out why the pain in my side that I’ve had since March 9th is so slow to heal. Nothing found out of the ordinary, says the report, so I guess I simply need to be patient. (Don’t ever pray for patience; you’ll find yourself in situations where you need to learn it.)

Tomorrow morning is our first Zoom session with our new District Superintendent, Park Peace Kim. His introductory email made an exceptionally good first impression and I’m hoping that he will have great success. Like his predecessor, Barbara Certa-Werner, he wants to be a servant-leader. We have one-on-one meetings with him later this month. One of my issues over the years has been, who pastors the pastor? Our District Zoom meetings these past several years have answered my concern: we pastor each other and there has been plenty of prayer for each other and other forms of ministering for the clergy in our District.

As for Wolf Creek, I’ve indicated my concern in the past about the difficulty of finding musicians for Sunday services. Well, so far, so good; we’ve been covered every Sunday. Deb Lind-Schmitz is a retired Presbyterian pastor who plays and sings well; Cheryl Hustad is my successor as president of the Osceola Seniors, still works as a pharmacist, and also plays and sings well; and Sean Gudmunsen, St.Croix Falls High School Choir Teacher and Music Director, plays well and sings superbly. I am grateful to God and to them for this answered prayer.

For several years now our 26 foot fifth wheel trailer has been sitting in the yard, going nowhere. I sold the old truck and we should have sold the trailer some time ago, but Marina had hoped that grandchildren would come to stay overnight in the trailer. Fat chance! So last week the trailer headed to the Two Harbors area to be Curtis K’s hunting cabin. He’s delighted and I’m relieved. Now, what to do with the rare runabout? But the pontoon is in the water, a little worse for wear over the Winter and with two things still not repaired. The repairs are not essential and it will be good to get out on the water again. The pontoon gave me a great front row seat for the annual Fourth of July boat parade, which this year seemed to be heavy on political statements, rather than straight patriotism.

Several of the students I advised 50 years ago have kept in touch over the years and I always enjoy catching up with them. Later this month Marina and I will lunch at a Persian restaurant with one of them who’s become a programmer with his work zooming around overhead in space. Many of those students have become very successful, as I knew they would when I was part of the decision to admit them to Macalester College. My job: do what I could to help them succeed in a foreign and very high test environment. Isn’t it nice to have your intuitive guesses turn out well? I applaud all of them.