Tuesday, October 31, 2006

what to make of halloween

halloween guest
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
One of my students asked me today: "What are you going to dress up as tonight?" "A grumpy old man passing out candy." was my reply. Esther was out for the night listening to author Gregg Olsen speak at the public library, and Calvin was helping at the church carnival. That left me to handle the 'treating' of guests. I have such mixed feelings about this holiday. On the one hand, it is a celebration of 'demonic' beings such as witches, goblins and vampires, to which, as a christian, I am repulsed. On the other hand, it is one of the most neighborly and community oriented practices that we have in our society. Parents assist their children with intricate costumes. Families get out of the house and mingle together on streets, bringing their children to share in the generosity of their neighbors. They teach their children to be polite and say 'thank you" and "Happy Halloween." Homeowners spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to invite young adventurers to their yards and share candy with them. Somehow it is hard to dismiss all this goodwill, creativity and family festivity as a 'worthless pagan holiday.'

Saturday, October 28, 2006

canoe chronicle

canoe at the ready
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
If you can't enjoy sailing because your boats are in hibernation, you might as well do the next best thing - grab anything that floats! I could not pass up this gorgeous fall Saturday without getting on the water. My canoe has a year round berth in my neighbor's beachfront yard, so it's easy to launch at the impulse of an itch. Because there was a mild south breeze, and because I rarely venture south, I decided to head down Colvos Passage. It didn't take me long to realize that this struggle against wind and current was going to be a slow go. It occured to me that while my progress was slow, I was sharing the elements of Puget Sound mariners of centuries past. For hundreds or thousands of years, the only vessels to ply these waters were dugout canoes. While my plastic Coleman pales in comparison to the dignity and stabilty of the carved cedar craft of the Salish, I share something of the timeless interplay between human motion and this inland sea. After an hour of inching my way down the passage, I turned the bow back north and enjoyed a quick relaxing ride back home. The vivid colors of the autumn afternoon were a sharp contrast to the colorless marine fog of the morning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the fulness of fall

fall colors at school
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Autumn is probably my least favorite of the seasons, (no snowboarding or sailing) but enjoying the colors is one special treat that we only get for a few short weeks. The grounds at my school are ablaze with reds, oranges and yellows right now, and I couldn't pass up a chance to grab a couple of pics. The children are mostly oblivious to the beauty around them as they scamper around at recess, but everytime I step out of doors to pick them up from their recess lines, I marvel at the magnificent display of color.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

half a century!

Ed and Tanya
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
This is the fateful year that my high school classmates and I hit the half century mark. This weekend the first of the mighty fell. Ed Heutink was a childhood and teenage buddy of mine. Saturday night he was surrounded by friends and family who ushered him into old age. Esther and I went up to Ferndale to join them. I regret that Ed and I have not stayed in closer contact over the years, but it was great to catch up on eachother's lives and recount old memories. I was especially blessed to hear of Ed's strong faith in the Lord and the miraculous work of God in his and Tanya's life. Our weekend was full as we also attended Marti's dad's memorial service before scooting up to Whatcom county; and then visiting Bjorn and Jenny in Fort Langley on Sunday. Bjorn's new housing situation is very nice - a newly remodeled basement apartment in Fort Langley that he shares with two other guys. Bjorn and Jenny's apartments are within walking distance of eachother.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

a father 'goes home'

Marti and Esther
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Sister-in-law Marti spent the weekend with us as her daughter Marika and a friend were at a weekend horsemanship camp nearby. We had a great visit, talking sons, colleges and church. Sunday morning she received a call that her father died this morning! He has been at Lynden Manor for several years, slowly experiencing immobility and a decline in communucation ability. Late last week he had a fall and was hospitalized. Fortunately, Mike was still in town and could help with transitions to the hospital and then to a nearby care center. Evidently, the trauma was too much for Ray's fragile body and he passed away this morning. Marti expressed that the news was bitter/sweet as the last several conversations with her father included his expressing a desire to 'go home' and leave this struggling life. Pray for Marti and Mike this week as they greive this loss and connect with family scattered around the northwest.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

literature circles

literature circles
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Our curriculum in the multiage classroom takes on little changes each year, hopefully for the better. This year part of our reading program will include literature circles. While this format has been popular in the last few years, we had not incorporated it in our classroom. So far we have trained the class in the different roles that they bring to the circles, using an all class novel. This week the students selected their own novels and have begun their discussion circles. It is definitely an adjustment for the students to facilitate their own discussion for any length of time, but they are learning.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

update on Tom

Tom was admitted to the U. of W. hospital for the purpose of rotoring out the build up in one of his coronary arteries. Because of a tear in the wall of the artery, due to the earlier procedure on Monday, the doctors felt it would be better to wait a month to let it heal before attempting this next evasion. He gets to go home and back to work, though he needs to take things easy. He's basically on hold. I assume that blogging will not be to strenuous and we can expect some wisdom from Creative Concepts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

pray for Tom

Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Our good friend Tom Gillard of Creative Concepts fame will be having some delicate angioplasty surgery in Seattle tomorrow. On Monday, he went in to Harrison Hospital for an original attempt at getting rid of some blockage in his coronary artery, but they were unsuccessful. He was transported to Seattle today, and tomorrow morning they will attempt a more delicate procedure. Please pray that it will be successful and that he and Peggy will experience the closeness of God in these days.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

made it to mars hill

church with Markus
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
After three years of hearing about Mars Hill Church, browsing their website and listening to their podcasts, I finally made it to a service. We picked up Markus and went to the 5:00 pm service. It was packed (750-1000) We weren't disappointed. Mark Driscoll had a good sermon on 'Is Jesus God?" and the worship band was good, even though it was a more grungee sound than I'm used to. The crowd is definitely generation X with a few families and old fogeys mixed in. Mars Hill is an amazing work of God, especially considering it's setting in Seattle. Markus then took us to Gorditos on Queen Anne hill where we got our fill of great burritos.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Calvin's first solo

the new driver
Originally uploaded by Southworth Sailor.
Calvin passed his driving test today and is the proud possessor of a Washington State driver's license. Parking has proved his biggest challenge, but with persistence he has mastered it. After passing the test, we had to wait for another aggravating hour, listening to numbers before they would take our twenty-five dollars and Calvin's picture. All this while three windows sat empty. The Kitsap County DMV office is the epitome of customer disservice. Another accomplishment of the day was to take the boat out of the water for the winter. Calvin met me at the launch and helped me take down the mast. Both boats are safely in the upper parking area, creating a eye sore for the neighborhood. In a week or so, I'll have them cleaned up and tucked away beside the house for the winter.