There’s something to be said for routine, even in the summer. And I think I’ve found it. In the past few weeks since school adjourned, I applied for several part-time jobs around town, not receiving positive results from any of them. After Kim, a friend from church, clued me in to a position she knew of through her work, and a few interviews later, last Monday I started working a full-time summer job grading standardized tests for the State, and technically for the University. I admit, looking at a computer screen and grading over 1000 questions (the same question) every day is a little mind numbing, it’s still a decent paycheck and I get to sit down and be in the air conditioning, so I can’t complain. I’ve even made a few friends, which is always a good thing, and a reminder of how small the world is. Arriving at work every day by 8:15 has proven to be an interesting challenge. In each of the jobs I’ve ever had, arriving at the same time (especially before 9:00 a.m.) has been a non-issue, so I’m chalking this one up for the memory books! Due to about a 20 minute commute, dealing with both 8:00 and 5:00 traffic, I’ve quickly discovered that packing my lunch and setting out my clothes the night before makes my morning much less harried. Today we finished a huge portion of grading so tomorrow will be bring about training for a new test and working with a new group of people. Bring it on.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to do some fun things with some fun people. Some of them have been:
– taking a mini road trip to Bolivar with Aarik & Brooke. Seeing the Daveys and eating lunch at Kathy’s Pasta made for new memories and reminded us of the past. And when did the Walgreens pop up on the corner of Aldrich and Springfield?! The wheels of progress continue to turn…
– a few weekends ago my family and I attended a Cardinals game (beating the Astros, I might add), and the next day we journeyed to Branson to see the new musical based on the life of Noah. It was a sold-out sneak preview and had very few technical glitches, so the performance perfectionist in me was relatively at ease through the show. The weekend also included spending time with family, having lunch with Addie, and doing some shopping on the way home.
– before Aarik and Brooke ventured east for the summer, we, along with Kyle, saw “Young @ Heart” at the RagTag a few weeks ago. Older people being exposed to modern music, and marveling at the resilience of a “can do” attitude made for a heartwarming movie-going experience. Last week I finally got around to seeing “Prince Caspian” with Markli – see Facebook for fun photos. I had heard mixed reviews for Narnia 2, as I saw it advertised in one location, but left the theatre thinking it was pretty good. I had re-read the book a few weeks ago to refresh my memories of the C.S. Lewis classic, plus I’m a big sucker for comparing the book to the movie, and this time was not an exception. While there were several liberties to the visual story line, I didn’t feel like any of them were out of character that conflicted with its literary inspiration and really loved the Regina Spektor song “The Call” that helps conclude the movie.
– For the 82nd consecutive year, my family met for our annual reunion this past weekend. This was the first year without my grandma, but her presence remained close and dear. My mom and I chuckled at the memories of her in a dither worrying about fixing enough food to fix when people would stop by her house. She needn’t have worried – food was in an abundance and I was proud that I took the time to engage in conversation with some family members I previously had not gotten to know very well. The thought came to mind on Friday night, this is who we are: broken and wounded, transparent and vulnerable, and yet reliant on one another as we reach out to each other year after year. As I grow older, I desire to continue the tradition of meeting together yearly, which my great-great grandpa desired for his family to maintain. There’s something about our reunion that always makes me feel like a kid. The feel of cool grass between my toes, which often results in receiving my first bug bites of the summer, the marvel of seeing the first lightening bugs flicker in the twilight sky, the assurance that my belly will be full of good food, and the happiness of sharing who I am with those I love always does my heart a world of good. Enough to last me until this time next year.
My summer reading list is coming along. Monday I finished “The Inner Voice” by Renee Fleming, and since then have dabbled in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Dandelion Wine,” and “Me Talk Pretty One Day” (so excited about David Sedaris’ new book “When You’re Engulfed in Flames”!). While I was in Springfield a few weeks ago I cashed in my last few dollars on a Borders gift card and redeemed a 30% off coupon to buy this year’s Pulitzer winner for fiction, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz. It now joins my ever-expanding to-read list (sooner or later…). During our family reunion weekend I was so pleased that my cousin Linda from Dallas was in attendance again this year. She and I had a lovely conversation about books on Saturday night after stuffing ourselves with fish and hushpuppies. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect evening.
After a wonderful night of music, fellowship, and being stirred by the Rob Bell “Breathe” Nooma video at church, this is what my week looks like halfway through.