Pigeons, Celebrations, and Tornadoes

Thanks to Hallmark’s new ad campaign, I am reminded that “life is a special occasion.” Many simple occasions have come and gone since last posting, namely an update on my pigeon friends, Easter, local doings, my 30th birthday, a good friend’s wedding, and a whirlwind return journey from St. Louis.

As is the case in most of the midwest/south, Oklahoma has experienced a great deal of rain over the past month. In the days preceding the Easter weekend I discovered my persistent pigeon friends were a couple and the speckled Mama Pigeon had laid an egg right outside my office window!

pigeonegg

I was so excited to see this little family take shape. However, over the Easter weekend a tremendous amount of rain fell and when I returned to work the following week, the egg and all traces of Mama and Papa pigeon were gone. I hope they were able to relocate to a safe, dry area and reestablish their pigeon family. As for my biological family, my parents were able to come and spend several (rainy) days with me around Easter, which was such a blessing!

The weekend after Easter I discovered a wonderful bluegrass band, Big Smith, from Springfield. They were playing at one of our town festivals, which in itself was a wonderful event, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with their familial harmonies and Ozark sensibilities.

BigSmith

Fast forward a few more weeks and the completion of the spring semester was at hand. Attending the College of Education commencement allowed me to not only wear my regalia, but support and celebrate the milestones achieved by our students. It still humbles me to realize many of these individuals were first-generation college graduates, placing even more importance on our University, and my job as a librarian to disseminate knowledge in a professional but caring manner.

A few more days and it was time to celebrate my 30th birthday! Celebrating with food is one of my favorite ways to observe a festive occasion and was able to do so with library colleagues at lunch

library_friends

and church friends for pizza, outdoor washer toss, indoor board game time playing Clue, and eating this delicious cake made by my gracious friend and sister in Christ, Lauren.

birthdayhappiness

Another few days and I had the privilege of celebrating the nuptials of my friend Brad and his love Amber. Their outdoor ceremony took place at the home of Amber’s parents and was simply lovely, peaceful, and a wonderful time to celebrate with them, and our mutually good friends Isaac and Stephanie.

weddingfriends

weddingbirdcages
As a part of the outdoor ceremony, these homemade wooden trellises were adorned with these adorable birdcages.

My wedding gift to the happy couple was this mini-afghan I knitted.
weddingafghan

The weekend also afforded me time to see, stay, eat, play Guitar Hero, and laugh with my friends Aaron & Sarah, lounge and catch up with my friends Charlene & Craig, attend church in the Nazarene church I grew up in, and journey back to Oklahoma Sunday afternoon. I am a big fraidy cat when it comes to driving in rain, especially on the interstate, thus am exceedingly thankful for God’s hand of protection on me as I traveled along I-44. It’s unreal to believe I briefly stopped in Joplin Sunday afternoon, I’m approximating one hour before the tornado passed through. How my heart aches for those who have lost family members, their homes, and pray their hope is Jesus.

Of course the tornadic activity didn’t cease and on Tuesday evening the weather forecasters in Tulsa were anticipating another dangerous line of storms heading my way. I had received an e-mail earlier in the day from my minister of music stating that First Baptist would be open as a storm shelter. Thus the no-brainer of deciding how I would ride out the storm: with church family, having my mind be taken off of the storm versus home alone, huddled in my bathtub. Part of how we were distracted from the storm was by viewing the Justin Bieber documentary Never Say Never. If I were about 15 years younger I would probably be drooling with lust over the Biebs, but can thankfully state I didn’t know much about him prior to the movie, but can easily admit the kid’s got talent. Ironically, several younger girls began watching the movie with several teens & young adults, myself included, but near the end they abandoned the movie to play with their little friends, leaving us who really could have cared less. Yet, there we stayed, finishing watching the movie in the church basement, chuckling over the girls who dramatically demonstrated their Bieber Fever on camera.

Since many of the younger families who showed up have little girls, they came prepared to spend the night if need be. I couldn’t help but smile as I saw they had their dollies ready for bed hours before they would even consider doing the same.

pinkpreparedness

Thankfully, the bulk of the storm passed around 10:00 p.m., allowing us to gather our earthly possessions and return home. Tornado tip learned: wearing a helmet (baseball, bike, etc.) is an easy way to protect your head when taking cover in a tornado.

Maybe the crazy weather will subside, especially since it’s now summer vacation in my book. Granted, I still have to work year around, but even for those who do not work in the field of education, after school is out, it’s summertime! Thus, my summer reading list:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (currently reading and loving it!)
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (enjoyed read her Pulitzer winning novel March a few years ago and look forward to her newest offering)
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (fiction based on the history of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley)
Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani (a young adult sequel by an author I adore)
My Lucky Life in and out of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke (reruns of his TV show are some of my favorites and just love his role in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

As I look ahead to June it holds a trip to Oklahoma City as a chaperone for our middle school church choir, a return trip to Missouri for my always anticipated family reunion, our monthly book club, the town movie night in the park, and a four day, ten hour workweek. Ah, the joys of summer.

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