Saturday, May 30, 2009

Amish country

My cousin Sandra and her husband Justin were kind enough to take me to visit the Amish country in Pennsylvania over Memorial Day weekend. This is me enjoying how peaceful it was. Since this visit was in the middle of a busy business trip, the serenity of the simple Amish lifestyle was amplified. The unanswered emails in my inbox seemed less pressing, and it was a great place to "unstring the bow". I would love to go live in that community for a summer with Tricia.

Even the Amish country (we were in the city of Intercourse) isn't spared its own tourist trap drag on the main road. You don't have to be Amish to live in this area, though somehow going to an "Amish-style" restaurant that remains open on Sunday didn't strike us as very authentic. There were a few gift shops with typical gift-shop fare. Here was our favorite item: the "Faith Pig" with an apple springing out of its back. I wasn't aware of anyone in my life who needed a faith pig at the moment, so I didn't buy it, but if you have any ideas on the appropriate occasion to give such a gift, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

thinking half full

I have my problems, for sure, but they are small--so very, very small. And when I compare them against my opportunities, they are puny. Here are some glass-half-full notes:
  • I have time and opportunity to create. Cards, essays, poems, food, organized piles. Being able to create is a powerful tool.
  • I can read. I have books upon books upon books that I have read and piles upon piles that I have yet to read. Besides that, I can read maps, traffic signs, warnings, and care labels. And I can read God's word.
  • I have music. I can listen to music and create music (with guitar, piano, organ, or voice) to suit (or change) any mood.
  • I have dirt. I am a better person for having a spot of ground that is my responsibility to care for. The growth of plants is a miracle.
  • I have an interested mind. Yesterday I heard a new idea that has me thinking. The idea is that adults should be drawing as much as kids are encouraged to do in grade school. Just because you're not good doesn't mean you should stop. (Think adults playing basketball.) Wouldn't it be interesting to have a whole wall be painted in chalkboard paint so you could have an ever-changing mural, contributed to by family and guests alike? Lovely idea.

What are you own half-full notes?