A friend told me this pic made me look like a Grandma Vampire wannabe. That wasn't what I was had in mind. But my apologies for constantly wearing black and looking like I might bite.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
It’s a Friday morning in early Fall and I am on the cusp of going live with a new sub-site linked to Ransom Fellowship. Before that can happen, I need to write an About Margie.
… much later in the day. No closer to being done. I don’t like writing this page and find many excuses to procrastinate. Hours have slipped past, and now it’s time to make chile rellenos with the poblanos I roasted earlier today.
The first distraction of the day was addressing the problem of wild grapes intended for jelly, not the syrup they’ve become. One jar for pancake syrup is okay, but ten? No. I dumped them all back into a large saucepan and re-heated it to a boil, stirring, watchful, thinking. I decided to add more pectin to see if it would thicken up. Carefully, I mixed it with a little water, gradually added spoonfuls of hot grape syrup until I could gently pour it into the simmering pot so as not to create one giant grape clot. There was a slight delay and then mayhem. I’ve stirred down many a rolling boil in life, but this was quickly out of control and I was trying to calm Mount St. Helens with a wooden spoon. The frothing bubbles grew into a heaping mound above the pot while I frantically tried to jerk the pot off the burner. Too late. The purple lava flowed over the sides, onto the burner where it smelted to pure carbon, adding a stink to the air, before sinking into the dark recesses of the range, where I never go. Thirty minutes later the mess was cleaned up and the jelly re-cooked. While ladling into the first jar, I managed to pour an inferno on my thumb. This was too much. I was about to cry or break all the jars, when my lifetime collaborator walked into the kitchen and offered to help.
And since that’s where I’m headed ... I may as well state it: now, looking back, thinking forward, life has been and will always be a collaboration with my husband of many years and with others who have joined us along the way. Not that it’s been perfect by any means. But I can’t write about myself without including Denis – his love of me, of hospitality, of theology, the challenges of media and culture … together we’ve tried to live artfully and faithfully, welcoming into our home those who don’t necessarily think or act like Sunday School veterans. We’ve asked ourselves what it means to fully live in this world with it’s many wonders and troubles and yet offer the full story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation.
When I was younger, I fantasized about doing something sensational and heroic, I can’t even think what right now. But I’ve learned that living a life pleasing to God and one that’s unexpectedly fulfilling is found in the ordinary days of waiting for the kitchen floor to dry in lemon-scented swaths on cleaning day, of scanning a cookbook for an apple cake recipe, reading a novel, reconciling the checking account, raising children, serving friends and strangers around a table where we share life stories. In the most foundational way learning to see Christ’s presence in the midst of the most common events not just for others, but for myself.
In this rich scape, which can also be rocky and danger-filled, I’ve been writing about what's funny, what's holy, what's suffering, probably since before you were born. It would be nice to claim that a great deal of wisdom has been seived through life’s boil-overs and rare moments of triumph over fruit-fly infestations, but that might sound arrogant.
This is the direction I stumble in, believing a greater glory will one day be revealed.
P.S. You should also know we have three adult children who helped shape our lives. I’m crazy about them, their spouses, and our eight grandchildren. I was at one time a pre-med student. (Thankfully, God spared me a life he knew I couldn’t live. I learned this observing the punishing schedules of physician friends.) In another life I would be a stone mason or a gardener. I love coffee and chocolate. Currently, a dash of chronic illness seeps into my priorities, which is often why I don’t answer the phone. Don’t take it personal.