Thursday, September 24, 2009

wish i could hug her today

This is my Meg and her dad - who is fabulous.

She has started a recess club called "save our world" with a couple of her friends - so far they have made necklaces to declare their love for all things recycled. :)


My kid finds the most incredibly bizarre things to do. For instance:

Mikey have done two market research projects. (One of them was a swimming thing: the company makes chlorine for pools and stuff, and they wanted to know how much water people accidentally drink while swimming... so me and Mikey went to their warehouse and swam laps for four hours!! And then we had to collect our pee for 24 hours to see how much chlorine we had accidentally drank!! Haha! Best $40 I've ever made.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a moment in a life

My kid Vincent wrote this little story in our latest family newsletter from him. I loved it... it is who he is. I thought you might like a glimpse into a crazy Elliott life.

Speaking of Millennium Park, I think you all will like this story: one day last week, when neither me or Mikey had anything to do, we started talking about how nice it feels to be complimented. We discussed the issue further, and struck upon the idea of a Compliment Booth, like a Kissing Booth, except that instead of kissing passersby, we would give them free compliments. So Mikey and I made a sign on an old chalkboard that said COMPLIMENT BOOTH and went down to Millennium Park. We sat in folding chairs behind our sign, and doled out compliments all day long, from 10am until 4pm. We must've given out 5000 compliments. Four different police officers came by to see what we were up to, but after giving them compliments, they just laughed and let us be. At one point, Mikey gave a nice compliment to a blonde woman, and she came over to us to ask us what we were up to (a common question). "School project? Community service?" "Nope, just being nice to people." As it turns out, she was a reporter from a TV station in Spain, and she interviewed us for Spanish TV. So now Mikey and I, the Compliment Booth guys, are famous in Spain.

If I could just say - anything that gets an Elliott into the news makes them happy. This is so vintage... I am still smiling.

a perfect anniversary

(I realize I have used this picture before but it is the only one on my computer.)
My sweety and I had the perfect anniversary yesterday. But let me begin on Sunday - Steve took me for a drive through the hills to Shaker Village where we walked in the cool low humidity and talked through each of our 35 years - what happened, what mattered, what hurt, what made us laugh. It was marvelous. We imagined what life would be like if we lived another 35 years together - after all we've done what would we do?

And then yesterday we began the day with Steve spraying our house for bugs and spiders - which were becoming too many to ignore. We spent the afternoon in bed, some of the time napping. What a luxurious thing to lounge about in bed during the afternoon - windows open, breeze floating all around, being with your best person.

When we wanted to we got up, dressed fancy and drove to Murrays and took a table in their garden, quite private and perfect in every way. I have to say we (read "I") consumed much too much of everything. My tummy still hurts. I shared some of my fillet Mignon with a beautiful stray cat who lingered in the bushes beside us ... clearly used to both begging and hiding. She seemed to appreciate the fine quality of the beef.

During dinner our youngest, Vincent, called to give us the welcome news that the job market had finally opened for him and he is adding this piece to his life. He was happy, and took time to tell us how good it is for him to live in Chicago, even with the various challenges.

We drove home with the windows open and went to our respective TV's to enjoy a taped British murder mystery (me) and a football game (Steve.) It was the perfect day.

During the night I had a dream. I dreamed about this morning, where I am speaking in chapel before the whole seminary. I have felt anxiety about this - but worked it through and am prepared. But in my dream every possible thing went wrong - to the point that people walked out and I could hardly begin let alone conclude my address. But the telling point is that in my dream I laughed about it. I laughed so hard, out loud, that I woke both Steve and myself up. I am still smiling in my soul.

I have had the privilege of living with one of the best men on earth for most of my life. I enjoy every day in some way. He does not hesitate to make me smile. He climbs into chigger infested fields to gather me a handful of wild daisies. He cleans up after my messy cooking forays. I do not live with criticism. I live with a big fat YES! spoken to me every day in all manner of ways. If all else around me fails, love will last, of this I am sure.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This is a friend

I told a friend this morning that I am not doing great with my prayer life these days - that I feel like my prayers are just bouncing around in an empty room - that I have lots to pray about but low expectations.

So many ways to respond to that. You might give a defense of prayer - how it matters anyway. Or a finger shaking in your face lecture about perseverance or faith. Or you might quote a little verse... or begin to talk about your own spiritual life of prayer ...which would make you feel better but me feel worse.

But my friend did not do any of this. She simply said,

"okay - then i will pray your prayers for you ... what are they?"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Identity Theft

This morning I have a bit of an unusual start ... I am making breakfast for a group of students ... taking it to the school, not having them here.

So I spent yesterday afternoon shopping and last night finishing up the preparation. This morning I got up early to get the breakfast casserole on, and the monkey bread didn't rise overnight so I had to do a remedy in a warm oven, and so on.

I came out of the shower wearing casual clothes. Steve looked at me funny so I said, "Hey. This is stage one. Run the food to the school. Help with child care during chapel - make sure the kids have their lunch, and then come home and change clothes for the presentations this afternoon. At five run home again to get the food I prepared last night for the community pot luck supper and take it to the dinner and then speak at the consecration service for new students at 7:00. And then collapse at home."

After I said all this ... there was a moments silence and Steve said, 'Well, I see you've become the Community Life pastor's wife."

To which I responded - Oh no! I did that, didn't I? I AM SUCH A LOSER!!!

So. Not to be stubborn, but I am going to cut down on all this running and filling in the holes. I have a lot of skills, developed over years of raising kids, volunteering, leading, making miracles happen without any money... but I think I want my identity back.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

neighborhood trauma

So I arrived home and flopped onto the couch with my feet up - the normal way for me to end my day - recovering and un-swelling. And I heard them before they got to my door, a passel of unkempt kids all under age eight or so, all who come frequently to my door - the neighborhood 'Mimi' - to show me miracles of nature, new skills on a bike or a dance move, tortured captives or just to try to solicit sweets.

The were all a-tumble this time...yelling all at once. The door bell rang furiously several times and I considered getting up. Then I heard JD say, "He's dead!" (Hear that in a very southern accent.) And then a big kafluffle of kid ejaculations. And then, "No he's not! He's upside down!"

Having no idea what it was that they were hauling to my front porch, not unlike my girl cat Walter does, when she wants to leave me a little love gift, I decided I would best stay prone. Wisdom of old age I think.