March 04, 2008

Intimacy Lost

LetterToday I came across a great post at Ginny's Small Studio about letter writing.

I miss writing letters. I miss receiving letters.

I miss the days of running to my College Post Office (CPO) box in anticipation of hand written letters from my parents and friends back home. I even miss the sense of loss when the CPO was empty. It made the days of finding letters inside even more special. I miss that tactile sensation of opening an envelope - like opening a gift - wondering what treasure of words, thoughts, stories and ideas lay inside.

My life-long friend Dave and I became friends through letters. I was in college as he was finishing up his last year of high school. I wrote him, he wrote back. I replied and he replied to my reply. We did not stop replying to each other. For years we faithfully wrote one another. Once, twice, three times a week we were journaling our lives, our thoughts, our passions and our foibles through letters and post cards. I went on into marriage and a career as he went on to study and teach in France. Still the letters continued.

Those letters are a treasured chronicle of that age of my life. The birth, growth and maturity of a friendship is right there in hundreds of envelopes on hundreds, if not thousands of pages covered in personal, handmade lines of ink and graphite.

I fear that our culture lost something when technology robbed us of letter writing.

Yes, e-mail is fast. Yes, e-mail is convenient. Yes, e-mail is cheap.

So is a prostitute.

The bytes and pixels of e-mail will never match the intimacy of a personal, handwritten letter.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Aphrodite. By the way, that's an iridium nibbed fountain pen making those letters [for those of you who've never seen one].

February 29, 2008

The Creator Doodles

Morning_explosion_lrThe other morning I was on my way to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. It was early and the sun had not yet risen. I turned to my right, looked out the car window, and witnessed one of the most spectacular celestial scenes I've ever witnessed.

The rising sun had created a brilliant, fiery pink shaft of light shooting straight up into the air. I don't know if it was clouds below the horizon that directed the sun's rays like a giant searchlight, but it took my breath away. I had my camera in the back seat of the car and quickly pulled it out to take this picture.

A minute later, it was gone.

Every once in a while God reminds me that He is Creator and, like all true artists, His creative work is never finished.

The sky is God's canvas, and each day we get to watch Him doodle.

February 27, 2008

A Century is Long Enough

WrigleyTomorrow is the first Spring Training game for the Chicago Cubs and you can bet it will be a heckuva lot warmer down in Mesa, Arizona than at Wrigley Field. Nevertheless, it's a wonderful sign of the coming of spring and the boys of summer. After the winter we've had, I'm more excited than ever for the promise of warm summer evenings at the ballpark.

The last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series was in 1908. It will be 100 years this year. Baseball's "lovable losers" have been frozen out of a championship long enough.

Maybe this year!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and brighter than sunshine.

February 26, 2008

Enough Already!!

Front_porch_winter I drove to Minneapolis yesterday morning through an ice storm (yes, mom, I made it safe). This was a trip scheduled earlier and rescheduled because of a winter storm. I think we've already doubled the normal amount of snow fall. There's a mountain of ice at the bottom of my driveway that's too thick to chop through. I have so much snow and ice on our back porch that any thing melting just backs up against the house and creates a skating rink at our back door. Arrrrrrrrrrrggghhhh!

GOD?! Could you turn off the ice maker and SHUT the freezer door, please!?

February 19, 2008

A Rant for Today

Why is it that, when school is cancelled, the kids are still asked to attend rehearsals and activites for extra-curicculars? With each snow day the girls have had this winter, Madison has continually been expected to make it to show choir rehearsal. What message are we sending to our kids? It's too bad outside to learn anything in the classroom, but you darn well better risk getting out to practice your song-and-dance routine!

[scratching head]

January 10, 2008

Sex Study

Man_chores"A new study reveals that monkeys treat sex as a commodity and females make the males pay for sex by bargaining for the males to do chores like grooming them.

Or something like that, I couldn't finish the article because I had to take out the garbage and clean up the garage."

- Alex Kaseberg

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and geowulf

August 27, 2007

Word of the Day: Pontificate

Pontiff Pontificate is my word for the day. Wendy used it last night and all of a sudden my brain and my mouth are having fun saying it. It rolls off the tongue in three glorious syllables filled with edgy consonants.

Wendy's use of the word came on the way home from church. She asked the question, "Why do church leaders always feel the need to pontificate?"

It's another reason we're such a good match for each other. We think alike in so many ways. If we're having an organizational meeting, then let's organize. We don't need a ten minute devotional thought on the Apostle Paul's admonishment to do things decently and in order. If we're getting together to make a decision on the building project we don't need a mini-book study of Nehemiah. It's especially unappreciated when the mini-sermon was, itself, hastily organized and thrown together. Then it's more aggravating because they are obviously doing it out of some sense of obligation, not because they have something on their heart they really want to say. Seriously, I won't think less of you as a member of the church staff if you skip the homily.

August 02, 2007

Undeniable Proof

Cubs It's August and the Chicago Cubs are in 1st place.

...and still people say there is no God.

June 22, 2007

What I don't get...

Does that guy on the plane not look in the mirror and see the gross bumper crop of hair sticking a half-inch out of his nostrils? Does that lady not see the six stringy long hairs sticking out of her chin?

May 31, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Iowa Cubs!

Iowa_cubs It was a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. Wendy and I headed to tradition-rich Sec Taylor field in Principal Park this past Sunday to watch the Iowa Cubs take on the Oklahoma City Redhawks. We had a wonderful afternoon. It not only brought back great memories of my Grandpa Spec taking me to the same park when I was a kid - it reminded me that Triple-A baseball is an amazing experience and tremendous value.

Thank you to Michael Gartner and the Iowa Cubs for providing such a great venue and family entertainment.

 Here’s why I think minor league baseball is the “IN” place to be:

  1. IN-credible players: I watched a crop of young players motivated to play their hearts out in order to get to the show. I also saw players like Felix Pie and Ronny Cedeno who’ve already cut their chops in Chicago and are looking to get back.
  2. IN-timate setting: I sat towards the top of the reserved seats on the first base side and was still perilously close to the action – complete with dodging foul balls. No handing out oxygen-masks in the “upper deck” or hauling in my binoculars to view the action. This is big league ball in a small park.
  3. IN-viting treats: baseball, hotdogs, and a cold beer. Need I say more?
  4. IN-the-sunshine: I had all the food and fun outside on a gorgeous late Spring afternoon and got a tan to boot. Paying money to sit in a tanning booth never made less sense. 
  5. IN-expensive entertainment: All of this, and more, for a mere fraction of the cost of a Major League game. In fact, I can get a general admission ticket for the I-Cubs for less than the price of a movie ticket. Heck, I can always rent a DVD – take me out to the ballgame!