Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Returning to work after a "few days off"

As much as I love getting out of town, and was ecstatic about going to do my sister's wedding in WV this past weekend, it was anything but "a few days off." Wedding weekends are intense and wonderful. Family and friends that we too seldom get to see arrive, and we attempt to pack in to a few short days enough visiting to last until our next planned visit (often months from now).

Getting to WV was pretty easy. We left after the funeral and were there in time for dinner. Thank god for Laura. I was a pretty limp and exhausted noodle. After we got some food into us, I sacked out, a hard core nap. It felt good to get a little recovery time, but I still feel like I am running hard to catch up. We rolled off the turnpike around 6:45, and wound up pushing through to the village, not knowing what we would do about dinner but wanting to be off the road. By the time we arrived, folks were only just in the midst of tucking in to the buffet my sis and her intended put on for the early arrivals.

Hats off to them. Getting married in a rather remote location is never easy. Bethany opened their residence halls to the guests, we had the wedding in the Academic Parlour and the reception was in Commencement Hall. Even the President opened his office to my sis and her attendants/our mothers so that they might be able to dress in the cool of the AC.

And did they need it. We charted 90+ temps with Ohio River Valley humidity. Reminded me of my youth, and it left us breathless at times.

Rolling in to Bethany is a lot like arriving in a third millennium version of Mayberry, with my new brother-in-law playing the mayor, etc. The guy who ran the general store (yes, a General Store) is still running it. He makes the best sandwiches in the county--simple, cheap and to order. My cousin took an afternoon run down Buffalo Creek...A road we used to ride our bikes down (Castleman's Run) to the fishing/swimming hole. Lots of room for nostalgia, with walks past old haunts, old homesteads and places of adventure, and misadventure, from my growing up years.

Aside from the wedding (picture below), there was plenty of porch sitting. Sophie had a wonderful time, with three BIG black labs to run with at my sis' house. A sign of good fortune for the wedding: the newly formed pack o' dogs met in the front yard without a single growl or bark and folded easily into hanging out with each other.The ceremony was hot, but truly a sacred moment or five. Lib and Sven had chosen a Twyla Tharp tune for the processional that brought tears to my eyes. Sven had one or two himself during Schubert's Ave Maria. They had chosen a beautiful Maya Angelou poem, and it was a true joy to see so many beloved faces from the past come forward to mark the day o' joy.
Then, back to Bucks County. We got in late in the afternoon, and getting back into the office presented some challenges. Both the emotional letdown of leaving family and the hours spent up instead of resting had taken their toll. I was tired, both mentally and physically. Luckily, most of the work today was catchup on a couple of outstanding issues around outreach and mission, some stuff with finance and then a quick couple of pastoral calls. So, early to bed tonight and then up with the birds for a celebration of St. Macrina!

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