May 27, 2014

Yay for Memorial Day!

I hope you had a most enjoyable Memorial Day! To start off our holiday afternoon, my family and I walked down to our usual spot of sidewalk in front of the bank to watch the parade. It is a beautiful event every year and we never miss it. Love the marching bands. Thank you to all of the men and women of the Armed Forces!

After the parade, I set my sights on doing some heavy yard work. As March, April, and most of May weren't really nice at all, I got very behind in the clean up. With this entire 3-day weekend being clear and blue, I seized the opportunity to get a lot done. If you remember, it was three years ago that I gave the yard an extreme makeover. Well, all of the plants and shrubs have finally become full and lush. The rose garden has tons of buds. The clematis vines have taken over the trellises. The blueberry bushes are getting tall. It's all looking terrific. I'm happy to say that the Avant Garden Poetry Amphitheatre is almost ready to go for the 2014 season. I still have a few more things to do, so perhaps another two weeks. As late afternoon came around, I invited my friend, Marquis McCheever, over for our first barbeque of the year. We talked about some ideas for themed events at the amphitheatre. Good stuff. Soon. Very soon...

"We know that we live in him and he in us,
because he has given us of his Spirit."
~1 John 4:13


May 21, 2014

Yay for School!

This entire past week has been devoted mostly to my kids and their end-of-year school events. On Tuesday, my family went out to the Middle School to see my son playing his clarinet in the Spring Concert. The program featured performances by the orchestra, band, and chorus. There were some great musical selections, including a few surprises such as Herbie Hancock's jazz classic "Watermelon Man" and a toe-tapping rendition of Bill Wither's 70s hit "Lean On Me." It was a really good show and I was very happy to see my son having fun playing music on the stage. On Saturday evening at the high school, the focus shifted from music to dance at my daughter's dance recital. The theme for this year's show was "Dancing In the Street." It started off with a Motown medley that was electrifying, wound through several numbers in various styles, and ended with a grand finale of the show tune "One" from A Chorus Line. I loved it. On Tuesday afternoon, we returned to the high school once again for a special field day. It was a crystal clear day and I took a spot on the bleachers to watch my son and his friends taking part in events like the long jump, relay races, discus, and javelin. A week of music, dance, and sports. Amazing!

"May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to live in such harmony with one another,
in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may
with one voice glorify the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ."

~Romans 15:5-6


May 14, 2014

Yay for Moms!

Last Sunday for my family began with church. As it was Mother's Day, all of the mothers in attendance were invited up in front of the congregation for a very moving tribute and to receive a gift. To see all of the ladies being honored on the stage was a lovely moment and I welled up a bit. I've noticed in the church bulletin that they often have missionary groups that are sent to different places around the globe. To go forth to new places while bringing hope and comfort to others in the name of the Lord is something that I would love to do. It might be difficult as I still have to work a full time job, but I will definitely be looking into it some more.

When church services concluded, in order to continue our Mother's Day celebrations, my family and I packed a picnic basket and drove over to the Planting Fields Arboretum. It was to be the most beautiful day of the year thus far and the park was crowded with people who all had the very same idea. We found a serene spot and spread our blankets under a shady pine tree beside a small pond. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a more delightful lunch. As I was laying back on the blanket, a group of skywriters flew overhead making the moment even more special. After the meal, we carried all of the bags back to the car and then proceeded to hike through the arboretum and its vast grounds and winding paths. It felt great to once again to be experiencing the fresh air of the outdoors and , no matter how many times I go on nature excursions, I always seem to find things that I've never seen before, such as the rusty-hued surface of a Chinese Paperbark Maple. All of the Cherry Blossoms were also looking lovely in full bloom and I really enjoyed walking through the park's Dwarf Conifer Garden. Wonderful day...

"For the word of God is living and active,
sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing to the division of soul and of spirit,
of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts
and intentions of the heart."

~Hebrews 4:12


May 6, 2014

Acrobats, Arts, and Tulips

On Sunday afternoon, I drove over to Heckscher Park in Huntington for the annual Tulip Festival. As this Spring has been mostly chilly so far, I was a bit disappointed to find that many of the tulips were not yet in bloom, though the event was still well-attended and emanated a fun atmosphere. Among the booths of vendors, there were children singing karaoke and doing artwork and crafts, various sports activities, as well as a few spring plant giveaways. On the park band shell, I was lucky to catch a performance by the a troupe called the Chinese Acrobats. It was a very lively, impressive exhibition of physical skill and balance that included the use of unicycles, spinning plates, and hoops. Very much enjoyed.

The festival also offered free admission into the Heckscher Art Museum. The gallery is currently showing an exhibit called "Rhythm & Repetition in 20th-Century Art" which focuses on recurring shapes within works. These are a few of my favorites:

Friedenreich Hundertwasser
"Street for Survivors"

Esphyr Slobodkina
"Vortex #2"

Risaburo Kimura

Robert Richenburg
"Circles 1"

"For with thee is the fountain of life:
in thy light shall we see light."

~Psalm 36:9