Prairie View

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Sunday Wrap Up 10/6/2013

I'm sorry for all of you who missed Dwight's sermon at Center this morning--especially farmers and others interested in care of the earth and stewardship issues.  Dwight is preaching through the creation account in Genesis, focusing each sermon on what was created during one day of creation week.  Today it was Day 3, when the waters under the heavens gathered together in one place and dry land appeared.  Dwight unwrapped layers of detail concerning soil, and the life lessons we can learn from studying it.

He issued some disclaimers about one section and then shared his own reservations about synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified organisms.  He also talked about Sabbath rest for the land.  It was one farmer talking to other farmers, with gardeners and property owners and others listening in.

I was partly listening with the ears of current and recent high school students, and was delighted to hear  affirmation on some of what we've been learning about in our most recent current events study on problems in the American food supply.  Some of them were no doubt thinking that Dwight was expressing things very cautiously, in contrast to some of the research they came across elsewhere.

The bottom line for Dwight is that all of what we do is to be done as "unto the Lord." Short-term gains should not be prioritized over long-term benefits, and productivity should not be the only measure of success.  I could not agree more.


Pilgrim Christian Schools staff held a retreat from Thursday evening till Friday evening at Oasis Ranch and Retreat Center between Abbyville and Plevna, about six miles straight west of our place.  The activities were planned by the two principals, and the food was planned and prepared by their wives.  It was an overnight stay for most participants.

The activities were a good mix of social interaction, inspiration, and professional development.  Aaron's leading of songs from Hymns of the Church was much more suited to our worship preferences than the high volume, heavily instrumented, words-on-a-screen singing typical of conventions.  Also, kneeling, or bowing, or prostrating ourselves during group prayer would not have been nearly as natural or doable at convention as it was in the gathering room in the upstairs at Oasis.  Animated visiting around the tables at mealtime took place sans the interruptions of going through crowded, far-from-the-table buffet lines.  Also, after two years in a row of encountering bedbugs in hotel rooms, sleeping in commercial establishments has lost some of its appeal, so a little country place seems pretty nice.

I'm not qualified to speak for everyone, but I, for one, think this was an improvement on the past several years' participation in the ACSI convention.  Hiromi and I came home for the night, and being able to do so removed a lot of the negatives of a trip to Topeka or Kansas City.  No hours on the road (for me, less than ten nearly traffic-free minutes to the destination), no packing, no sleeping in a strange bed, no disturbing others by snoring or being disturbed by the same, no waiting on the shower, and no lunch to pack.  Hiromi could participate in part of the event, and he never did so when it involved travel.


Our school day that ended with the beginning of retreat was one for the annals.  My first clue that it was not an ordinary day presented itself when I arrived and parked on the west side of the building where I usually park.  All the windows in the learning center were open, and Micheal Jon's face appeared at the window closest to me.  He cheerfully greeted me with, "Mrs, I, you're in for a surprise."  Was I ever.

Instead of creeping quietly past the Bible class usually in session, I stood and stared when I opened the door to a soggy mess.  Barefoot upperclassmen were wielding brooms (for sweeping water out the door), and mops for sopping it up.  A water pipe had burst during the night under a sink in the kitchen, and water had flooded the kitchen, the south third of the learning center, the typing room, the supplies room, the lab, and the office.  All those rooms are carpeted except the kitchen and the lab.  The basement was flooded too, with water finding its way there via openings in the concrete ceiling/floor.

Mr. Schrock called for reinforcements, and shop vacs and dehumidifiers and fans soon appeared, with a crew to help man the tools and move furniture and boxes from the floor.  The file cabinets in the office were the most daunting things to  move, and the boxes on the floor of the supplies room and the ones on the floor of the closet in the typing room were the messiest.  Typing class could not be held as usual, since my teacher's desk had been shoved into the space in the center of the room, blocking the place where students normally walk to get to their computers.  Composition class took place in the school library.

Eventually, the computers came to life again, and I regained access to my desk.  Students capitalized on the chaos by shunning shoes and socks for the entire day, and no one reproved them.  The teachers wore shoes all day.  My steps made some squishing and sloshing noises early in the day, but I didn't get wet feet, so I doubt that the barefoot business was strictly necessary.  Nor did the bare feet interfere unnecessarily with the business of having school, so it was all good.

Wes and I noted how much more distressing the flooding would have been if the water had been dirty floodwater or sewage-contaminated water.  At least this water was nice and clean.  

When I left, there were still at least three fans and one dehumidifier running in the typing room, and my desk was still parked in the center of the room.  I trust that things will have been put to rights by the time school starts tomorrow.  Not having school on Friday was well-timed for facilitating the drying out process.


Tristan and Carson stayed with me on Friday evening after the retreat when Shane and Dorcas had their first evening out since the baby arrived.  This time I took Carson with me when I accompanied Tristan out to sit on the seat of Grandpa's mower.  He was snugly wrapped in a blanket and slept through most of our time outdoors.   Later that evening the weather turned sharply colder, and keeping him outside would no longer have seemed like such a great idea.

Hiromi came home from work in time to help with babysitting for the last half of the evening, and we all had a good time together.  It helped that Carson willingly took the bottle I offered him.


Canning apples with Clarissa and Dorcas on Saturday was followed by coming home to pick and can tomatoes.  I probably had close to a bushel of tomatoes to can.  I'm still marveling that it happened.

The Fabulous tomatoes are huge and the plants are very productive, but something has happened with the flavor.  It's not as good as it was in previous years.  We're trying to figure out why.  Different soil?  Late in the season?  Any ideas out there?


Marian Y. is almost home.  The hospice nurse observed signs near the end of the week leading her to believe that her body is shutting down.  Yesterday Marian was hearing singing and seeing babies that were not present in the room, so it seems that she's been close enough to look into heaven, and hear some of what's happening there.

I do not like having to face the prospect of life without Marian, but I look forward to seeing her delivered from what has, of late, become a trail-filled life. No one earns heaven, but she has lived and served as well as any of us could ever hope to do, and it's good to know that rest is ahead for her.  She's reminded herself and those around her many times that only God can fix what's wrong in the world, and that awareness is helping to give her peace now.  For those who needed her, she was willing to stay and endure the nastiness of cancer treatment, but, now that it's clear that she does not need to stay, she's trusting God to take care of what concerns her here, and she's turning her attention to heaven.

No one outside my family has done more than Marian to make my life at school possible.  By helping me for several hours each week for most of the past ten years, she has helped keep our home a welcoming refuge.  When she had surgery early last spring and never recovered enough to work, our house suffered.  Not having her help in preparing to move and getting settled afterward has delayed every step of the process and made it more cumbersome and less efficient.  I have not been able to bring myself so far to hire someone else, but I need to.

I wasn't always here when Marian came, but when I was, we had wonderful times of getting caught up on each others' lives.  She was an encouraging friend, and I could share anything with her in complete confidence that she would not use any bad thing against me.

Marian told me several weeks ago that the girls in the families that have shared so much of life in the past are still such good friends to her.  She named David L.'s girls, Ora's girls, and Alvin's girls.  Those of you who know our community will understand how our lives intersected.  Marian had many other friends as well, but yes, this circle of friends is an ever-so-comfortable circle for all of us.

Christopher Bagby, who has lived in David and Susanna's apartment for several months, and attended church at Center, has gone back to his family in California.  He hopes to stay in contact with the fellowship that Verlyn Miller from here is part of.  He left with kind words of appreciation for his time here.  He is a believer, and wanted to learn more about what it means to live in a community of believers.


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