Thursday, July 26, 2007

Living Close to Nature

I hadn't decided yet to reveal which tiny Oklahoma town I've moved to, but this post makes it obvious so I may as well come out with it. There's a National Park here and it's so wonderful (not to mention offers superb photo ops) that I can't contain myself from sharing.

The park is called Chickasaw National Recreation Area. and it's in Sulphur, Oklahoma. The park makes me think of Kurt since his blog consists almost exclusively of pictures of places he's gone hiking/exploring/photo opping. Seems like I'm frequently giving blog love to Kurt of late, but hey, he's a great blog friend and his infrequent posts and picture captions often crack me up.

Anyway....this place is awesome! I had a friend down this week to visit and we took the pups walking in the park on two occasions.

The park is full of trails, waterfalls, and places to swim or just wade around and cool off. I love it and plan on spending a good amount of time there when the weather cools off a bit.

Happy Summer to all of you! Mine will be over in only TWO weeks! I report to my new school on August 8!

I'll post before and after pictures of my new classroom soon. I'm still working on the "after" part.

love and grace,

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Unpacking Hope

Unpacking and setting up in a new place is full of reflection. It's been almost a year, but not yet a year, since the sudden demise of the marriage. Those were dark days last August, just as school was gearing up for my 18th year of teaching. In the beginning, Drew and I stayed with dear friends who've been like surrogate parents to me. While we were there a package arrived. The box contained an angel figurine, specifically, the one in front, holding the lantern.

It's titled "Angel of Hope". Christine and her sister sent it. I'd had plans to meet Christine in person, the weekend just before the bottom fell out. She was in town at the time visiting her sister who I'd met several months earlier in a little coffee shop on our town square. Unfortunately, the face-to-face meeting never occurred because I was in pitiful shape that weekend. And then, this "Angel of Hope" arrived for me in the mail a week later. It remains a heartfelt reminder to me, not only of the HOPE I have in Christ, but in the beauty of God's design which enables us to reach out and impact one another in significant ways during desperate times.

My friendship with Christine began through an email. Christine had read my blog, and then discovered that I lived in the same Texas town as her sister. At the time, her sister was struggling a bit with Christine's gayness, specifically as it related to how to go about combining her religious beliefs about homosexuality with her great love for Christine. B (C's sister) and I met and I knew immediately that I'd found a friend in her AND in Christine. There was the connection you get with people that only comes by the spirit. And it was there, and remains, even if I never see or talk with Christine or B face-to-face in this age.

B and I have each moved from that Texas town where we met. Christine has gone on to become a famous lesbian. ;) And, I still have hope for things to come and a little figurine to remind me of connections made here that are eternal.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Back Online!

I'm here! My internet was connected today and BOY was I ready! I've been able to check email at a cousin's house just enough to stave off trembling and cold sweats. All the things I brought in the first round of moving are unpacked and put away and I'm ready to go back for the rest. That will happen this week. Here are a few more pictures of my new place.

This is my back patio.

Here's the view out my back door and down the sidewalk where you can see the extra storage/studio/whatever room. It's air-conditioned, has a concrete floor, two cabinets, and two shelving units inside.

This is the view from the living room into the breakfast/dining area.

A kitchen with cabinets all the way up to the ceiling!

Sparky and Emma are becoming very spoiled to the walks we're able to take all around our new neighborhood. I love the weather here; it's so much nicer for walking in the mornings and evenings. There's actually a cool breeze and low humidity. That's very different from Texas. It's still raining off and on every day but not so much that there's not plenty of time to get in several walks.

They love taking in all the new this tree!

Thanks for checking in. And particularly for all the prayers and support I've received from all of you during this transition.

Numbers 6
24 " ' "The LORD bless you
and keep you;

25 the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;

26 the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace." '

love and grace,

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