Deb over at RevGals invites this play:
1. Keeping your ducks in a row: Tell us how you manage the craziness. Lists? That faithful old-fashioned pocket calendar? Smart phone reminders? Wall calendar?
It seemed wholly appropriate for sweet C to arrive in early Advent… what with all the years she was desired, longed for… but my, my…. the timing, both in my academic life and in my ministry life is not ideal. Just when a semester or a church’s ministry is at its most demanding, it’s time to celebrate the gift of C. We’ve managed to do so in grand style every year thus far. This year will be no exception, but… I’ve had to make a six column table with work tasks and home tasks needing doing before the close of 2014. Next to each task are two skinny columns for dates– target completion, actual completion. Three pages… Gulp. And, of course, not everything has made the list. But it is amazing how much better I feel having made the table!
And among the tasks on the table is the making of other lists… including writing out plans for C’s rainbow cat birthday party… wanted to get that done last weekend, but it happened today.
I am using the Presby planning calendar (sort of) and the iPhone calendar (sort of), but mostly I rely on the lists/tables I generate…
2. Must-Do Events: What is one event on your list that you look forward to every year and NEVER miss? Not church services — something else that makes the season bright. Bonus points for a picture from a previous year’s event.
I don’t know how to answer this. We’re in a brand new home. We’re not traveling to more familiar environs this year. I think we’ll be creating new traditions and finding new events this year. I honestly can’t think of an every year event in our 12 years of marriage… well… there is New Year’s Day at my parents’ abode. I have been home for that more often that not– joining neighbors from down the street, and sometimes other friends, for lentil kielbasa soup that my mom only makes once a year, and peanut butter ice cream pie… and football for those who like it, board games for those who don’t. Will miss that this year… perhaps we need to create our own version here…
3. Kitchen disasters of the funny kind: Lighten the mood with one of your best kitchen disasters. What ingredient did you forget to add, or what dish was left to turn to charcoal in the oven? It may not have been funny at the time, but now it always makes you chuckle!
I can’t think of a kitchen disaster of my own, probably because I rarely take kitchen responsibility… but our first Christmas as a married couple, in our first home… I popped popcorn for stringing on our tree, gleefully carried the pot to the living room fresh from the stove top, and set it down on the carpet… inches from the fireplace hearth. Moments later I smelled something burning… and realized I was melting a circle in the carpet. Doh. Not a disaster. But an unfortunate disfigurement in the first month of home ownership!
4. “Honey, I can’t find the __________!” Every year we turn the kitchen upside down looking for the turkey baster and the cotton twine for roasting the bird. Do you have a similar kitchen gadget or decorating frustration? Or have you solved a perennial problem and can give us a tried-and-true tip?
Hmm… I’m always struggling to find needed things, but can’t think of particular things that ALWAYS elude me/us. Most recently, my brother and mother shared confidential info for the purpose of purchasing birthday gifts for C. I was very nervous about misplacing this information I promised to shred after using it. So I clipped it to the fridge. And then… less than 24 hours later COULD NOT FIND IT. Feared I had mailed it to Virginia with a book I was returning. Got the info again. Was feeling utterly sheepish. And then… in cleaning for T’giving… there it was… hanging on the fridge! (To-do lists and tables don’t solve everything!)
5. “I’ll never forget…” Tell us about a sweet holiday memory that you want to always ALWAYS remember!
My first parish always had two Christmas Eve services, an early family service, and an 11 p.m. service. My first year in ministry I planned an elaborate cast of thousands (hyperbolically speaking), new technology to the space, etc. event. And ended up sitting behind a Christmas tree, more or less, from which vantage point I couldn’t keep track of what was going on. It felt like an explosive mess. It felt awful. I went home and cried in the lasagna with which the church secretary had lovingly gifted us for Christmas (those lasagnas are a sweet memory in and of themselves), feeling like I had failed to make Christmas happen. Then we returned to church in the stillness of a dark, snowy night, and the second service felt transcendent, sublime… As we walked out into the snowy night, I remembered that I don’t make Christmas happen. And my heart sang praise.