A big week to think about –
Last Friday, I went South Bend for a meeting with a co-worker and friend. We had a productive meeting; but what I enjoyed most about the day was the train ride to and from South Bend. Now, I used to take this route a lot when I was a student in Elkhart and dying to live in Chicago. The price has gone up; but so has the ridership which is probably partly to do with gas prices right now. I read a complete book, 2 magazines and enjoyed the scenery for the whole time. I even met a student who was studying Greek on the train!
Once I got home, I packed up for my next trip – which was Bluffton University. (Bluffton College when I was there.) It was graduation weekend and I was invited to an event to honor my favorite professor, J. Denny Weaver who retired several years ago. A Festschrift was written for him. That is a fancy word for a book that includes articles about his work, argues with his work, and commends him for that work. I spoke in Denny’s classes a couple years ago answering the question, “Where will I use theology in the real world.” Now, I don’t really live in the real world when it comes to theology – as I breathe it in deep and eat and drink it – but that is Denny’s fault mostly. He made me think, liked the fact that I loved to argue with him before I usually, but not always, conceded with him, and really cared about students, like me. His passion to follow Jesus, which was often missed by my peers, was evident to me. In his challenge to the norm was out of love and desire to follow Jesus, not to get everyone’s panties in a bunch. Saturday provided a beautiful tribute – and having this festschrift was a perfect gift to him. He said it was better than being named a saint; as saints have to be dead and he can enjoy this book. With that Denny smirk – that is all too etched into my brain, and the drawing of the shift – that is another post.
I went to Bluffton with my good friends Melissa and Nadia, who are also graduates of the college. I enjoyed their company; appreciate their friendship and discovered that I really like shopping with them. The last time I went clothing shopping with them was for my wedding dress – something I hope not to repeat – so I don’t realize how much I like doing stuff like shopping. I must explain. I love shopping at thrift stores and often do so alone or with Jim. However, M and N and I went to the Croc’s Outlet store on Sunday. (We went to other places and we all found what we were looking for which is always good, but I digress.) The Croc’s Store – while I shouldn’t even write about it in the same post with Denny Weaver – it was amazing!!!!! I walked in the store and got overwhelmed – I blurted out – this is the best store ever – but it was one of those moments that I really didn’t think I said it outloud until those around me commented about the outburst. In the end, I got two pairs of new crocs, two T shirts (one for me and one for Jim), and the little designs to put in the shoes (several for Jim, one for me) all for under $80!!!
Monday night, Jim and I attended a fundraiser which was a Progressive Dinner at 13 restaurants in the West Lawn neighborhood. We ended up going to 8 or 9 – we were stuffed as they all fed us a mini meal. Some of my favorite places we went (aka places we will go back to) are:
Cafezazzo , S and M Grill, Paco’s Tacos, Dempsey’s. If you would like more information, let us know. It was a great way to see a new neighborhood of Chicago.
We were asked if we would like to have company in our car – and we said sure. That is how I met an assistant producer to my favorite show – Check Please. Jim kept telling her that she didn’t know how happy I was becoming just because of that fact. She entertained my questions and seemed pretty impressed that I was so impressed. She also worked on the Foods of Chicago program on PBS that I love; and just released a pilot that is a SNL and Daily Show hybrid about Chicago – I was way excited about it. The other thing was that she saw us on the CTA Tattler – the one that posted about our ride on the CTA on our wedding. It was funny being recognized for that!
As of yesterday, I have a new job. I am staying with DOOR and in Chicago; just starting to have some national responsibilities so I get to put official time into the stuff that I love doing and have been doing as well as pastorally caring for the staff. I start June 1st splitting my time between Chicago based programs and national programs. I even get a new title – I have no idea what that is, but I do get a new title.
I am Seattle for work the rest of the week. I am staying in an old convent that is on the Pudget Sound. Rough Life I lead!!! I do realize how much I ask Jim to do in my absence; I make it hard for him, and stare at the ocean while my meetings are going on!