...a mixture often of incongruous elements


I've been contemplating this new season of unscheduled days I appear to be entering. Just last week I told a friend over coffee that I was a teenager the last time my calendar was this empty. Almost as soon as I said it, one thing after another came my way in a steady stream and just that quick, large portions of my unscheduled time quickly evaporated.

There are few moments more thrilling than when I am aware of God's hand in the ordinary events of the day. Such was the case last week when I was left with just enough time between two appointments for a long overdue haircut. I'm normally rather particular about who cuts my hair, but that day time did not permit me to see the beautician I trust at a shop out toward the beach. Desperate for a haircut, I had to settle for whoever was available at a shop closer to my other appointments. I began to doubt the wisdom of that decision when the young lady who had an opening just as I walked in was not in the best of moods. She appeared irritated and almost every sentence was punctuated with offensive language, but by the time I left nearly an hour later, I was confident that it had been a divine appointment, and I knew more about her life as the single mother of two little girls than I know about most of the people in the church I have been attending for seven years.


I know. I'm a couple of weeks behind in my backyard letters. It might have been a bit too ambitious of me to promise a weekly letter of current events at a time of year when life on Pollywog Creek is typically uneventful. It's hot. It rains and it's humid. I'm not complaining, mind you. Just saying. I don't get outside as often as I do when conditions are more favorable. The grass is thick and green, and the thickets along the creek are tangled mounds of bushes and vines and clusters of grapes, wild plums, and saw palmetto berries. A great white heron and a pair of green herons are occasional visitors to the pond and though I can't be certain, they are most likely responsible for the dwindling population of bullfrogs. When I do make it outdoors, my favorite times of day are early morning, just after the dayflowers open and the dew still clings to the cob webs and sparkles on the blades of grass in the morning sunlight, and late afternoon after a rain when the whole world seems to glow bright green, and dragonflies line up along the barb-wire fence. All that to state the obvious - mimi's backyard letters will not always be posted weekly.

We are one of the three original couples in our mid-week small group, and it occured to me yesterday that we might be taking the idea of "living life together" a bit too seriously. Over the past year, three of us have had cardiac stress tests, two of us have needed joint injections, and three of us are now welcoming the new dentist to the community for major restorative dental work. A new local pastor is interested in joining our group. We probably should tell him what that might mean to his health and bank account.

Monday afternoon I had the pleasure of a long and leisurely conversation with two of the most beautiful and mature young women I know - my daughter Emily and our sweet friend Tiffany. Both Emily and Tiffany humble me with the depth of their faith and wisdom far beyond their chronological ages. We always delight in visits from Tiffany, and Monday was no exception. Her reminder of God's sovereignty in all things was one of the "God sitings" our pastor encouraged us to look for in his message this past Sunday. "The chaos around us comes as no surprise to God," she reminded us. Good, good words always, but especially for us this week as Emily prepares to leave for Rwanda and chaotic moments seem to be escalating.

"What are you going to do while Emily is in Rwanda?" several people have asked. Good question. Besides missing her terribly, being anxious for nothing, and praying without ceasing, I'm considering doing all the things that embarass her, like taking my camera into coffee shops and singing in the car. One thing I won't do is clean her room.