Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's a lazy July morning--hot and humid. People encountering the humidity for the first time often ask if one ever gets used to it. That's a difficult question to answer. If it's all you have ever known, it's accepted. If you have ever lived away from it for a while, as we did, you have to reacclimate. It takes longer to dry your hair, the air feels like it's squeezing you, pantyhose are pure misery and an unairconditioned car is torture. But, humidity is a small price to pay for the wonders of living in the South!

The Fourth of July menu depends on what's available at the Farmers' Market and whether or not the best meat counter in town has good looking ribs. It's probably going to rain buckets but since our grill is on the back porch, a little rain won't slow us down. My Georgia family always has a BIG family reunion on the Fourth where everyone brings a churn of ice cream. My mouth starts watering every year about mid-afternoon when I think of them opening those churns. We're having blueberry pie with store bought ice cream--what a sacrilege! Our churn wore out some years back and hasn't been replaced. This week I gave in to convenience and ordered one of the newer models that uses a bowl you put in the freezer before processing. I can't wait to get started, but it won't get her in time for the Fourth. Hope your holiday is full of fun, family, friends and food.

Tom is taking his after breakfast nap. We have seen both the opthamalogist and the new primary care doctor this week. Reports on the eyes were good, no appreciable changes in vision and the usual age related things. Cataracts are present, but not a problem for either of us, and the presence of pre-macular disease was noted again in my case. Tom's headaches are not eye related. We liked the new primary care person, appreciated his thoroughness and friendliness. His response to Tom's headaches was to give a different pain medication and to tell him to have the neurologist pursue the problem. So, again, no answers. It's frustrating, but he won't let it get him down completely.

Yesterday we had a message on the answer machine from a man identifying himself as having worked for Tom in Vietnam and wondering if he had the right Tom. He did and they spoke for a few minutes late in the afternoon. His name was familiar to me, but it took me a while to remember why. After we went to bed last night I filled in the blanks and could tell Tom what I remembered. Honestly, I hadn't thought of that name in forty years, but slowly the pieces fell into place. The mind is amazing, a lot more so than modern technology. He found Tom the up- to -date way: Googled his name, found it associated with a case that listed his former law firm, called the office and got our number from a friend who works there. I understand that better than how my mind remembered. There might be a sermon illustration forth coming.

Today "our pastor" is coming for a visit--actually for lunch and a visit. He's not the pastor of our church here, but the friend in the neighboring town for whom I preach occasionally. Paul was the associate in our Mississippi church, called by a committee Tom moderated, and he and his wife became good friends. He and I shared seminary stories, have had good theological discussions, he was my mother's faithful visitor and during the months of chemo when we were in California he called me every week. Some ministers find it difficult to provide pastoral care to people in their local community, but Paul proved that pastoral care has no boundaries. He ministered to me across the miles and I will always remember. It was not his duty; it came from the pastor's heart God has given him. He is a special man of God.

Writing of Paul reminds me that I'd best go make the tea and set the table. The hydrangeas are already in place, the Sister Schubert rolls are thawing and the tomatoes are ripe for slicing. It's a Southern lunch in the making. Wish you could share!

Pastor Margaret

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