Monday, November 25, 2013

The Mundane, and The Holiday...


It has been a long time since I’ve posted…Mainly because, after baring my soul about things of great importance to me, it seems a little silly to then write that I made a wreath by ripping pages out of an old atlas…which I did. And it was a highlight, though I must admit that pinterest projects are much more about anticipating than executing.

At least, in my case.

But someday I have to write again, and it might as well be now, and I might as well admit that most of life is pretty mundane…

And that’s just fine.

After all, God has us doing things of eternal importance in a world of time with its beginnings and endings. We are seeking everlasting good in the land of the temporal – a holy paradox. Faithfulness in the mundane prepares us for mightiness in the crisis.

So I guess the mundane is of great importance.

And there sure is a lot of it.

This week is Thanksgiving, and that is neither mundane nor silly. I quite like Thanksgiving – the history, the tradition, the family gathering, the exercise of gratefulness. It is a wonderful holiday.

This year, the dinner will be at our house. I think I’ve hosted it about 6 times in the last 12 years…and I must give thanks to Mary Vander Woude who, in the time I was on her catering committee, taught me to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN, and JUST DO IT – DON’T FRET. I’m not sure what vision I had that caused me to join the catering committee. It was not that one day I would host a dinner for 100+ people…But, if you are on the catering committee, one day you WILL host a dinner for 100+ people. With Mary’s notes, I did it, and didn’t die.

So hosting for 25-35 people is mild compared to that. Still, I have been planning, and checking notes from previous years, while making lists and purchasing, and now preparing. Every year it gets easier, and goes better.

It must be like my Hundred Pie Principle: if you want to make great pies, you just have to make a hundred bad ones first.

I think we’re all relieved that it didn’t take 100 bad Thanksgiving Dinners, though the first few I hosted were blemished by a lot of unnecessary fussing and stressing by me. It’s hard to be thankful when you are mumble-mumbling about the mumble-mumble turkey that isn’t done, and OH NOW WHAT WILL WE DO THANKSGIVING IS RUINED!

Early preparation is key…as is a reasonable expectation of what makes a good Thanksgiving.

Today I diced celery and onions, and am still weeping a little from the experience. The bread for the stuffing is cubed. The turkeys are thawing. Tomorrow cranberry sauce will be made. Wednesday, the brussel sprouts trimmed. The dressing will be assembled. The turkey stuffed and ready for Thursday morning…

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to figure out the best way to place the tables. It’s not like we have dining room that seats 25…We are breaking bread all over the house – but within sight of each other.

It will be a great day…and I will be exhausted afterward. But it will be worth it because we are blessed to have the family gather, for laughs, and visiting, and sharing.

If your occupation in life is to make home, Thanksgiving is the ultimate expression of your vocation. I think that is this holiday’s great appeal. I love to make home, and make people feel at home. And if they feel that way at all during the day, they won’t remember that the turkey wasn’t done on time.

At least, I hope not.

Because I may have about 94 turkeys to go…

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In which I say what I am really thinking...and damn the torpedoes!


Well, the sun has come up and gone down, so it seems that the world will go on even after the election.
I’m trying to take comfort in that.
But I must admit I was looking for this online: A Way to Make the World Go Away
And for the first time ever, I thought, “Where can we go?” I am not inclined to think such a thought. I LOVE this place. It is my HOME – and I am in love with home. I will do anything to make home, and to keep home. I firmly believe that Whatcom County is the best place on earth for me.
But I feel betrayed that we can’t get, or keep, people that represent my point of view in our county government. We are down to one (God bless you, Mr. Crawford!) who does, and I can’t imagine the frustration that is ahead for him. I fear that the progress made in the last four years, when there was fairly balanced representation on the council, will soon be erased.
The mindset that carries the elections today, is not the mindset that created this county. Loggers, miners, farmers, entrepreneurs put in the hard work and used the resources of this land to make Whatcom County. There were numerous times that it was uncertain that Bellingham or Whatcom or Fairhaven or Sehome would survive, but the use of the land secured our history.
Today, that would be impossible. The industries that make Whatcom County available to middle class working families are under attack. Agriculture, a mainstay of our economy, is sagging under the burden of regulation and water issues. Land use policies are impinging on freedoms to farm, to build, to maintain the value of property which is the middle class’ main investment.
So much of the prevailing thought is nonsensical in my opinion. The logical consequences for their policies are poor, and for some people they will be devastating. Voters are willing to choose by emotion, not by thoughtful consideration. Voters leave themselves ignorant and vulnerable to emotional manipulation. Certainly, candidates propose good motives for change, but can their plan actually accomplish it? Voters don’t know. They don’t ask questions. They don’t think.
Those of us who do the research are held hostage by their ignorance. We are punished by their self-righteousness as they equate feeling good with doing good. The majority are so busy with exploiting the advantages of our lifestyle that they have no idea how it came to be. They expect to have everything – or at least more – and expect that there should be no cost to anyone to create this land of no risk and no need.
It doesn’t work that way. There are costs to everything, and in time, the anti-growth, environmental worship, government-should-provide policies will suffocate the productive industries and economies that are the foundation that makes this county work.
I resent that my voice has been drowned out by the self-righteous and nonsensical. I resent that I will have to share in the consequences when they come. I resent that, after generations of hard work and productivity, I will not be able to see my descendants carry on the legacy my ancestors began…because too many voters are ignorant of the facts and vote by their emotion.
Today, I AM bitter…but, as I said, the sun rose again this morning. As often as we say that things are so different nowadays, it is also true that there is nothing new under the sun. I feel that we must work that much harder to inform, and I feel badly for those who have given so much to that effort and saw no reward. It’s discouraging to look forward, and believe that you must give more… How? And sometimes, the thought is Why?
But this is the process of a representative republic…It is at times ugly. It is full of disappointment, and sometimes without compromise between its ideologies. It is The Grand Experiment, this land of liberty. Perhaps we will come to its logical end in this world full of sinners…So far, it is still the best system this world of sinners has seen.
And so, I won’t give up. I’m trying to take the long view and remember that the pursuit of liberty is not a straight progression, or a settled process that is formulaic. Americans preceding our generation have been in situations just as threatening to freedom and have persevered. We need to find the will to do that again, and right here, in our lovely, blessed Whatcom County.
Ever forward, but slowly…

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)