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About Pastor Dan

Saturday, August 07, 2004

We've had two days of unseasonably--unjustifiably--good weather here. It's cool, dry, and breezy, with clouds scampering across the sky like spaniels. We slept with the windows open for the first time in months, with a cool breeze blowing right in and down our spines, if we rolled over just so.

The weekend got off to an inauspicious start. I went to pick Lisa up at the bus station at 4:30, but she wasn't on her bus. We'd arranged for her to come down Thursday night so we could go to Jen's company picnic on Friday, and I assumed that perhaps Bethany had gotten their dates mixed up. So I went home and called them, only to find out that indeed, she'd gotten on the bus. However, her bus had been delayed, so she might have been running behind. After half an hour of worrying and trying to figure out where she could be, I left Jen at the house and went back to the bus station, just to make sure Lisa wasn't there.

And whaddya know? She was there.

Turns out that her bus had come in sometime after I'd left. It was supposed to be the 4:30 bus, and the one I'd seen was supposed to come in earlier in the afternoon.

I still maintain that it was a natural mistake.

Lisa may forgive me by the time she leaves tomorrow. Or maybe not.

Jen's picnic went well. Lisa had been apprehensive about getting on the paddle boat the company had rented to take people on a tour of the Susquehanna. She needn't have worried. Jen was running late from a meeting, and we turned up just before the boat left. We were all famished, so we decided to skip the ride and chow down on cold hot dogs, fruit salad, at least four varieties of pasta salad, and too many desserts to count or enumerate right now.

It was actually a little chilly down by the river: a stiff breeze kept things cooled off. We were glad that we'd brought extra shirts or sweats to keep ourselves warm. But the food was good, and eventually some folks we knew from the office came back from the boat, and we stood around talking for about an hour. Eventually, we had to help clean up and truck things back to Jen's office, then settle in for the hour-long ride from Harrisburg back to Lancaster. Looking at it objectively, it was probably a bust for our family, but I didn't mind. An excuse to pig out and talk to people is always popular with this pastor.

I spent about four hours outside working on the lawn today. Feels like I'm starting to turn the corner on this thing. Ha!

It wasn't anything out of the ordinary: mowed the lawn, pulled up weeds, trimmed some bushes, swept the sidewalk. What took so long were the weeds. They're starting to spill out across the cement in a few places, so I had to take stern measures. Much of it is vines, which means tracking down the root centers and pulling them up. But now you can see the edge where the lawn and the sidewalk meet. That's an accomplishment.

I still have plenty to do this week: edging more areas, cutting out some overgrowth on the alley, pulling yet more weeds. If I'm lucky, I'll get around to trying to save some black-eyed susans I planted last week. If the guests at the barbecue we're hosting next week are lucky, I'll have all the dog bombs pulled out of the grass.

Between pulling bushes, planting a butterfly garden, and ridding the lawn of purslane, it's going to be at least two years before I have the yard looking the way I want it to. In renovation terms, this is a total tear down. Or as I like to think of it, a reclamation project. More on that subject later. Right now, I have to go walk the dogs.

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