I couldn't believe what I was seeing! My worlds collided in the grocery store this week; I may never see this again, as long as I live, but it was a memorable moment. Lefse and tortillas sharing space in the cooler! If I had a dollar for everytime I explained lefse to someone in Texas by saying "Lefse is like a Norwegian tortilla. It's made from potatoes and rolled much thinner" I would be RICH. Now I find myself explaining about tor-tea-ahs (not tor-till-as) that they are Mexican, kind of like lefse but made from flour or corn.
It's mid-June and summer has not really begun yet. The corn is up and will likely be knee-high by the Fourth (of July) which is a good thing. Sweet corn from points south is starting to show up in the store but I'm holding out for local. This is, after all, where the Green Giant gets his corn. Just up the road in fact! The days are sunny and cool and the nights are perfect for campfires. I've been enjoying a weekly campfire worship on Wednesday nights at church, plus an occasional lazy evening around the fire ring with my neighbors, in my very own back yard. The sun stays up late (official sunset tonight is 8:53 pm) so we don't wait for dark to start a fire. Here are a few pictures from around 7pm last Wednesday:
The door you can see in the upper left side will take you into the hallway where you'll find my office. As these helpful guys built the fire, we were having VBS in classrooms up and down the hall. Parents and children have three 20-minute faith experiences together in the 6-7pm hour while the fire is being built in preparation for our campfire worship. So far it's been fun, and well-attended.
Our musicians are getting tuned up and ready to go. It's a very intergenerational evening - so far our youngest attendee has been around four months old, and our oldest (who drives himself and arrives in a sporty, red, brand-new Cadillac) is 95. The worship service is built around the FAITH5 exercises for families: Share, Read, Talk, Pray, and Bless. It's fun for all ages.
And then, as singing and blessing wrap up our worship experience, and the sun begins to dip closer to the horizon, one last favorite summer experience remains:
In between these wonderful Wednesdays, I'm fitting in a lot of continuing education: a half-day last week, a full-day next week, and a four-day class at Luther the last week of June. I'm spending a lot of time reading ahead for the class at Luther. In addition to re-reading Almost Christian by Kenda Creasey Dean, I'm also diving into a book by Sharon Daloz Parks called Big Questions Worthy Dreams which is focused on mentoring young adults. The other two books are on Romans and are written by Terry Fretheim who will teach that section of the class. This has to be one of the biggest pluses of my move north - the density of Lutherans here allows for a lot more opportunities to refine my work skills and recharge my batteries.
I still get homesick for Texas - just seeing tortillas at the store make me long for Chuy's and Torchy's and all of you who made those meals so festive but at least my life is filled with lefse and Lutherans - these are also my people. I don't believe I'll ever stop being partly Texan, but in the meantime, I'm eating both tortillas and lefse 1100 miles north.