Friday, October 28, 2011

October 24, 2011

This is a blog post in which I shamelessly describe the details of a day for the sake of having a day recorded.

Today it is Monday, Monday (well, yesterday was - that’s the day I’ll be writing about - Monday the 24th of October, 2011).

6 AM waking up in the morning... it was time for In Young’s daily walk, not mine. I heard her tromp out the door and slipped back into that harsh dream state where you remember everything that filters through your head. At 7:58 AM, I heard her voice again, “Buddy, two minutes to breakfast!”

I jumped out of bed and threw on the salmon shirt, the blue sweater, orange pants, and skittered to the table where people had almost finished setting themselves down. I was relieved that someone had already set the table, a job I wasn’t sure if I still had. I wasn’t sitting in my normal seat (living room side, far right) but on the kitchen side second from the end. I was pleased as punch to be next to Melanie. All gathered were In Young, Melanie, Marie Madelein, Richie, Anna, Micah . Richie was across from me with Micah to the right followed by Jeff at the end. In Young was to my direct left. Marie Madelein was on the other side of Melanie. Anna was across and to the left, looking at her.

“Biscuits,” we were informed, by Melanie, as the meal was announced, and she also told us that one biscuit, the one that looked odd, was specifically for me.

Delights! A special biscuit for me! I was eager to see it.

I grabbed a day old slice of French toast and buttered it up while waiting for the biscuits to make their rounds. Micah encountered the funny-shaped biscuit and held the basket over my way. I looked in to see a charming starfish biscuit smiling up at me... well, as best as a biscuit could smile if they did smile.

Slicing him open seemed tragic, but worth it when I got to see the butter melt in in interior.

We had Jeff with us this morning and the contents of my dream spilled out.

My dream centered around high school graduation and reminiscing. People like Jordan Eaton, Christian Kang, Alanna Francis, and Sarah Wyler were there. They took us back to our elementary classrooms where we sat and waited and were led in some standard elementary tunes. I remember feeling short as we lounged on the floor. We were then ushered into the main gym and we were all wearing these long sweatshirt like robes that were accented with shiny black material. I then figured we had picked out the designs through Jostens when we ordered them. I was not pleased I had picked one that said, “Inglemoor First Ladies” or something like that. Others had ones that looked like the Superman symbol, but with Inglemoor letters. I remember seeing Jordan. I walked up the bleachers to sit next to Christian and was excited to sing him a Korean song In Young (who I live with now) had taught me. Later we all went out and Peter Reid had a bright red, huge truck. It had a button in the back that could be pushed to silently shut down the vehicle. Then we were given viewmasters (bright blue) with half cards that fit in and had the alphabet. This is around when I was woken up.

I believe Jeff then read us Bonhoeffer but I am not entirely certain. This morning must have been quite unusual as I did not volunteer to do dishes. I believe Richie and Anna did them this morning.

I ran back to the bedroom to get ready. Brushed my teeth. Washed my face. And then there was a good chunk of time before we had morning prayer at 9:30 AM.

My agenda tools were grabbed, along with a print out copy of Winnie-the-Pooh, and I found a spot next to the fire to rewrite my favourite parts of it before giving my script back to the Adams. I asked Michah if he had a business card and he got me and In Young both one. Melanie then displayed her impressive photographic memory, I believe, by memorizing the numbers by saying them out loud. Richie cleaned himself and his hair turned fluffy.

Prayer time, I sat first on the big blue couch but then got up so Julia could sit there (it’s quite comfy and she deserves the highest of comforts). I then sat on the little rocking chair and eventually moved next to Marie Madelein and Richie on the black sofa.

We waited until Jessica came (the computers had been giving her grief) and sang “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” and “Amazing Grace” a capella. With no words for the first one, I was forced to lip-sync or hum.

After that she read to us parts of the gospels and about Peter, oh Peter. She then read to us a final letter from one of the men who the movie, “Of God and Men," was based off of. It was written right before he was murdered or martyred in Albania. We offered up our thanksgivings and petitions and prayed over them. At 10:45 AM I slipped away to start heating up the water for tea, which I had already set up, for the most part, after breakfast. I selected peppermint (loose leaf) and Earl Grey (Twinnings).

At 11 AM on the dot, Julia closed up the prayer (I was still in the kitchen) and we gathered for tea. I asked Jessica if she wanted the photographs in the album of the photo book she had given away. She asked about that and I told her about the box of books we were told we could take from. She was glad I had mentioned that because those books were not, in fact, for the taking but for storage. Now she could get them all back. We gathered the books back up and drank tea. I read Winnie-the-Pooh.

For Monday-tidy they put me in the basement (as usual, because of my SPD, I do best there) and on porches. I swept the long hall to the tunes of Jamie Cullum, Blue Scholars (Julia came downstairs during this one), and some other lovely bands I can’t quite name. I tidied the laundry room, dusted around a bit, and vacuumed the stairs. Swept the porches and tidied some more. I also swept the lower porch because, well, it really needed it.

Around this time, we were asked who wanted to go pick pumpkins and Melanie did. I quickly finished my job (sweep sweep sweep), saw that Micah had taken apart the vacuum (it was horrible at sucking), and talked about the Onion. I grabbed my camera to go shoot Melanie in her harvesting. So many large beautiful pumpkins! And some sweet babies too. Micah came over with the vacuum contents to put in the compost and all three of us walked back to the house together, the pumpkins in a wheelbarrow. Melanie arranged the pumpkins on the deck and then Richie and she posed awkwardly with them for me.

Time for silent lunch. I gathered my mung bean soup, salad, and a slice of banana bread before heading over to the Adams’ house to “watch” Gabriel as he napped. I used this time to work on photographs, blog, and fill out my agenda some more.

Screams were heard from the bedroom and I knew that Gabriel’s long, restful nap was over. He screamed for his mother and I followed the “Gabriel Wakes-Up” procedure. A quick call to the Scheibes let Jeff and Carrie know their son was awake so they could come take care of him. Then I scrambled upstairs to his bedroom, his cries getting louder. He seemed inconsolable the first minute as I tried to think of how to distract him. I opened a few windows and then started talking to him about his mom and how she was coming home. “Want me to hold you?” a phrase he is familiar with. He put his arms up and I picked him up and walked him to the window. “In just a minute,” I said, “Mommy will be coming up this road to you. Do you want to go see her? Let’s go wait for her on the porch.” And so he stopped crying and I carried him down the stairs to their new deck in the back where the sun was shining. I found a dry corner and set him down on my lap and we waited for the parents to arrive. I had been told it would only take a minute or so for them to come back but in this day it took them a wonderful, long 10 minutes or so to make it back to the house. The entire time I tried to distract Gabriel with thoughts and was pleased when he seemed quite content fo the entire time. I’ve seen Gabriel after naps before and the general pattern seems to be random crying following the wake-up for a good deal of time. We spoke of dragon flies and pigs and wet water and what we would do if there was snow on the deck. Jeff strolled down the lane and Gabriel and I greeted him with wide waves. The exchange happened and I was set to go back to the main house - hearing, “Good-bye Maggie!” being yelled at me the entire walk back.

Back home, it was already study time, around 3:20 PM. At this point I felt torn as to what I ought to do with my time. We only have half a study day on Mondays in the afternoon. Normally I study the first half and the second half I use to walk or bike somewhere. This helps keep my brain level and on tight. Since we would be sitting the second half, I switched back and forth between walking or staying at home and reading. I chose to head out and set out into the woods.

I wandered down paths and trails and eventually came to a rope hanging down. For 7 minutes, I stood right where the ropes was and spun it around my body, counting the number of times it took for it to finally hit me in its orbit. Further steps took me to the side paths that I always pass by because they are deliberately overgrown. The first path I took used to be something of a road which turned out to go to nowhere. The further down I walked, the thicker the trees got - but they were all quite young. I backtracked and picked another path. This one went further and further into the woods. All I could hear was the occasional chattering raven, twittering lil’bird, and the leaves rubbing themselves against each other by the encouraging of the wind. The isolation started to make me feel uneager and I didn’t take my time getting back onto the main road.

4:30 PM was mandatory tea and the usual was there except for Richard, who missed the entire thing. Today was Jeff’s turn to talk about the Kingdom and he wanted to get a head start at 4:45 PM as to make sure we had enough time to discuss all our brains could come up with in the limited time allotted. Melanie and Micah were on the couch by the window. I was on the left side of the black couch (my favourite spot). In Young and Marie Madelein were in the back on chairs. And Richard came in, almost late, and took the blue couch.

Jeff’s lecture managed to keep me engaged no problem, even despite the fact that I hadn’t taken my medications that day. At the end we did have questions and wrestled with thoughts of prayerlessness and the Kingdom.

The lecture went all the way up to 6:30 PM - time for dinner at the Scheibe’s. Dinner was same as the first meal I had at L’Abri, sweet potato noodles with basil, something spicy, something oily, and sausage. It sounds as simple as it is but tastes about eight time more delicious than it sounds. The side salad was refreshing as usual. Marie Madelein and I did the dishes after the meal, and interest feat at L’Abri as we don’t use dishwasher-machines. We are the dishwashers. I rinsed and dried and she scrubbed the dishes to perfection.

As we finished up the dishes we could hear viola singing away with the piano five rooms over - Micah on the viola with Anna on the piano. As they played beautifully, I nabbed my agenda and started to fill it out, catching up on the life I had failed to record. Richard came over and sat across and I asked him what we had done on a day. Turns out he keeps tabs on his day so he ran and got his documentation notebook and we went through all the days I had not yet recorded. Behind us, Anna, Melanie, and Micah were reading a Father Brown book and laughing outrageously out-loud. It was refreshing. Richard was hungry and nabbed some kettle-corn from the fridge and I sat myself down between Anna and Melanie on the couch. There was a discussion about reason and feelings and I enjoyed their talking - grabbing handfuls of kettle-corn between thoughts.

They opened the book again and Anna read a new story out while I played with her hair, twisting it and turning it into mohawk-attempts. The gruesome chapter, “Secret Garden” was laid out and we cringed and laughed away at the classic humour. Post story, bed time.

I remember it was a quick and pleasant trip to sleep.
And that was my day at L’Abri.

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