Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter, Rachel in H-wood and Porta-potties

An appropriate song for this Easter...Third Day, I Can't Take the Pain,

Hosanna acted out the Passion Play on Good Friday. It was a very moving service performed by some incredibly talented people from the church. It was interesting how it was done with several of the actors taking the stage by themselves and playing out their part in the hours leading up to Jesus' crucifixion. Jon Russell played the part of Peter...a man beside himself with grief at how he'd denied Christ not once but three times. When Jon finished his speaking part he picked up his guitar and played the song above. He's so talented...not only him but the many others too.

Hosanna was buzzing all morning with four services before noon. Typically the music at Hosanna is much more contemporary than traditional. Today's service began with a traditional hymn which I'm sure appealed to many from out of town who've maybe never been to Hosanna or experienced our style of worship. It was nice but no sooner had the hymn ended when Jon cranked up the volume and the tempo and put the service into overdrive. I don't think I've ever heard Hosanna as loud as today.

This morning was so nice. I got up early and took the pups for a walk. It was only 22 degrees but it was a beautiful sunny day. I walked them to a park not far from home where I could let them off their leashes so they could run around. I love being able to do that for them. They look forward to their walks and I hate to disappoint the little guys.

Tammy was up when I got back preparing our lunch for later. She had told me that after church Rachel and I would have to make ourselves scarce as she needed us out of the house while she put the finishing touches on an Easter egg hunt. Yes, you read that right...an Easter egg hunt. This goes back I'm not sure how many years but it's something she'd do for Rachel when she was younger. She'd include me in it as it added to the excitement for Rachel. It's more a treasure hunt with clues than it is a traditional hunt for hidden eggs. One clue leads to another and once all the clues are collected a word from each clue is used to put together the last clue where the mother lode will be found. I'm actually just a big kid at heart so I look forward to playing along.

While Tammy was busy at home I took Rachel out to get coffees and some behind the wheel time for her. She did much better than any time previous. Up to now her driving has been very hesitant but today she appeared to have found her stride and did real well. She was going on and on about experiences from her week in Los Angeles all the while still focusing on her driving. I hope to have her out on some busier highways soon.

Speaking of Rachel's trip to Los Angeles...she got in early yesterday with the senior high youth group from Prince of Peace. She had a blast. I asked her what the high point of the trip was and she said that the whole trip was a high. They stayed at Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Hollywood. She said the grounds were very beautiful. Their days were spent working in homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She's got so many stories to tell us but it was clear that for her this trip was about reaching out to the needy and making a real connection with them. She told of one man she met at a shelter who not long ago was married, employed and a home owner. His wife became ill and their savings were depleted caring for her. His wife died and he fell into a depression. He soon lost his job and his home. Sad.

It was a good experience for her. She said their counselors told them that they'd never seen a group bond as their 50 kids did. Rachel said that the small group of 6 kids she was assigned to on the trip is going to try and keep meeting. She's serious that she doesn't want it to be just something they only talk about doing. She really wants to see the group continue getting together and hopes to organize something at our home in the coming weeks. That's been a dream of Tammy's and mine for her ever since we finished the basement. That was one of the main reasons for doing it when we did...while Rachel was still with us. It would be a great place for her to entertain her friends.

Tammy is making her first attempts at real stained glass. She been researching painting on glass (a very dying art) and purchasing the necessary supplies to get started. I think she could be very good at this. I hope to see her first project when I get home from work tonight. The kiln firing isn't nearly as long as the glass fusing/slumping projects she's done. We hope to incorporate her painting on glass with some of the stained glass work we'll be doing. She did several watercolor paintings for a class she took in college...that's another thing I'd love to see her do if she only had more time.

Last Wednesday our building at work lost a main transformer which shut down power throughout the building. The emergency generators kicked in but they're only good for supplying power to the most critical operations of the building...the air traffic ops. The stupid thing about where I work is that the building was built on a marsh and has three turbine pumps which continually run so as to keep the building from flooding. They pump about 1,000,000 gallons of water a day. Should power be cut off to the pumps it's just a matter of time before water begins to flood the basement. As I was leaving work on Wednesday I could smell the distinct odor of moisture rising up from below. They'd shut down the bathrooms so as to minimize sewage backup and they were installing porta-potties in the parking lot. With high temps in the mid 20s those must've been lovely to use. Fortunately for me they had things nearly back to normal by the time I returned to work on Saturday afternoon. I could go on about how this is a 44 year old building and the transformer was original equipment and how maybe we should've been better prepared for this sort of thing but I understand that management here has more important things to do such as monitoring the gates for people who may be skipping out 5 minutes early. Anyway, all is well that ends well. The bathrooms are once again open for use and management is reassuming their Barney Fife posture.

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