Cricket Chorus

Surrounded by a loud cricket chorus, the sound almost deafening.  The tempo is prestissimo this warm evening.

The past four months seem to have passed at up-tempo speed. Often people declare they can’t wait for fall, especially after the record days of temperatures in the nineties. I won’t miss the scorching hot days but I will miss the long warm daylight hours.

The last time I posted I had no idea that the very next day we’d receive news that Ed’s best friend, fishing buddy, Saturday morning coffee chats and confidant had unexpectedly, shockingly died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning. He was only 2 months into his 66th year.

Eric was almost bigger than life, unlike anyone we’d known before. There will never be another person like him; witty, an engaging story teller, an excellent preacher, friend, a laugh that invited others to laugh with him; the voice of a thousand characters; loved art, theater and a good book, and a deep thinker. He challenged us to think, to laugh, to look at life from different perspectives. He loved Jesus, his family, and his close friends with loyalty and abandon.

Ed misses Eric as the friend of his heart, I miss his encouragement and exhortation, especially in ministry and sermons. He sat in the front pew his final Sunday at church fully, enthusiastically engaged in the worship and message.

Summer seems to have passed as fast and blurred as the frantic pace of the crickets chirping outside. So many things happening, yet not.

On one level it doesn’t seem like much was accomplished. Work swung into a different rhythm getting the new website built, transferred, and the new cart working.

Oral surgery, avoiding the dentist, more oral surgery.
Low energy. Slow walks.
Books, friends from far and near. One week slipping into the next. Sunday message to Sunday message to primary focal points of the week.
Baking cakes each Wednesday for Ed to share with the dinner crew.

For long lengths of time I’ve avoided most social media, swooping in only long enough to get a sense of what’s happening. I rediscovered how much I love reading good fiction. And weaving.

The sweater for grandson Gus was finished in time for his 10th birthday.

After struggling for over a year to complete a sweater for Gus the Anker’s Summer Shirt was knit in just under a month, by far the quickest I’ve knit a shirt. It helps to have a straight forward, knit in the round from neck down pattern.
Yarn: Cascade Avalon, a cotton acrylic blend. I normally avoid acrylics but was captivated by the color. There was no resisting it.

This was a fun pattern, one I will most likely knit again.

Now that a post has been written after this long dry spell perhaps more will be forthcoming before the days of summer fade, the crickets’ chorus slows and memories dim.

The crickets’ song is slowing down as the warm of the day fades. Darkness is complete, bed is calling.


Showing Support

The bumpy landscape of the chocolate cake didn’t put off the Wednesday dinner crew. The report was that they devoured it in record time.

Shortly before 8am the phone rang: the police contact for one of the families who considered themselves as Daniel’s parent had called to let them know he’d be canvasing the neighborhood today, passing out flyers, and talking to people. Could Daniel’s friends come help and be visible representatives that his life mattered.

Wednesday is normally a slower day. A day for contemplating, thinking, praying and being more than doing. I like to take an extra long walk with my neighbor before settling into any “must-do” work tasks followed by reading and preparing for Sunday, and taking time to be quiet all evening while Ed is away.  When the call came I immediately knew I needed to go. I called one of Daniel’s good friends and we headed up to Portland.

Arriving in the unfamiliar area of North Portland, there was already a number of people including the very kind, knowledgeable policeman who gave us an update on what they’ve determined so far, including that evidence showed the driver was traveling over 60 miles an hour when he swerved out of his lane, into the bike path hitting Daniel then continuing at high speed along the 35mph, 2-lane road.

Taking flyers to all the businesses of this mixed neighborhood full of mom-pop businesses and residential houses we encountered caring and kind people everywhere. One woman even rushed out of her house to ask for flyers to pass out too. She’d recognized Daniel’s girlfriend, Daria, from an interview she’d given on the news yesterday.

We were all thankful for a sunny day with no wind! Yesterday it poured a cold rain most of the day. Tomorrow another storm is moving in. Today was one of those jewels of an autumn day.

Thanks for reading these non-cheerful posts that I’ve been writing lately.
Tomorrow I plan to post some of the spinning I’ve been doing.

I had enough of the handspun yarn left to knit a headband/earwarmers to go with the fingerless mitts. I’m tempted to keep the set for morning walks. If the temps aren’t below 45F I like ear warmers rather than a hat which can get too hot.
Grateful for:
– a smooth trip to N Portland and back without any traffic delays
– warmth of the sun while walking the streets for almost 3 hours
– the cup of comforting cinnamon/vanilla tea beside me
– strangers who are kind and caring
-a time of serene spinning this evening

Gratitude of Life

Contemplating about, and practicing gratitude has been timely. Focusing on being grateful has made life easier — that doesn’t sound right; it’s not easy, but there’s a difference perspective. Even when faced with sorrow there is hope and goodness.

Last night a young man from this town was killed. He and his girlfriend were in a crosswalk in Portland when a car struck him.
Miraculously she wasn’t hit.

Daniel was a quiet, reserved young man. He got by on his wits and determination. The thing I remember most about him was his shy smile, his courage and determination to rise above the circumstances of his childhood.

Life. We take it so for granted. One minute walking across a street in Portland to get a bite to eat, the next mowed down by a care-less driver.

People that took him into their homes when he was a couch-surfer, who gave him a bed, encouragement and support, who helped him with many of life’s challenges are grieving. They were his family, not through blood but through love. My heart aches for them today. They’re hurting not only for the tragic end to Daniel’s life but for his girlfriend who valiantly gave him CPR.
Grateful for:
– life
– peace in knowing Daniel is in heaven.
– that he knew Jesus the Shepherd King
– the friend who stopped by the church to pray at a time I happened to be there.
– the crisp, sunny day