Yesterday was a week since Phillip left for Congo. I have received one Facebook message from him on a borrowed smartphone and two phone calls made on a borrowed cell phone. He arrived safely at his destination but took a cold (the same one I have) with him. A friend remarked, "Better to take something over there than bring something back here." She has a point. Other than the cold he seems to be doing okay. I was worried he might lose his voice, not a good thing when his reason for being there is to teach singing all day. But his voice is holding out, as is his stomach, and he is in good spirits. During one of his short calls he told me that there are many challenges to the work he is trying to do--there was no time for elaboration--but he was extremely upbeat about all that is being accomplished. He was on a particular high that morning because he and his class had just finished recording "Oh, Lord How Shall I Greet You" and his students were loving singing it. (A major part of the work consists of recording teaching tapes for use in the parishes of those who are attending the workshop.) He said it is very interesting to go back after a year and see how the things he taught last time have fared. Some have continued to be embraced, one or two has been set aside, and others have been slightly adjusted. :-)
As mentioned, I have had a cold, and that has severely impacted my ability to make the most of this week. I had plans for much higher levels of productivity but lost a good four days to the cold (it is a doozy). I sat in bed and watched the 9/11 observances and was alternately depressed and inspired. Both President Bush's and President Clinton's speech at the dedication of the Flight 93 memorial fell into the second category. I was impressed by the progress that has been made on the Ground Zero memorial. People say that ten years is too long--that we should have already slapped up another building by now. I disagree. We needed time to clean up, to grieve, to consider what to do. Anything worthwhile does not get done overnight. I think New York City should be commended for the memorial and the progress they have made on it. If you haven't familiarized yourself with it yet, you should do so. It is beautiful.
I started returning to some feeling of normalcy on Monday, so we did start school, sort of. I tend to be the kind of person who wants to wait until the house is clean and everything is in order before I can wrap my brain around intellectual pursuits. I decided if I waited for those things to happen before we started school we would be on vacation until January. Of 2015. So we started, amidst the chaos that continues to be my house. Caitlin and Evan are so far enjoying their extracurricular classes and activities. Bowling is supposed to start Monday after being postponed for one week to allow for more sign-ups. I'm hoping it doesn't get cancelled.
We had a voters' meeting at my church this week and there were two awesome outcomes. One, the voters approved some major repairs to our aging organ. Two, we approved the calling of a third pastor for youth. I am so-o-o-o-o excited about the person we have called and hoping and praying that soon he and his family will be joining our church family.
Today is full so I better run! Piano student this morning, haircut and orthodontist appointment for Caitlin (her braces are coming, Evan got his a few weeks ago), homeschool co-op, and tonight a little R&R. The plan is to make s'mores on the grill and watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Boy, these life update posts are much easier to write than social commentary. Maybe I should do more of them.
P.S. My daughter has closed her old blog and started a new one. It's worth checking out.