OK, outside of my silent protest...which evidently really embarrassed my wife, at the same time I've been thanked by others...I have had other things going on. Seriously. Here's just a sampling of the great stuff I've had on my plate recently.
I've been doing a fair amount of research on granite carving and a guy named Novelli. This is all in part due to my working to put the Chief Menominee Memorial site on the National Register. This is an amazing thing that has come out of the rededication really. To think that the State of Indiana was actually the very first (and for a long time only) state in the union (or the Union for that matter) to have funded a memorial to a Native American back in 1907. Remarkable.
And I've been learning a lot about the fragile ecology of the Indiana Dunes and their political heroes-some of the same guys talked about on the Ken Burns series.
And then there is the early concrete block industry that I've recently immersed myself in studying. A remarkable concrete block church that took a great deal of skill in creating is located in Syracuse....and I'm trying to figure out if there is a link between that and a schoolhouse. If so, these would be some of the finest and earliest concrete block structures known.
And following on the heels of that is my research on the Mock family of Kosciusko County. Two brothers who came to the area in about 1820 with two separate cemeteries named for them.
And then there is the whole lease-back program of the Indiana Dunes and a great group of international style homes on the shore designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Solomon.
And did you know that Indiana was the first state in the country to pass a law requiring eugenics? That's the purposeful act of sterilization of criminals and mentally ill. The law passed in 1907 and was deemed unconstitutional and was repealed in 1921. I learned some other interesting facts with this I'll have to post on.
And then there is this buddy of mine who I've been hanging out with and he's getting his business up and running again....and it is more cool to me to see that the "unfinished work" I wrote about last February (I think), God is really chiseling away at.
Then last Wednesday-there's this young guy I mentor and we strolled around this wetlands area just at dusk. He and I are working on "listening to God" by meditation and putting ourselves into environments where senses are heightened, such as nature...to see God in those things. It was pretty cool....deer within several feet and an owl overhead.
I've got this old friend-like my best bud from highschool days-and we've gotten together twice now in the last week for coffee to talk about what kind of community we want to leave to the generations to come after us. Nobody talks like that these days. It was so refreshing.
I went and saw The Informant last night with a friend. Matt Damon's put on like 100 lbs. But then after a woodchuck and a basket full of chicken wings last night-I felt like I had too.
We actually CANCELLED church last Sunday because we had "service" during a harvest party the night before. This was kind of a wild concept for a church of 300 people. But let me tell you...we've heard some great things coming out of the small gatherings with folks that don't typically go to church on Sunday. We had 17 here for brunch from our 20x class....about half weren't from our church. It was great......we should cancel church more often.
It's been frickin' cold. I believe that was snow mixed with rain this afternoon.
I had lunch with the the guy I refer to as the puppetmaster last week. Hatchets are buried-I think. It actually gave me a great chance to decompress and work through stuff that I had put out of mind some time ago.....I was more frank than what I had planned. But I've got nothing to lose.
One thing is becoming crystal clear as we work through some "visioning" for our church. Our strength is that we're relational. Our weakness may be the same.
A mouse ran through the kitchen this morning while I was standing in my pjs eating oatmeal.
I realized that I deeply enjoy classical music. And I really appreciate being able to listen to old broadcasts of the Prairie Home Companion radio show.
A couple guys and I helped to do some moving for our new county historical society museum expansion. I'm incredibly thankful to have had a part in that.
Glen Beck makes my blood boil. I can't believe Christians think that it is "christian-like" to listen to this guy.
My kids wanted/needed to do a leaf collection. I had a blast hunting leaves with them. My daughter wanted to create a Halloween tree.....that was some of the most fun I've had in a long time.
God gives us our resources to provide for others.....God provides for us.
Finally......I turn 41 on Saturday. I think it's time to move into the second part of my life with a heck of a lot of gusto.