The Quiet Husband is leaving tomorrow with a group from my church for a learning trip to Nicaragua. I say "my church" because The Quiet Husband is not a religious person. In 33 years we have learned to make space for widely divergent paths, and so he has become an internet architect with an interest in fair trade and third world issues and I have become an almost-seminarian and would-be spiritual director. A couple of weeks ago he announced that he was thinking about joining the Peace Corps when he retires. The Lovely Daughter rolled her eyes. Just home from college for the summer, she had been visiting friends. "Everyone else, when asked what their parents are up to, says, 'They're working, same old stuff.' I'm supposed to say, "My mom is going to seminary and my dad's thinking about the Peace Corps. What kind of family is this?'"
I stacked up all the books I have planned for summer reading. I have about eight weeks left. There are 87 books. They range from poetry to Catholic spirituality to contemporary novels to John Calvin to Talmud to early Christian history to . . . Oh, never mind. I have to clear out the basement and the attics and deal with the gutters and the plumbing and the plastering and four years worth of photo albums.
Maybe I'd better start with Jodi Piccoult.
The Lovely Daughter and I are off to Chautauqua on Sunday for the opening day of the season. The chaplain is John Buchanan, pastor of Fourth Presbyterian in Chicago and Editor of The Christian Century. I think I might try to get over there for at least a couple of more Sundays this year. I might add that the Quiet Husband and I met as college student employees of one of the Institution's historic hotels (no longer operating as such), where we spent a most excellent summer.
Last summer was the first in which The Lovely Daughter and her oldest brother did not spend at least some time at Chautuaqua; his twin had already missed a couple of years due to summer study in Europe. I so hope that when they have families of their own they will make their way back, at least on occasion.
Yesterday was the best day of the year, The One With The Most Light. Today is so lovely that there is no point at all in thinking about the fact that we are now pointed toward the One With The Least. Better to think that we are looking toward the Chautauqua season and all new things thereafter.