1. The Byrd’s stole King Solomon’s poem for their hit song “Turn, Turn, Turn” in 1965. Other than the added lyrics, “turn, turn, turn,” the words are straight out of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. I wonder if all those flower children knew they were quoting the Bible. Studying Solomon this fall has been a fascinating look at wisdom and folly. And how they both can reside inside a human being at the same time.
2. Kindness is still alive and well in the world. PB and I watched “The Kindness Diaries” this fall — a Netflix series that records Leon Logothetis’ travels around the world. He takes no money with him and relies entirely on the kindness of others for his food, gas and lodging. What a pleasant surprise to find something uplifting but not cheesy (sorry all you Hallmark channel lovers) on the television. Kindness doesn’t make for a sensational headline, but our hearts are starved for it.
3. Roasting is magic. Put any old vegetable in the oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes and it is transformed. Ever since listening to The Lazy Genius spell out the dos and don’ts of roasting, PB and I have upped our veggie intake dramatically. I have a friend who also is genius when it comes to roasting tomatoes. I tried her method — in this case, putting halved tomatoes in the oven overnight at 250 degrees — and then freezing them. Oh my goodness gracious. Chili and goulash this winter will taste extra good.
4. MVP. Need I say more? The last time we played baseball in October, I was expecting my first baby. She’s 35. The Milwaukee Brewers exceeded all expectations and gave us a thrill this fall. Christian Yelich was National League MVP, and did it without any arrogance or swagger. I was ready to hit “send” and buy World Series tickets, but, alas, it was not to be. Next year.
5. In preparation for our winter women’s Bible study, I’ve been trying to figure out what Sabbath means for believers in our time. To Sabbath, or not to Sabbath? Can “Sabbath” be a verb? Didn’t Jesus set us free from the law? Is rest biblical? So many questions. We’ll have seven weeks to dig for answers.
6. There’s more than one way to shoot a buck. On opening day of deer hunting season, PB got his fluorescent orange out of the mothballs, trekked into the back yard, and found himself face to face with a buck stomping the ground with his front hoof. Happily, my man was ready and loaded and got off a great shot. With his camera. He enjoyed his time in the woods and I enjoyed not having to deal with a dead animal.
7. I might move to Iceland. A friend alerted me to the lovely Icelandic tradition of “Jolabokaflod” or “The Christmas Book Flood”. Every Christmas Eve, books are exchanged and then Icelanders spend the rest of the night in bed reading and eating chocolate. Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country. The 4 hours of daylight in December probably has something to do with that. Okay, I might not move to Iceland, but how about a Book Flood right here in the USA?
8. It’s possible to host 25 people for Thanksgiving dinner without a working refrigerator. It helps if the temperature on the back porch is below 40 degrees. Our two-year old fridge went on the fritz back on Oct. 26. Three repair appointments and two compressors later, we are still waiting to move the butter and Cream Soda off the porch steps. All I want for Christmas is a working refrigerator.
9. I like opera. Kind of. If I know someone in the chorus. Our daughter was in a performance with the Madison Opera this fall and I’m still not sure what the storyline was all about, but the staging and the costumes and the music were glorious.
10. Our fair town made national headlines this fall. The good people of Baraboo are picking up the pieces and moving toward healing the hurts from all sides. I learned first-hand the power of the national media to swoop into a town and destroy everything in its wake for the sake of a story. PB and I are learning to be careful when exposing ourselves to social media and national news. When we start feeling anxious, less is better.
In the words of Solomon:
“Get the truth and never sell it;
also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.”