I had gone to Barbara's late on Saturday -- in time for the 5:30 service. St. Lukes looked quite sparkling - there had been a workday there until 2pm that very day. Weeds had been banished from the premises as well as stray plumps of dried leaves, crabgrass, scruffle in the flower beds. 20 strong (it is prudent to add strong of will and muscle power) souls pulled together and it showed. I saw Q in his trade-marked jeans, the weave worn here, there, everywhere, with a slit clear across one knee.
Barbara was tired - it had been hot that day, but not nearly as blistering as some. So We and about 20 souls gathered in the quaint church using the New Zealand rite for Eucharist. Getting out of one's rote responses does keep you on your toes.
I did the deacon-y sort of things, readings, prayers, distribution of the cup, spare cleanup and dismissal linked to the sermon. Many people are often surprised by that action. Yet as a deacon I feel the responsibility to tell the people, nourished by the feast they have just consumed that their responsibility is to those who had not the time nor the luxury being with us- to care for them and their plight, to bring help, bring hope, perhaps sometime bring them along to a service, but above all, bring them the love of Christ they had experienced.
Back at the Farm we need to look at schedules - where Barbara is booked and whether I will accompany her... and now if and where I am booked to do something. My calendar did not go to 2009... we'll wait on that one. Some leftover pizza and on the road again.
I drove home to an ever hungry Emmy Lou. Ever since the tree guy came and dumped 10 yards of mulch and 15 yards of topsoil in the side and back yards, Em is quite befuddled. She looks at the three huge piles of topsoil (covered from the elements by tarps)quizzically and with some annoyance. How is a girl supposed to get to her very favorite of toilet sites with THESE things in the way. Instead she has taken to a habit I have seen other dogs exhibit. She gets into that awkward 'relief and release' position perched on the side of the hill in the backyard. I have no idea at all why that looks ever so inviting, but there it is, because there is where I have found the evidence over the last 5 days.
I drove back for the service on Sunday...EARLY. Even I was amazed at myself. Looking clerical for Sunday in black and white I again pitched in at the service. This time there were mini acolytes, crucifer, reader, the whole shebang. It was a beautiful service with hymns and more thanks again for those who had "labored on" on Saturday, the pizza fairy and other supporters. Lemonade and iced tea followed the service. I once again made my way to the Garden State Parkway and up the road. Had lunch w/Charlotte @ the local diner, picked up some essentials @ the grocery store and went home to take off the uniform and collapse. Another hot day and I conked off in the recliner in front of the TV as Em was having a vivid dream of changing one critter or another off the lower 40.
P came and 6pm, volunteering to cut and weed whack the front lawn. She even got to the mowable sections of the back lawn, sans the 3 monsteresque mounds lined neatly in a row. I put on a brace and worn out sneakers and approached the mulch mounds with a shovel, rake, small bush rake, hoe, all loaded into the wheelbarrow (the tire of which I had to use "flat fix" on because it looked more square than round.
As I started to shovel - I noticed either smoke of whiffs of dust coming off the pile. It was smoke. The temperature inside the mulch had climbed to over 100 degrees in the sun and I could feel it with each shovel full. I must have filled 10 barrows full and hardly made a dent in one heaping pile. I will need help in order to get this task accomplished. My Mexican neighbors were having a family party, so it wasn't the right time to ask the eldest whether he could pitch in for a few hours for the next few days, but I might peek over now to see if he is there - or reach him on his cell phone (yes, he is 15 and you read correctly).
I think even my earlobes hurt. Just that repetitive shoveling action, hauling the barrow, dumping and then raking it even took its toll.... after so many years of sitting to drive, sitting to work, sitting to drive home and sitting @ the computer or TV, these muscles need to be strengthened again.
Well, that's entry #1 stay tuned for the topsoil saga - you'll be getting the real 'dirt' on it!