Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Come Dance on My Team

Weddings are usually held inside, with shoes on, DJ's, and sometimes even waiters.  But why not mix a little new in with the tradition?  Our friend who had hosted with us two summers ago got married this past weekend a few weekends ago* in what was quite possibly the most clashing of cultures I'd ever seen: a traditional Episcopalian wedding held in the middle of a festival/camp ground complete with BBQ.

The weather was beautiful and the bride was so happy.  Two genuinely people-people were starting their lives together with their dearest friends at hand and the beauty of God's creation wrapped around us all.

After the BBQ dinner a five-piece indie band hit the stage and we hit the dance floor.  You know me, that's exactly where you'd expect to find me.

A little girl about 8 that I'd never met before came up to me and grabbed my hand while we were waiting for the next song.  She looked up at me and said, "You're going to be on my team."  Now, that sat well with my competitive personality, thinking of dancing as a team sport, so I nodded and told her that I was glad we were on a team together.  I had seen this girl tear up the dance floor earlier, I figured she could help me with my moves.

As the music started she asked me, "Why are we holding hands?"

"I don't know," I replied, "that was you're idea."  But I don't think she heard my response as she reached up and grabbed my other hand and we started dancing away.  Behind her, Whitney was having a blast on the floor tom while Kelsey manned the egg shaker.  All around us were others hitting tambourines and dancing bare footed on the hay.  And me and that girl, we danced and danced and danced until we won.

The best part about the wedding was that we got to camp out afterwards under the stars- no, under the millions of fireflies that lined the river banks and lit up our temporary home in beautiful strobe.  In the city fireflies become a distant memory.  One time, we were volunteering at a homeless shelter and one of the men asked the group if they got to see fireflies at home.  The kids started to answer but the man got this sad look on his face.  He told us that he hadn't seen fireflies since he was a kid.

Whitney and I walked out to the edge of the river and enjoyed the fireflies and I remembered to appreciate this opportunity.  "How do you know when to leave something so beautiful?" Whitney asked.  I'm not sure I answered, because I didn't know.

When I got home, I scrubbed the dirt off my feet, checked behind my ears for ticks, and collapsed on the couch.

I mean, sprung up off the couch and went to work.

We've got our 3rd week of groups in fourth week of groups in*, and I'm a little nostalgic for the fun of hosting: meeting new people, getting accustomed to their quirks, serving hands-on in the areas of most need in Philly.  But that night we got back, I was glad I got to get a solid ten hours of sleep.

*Yeah, a little late on the post here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Two weeks ago our new summer staff arrived for training.  Most of them aren't from the area, so it's been fun watching them tackle new traffic patterns and the quickly changing demographics of the city.  Through the summer, this staff will be hosting groups that are coming to Philly to serve for a week out of their vacation.  These guys are giving up their whole summers, and I couldn't be prouder of everything they've learned and the way they've meshed together.

And I'm tired.  If you've seen me over the last few weeks, you know this.  Fortunately (although sadly, because I miss them) I'm not traipsing first graders behind me at 7 in the morning before school, so that helps a bit.  Saturday?  SLEEPING IN.  Provided that dog that lives next door is on vacation.

I love spring in Philly!  With the exception of a few random 90+ days, it's been so beautiful here, with even a few awesome thunderstorms and rainy days to help my plants along.

Oh yeah, I have a garden:



Tomato plant starter!  That's squash and beans in the background.

So it's been a good spring, and hopefully will be an even better summer (cuz there will be fresh veggies involved then!).  Pray for our hosts, as they continue to learn their way around the city and as the groups come in and serve.  Pray that the groups take away something from their time here.

Thanks for your support!