Wednesday, July 29, 2009

traveling mercies

sean and i made it safely from houston to lexington - thanks for your prayers.  two days and one thousand miles with a HUGE truck and trailer.  one blown tire and one hot-and-bothered radiator.  an englishman and an australian at home in the united states eating interstate fast food along the way.  it was a relief to complete the journey and a joy to have the truck unpacked (thanks to the generous and tireless helpers of communality).  sean returns to texas where he and the family with finalize their departure with a farewell feast at mercy street - their beloved community for 7 years.  here are some pictures to go with these words...

gladdings move

gladdings move

gladdings move

gladdings move

gladdings move

Saturday, July 25, 2009

off to houston

kath, isaac and i dropped geoff in cincinnati this morning for his non-stop flight to houston.  this is a long-awaited moment.  geoff will get to texas and spend one evening there with our dear friends the gladdings.  tonight, sean, rebecca, maggie and seth will say farewell to their community of faith, mercy street, as they prepare for an epic shift to kentucky.

in the morning, geoff and sean will depart from houston and spend two days traveling north together in a super long moving van (originally they would have been separated into two separate vehicles but the gladdings have consolidated all their belongings, giving much away, and now geoff and sean will have an abundance of time together in the cab of a truck).  after a sleep in memphis (and to geoff's chagrin, not anywhere near graceland) they will turn up in lexington on monday evening and unpack the life and things of the gladding family.  sean will fly home for a few last days and the trip north will be repeated again with the family in the car with their final, final destination of lexington at the first of august.

seven years is a long-time.  the gladdings have lived, worked and given of themselves to the fullest in houston.  after seminary and their move south years ago, we never got use to living without them.  the tale of their return is filled with prayers, deliberations, lengthy conversations, dreaming, planning, and lots more prayers.  while there is great loss in the big state of texas, a tiny part of the bluegrass will be ignited by the joy of many of us here next week. we receive the rare gift of reunion and the kind of restoration the imagination kindles for a time when the kingdom is known in its fullness.  we, by grace, patience and a lot of hope, get that now and we breath deeply.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


some pictures from the last week in Lexington:

Isaac with a horse in the Kentucky countryside.

a horse and his boy

Sherry with Karen (our summer intern) and a neighbor.

lyric theatre groundbreaking

isaac and sherry making a bike-propelled fruit smoothie at the farmers market

farmers market

kath and isaac enjoying a special mexican food feast

eating out

brian the builder showing off his guns as he works on our siding

gettin r done

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

great summer weekend

we started the weekend with a visit to the farmers market and finished it with a lovely cookout at the Koch's place.





Thursday, July 9, 2009

kath in the garden

mum is with us in lexington and before she is over jetlag we have her out in the community garden working.  we've also enjoyed visiting our favorite coffee shop  (third st coffee) where barrista extraordinaire, hendrick, remembered her preferred drink after a year away.  AND we took in the sights and tastes of our favorite bakery (sunrise) this morning.

community garden

community garden

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

grandma's here

last night, it was a joy to pick up kath (geoff's mum) from the lexington airport.  isaac spent weeks counting down her arrival and yesterday he went from hour to hour asking "how much longer till grandma arrives?".  she had safe, uneventful flights that took her through new zealand, los angeles and chigaco, before getting to us.  she will be with us until the end of july.  after almost 10 years of a cross-cultural marriage, geoff and i, and the rest of our family, are becoming very adept at savoring every moment and relishing the memories formed quickly that have to sustain us for the long drought in between visits.  we have lots of plans for our time with kath and we are glad to wake into the first day of her visit.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

our 4th of july holiday


by 7.30 this morning, geoff was running down the streets of lexington in the bluegrass 10,oo0.  without much training, he manage to finish this 10K in under 50 minutes.  while he was working hard, karen, isaac and i wandered through the farmer's market and purchased produce for the day.

for lunch, we grilled hot dogs (the terrible but ideal july 4th food) and enjoyed fresh kentucky corn and purple cabbage coleslaw.  geoff and i finally returned to the infrastructure tasks in the garden and today we manage to complete 1/2 the brick path that dissects our potager-style plots.

after a shower and an afternoon nap (and once the other three of the house returned from the downtown parade) we relaxed with the newspaper.  as we sat at the kitchen table with our large window open to the back garden, we heard a neighborhood boy exclaim as he walked past, "man, they've got crops!"

we walked one block to share an evening meal with our most special neighbors, steve and rona, and the koch family.  rona delighted us with the tastiest cornbread leftovers.  jodie baked an outstanding corn and basil tart and we contributed subie's famous vidalia onion dip, sunrise bakery bread, and a raw beet salad.  for dessert, we savored every mouthful of rona's homemade ice cream -  black raspberry (reed valley orchard) and vanilla buttermilk (with fresh local milk).

the garden was watered in the late afternoon by a sweet shower and i don't think the temperature rose above 75 F.  i can't remember a more pleasant 4th of july.



Friday, July 3, 2009

small harvest

summer harvest

...from the backyard

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

more pool fun

isaac and asher and i have hit the pool a bit in recent weeks.  these lads are certainly gaining confidence and even plunging their heads under the water on occasion (sometimes this is an accident but they both recover quickly).  isaac can 'swim' into the deep parts alone with his floaty vest on and asher is not far behind, wading out till the ripples reach his bottom lip.  here are some pics.




this last one captures two bored boys...they are waiting for the pool to be reopened after someone had an 'accident'  - these 'accidents' are more common than you would like or think in our nearest neighborhood pool and they usually mean 30mins of pensive waiting for dozens of anxious children.


we thoroughly enjoyed a visit from one of sherry's wake forest friends last weekend.  such a delight to catch up and to share family time together.  here we are enjoying the courthouse fountains.

m & family

m & family

m & family

m & family

m & family

m & family

m & family


unearthed these beets this morning.  we ordinarily harvest these when they are lot smaller but this row got out of hand.