Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Some Urban Outfitting, a Wedding and a Trek.

Today is one of those transitional days between summer and autumn that defines the word delightful. The scene around me is colorful with blue skies, golden sun, and green leaves; comfortable with cool air and breezes; and slightly magical with the noticeable change of the angle of light as the earth tilts toward equinox. I'm sitting out on the deck in the early morning sun to write this, and am glad for my woolly slippers and a cup of steeping tea against the welcome chill.

So, against this backdrop of the waning summer, I present what I learned during its beginning days, the month of June:

Sam hates shopping. A lot. Poor him, because I made him get all new clothes. We got it done though and he is now outfitted with a workable wardrobe that will serve for classes, dates, and the occasional formal occasion. Other than those traumatic moments at Kohls, it was so good to have these beginning days at home with him. He did get a job right away, thanks to a good friend who owns a small local business, but it was part time and left us hours to visit, catch up on movies and try and help him ease back into life without a set schedule and the constant feelings of spirituality that accompany missionary service. I really like my kids.

I like taking Wedding Photos for Friends. I happened to chat with a long-time knitting student in class one day and she mentioned her grandson's upcoming wedding, and that they wanted it to be small and not cost a lot. I mentioned that I would be interested in taking the photos and what do you know? I got to do it. What an awesome day. They got married at the courthouse in Annapolis, MD, which downtown maintains a very beautiful historic sensibility. They got ready and had their reception at a historic tavern right next door and everything was just beautiful. I loved being here with them and being able to document their lovely day.

It's good to be flexible. I spent a fair amount of my time and the church's funds to prepare for 4 hours of activities at a youth retreat called Pioneer Trek. It reenacts the 1856 handcart journey of the Mormon Pioneers from Iowa to Utah. The kids dress up and pull actual reproduction handcarts and have a grand time interspersed with some real challenges. On the day when we were supposed to have our 4 hours of workshops, which included cooking fry bread and buffalo meat over coals; making leather bracelets; washing hair; playing pioneer games; and playing with a pet lamb; the schedule was behind, the weather was fitful, and in the end, we needed to get 140 kids through 3 workshops in about 90 minutes instead of 5 workshops in the originally planned 4 hours. Yeah baby! If you have good plans, you can make things work in any situation, and I was proud of how we (my amazing committee and I) were able to retool on the fly and make a good experience for the youth.  You can see from the pictures (all courtesy of my genius friend Lancer Seaman) that the kids had fun doing what we were able to do, and the objectives of the workshops were met. I am glad that I could help and I am grateful for the other women and men who supported me and did their jobs with grace and flexibility as well. I loved being at the Trek site and more specifically amongst these amazing young people. They get on board with this stuff that we leaders plan for them, and the results are always magnified far beyond what we are able to originally envision.

And here are a few more pics of Evan's experience on the trek. You can't actually fake smiles like this and having a good time when it comes to teens, so this really was a phenomenal experience for these kids. my chance to play even a small role was most appreciated. (These photos are also from the multi-talented Lancer Seaman.) 

And June is remembered. Onto to the rest of the day. Then July awaits. 

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