Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
We have taken a whirlwind trip out to Maryland to see the Baileys with one stop in Paris Illinois to see Dale's mom. While on the way to Paris, we stopped to look around a nearby town named Kansas. Kansas Illinois. Kind of schizophrenic city naming what with two states as names. Kansas Illinois a rather old town which has pretty much worn down.
13 miles away, Paris is a county seat and much larger and more vibrant.
Here's the church all the Paris Lutherans attend, including the transplanted Chicago Meyer/Bauers
This particular Sunday was a "never stop' kind of day. Right now it's 7:42 and I've finally had a chance to sit down.
In the morning we packed up the car with changes of clothes and Ferdie and headed for Collinsville. Dropped Ferdie at the house and went to church.
After church Dale started weeding the back yard in Collinsville and I mapped out the route to Effinger's nursery in Belleville so I could pick out some pond plants for the seminary's Academic Quad pond which has developed and algea problem. We have fish in there and we can't even see them for the green right now. Nothing we've tried has eliminated that green in the water and from what I read last night, water plants are amazing at this. Effinger's isn't exactly a quick trip but their website said they had what I needed.
Well, they did and the two women working there knew their stuff, problem was they were out of some of the things we needed. But I did get a number of plants which could work.
When I got home I made a list and headed for 1. Walmart 2. Home Depot for window shades to help block out the upstairs blinding sun and 3. Creekside Nursery to see what they had in pond plants. Frankly, I walked and lifted and carried and pushed all day. Creekside did have different types of pond plants so I bought a bunch there too. For a healthy pond you need submerging plants, floaters and oxygenators. We now have all 3.
When I finally got back to the house I watched the last of the Cardinal game and then headed over to White Castle for dinner carry outs. We haven't had White Castles in a long time and they kind of hit the spot tonight.
Finally Ferdie and I headed back to campus so that I could drop those plants into the quad pond. Several trips from the car to the quad and that job was mostly done. I still have two large water plant tree type things which I need help with.
Now it's tv time, nothing much on, but at 8:30 I'm planning to watch the live stream of the LCMS Youth Gathering from New Orleans because Lizzie will be speaking at 10. Last night the live stream did not work because there were so many people from everywhere trying to log on. Hopefully they have this fixed tonight. There are 25,000 Lutheran high school aged kids down there this week along with college age and adults as sponsors. They have taken over the city and it's been fun to see all the updates on facebook since it began yesterday.
Katie's Maryland neighborhood has a 4th of July bike parade for kids. They decorate their bikes and ride en masse through the streets. Drew and Jake were headed for the starting area when they came across this:
Katie wrote on Facebook: "Just a normal day in the neighborhood."
Is anyone like me? Each year when a special day pops up like, say, 4th of July, I always obsess on trying to remember what we were doing the year before. Thanks to this blog and Facebook, this obsession is somewhat easier.
Last year on July 2, I was in Collinsville, it was a Friday, and I stumbled upon a problem with IDOT and the 159 reconstruction. Somehow the workers had busted through a water line and our street flooded to a point where we had no inside water and they had to flush the line with an exit point in our next door neighbor's front yard.
On this day, July 2, in 2012, we bought my truck which I have never tired of and which is popular enough that Ford dealers frequently call me to plead with me to sell it to them because they have a buyer who really wants this model. Interestingly, Ford announced recently that they will once again be manufacturing the Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I guess they learned not everyone wants and F150.
On the third which this year will be tomorrow, I mentioned an app which would help take pictures of fireworks, "Slow Shutter". I never did check that out since if I were going to try to get fireworks pictures I'd use a real camera with a tripod. But I didn't then and I won't now.
Also on the third Dale and I got several truck loads of dirt from Collinsville Ice and Fuel and set it into the edges of our new driveway.
Many years ago Dale was given an old Divco milk truck from the Farm Fresh owners down in Chester, the kind of truck which was once used in home dairy delivers. For some time the old truck was taking up space in our driveway, but then was taken to a rural area outside of Collinsville and stored in a friend's storage barn. There it sat for years waiting for Dale to get it going again. Yesterday he arranged for a restoration company to get it and take it to Precision Restorations on Forest Park Parkway where it will begin the long process of a complete redo.
Dale could not be more thrilled. He delivered milk in a truck like this during college and seminary summers.
After church this morning Lizzie, Darren and the 3 boys came by and we loaded up the car and headed out to the town in which Dale began his ministry. Back when we were really really young. Each Father's Day the church puts on a chicken dinner which serves up some of the best fried chicken you've ever eaten. They've been doing this since around our 4th year there and I'd guess half of Washington County comes to eat.
I don't know what they do to this chicken but it is amazing.
Up until last year when Father's Day saw lots of rain and mud, it had always been outside in the little park behind the church. It went inside the new fellowship hall and worked so well they stayed with the inside this year. And, the heat today made being inside welcome. The lines for carry outs and eat-in's was continuous. And when you consider Venedy has about 25 houses at most, this is amazing. Good food brings people.
After we'd eaten the boys played catch and climbed a tree
I walked around the old church cemetery which was our backyard back when we lived in the parsonage. Some of those buried there were born in the late 1700's.
Then a Venedy friend of ours who was serving up plates of dinners told us her son was combining the wheat field at the edge of town and would the boys want to ride along for a bit. Would they!
The rest of us stood in the gorgeous field of gold and watched. At one point Connor got to drive (steer)
After a couple passes through the field it was time to unload the wheat kernels into the grain truck.
Yesterday we were in Hillsboro Missouri for the ordination of one of our recent graduates, Mark Harriss. It was a very hot day, but the proceedings were beautiful. The church Mark will serve as pastor sits outside of the city in a gorgeous landscape of woods and rolling hills seen just beyond the quiet cemetery.
All ordinations of our students are special days, but this one had an even more sentimental meaning. Mark is from Venedy, Illinois, the small southern Illinois town where Dale began his own ministry. He married Mark's parents during those times. We lived in the parsonage next to the church and about 5 years ago Mark as the church's property chairman, oversaw the demotion of that house and the construction of a new fellowship hall on the same spot.
Dale preached the sermon and Venedy's current pastor, Art Eichhorn was the liturgist.
When we got home from Hillsboro in the early evening we hosted a welcome to our new incoming students who will be taking their Greek class. 4 years ago Mark and his wife Rebecca were in our yard for the very same event.
4 years ago
Past met the present yesterday. We're excited to see what the future has in store for Mark and Rebecca.
And! One more past and present from yesterday. At this year's Greek welcome were Robert and Judy Brown from Holy Cross in Collinsville. Robert will be taking Greek and moving on to his first year at the seminary. His wife Judy is the granddaughter of Bernie Evers who for years owned Evers Pharmacy on Collinsville's Main Street and, Dale married Judy's parents when he was at Holy Cross.
2016 has been a year of break downs. More downs than ups. Last night we discovered the second floor air conditioning system had quit working and the second floor is where we sleep. It was pretty stuffy to begin with. I did some checking of the system, hoping it was merely a matter of the circuit breaker snapping off, but no. I went and looked at the digital thermostat and the display window had two things flashing, filter and battery. Filter is easy enough but I'd never seen battery before and was unaware these thermostats had batteries.
I decided to pull off the cover of the thermostat and sure enough there were 3 double A batteries in there. However, they were not the ordinary kind you put into every device. These were duracell Procell used for unordinary things and of course no one sold them. I went around to a couple of places and these were not available and most clerks had never heard of them and told me, "ah, the normal AA's will work fine."
But they didn't. I got a slight click from the thermostat like it wanted to come on, but after some googling I found that it appears these batteries are 9.5 volts and normal ones are 9. That extra .5 most make the difference. In any event, I've given up and we have a repair person coming this morning.
Sometimes you can fix things yourself, many times you can't. It doesn't hurt to try.