Historically for me, the fall has been a season of increased activity, new ideas, and the pursuit of inspired projects. This year, the end of summer comes with a host of unexpected opportunities:
New cat.We adopted a cat from the local Humane Society--and soon found out that she had a rather severe upper respiratory infection, a persistent fever, and a "mystery mass" in her abdomen.
Two courses of antibiotics seem to have addressed the fever and infection (they often go hand-in-hand), but even an ultrasound for our one-year-old Inky leaves two vets puzzled: "We've never seen anything like this before and we are completely baffled as to what this could be."
The good news is (1) our veterinary clinic has been great, reducing the cost of the ultrasound from nearly $300 to $50, and (2) all of Inky's major organs and vital signs are normal.
Since putting our previous cat down, I had forgotten how much delight there is in figuring out that the most successful entertainment device for the cat--in this case, anyway--is a simple scrunched up ball of paper, flicked across the room, enticing Inky to bat at it and chase it the length of the house, at amazingly high speeds.
I would say that I have put nearly as much time into caring for and playing with the cat as I used to put into blog reading and blog writing. Now that Inky seems to be doing better, despite the mystery mass, I hope to become active again in the blogosphere.
New bike.Towards the end of the summer, I got rid of the traditional two-wheeled upright "diamond frame" bike I had acquired at a garage sale and bought a three-wheeled recumbent trike. It has been a huge amount of fun, now that I don't have to focus on balancing and getting the front wheel caught in a seam on the road! And since you need to pedal quite a bit more on a recumbent than on a traditional bike, my legs and abs are getting quite the workout!
Don't get me wrong: I am not an avid biker, though having the trike has helped me get away from using the car for those short little neighborhood errands I'd been doing otherwise.
I've been averaging about 10 miles a week on the trike--small potatoes compared to what Paul L does on his two-wheeled recumbent each day! But 10 miles on the trike is better than nothing and it's better than 10 miles by car, as long as the weather holds out.
New adventures among Friends.Now that I've recovered from the 2007 FGC Gathering and the "post partem" that followed it, I'm returning to my responsibilities and activities among Friends that had been on hold for awhile.
I have plans to attend the sessions of FGC's Central Committee in October--as a visitor, since my term of service had expired in 2006. I find I am called to remain connected somehow to that committee and its work, though I cannot know if I will be called into additional service there.
I am slowly becoming more active in the monthly meeting's Ministry & Counsel Committee. There is an annual retreat for the committee to be planned; clearness and support committees to be convened; and other concerns to be addressed, some of which capture my attention.
For the first six months of my service on M&C, I was an interested and concerned committee member who attended meetings and refrained from offering to do work outside of our committee time. Now I can open myself to listening for how God asks me to serve the local faith community and be more available to pursue those opportunities for service.
And my involvement in the worship group is increasing again, as we prepare to have a retreat this fall. We'll consider what our witness and our call to service might be, and we'll find ways to include the children in some of our activities. It will be good to break out of the routine of weekly worship, and my hope is we'll have the opportunity to sink a bit more deeply into our searching for and listening to our Guide.