It's Ours Again!

I love having company, and I love having company leave. It's kinda like Christmas that way. I love getting out the decorations and the tree and making the house festive for the season, but by Epiphany I'm ready to have my house back.

Same thing with guests. This weekend Mark and Marc came for M's installation. We had a good time, showing off Tucson to two midwestern boys (OH and MN), visiting the Desert Museum, eating at some of our favorite places, and finally getting down to the San Xavier Mission. They were our first real visitors since moving here, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Today, however, the house is once again just ours. The extra sheets and towels have been washed and put away; the futon in the guest room is couch once again; the Aero bed is deflated and stowed in the closet; the house has been cleaned; and the cats once again have the run of the entire house (we kept the doors to the guest room and office closed so Marc and Mark would have some privacy). It's quiet, it's clean, and no one needs entertaining.

Not that Mark, anyway, really needs entertaining. He's like my parents in that he's quite the self-entertaining guest. He's even a public transportation junkie, so he's fine as long as he has a bus/train schedule and a AAA book for the area. Unfortunately, SunTran doesn't come quite this far out, so he couldn't just take off like he could when he came to visit us in Boston, but he's still pretty low maintenance. In fact, he's probably coming back in the fall -- perhaps even with two of his friends from work. That promises to be a fun time.

He fell in love with the area so much that we suspect he might consider moving here (he's a nurse and therefore fully relocatable) once family obligations are no longer keeping him in Ohio.

M's installation day got started with a bit of a hitch. We were awakened by the phone at 5:50am -- it was the Senior Minister calling to say that he'd been up sick all night and was in no shape to lead worship that morning. So, just to complicate M's day even more, how would she like to lead two more worship services? No problem; this is one of the good things about having a two-pastor staff, right?

So, in addition to dealing with houseguests and getting ready for her own installation that afternoon, M lead two worship services on the spur of the moment Sunday morning. She did beautifully, and it was probably a fitting thing for her installation day for the congregation to see that she responds with aplomb to these kinds of changes in plans.

The installation itself was great. The sermon was forward-looking (not backward-focused as at an installation we attended earlier in the month); Marc's charges were spot-on; M's liturgical dance was beautiful (many folks now want her to revive the Church's former liturgical dance program); and the absence of the Senior Minister didn't seem to dampen the day too much.

At the reception afterwards, however, we witnessed something very strange. The Associate Pastor of a neighboring church (also relatively new, in fact, she of the backward-focused installation from earlier in the month) and another local pastor set themselves up behind a laptop at a corner table and proceeded to have some sort of the private meeting/discussion of something. When the chair of M's search committee went over to introduce herself and welcome them, she asked (as anyone would when trying to be friendly) where they were from. The response she got (from a Pastor, mind you) was "why do you need to know?"

Hmmmm. It's okay, though, because the Senior Pastor of the same church (someone M has known since she was in seminary) introduced himself to me for the fourth time at the reception. "Sandy, we haven't formally met yet. It's nice to finally meet you." I swear, someday I will just repond, "Good grief, we've met at least a dozen times by now -- why don't you try remembering."

Anyway, the house is ours once again, and relaxation and an early night are on the agenda.

I HAVE been knitting, I swear. In fact, I've been working on some pretty cool projects. Pictures soon, really.


Don't think I need to say any more.

Though I admit to being a little upset the Packers didn't win. And in no small part because, well, how's anyone supposed to know what my red, white, and blue is for?

New sweatshirts on their way for the Souper Bowl celebration in two weeks. Please remember, on that second-only-to-Thanksgiving day of conspicuous consumption, that there are those who have little to celebrate and even less to celebrate with.