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I was not logged in for CMC worship on January 3.  My intention to participate diminished at full tilt while my body was in full tilt before crashing in a full chin-plant on asphalt and ending a lovely, until that moment, morning run.  That sound blast in my head was upper jaw smacking lower, so I was immediately gratified that neither fragments nor whole teeth met my sweeping tongue.  My bearded chin, though, was (yes, this is a euphemism) “moist.”  I walked home glad my mouth was intact and wondering what the mirror would show.  “Moist” was a very accurate and neutral...

Let me say up front that I don’t think we should beat ourselves up for Lent any year, but this year feels especially important to make sure we enter this season with a clear sense of purpose.  I’ve been in charge of organizing the Ash Wednesday services for a couple years, and I always try to spend some time thinking through the meanings of that service and the season as a whole. 

Nobody goes into Lent thinking they’re going to beat themselves up, but anytime the focus turns toward sin, repentance, and practicing spiritual disciplines like fasting, I think we have to be clear about...

One of my distractions during the pandemic has been jigsaw puzzles.  I used to work on jigsaw puzzles during my college breaks to destress.  Having rarely indulged in this pastime since then, I rediscovered puzzling to be a good way to fill some otherwise empty hours.  When Jim and Patti learned I liked puzzles, they gave me a 1000-piece puzzle of Ohio State’s football stadium.  It was a fun way to stay connected during our days of separation as I periodically sent them photos of my progress.  I made it my goal to have the puzzle completed in time for the...

After a long stretch in survival mode, a change of administration has brought rapid developments in Edith’s case.  The Biden administration has chosen to elevate immigration concerns as an early priority.  They will pursue comprehensive reform, and the 100 day moratorium on deportations – despite the temporary injunction by a federal judge – is a welcome opening move.

All this is good news, nearly whiplash-inducing from the direction of the previous administration.  Is this really happening?  Yes, and…maybe.

One of Edith’s lifelines has been the...

While Jim has worked out of state for six-week stretches of time in 2020, I’ve been mostly at home.  However, I am far from “home alone.” 

Two years ago, we purchased a large home (circa 1853) in North Linden with 0.8 acres, 5 ½ baths and 7 bedrooms.  Three generations of our immediate family (7 people) share the house.  In the future, another daughter and her husband will move in, but for now, we have space for others to live with us. In 2020, that meant two different families.  From June until September, a Venezuelan family of three stayed...

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