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Showing posts from June, 2007

a north-easterly direction

a few excerpts from my journal while in maine: ...we left the garden state in a general north-easterly direction, proceeding along highways and turnpikes with ease and great speed...the great thing about traveling in new england is that you get to drive through a new state nearly every hour, which is a good thing except for that one miserable excuse for a state known as massachusetts. we took the 495 loop to (thankfully) avoid boston, but i still got the chills as i could feel the city's horrid evil even from miles away. other than feel like we had veered dangerously close to some kind of netherland, a sort of sheol, it was a good trip. once we hit new hampshire the darkness lifted and i could taste maine... yesterday was our first full day here in maine. we stay at this awesome old home called "the oaks." it is this house on a hill, a home that feels as full of stories as it is full of sags and shelves that lean. take, for example, the billiard room, which i starte

the joy, the triumph, the lament...

i mentioned before i left on vacation that maine just feels old to me. it feels like big band more than top 40. it feels like rotary more than cell. it feels like town diner more than chain restaurant. and even though he lives in maine, it feels like henry wadsworth longfellow more than stephen king. on the sunday when i was in maine, rather than go to church (i try to avoid church on vacation - we can talk about that another time), i went to a flea market. for a pastor, it was a satisfying kind of rebellion. while people all across the nation were worshipping in churches, i was out looking for signs of the Creator amongst some crazy characters and so much creation. i stumbled across the above book and couldn't take my eyes off it. it is by henry wadsworth longfellow, a writer who was born in maine and spent much of his life there. i have some personal history with one of longfellow's long narrative poems, evangeline, and so i was already interested in any old edition

eight years ago today

eight years ago on this day... -it was the hottest day on record in the northern hemisphere (appx. 157 degrees fahrenheit) -our wedding cake melted and almost slid off -i was blessed to be surrounded by family and friends -i sang a song i had written to shannon in front of all those family and friends -i made a fool of myself singing a song i had written to shannon in front of all of those family and friends. -we danced our first dance as a married couple, tuck and patty's "takes my breath away" -we kissed alot (at the reception people! get your minds out of the gutter!) -we smiled until our cheeks hurt -we danced until our legs hurt -we were the object of a good 10,000 or so photographs, until our smiles hurt (is that possible?) -we made a public commitment, before God and our families and friends, that we would stick by each other through whatever valleys came our way. -i finally ended my year of counting down the days, like a prisoner trapped in a lonely cell of wai

i'm back

hello, old friends. its been awhile. it has been a really enjoyable hiatus from my 'normal' life, and even a good fifteen days away from this blog. while i love this thing as both an avenue of expression for me and a way to stay connected with all of you, i also needed a break from all things computerish, and so i return to you refreshed and refueled. actually, when you take a vacation with a toddler and a newborn, you feel like you need a vacation to recover from your vacation. but that's how it goes. we had a wonderful vacation in the state of maine. i want to tell you all about it, but this will have to do for tonight. the picture above was taken by my dad at the Pemmaquid Point Lighthouse, only a couple of miles from where we stayed in New Harbor. what a beautiful and inspiring place. these purple flowers, which shannon tells me are called lupine (and which i lovingly refer to as 'professor lupin') were EVERYWHERE in the maine countryside, which made for some

ahhh, vacation

"maine" paper collage and found objects on cardboard panel gregory a. milinovich ahh. the day before vacation. a day of anticipation and excitement. a day of packing and worrying about how the heck everything is going to fit in the van. a day of calling local uhaul rental centers to see what they have available. a day of making sure everything is covered until you get back. a day of putting timers on the lamps so that they turn on and off without you being there. a day of mowing the lawn so that when you return you don't have to use a machete to get to your front door. a day of watching the final of a three-game series between the yanks and the bucs (yes, christina, there is an inside the park home run. there is also something called a series sweep. we'll talk later). a day of unpacking the van and trying again because there are still approximately 45 baby items of unusually large size that you have failed to fit. a day of packing several books for your t

o! the depths!

there's our little man. check out the shirt. he gets it honest. in other news, it may interest my regular readers to know that my lunch yesterday actually consisted of two hot dogs (no buns) and a cup of coffee. i am not making this up. i did indeed purchase some organic coffee on the way home the other night. i bought Jim's coffee, and, oh, it was so good. i did want to point out, though, that coffee, to be experienced at its best, ought to be brewed in a bunn coffeemaker. now, hear me out on this. i went through a doubting stage about this. i used to think that coffeemakers were coffeemakers, and it really didn't matter. but i kept noticing that my parents coffee always tasted better than mine. they had a bunn. i noticed that most restaurants were using bunn coffeemakers. so i got online and read about them. i learned a little bit about how coffee is brewed, and how water temperature really has something to do with it. so, i caved in and we asked for a bunn

so much stuff

have you ever been overwhelmed at the sheer number of things in this world? i mean, haven't you ever sat in a city eating a hot dog and considered just how many hot dogs will be eaten in that same city on that day? or in the world on that day? or just how much mystery meat was used to make said hot dogs? or how many hot dogs will end up in the garbage? or how many trucks it took to ship those dogs? or how much fuel it cost to move those trucks? or how many lives it costs to buy the right to that fuel? (oops, that last one was more than i meant so say - sorry.) but seriously, haven't you ever been overwhelmed at the sheer number of things in this big world? with all apologies to uncle walt, i know that its a small world, after all, but its full of millions of hot dogs. and shoes. and front doors. and discarded computers. and soda cans. don't believe me? here is what self-proclaimed photographic artist chris jorday has to say: Exploring around our country’s shipping ports an

unsung heroes

my life is full of unsung heroes. take my lungs, for instance. they are constantly working, inhaling and exhaling, stretching, pulling life from my environment and exhausting what i cannot use. if it were not for these lungs causing the rise and fall of my chest every couple of seconds, i would not be where i am today. i mean, every second these puppies are partly responsible for my existence. and yet they receive little thanks. unsung heroes. equally important as my lungs, there is yet another unsung hero i feel compelled to highlight today: coffee. look at that word just sitting there in its own little space. isn't it beautiful? just reading the word makes me feel like i can smell its roasted goodness. ahhh. the world drinks more than 500 billion cups of coffee a year ( ). we import it into the US at incredible rates. it is a huge global moneymaker. and yet, for all that, it isn't just fuel. it isn't j

a couple of books

home again, home again, jiggity jig. i spent the last several days at a conference in the above pictured convention center (valley forge convention center). i actually had a really good time connecting with a variety of pastor friends and acquaintances. we had some good discussion in plenary sessions, and even had a civil discussion on the issues surrounding homosexuality. all in all, it was a good conference. we were electing delegates to next spring's general conference (to be held in texas), and since i am not ordained i could not vote. so, i was able to take advantage of the time by reading a couple of books. this is a book by david crowder who is a Christian musician. i have always enjoyed his music, and, even more, loved his lyrics which always seem to drip with an authenticity that seems to be missing from a great deal of what gets called 'christian music.' this book is basically two sections. first, he talks about how all of our lives ought to be praise, n