Cole's been so swamped with doctoral work this summer that he really didn't get a summer. While the kids and I have spent many an afternoon at the pool or the library, he was either reading (some 3,000 pages) or writing (some 100 pages) in between all of the regular, standard duties of a pastor who has no other staff-members but shepherds a church that could use two or three! This last Wednesday over lunch, he looked at me and said, "Usually at the end of a class, I feel that release that comes with knowing it's over; but this time is different because my last seminar was all about how to BEGIN the dissertation. I feel like I've been running on high for three months now and I need to turn it off but somehow I can't seem to do it. I have nothing left to give this Sunday in the pulpit."
He thought that perhaps he needed to get away.
I told him that if he could find a preacher, I could book a hotel and pack the bags. I really didn't think he would do it. In our entire fifteen years together, we have never taken a "spur of the moment" weekend trip. When you only get three Sundays a year to vacation with, you don't play fast and loose with 'em. No, you don't.
So you can imagine how my jaw nearly fell to the floor when he called me an hour later from the office and said, "I've got a preacher." I kicked it in high gear, booked a hotel and packed the bags. We headed out late Thursday night after band camp was over and arrived in the hometown of famous author Mark Twain sometime around 1am.
The next morning we headed out to explore all that Hannibal, Missouri has to offer. We walked through the caves that Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn tromped around in. We rode a riverboat down the Mississippi, saw Mark Twain's boyhood home and the home of his childhood sweetheart Laura Hawkins (aka Becky Thatcher.) We ate a LOT of good food including catfish (Cole's favorite) and fudge (mine.) Basically, I guess you could just say that we mosied around and didn't get in a rush for an three entire days. Wonderful!
Surprisingly, the kids loved all the historical stuff--especially my older two who had both read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The cave was voted as coolest thing we did while the riverboat wasn't as fun as we had anticipated because of the heat and lack of breeze. (Riverboats go sloooooowwwwww, in case you didn't know.) We made it back to our town just in time for the church's annual back to school picnic. Our only regret was that we couldn't stay "just one more day."
Today Cole has spent the entire day researching for the disseration in hopes of having a proposal to turn in by tomorrow. I pray that he's having good success and and that he'll be encouraged by the time the library closes at 10pm. In the meanwhile, I'm trying to enjoy the last three days of summer before school starts on Thursday. I know I'll have a lot more peace and quiet once Thursday comes, but I always dread it a little. I just love having them all at home with me, y'know? Even when they're driving me nuts.
So, if you've been wondering why I've been so sporadic on the blog--well, I'm just trying to eek what little bit of summer I have left with the kids. I'd say that I'll be more consistent next week, but next week I'll be homeschooling a 2nd grader and entertaining Toilet Baby in between lessons.
But I'll still be around and eventually I'll find my groove with all of the fall activities and, well, you know... STUFF.