It's the second day of my month off and so far I haven't done much that can be considered vacation-y, but that will change tomorrow morning when I get up about 5 a.m., hop in the car with a cup of coffee and head for the ferry dock, so that I can beat the Seattle traffic and drive over Snoqualmie Pass into the hot dry desert of eastern Washington, to spend a couple of days with my sister and her family in Moses Lake. I can only spend a couple of nights with them because I'll be preaching at the West Seattle church on Sunday morning and will drive home early Saturday in order to be home overnight before I do that.
The fireworks in Moses Lake are just great and my niece and her family live in a house that overlooks the lake where the fireworks are displayed. It's great to spend a little time with the family and I'm looking forward to seeing a new great nephew, a recently adopted great nephew, and the assorted other family members. I'm taking books for my sister and she'll send some back with me. Yay!
The following week I'll be goofing off at home while looking forward to a week at Seabeck, for Eliot Institute. This year's July theme is spiritual discipline, as I recall, but it doesn't really matter, because I'd go anyhow. I can't go next year because that's my 50th high school reunion out in Athena and I've promised I'll attend and help out.
In other vacation-y plans, I want to drive the North Cascades highway, visit the Olympic peninsula, and get familiar with Island Transit, the free bus service that goes up and down the island. It would be a good way to get to and from Whidbey General on my chaplaincy days.
Another thing I'm doing is taking a DVD course from The Teaching Company on understanding music. It's sort of music theory through a non-scientific, experiential lens and the lecturer is outstanding. We've done timbre, beat, meter, and instrument choirs so far and I've picked up a lot I didn't realize I didn't know. It's fun to be a student in this way.
Today I'm all ready to go on my trip, with my suitcase packed and ready to sneak out to the car before the cats get too alarmed. I've made a bate of walnut butter for my sister, according to Lizard Eater's recipe, and all I have to do is hop in the car and go. I'll be back on Saturday. Yes, I'll drive safely, I promise!