Now is come the Summer of our contentment, made glorious Autumn by these… uh… things & stuff.
Verily doth the nights turn increasingly cooler, and the waning daylight speaks of the shortness of days… the Dusk creeps closer and the evening shade encroaches upon each dying afternoon.
O, the earth groans upon its axis, as the North winds breathe in eager anticipation for their time to come. Leaves twirl in intermittent skitterings `cross the cobblestone streets.
The green corn yellows upon the stalk, and the fragrance of a coming harvest fills the air. Our warm Summer season of renewal and growth surrenders to the transience of the Seasons. Nothing gold can stay.
Our household prepares for the maddening agendas of enterprise in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Even as we found no shortage of occurrences and endeavors over the course of recent Summer`s time, it portends that such will seem as a time of quiet leisure compared to what the Autumn bodes for those of my house.
There are the usual customs of the season as well as a few interesting twists and new developments…
My mother will be flying up here from Texas in the next couple weeks, to live with us through the birth of my son. My father, who is looking after my Grandmother during her recovery, will be driving up around Christmastime to stay through January.
There is even some rumblings amongst my brothers and sisters about having a sort of “family reunion” at Prospero House during this Yuletide, which we would love to accommodate in our house (as there`s no shortage of room) but that`s still a bit on the horizon.
For myself… there are, naturally, the manifold requirements contained within my position of employment at the Boys & Girls Club. Even as I position myself to ascend to the role of Area Director by Midwinter, there are many tasks that remain in establishing the basic operational stability of my current outpost. Though a strong infrastructure and support-system is in place, the “Oaks” still needs time and careful stewardship in order to grow robust. It should be ready for my departure by the time I take my leave this January, upon the birth of my son William – who shall be called Liam.
In addition to the dealings of my professional sphere, there are the sacred duties in the service of my local assembly. I will continue teaching the “College & Career” class on Sunday mornings as well as leading the evening worship services. I will serve another term in the Missions Committee`s many efforts, both local and abroad, especially in my position on the board of directors for the Lighthouse Shelter. I have also been nominated to be a member of the Board of Trustees, and will go before them in a few days as part of the inquiry, but I am unsure of what is to come of that at this point.
There are the typical smatterings of “book club” and “small group” sessions on the church calendar that I look forward to facilitating in my home with eager savor, but I am also working on a series of librettos and theatrical works (mostly one-act) to run over the course of a church year, the first one (almost completed) is based on the life of Martin Luther and is for the Hallow e`en/All Souls (Reformation Day) holiday time. I do not think any of them will be able to be performed until 2009-10, at the earliest, but I am eager to put these works together as a compilation for any/all churches to use as instructional tools.
I could go on about a few other “irons in the fire” that I`m considering, but I think I`ve gone well beyond the appearance of pretension that comes along with articulating one`s own personal ambitions – so I should quit while I`m behind.
For Candace… her main priority is certainly the health and well-being of our little Liam, but this isn`t her first rodeo and she`s bearing our youngest with great aplomb. She still gets out to work in the yard under the heat of the Sun, and she bristles at the presumption that she is somehow “debilitated” by being with child.
My beloved maintains all the various cognitive levels of Housewifery as well as her duties in overseeing the education of the children, without neglecting external pursuits of her interests or her own personal enrichment. She ministers unto the homeless and hurting during her labors within the nexus of our town, feeding the hungry with the food of temporal sustenance as well as that which is eternal. Candace has grown exponentially in the Word, especially insofar as the Word is made manifest in one`s deeds.
Candace has applied her tireless spirit towards whatsoever the church has found need to request of her, everything from leading the Music during worship services (when the regular Minister was called out of town on short notice) to helping our dear brother Chef Zach prepare the feast for Wednesday evening fellowship meetings, as well as teaching Vacation Bible School to the wee folks.
She has recently been offered the responsibility of leading the Children`s Choir, upon the retirement of the former teacher, and she was thrilled to accept so pleasant a responsibility. In addition, Candace will be joining my own efforts in teaching the Sunday morning “College & Career” Bible Study as well the Sunday evening “contemporary” Worship Service our church provides.
For Gaelynn… her home-based education is ongoing, with the only hiatus over the Summer being in the formal aspect of instruction; otherwise, she has been trucking steadily along under the careful tutelage of her parents as well as her mentors at our church.
My firstborn is a student of peculiar contrasts, preternatural in the areas of study that fascinate her while plodding in those that fail to capture her imagination. Her skills continue to progress, and she remains well ahead of the curve, but I would like for her rote abilities to improve.
She is naturally given towards questions of deeper significance on a matter, and I enjoy the circuitous questionings found within our many conversations. Like most (if not all) children, Gaelynn is a natural philosopher, and I enjoy her meandering inquiries into the theological matters that elude her.
Even as Gaelynn is still a year or two away from being allowed to follow those of her heart`s love (as I do not think it advisable to start her Equestrian training until she gets a bit closer to ten years of age), I`m thinking that we`ll start getting her ready over the Autumn/Winter of her ninth year – to begin formal instruction in the following Spring. However, she will still have a rather expansive extracurricular calendar over this term…
Our family will be joining the Annapolis Karate Club (Goju Ryu) soon and Gaelynn will begin what I hope will be a lifelong practice of formal physical discipline. She is tall and rather limber, with a certain tenacity about herself, I think she will do well.
The civic Parks & Recreation department offers a host of Fine Arts programs, almost exclusively catering to the growing prevalence of homeschooling in the more rural vicinities surrounding Annapolis town.
Gaelynn will be participating in an Art class as well as a rudimentary Dance class. She will also begin studying the Piano soon, probably around Midwinter; though we are still deliberating as to whether she should be taught by a woman in our church (with more of a focus on sacred music) or a woman in the nearby community (whose price is commensurate with her impressive reputation).
Furthermore, I am currently in conversation with the director of the St. John`s College Fencing Union – which offers instruction to adults, children, and entire families. This is a discipline in which both of my elder children show a keen interest.
Israel starts his first year at Georgetown Elementary tomorrow and the school is already talking about promoting him upward.
Speaking with his principal last Friday, I learned that they would like to move him to the 1st grade in the Winter term, and have him start 2nd grade next Fall.
In the meantime, however, he`s going to stay with his fellow Kindergartners and strengthen his Handwriting & Math skills. While his peers are learning the basics of the English language, Israel will be meeting with a Resource Teacher to further his Reading Comprehension. Currently, he is reading on about a 3rd grade level.
Though Israel`s interests continue to remain within the general sphere of technology and machines, we have discovered that he`s got quite a little singing voice. His choir teacher (an opera-trained Music professional) brought it to our attention, describing Israel as having “perfect pitch” and excellent natural technique. Of course, getting him to sing can be quite a task in itself. Nevertheless, he too will begin his formal study of the piano in the coming term.
In other extracurriculars, I have long resisted the urge to enroll him into sports… but the time is finally right.
He will start Soccer this Winter, Karate in the Spring, and Baseball this Summer. I decided against starting him in Flag Football this Autumn, as the only team that had any open slots (due to my delay in inquiring into the matter) had practices on Wednesday night (at the same time as our evening fellowship). Besides, I want him to learn International Football before he learns American Football. If genetics plays any role in such things, he should do well at both.
Like his sister, Israel possesses a keen and inquiring mind. I try to never discourage this natural curiosity but, in Israel`s case, it`s nearly inexhaustible. If you keep giving him answers, he will keep asking you questions. His stamina for dialogue, compared to what I`ve experienced, is disarming for a boy of his age.
May he ne`er recover.
So much remains shrouded in mystery concerning the “wee lass” as we call her. Sophia shows certain tendencies, but much remains yet hidden.
It does seem that she is a bit ahead, developmentally, of her siblings – typically reaching the benchmarks of progress well-before the precedents set by her older sister & brother. She began eating solid food far earlier than both, she began potty-training earlier; she recognizes letters, small words, numbers, shapes and already shows a strong interest in reading and writing.
Fiercely independent, we call her the “Alpha Girl” due to her “demurely domineering” way of interacting with other children. She loves animals (especially dogs) and adores babies; I hope this translates well towards the newest addition to our family.
Aside from all of that noise, our lifestyle is one marked by quietude.
Between events of labor and leisure, many a shade-cooled hour is spent within the grounds and walls of Prospero House-by-the-Sea. I like nothing more than to spend tranquil evenings “on the town” strolling along the Docks, my beloved`s hand in mine.
Today marks the first anniversary of our moving to Annapolis: an agonizing, exhausting, and thrilling adventure.
We have learned much in the time between then and now, made plenty of mistakes along the way, but emerged with wisdom and gratitude for the providence of our LORD in all things.
Now, with thankful hearts, we turn our eyes towards the imminent cooler season… readying our material & logistic provisions for the long and dark Cold that is to come.
Our backs strengthened for the easy burdens of our labors, eagerly inclined for the teaching found within every lofty endeavor of another bustling Season.
All-wise bright LORD of Heaven and Earth, who has guided our steps for His purposes and by His design, I thank you for your tender care in blessing and admonishment
May our lives testify to Your goodness and mercy before others… Amen.