So here are a few random details that have spurred great amounts of thought lately:
- I had a large hawk in my back yard yesterday, pecking around in the leaves and looking for all the world like a chicken. I experienced a fanciful moment of vertigo wondering, if I could keep this going, what it would be like to keep laying hawks and sell their eggs. In possibly related news, I got a front row seat a couple days ago watching a beautiful red fox hunting mice just below my place.
- I caught the largest largemouth bass of my life a few days ago, on a random jaunt in my canoe. Took a poor quality picture and let him go. I'm not huge on eating bass, and catching him came as a bit of a surprise, and I'm tending more toward catch-and-release (especially with bass) lately anyway. Loved the experience, though.
- The whitetails are starting to transition toward the rut, which won't be in full swing for a couple weeks yet. But their patterns are changing, and I'm trying to read those patterns carefully. There have been no large bucks living on my 70 acres, but I'm hoping they'll be cruising through over these next couple weeks looking for receptive does. It gets to be an exciting time in the woods. I'm bringing out the arsenal of scents and grunt calls and fake-antler-rattling-noisemakers and having a ball.
- I went to the dentist the other day for the first time in five years. I was deeply curious to see what my extended experiment of owning my own dental hygiene produced. They fixed a little chip in one of my incisors and said my teeth looked great except for a tiny bit of tartar on the inside of my bottom teeth, and that I should schedule all kinds of professional cleanings at great expense. I declined.
- This weekend is the Holy Spirit Retreat for the Alpha course I've been leading. I'm excited. I have a great leadership team and it's going very, very well. It's fun to be leading Alpha again.
- I've been having more and more conversations about mid-sized home-based groups. A large part of my ministry-oriented work here is building those, and that relates closely to said Alpha course. We'll likely be launching two of these mid-sized groups in January. Can't wait. I'm more convinced than ever that this model (which is really just the book of Acts translated for our time) is one place where God is moving in powerful ways throughout the world.
- I've been struck lately by the fact that I haven't been to the Boundary Waters this summer. Not sure if I'll get there next summer either. I'm pinning high hopes on the summer of 2020. Living on a lake is good, but I miss that wilderness and all that goes with it.
- Writing continues to be a passion, though I have less to show for my efforts than I would like. I continue to play with short stories, and the one novel I'm currently working on is somewhere around 40,000 words. Not surprisingly it involves the Boundary Waters.
- I have great anticipation for the nearly three gallons of wild grape wine fermenting on my kitchen counter. It's mostly a grown-up science experiment, I suppose, not unlike the ten gallons of chokecherry wine a couple friends and I have produced, fermented, and now bottled.
That's probably enough for now. Today promises to be a mix of mechanical projects (need to replace a squirrel-cage fan in one of the furnaces in our Youth Building), computer work (prepping projection and talks and preparing documents for the Holy Spirit Retreat) and a little bit of walking in the rainy woods (to check my fake scrapes designed to lure in big whitetail bucks). Hope you are having an equally delightful day!