I got up early to pick up some friends at the airport this morning, so naturally, I had to take a nap when I got home. It's a slow Saturday. I'm grateful for that. It's fun to just let my mind wander wherever it likes on a day like this.
My city has an outdoor store that I visited shortly after I moved here, looking for a hiking guide for the area. There apparently isn't such a guide, but the guy who waited on me at the store that day gave me some great tips about good places to go and then signed me up for their newsletter and sales ads and some program where they send you a postcard to get a free t-shirt on your birthday. Last year, I got the postcard and took it in for my t-shirt. I bought a pair of hiking socks because I felt guilty about getting a t-shirt from a store where I'd never purchased a thing. This year my postcard came. It was for a backpack, this backpack to be exact. I took the card in last week and got the pack. It's really nice...should be a good day hike pack, very light, fits nicely on my back. I've looked on the internet out of curiosity and can't find the sucker for less than $49. I wonder what guilt will talk me into buying now.
I spent the week in a house with a programmable coffeemaker. I don't know how I've lived without such a luxury. Do you have any idea the difference it makes for the coffee to be done when I get out of bed, instead of having to turn the coffeepot on first? In my house, I get the coffee ready to brew the night before and then stumble out of bed when the alarm goes off to go turn it on so that it's ready a few minutes later, usually after I brush my teeth and change into my running clothes. With the programmable coffeemaker, I had the coffee ready to brew the night before, then set the timer for it to start when I planned to get up. The beauty of this method is that the house smells of brewed coffee when I first wake up. The alarm goes off, I open my eyes and take a deep breath, and there it is...coffee. Heaven, I tell you. Pure heaven.
It's supposed to be in the sixties here tomorrow. I really need to go hiking. I might even skip church to do it.
Speaking of church, the story about nearly torching it really isn't as exciting as you've likely imagined. I went to a small group meeting on Thursday night. I used a match to light the chalice* at the beginning of the meeting. It was one of those wooden matches that you strike on the outside of the box. I hit the box , and the lighted match flew out of my hand and landed on my notes for the meeting. There's a lovely burn mark on the paper and for a moment we all expected the paper to catch fire, but fortunately I grabbed the match in time to keep that from happening. It was a fabulous way to start a meeting in which the topic of the evening was "evil."
I've already turned in my tax return for last year. That's the earliest I've ever done it, I believe. I'm getting a chunk back, which I plan to immediately plop in my savings account to have in case of emergency.
I've been listening to the music of Zero 7 for the past few weeks. My friend Leigh gave me some of their cds for Christmas. There's no way to describe my deep fondness for their latest cd, In the Garden, which features Jose Gonzalez. Very good!!! If you click on his website, you'll find several videos and songs from his latest solo album. He makes use of some great art in the videos. His music has a deeply spiritual quality to it.
*When I told some folks at the seminary about nearly torching the church when I lit the chalice, several people looked at me confused. They were picturing a chalice full of grape juice or wine and couldn't imagine why I'd be lighting it. I had to explain that the UU chalice holds a candle which we light when we meet together.