Currently Reading (fiction): Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence. This is a good piece of literature, and I’m glad I’ve read it, but I’m ready for it to be over.
Currently Reading (non-fiction): Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller.
Currently Listening To: Scars, Rush
Rush Lyric of the Day: Scars of pleasure, scars of pain. Atmospheric changes make them sensitive again.
Weekend Update: After spending most of Saturday cleaning the house and relaxing, we went to Cynthiana yesterday for a birthday party for one of Hailey’s friends. Cynthiana is a small rural community about 30 minutes from Georgetown. It took us about 50 minutes to get there from our house. It was a beautiful drive, with rolling green hills, pastures full of cattle and horses, and barns everywhere. The place where the party took place was a little farmhouse on a farm with more acres than I could estimate. Rolling, lush fields in every direction, big old trees to make plenty of shade, an old wagon stacked with hay sitting next to a large vegetable garden, and even a tire swing hanging from the low branch of a tree, looking across an undulating pasture towards an old black barn in the distance. It really was beautiful. They rented a big water slide for the kids that you climbed up to the top of and then dropped down, towards a pool of water at the bottom. They also had one of those Wal-Mart kids’ pools that is 3 or 4 feet deep with a chlorine pump and everything, but is inflatable and mobile. They also had a trampoline and a piñata. Hailey, naturally, had no intention of getting in the pool or the water slide, but she did have a really good time jumping on the trampoline. I kept trying to tell her she had had an identical trampoline when she was younger that she was terrified of, but she didn’t seem to either believe me or grasp what I was saying. Either way, she had a good time and did really well jumping. Good exercise for her. We had hot dogs and cake to eat, and the kids broke open the piñata (although it took one of the uncles bashing it as hard as he could three or four times for it to finally break open – how do they expect a group of 5 year olds to do it!!?!? Galdern Mexican craftsmanship....).
Today, Melanie and the girls are heading to Cincinnasty until Wednesday. I’ll be driving up to meet them at Sarah’s house in Florence tomorrow for the 4th of July, but will then come back home. So I’ll have a few evenings to myself, which I’m looking forward to.
Spiritual Thought for the Day: I went for a drive Thursday evening with Hailey and Sydney. We drove around the rural part of Fayette County, and Hailey saw some people playing soccer in a field. She told me she wanted to play soccer "like Mommy did when she was a little girl." So I proceeded to tell her that when Mommy and Daddy were in high school, Daddy would come over after school and watch her play soccer. Her very first question was, "Where was I?" I explained to her that she had not been born yet. "But where was I?" she insisted. "Well, honey, you didn’t exist yet. Mommy and Daddy hadn’t made you yet. You weren’t anywhere." I glanced at her in the mirror, wondering if she’d buy it. "But where WAS I?" She just couldn’t grasp, or get her mind around, the idea of not being. I finally gave her the pat answer of "You were with God." And she was satisfied with that. That made sense to her. It got me to thinking about the human need for God and what causes it. It seems that humans can’t come to grips with the concept of not being. We can’t imagine how the world can exist without us in it. Without our consciousness alive somewhere. We can envision that the world was here before we were born, and will be here after we die, but we can’t envision that we weren’t and won’t be somehow "conscious" of it. It’s the whole Tillichian concept of the "trauma of non-being" (I think that was Tillich, anyway). So we rely on God to explain what seems to us to be inexplicable...that being that our consciousness is boxed into our life spans.
Today in History, July 3:
324 – Emperor Licinius is defeated in battle by co-emperor Constantine, at the Battle of Adrianople. Licinius retreats to Byzantium, then surrenders under the condition that his life will be spared. But Constantine reneges on the agreement, and executes him anyway.
987 – Hugh Capet is named King of France, the first ruler of a dynasty that would last until the French Revolution in 1792.
1250 – Louis IX is captured in Egypt while conducting the Seventh Crusade. He later is forced to ransom himself for freedom.
1754 – General George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to the French during the French and Indian War.
1775 – General George Washington takes command of the Continental Army.
1844 – The Great Auk (a biological cousin to the penguin) becomes extinct when the last known pair are killed by hunters while incubating eggs.
1863 – The Battle of Gettysburg hits its climax and ultimately ends with the ill-fated Pickett’s Charge, a charge ordered by Lee where the Confederates charge across an open field toward the fortified Union position at Cemetery Ridge and are basically slaughtered like sitting ducks. By day’s end, the three-day battle is over, the Union has won, and 43,000 are wounded or missing/captured, and 7,000 men are dead.
1890 – Idaho is named as the 43rd state. The name was reputed to be derived from a Shoshone Indian word meaning "gem of the mountains," as told by U.S. Senator George Willing. Willing later, however, admitted that he had made the word up, thinking it "sounded" Native American.
1964 – LBJ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ending segregation in public places.
1971 – Death of Jim Morrison.
1985 – Back to the Future debuts in theaters across the country.