Sunday, May 29, 2011

"turn right, ahead"

Lexington streets, they tell me, are just like "spokes on a wheel." Simple enough, unless, of course, you can't remember the order of streets on the wheel or which direction you're supposed to go once you get to the right street. But after two weeks, I must say, I'm beginning to make progress. And now I have this interactive map to help me (+ you) find your way in Lexington and the surrounding areas.

So far, I can confidently find the Dollar Theater (yes, all movies show for .75-$2; amazing, right?), Hope Springs church (which is close to downtown Lexington and, therefore, automatically an impressive feat), and an Amish Farmer's Market. I thought I had Wilmore pretty figured out until last night, when I missed a turn into the driveway of Laura's friend Lyman's house and ended up on a 15-20 minute detour through an area known as "The Palisades" - windy, curvy, narrow roads with cliffs on both sides, no street lights, and very few places to turn around. Absolutely beautiful, but not exactly preferable at nighttime. They say that's the way to get to Shakertown and to a rope swing into the Kentucky River. I'll hit up both of those before the end of the summer, without a doubt. In the daylight.

Sometime soon I'm going to take off driving and explore all over Wilmore, Nicholasville, and Lexington. I can hear the GPS now: "Recalculating...recalculating..." I'm pretty directionally challenged - in a car, at least. But I also hate looking/acting/feeling like a tourist no matter where in this world I am, and the longer I'm here, that impulse grows stronger. Time to learn my way around this place, and learn it well. If you have any pointers, feel free to share. For now, I'm going with that whole spokes-on-a-wheel theory. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

lessons from jill pole.

Towards the beginning of The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis describes a girl's initial encounter with Aslan. Lost and alone during the first hour of her first trip to Narnia, Jill is all but dying of thirst when she's presented with a choice: whether or not to drink from the water of life. The conversation follows...
"Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
"I'm dying of thirst," said Jill.
"Then drink," said the Lion...

"Will you promise not to--do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
"I make no promise," said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
"Do you eat girls?" she said.
"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.
It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion - no one who had seen his stern face could do that - and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping up water in her hand.

It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted.
To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life..." [Revelation 21:6]

Thursday, May 19, 2011

school's out for the summer

The end of school/start of summer transition was especially chaotic this year, for various reasons. Here's a recap of what's been going on.

[PART ONE: end of school]
Finals' week presents the question - is it better to be very disciplined and study gradually over a long period of time, or keep hanging out with your friends whenever you want and have a blast and then be forced to stay up all night writing a paper on Moby-Dick's relationship to 19th-century America? This year, my approach was totally the latter. Play while everyone's awake, then work while others are sleeping. 3:00 in the morning isn't so bad if the daytime fun makes it worth it. What am I going to remember in 30 years, anyway? A sleepless night full of history essays, or a sunset at Sardis, spontaneous trip to Gum Tree, and dinner with friends? I think we both know the answer. All this to say, school was ROUGH the last few days, but everything worked out just fine in the end.
[note to self/others...procrastinating in Spanish = more problematic than procrastinating in English. proyecto final took me an eternity even if it was about fĂștbol.]
[PART TWO: fun-filled weekend]
Some people aren't going to follow me for this part, but others will immediately understand. I made it back to Wilmore just in time to change clothes and get to work helping with the Francis Asbury Society Building Dedication Ceremony weekend. Extremely busy but absolutely awesome way to kick off the summer. People from all over the country, and, really, all over the world, came together for camp-meeting style preaching, fellowship, celebration, and prayer for the new FAS Ministry Center. The weekend was, naturally, filled with encounters with lots of people who I don't know but who know me (shout out to my fellow preachers' kids, I know you understand that one!). We also got some bonding time with some of our closest friends and Laura's and my "adopted" big brother and sister from New Jersey! We are so blessed. I will explain FAS in detail later, but for now, this will tell you everything you need to know.

Ministry Center Video Tour from The Francis Asbury Society on Vimeo.

[PART THREE: everything else]
Since the weekend, I have unpacked, done a lot of work organizing the August Guatemala trip, worked some (but of course not enough) in the LSAT practice book, clocked in a good number of hours at the FAS building, and (no surprise) started reading a C.S. Lewis book. Kentucky is beautiful in the summer. I'm looking forward to all of the adventures that I'm sure are on the way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

going out with a bang

Packed with my favorite people, places, and things, this was one of those good weekends that you remember for a really long time. Good things included but were not limited to: tornado clean-up at Pine Flat, Allie's surprise birthday party, Old Crow Medicine Show at the Square, Double Decker, Bottletree, lots of time with lots of friends, and Memphis in May.

Double Decker is like Oxford's annual holiday weekend. The concerts Friday and Saturday nights are always great, and few things are better than walking around the Square with hundreds of other people enjoying a beautiful spring day, awesome local artwork, and some quality Mississippi food. Add these people to the mix, and I can't imagine a better time. [photo courtesy of the roommate]

After some deliberation, we opted to pass on the Saturday night concerts in Oxford and went instead to Memphis in May to see Mumford and Sons. (Also, we saw Ludacris and Ke$ha by default...for the record, avoid future Ke$ha concerts at all costs.) Anyway, these guys are incredible live. You should definitely check them out if you haven't jumped on that bandwagon yet. [photo courtesy of official website's photo gallery]

Solid weekends like this mean rough Mondays, but they're worth it. I'm ready for classes to be finished, but I'm not ready to leave this place, these people, or these adventures we like to call just another day in the life. I'm in denial that this was the last big weekend before finals, but if it had to be the last one, I'm thankful it was oh so good.
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