Friday, May 26, 2006

Amy leaves tomorrow morning. I can't believe it. We've had the best week together though. Today at lunch we reminisced about everything we did this week from lunches to housework to funny one-liners. What a great week. I'm sure I'll give you more tomorrow when I'm sad and she's gone.

But no time for that cause tomorrow I pack for Outbound, a trip with the youth at church to Colorado... rafting rivers, climbing mountains and repelling off cliffs. Then I'm back for a day and a half and then am off to the hill country to perform my first wedding ever. I'm not the wedding singer, I'm not the bridesmaid, I'm the minister. Whoa.

And then my parents arrive and will be here for a week. So no time for tears, only time for hope for the next time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

For 35 more minutes it will be the first day of my 28th year.

And it's been a great day.

A strange year, but a great day.

I failed to email you updates about how many days until my birthday (i try to start in February or March with the countdown). I also failed (as my father still wondered at today) to send out my birthday list which i try to publish by at least March (April if i'm really behind).

But none of that happened this year. Between the job and the house and the choas of "truly adult, non-student life), I lost interest in that. (That being "myself.")

But listen to what did catch my interest.

Marcus Borg, Joan Chittister and John Dominic Crossan.

And I spent I my 28th birthday listening to them lecture and fraternizing with them at dinner. (Yep, they know my name). My friends think I'm kind of a nerd, but I think it makes for a great birthday to spend it with world-renowned scholars. Always have.

My mother I hear isn't taking my birthday quite as well.

My dad came home to find her laying on the bed.

"What are you doing?"
"I'm tired."
"What's wrong?"
"I had a baby 28 years ago."

Classic Crazy Carol.

And a classis birthday. One I'll always remember, even if mom's pre-occupied with the first.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In my job, I've met and heard the Rev. Jesse Jackson preach (no comment on his personal life, but his preaching is fabulous), I've almost met Bill Clinton, I prayed before the Texas state senate, and now I'm going to get to meet and hear speak Marcus Borg, Joan Chittister and John Dominic Crossan.

And another heart attack is in order.

I'm blogging because I'm at work, trying to write what I'm going to say at Midweek Moorings tonight, but honestly I'm unable to focus what with all the hustle, bustle and excitement around the office.

There are volunteers everywhere, stuffing packets, setting up the bookstore, picking up world renowned scholars...

I can't focus.

I was doing really well and then it hit me.

So I'm blogging to take my mind off my work...


or rather to get my mind back on work.

Yeah, that's what I'm doing. I'm getting my mind back on work by blurting out all my excitement to you, my blogworld friends.

We will receive a lot of criticism for hosting this (we already have), but this is so exciting. We are a cathedral church in that we allow all the colors in and allow them to shine and fade blend and transform us.

We don't have to agree to get along. We don't have to agree to do church together. And we certainly don't have to agree if all we need to do is join hands and extend them together.

Individual thought amidst living community.

It's a paradox.

And I'm excited about it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

So I’m laying on my bed yesterday afternoon traumatized because I can’t get a straight answer from my phone company about whether or not they sent a technician out to my house on Monday who may or may not have intentionally unplugged my security system, and my computer says it can’t find the modem for my wireless internet even though everything is hooked up properly and flashing their “on” lights, and of course, I’m completely unable to do anything to fix any of these issues myself. I had a male friend stay the night at my house Tuesday night to ensure that the potentially sketchy SBC guy didn’t come back to rape and pillage me in the middle of the night (not that there’s much to pillage since I have no furniture - i digress), and on Wednesday I had another male friend come over who works with internet companies on a regular basis to figure out why my modem and wifi wouldn’t configure. And I had this sort of “Sex in the City” moment.

Remember that episode when Charlotte tells the other girls that the problem with all of them was that all they really wanted out of men was “to be rescued”?

That’s how I felt laying in bed in the middle of the afternoon.

Two days in a row I had to be rescued by men.

And that makes me cranky.

And it makes me feel incompetent.

But then I started thinking.

This past weekend I went “home” to Waco to stay with my Texas family and Holly, the mom of the family, made me dinner and put clean sheets on my bed and sat and drank with me outside, talking about men and life. And in that way, she rescued me.

And then there’s Julie, an old friend whom I met up with for dinner, who listened to me verbally assault her with all that’s been on my mind and heart because she gets me and knows me, and I can share those things that I keep bottled up inside with her. Julie rescued me.

So I’m not just being rescued by men. I’m being rescued by women too.

Young and old, male and female, rich and poor, people rescue me every day.

And I realized that perhaps, just perhaps, I rescue them too.

I can’t beat up or even scare an intruder in my home, but I can sing a song that soothes the soul.
I can’t find a number to configure my internet, but I can preach a sermon that may inspire hope.
I can’t be family to myself by myself, but I can open my home to anyone who needs to come play Nintendo to get away.
I can’t solve my own issues by talking to myself about them, but I can listen to others tell me their stories.

I can do a lot of things that other people can’t do.

And other people can do a lot of things that I can’t do. And so we do these things for each other.

But more importantly, we BE these things for each other.

Where I offer compassion, I receive grace. Where he gives affirmation, I show faithfulness. Where she bestows hope, I display honesty. And we are Christ to one another.

And the pendulum swings as we need and receive, and are called upon and give.

And that is community.

None of us is whole or self-sufficient or completely autonomous. Thank God. Or we’d be a cold world without a need for each other or God.

Rather God has made us dependant on each other and on God.

And so I guess Charlotte was right... we all do need to be rescued.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This is how I feel about being on the phone and talking to machine people who try to interpret what I say instead of letting me talk to real people who can hear my real issues. When I have a question regarding my phone service, DSL service and security system, could I please not talk to a machine - especially one disguised as a person who can hear and converse with you? And when I finally do speak to a person, could they please answer my questions? Augh! I'm sic-ing this cat on you all!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

I'm in Waco. I know that I should be enjoying my new house in Austin, but via the doctor's request, I'm taking some time off and am officially on vacation for two days.

In Waco.

Not where most people would choose to go, but this is the closest I can get to family in Texas, so I'm in Waco with the Eades.

Dinner with Julie tonight at Buzzard Billy's.
Conversation with Wes who stayed up way past his bedtime.
And church tomorrow...

Well, the suggestion was 3-4 days of vacation and one of those needs to be a Sunday. But I guess if I'm not the one working...

"Will you be coming to UBC?" Jeremy asked.
"I hadn't actually thought about that," I replied after telling him I have his Christmas present in my car if he wants it. And I hadn't thought about it. I'd thought, "Dayspring with the Eades: good preaching, no pressure, close friends and family." Or I'd been thinking, "No church, sleep in, read."

I hadn't honestly thought UBC until the words came out of his mouth.

UBC means remembering Kyle. It probably means tears and trauma. The UBC community gets to mourn and grow and move on every week a little bit more (at least that's how they describe it). For those of us who live far away, we don't have that luxery. So we put our friend's death in the back of our minds and try to move on. Do they call that denial? Downplaying? Helpful? But there's others things about UBC too. It means reliving what once was, and nevermore will be, and pretending that feels okay. It means old friends and explainations and fatigue and probaby more tears. "I wish you'd preach here again!" Me too. "It's so good to see you!" You too. "We should keep in better touch!" We won't.

At Dayspring I can sit quietly in the back and just observe. I can say hi to fewer friends who I do love (but also don't keep in good contact with), and who know me well enough to know that right now I'm on vacation and I need renewal. I can think and cry and love and not be noticed. I probably wouldn't be much noticed at UBC anymore either but at least I'd cry less at Dayspring.

I have so much to be thankful for, but driving into Waco brought back such a rush of emotion as well.

I wish this post was more positive. Grandma will probably say I should count my blessings, and I do! I really love my life right now, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard to process at times too.

I saw a grown man cry tonight over his teenager daughter. He's just two years older than the last man I went out on a date with, who I never saw cry but I did see mourn. And on the drive up, I thought of another man, much younger than myself who mourns for his children in Uganda who will be displaced orphans again when he returns to America. Over dinner, I was confronted by a friend who wonders about my need to be heard and whether that stems from my upbringing. And I took the back roads when driving into town tonight to avoid seeing the church that another friend and influence in my life was killed in.

So that's what I've got on the brain and that's what I'm blogging about.

Tomorrow, when it's Sunday and beautiful and not 1:28am, I will blog again about my cute new house and the artsy doormats I bought for my side and back door. And I will tell you about installing the mailbox that is a tasteful cedar and black metal, crookedly poking out over my curb. I will tell you about the $130 I spent having the last of my theatre posters framed to hang on my walls in the living room that has no chairs or couches but by god, houses beautiful art.

Finally. I always thought I needed a man and a marriage to get me a house to hang my posters in. I was wrong. I just needed a job.

But I'll write about all those exciting things tomorrow.

Tonight, I mourn quietly in a 9 year old's bed, and I praise God for being alive and for feeling and for caring so much about people and life and beauty and evil that it hurts deep, deep down inside.

And I'll say a prayer for Kyle and Paul and Radley and Lily and remind them to laugh and dance and snuggle and run and to wait for me until I see them again...


Thursday, May 04, 2006

So, the new house.

I didn't get to work til 2:30pm today because it took the security guy over SIX hours to install my new home security system.

And guess who already set it off...

"Yes, is this Ann Pittman?"
"It is."
"This is Brinks Home Security System and your alarm is going off at your home."
"That figures."

The first day it's installed, the boogerheads trip it off.

There's a motion detector see, and well, you know how Potter behaves.

"Would you like us to send the police?"
"No thank you, I'm pretty sure it's my cats."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, besides, I have two retired neighbors on either side of my house who will go check it out. If someone's broken in, they'll call 911."

And they will. Especially Clarence. He lives to the west of me and is fabulous. Today when I saw him, I told him about the new security system and he said he'd install a motion detector in my back yard to ensure my safety.

He's great.

"Are you off to school?" he asked.
"No sir, I work. I'm a pastor."
He looked puzzled.
"An associate pastor... a college minister."
"Oooh," he said after the shock set in, and proceeded to tell me where everyone in the neighborhood attends church.

He seemed pleased about my occupation, and I asked him to mail a letter for me since I have no mailbox.

That's right. No mailbox. One more thing on the list of things to buy for the new house.

Refrigerator? Check.
Mailbox? Tomorrow.

What else is missing you ask?

Telephone jacks.

That's right. The house is great. I did a really stellar job of picking it out. But of course it would have one or two oddities to it, I mean, come on. And this house has no phone jacks.

Those I discovered will cost as much as my fridge so Michelle's dad has graciously agreed to put some in on Sunday just for the cost of gas.

All in all though, I've no complaints.

I've only been scared once at night. And I didn't call anyone, I just sucked it up and went to bed.
I've managed to not break anything yet. And neither have the cats.
I couldn't figure out how the dishwasher worked, but Sam fixed that little bit of ignorance.
Zorba cried all night the first night and then refused to come out from under the bed, but now seems pretty content.
And I've even done some weeding in my front yard.

Now the back yard? (or should I say back jungle?)

That's a story for another post...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Say hello to Radley for me Lily.

We'll miss you.

I promise to take care of your mommy.


Aunt Ann