Monday, December 12, 2005
Well, we've been back from the east since the middle of last week but I've only just gotten the feeling I have 10 mins to spare. I apparently had 3 hours to spare Saturday because I spent them on the phone with tech's from msn and Norton. I could write a whole page on that experience, but since I'm hoping it will fade from memory, the less said the better. Suffice it to say, I have hours more geek time ahead because the prob is still not fixed, for now, I write you on a two year old Sony Viao laptop, which lacks an m key (don't ask) and which will not allow me to access any site utilizing msn secure site features, nor my email (you can still write me, I can get the mail on any computer except this one)
What this means for my blog readers is that some night when I feel like having one of my "classic Susan" rambles on paper, some fellow named Vishnu is likely getting all the computer time I have to give.
The trip back East was as good as any trip entailing 6 plus hours in and out of planes and airports which doesn't culminate in landing in the land of Cadbury Chocies and Walkers Vinegar crisps, could be. Of course, it being the cold and flu season, everywhere we went, folk were just coming down with, getting over or pardon me while I go hurl now, something. I praise God that none of my various health "issues" afflicted me during the actual traveling days, and the flights were uneventful. We did something we've never done before, which was stay a few days in a Residence Inn (by Marriott, and no I don't have a capital m) which was ideal for us as it had two bedrooms with their own bathrooms as well as a kitchenette and it was less than an adjoining room would have been elsewhere.
I mention this as a help to any of you who might travel with adult children or sisters or friends and not fancy the usual two big old beds in one room arrangement. I think we also saved on food having our own food prep area and it was grand to have over the Lord's day as we were able to lay in food, though during "The man's" brief but geographically scattered pulpit supply days we got pretty good fixing Lord's day meals without a kitchenette.
I found great knitting shops in the Ohio region, and had at least a couple more on my visit "wish list" but as I took a bad sore throat and had already spent the budgeted amount in the first two shops we visited, there really was no point going on. I note to self and anyone who ever aspires to own a shop frequented by women, PUT IN A HUSBAND CHAIR. Dh is a dream hubby in how kindly he waits (book in hand) for me to visit specialty boutiques (Knitting, scrapbook etc.) but he can't be expected to do so standing awkwardly in the middle of a yarn store.
Started reading George marsden's (OH How I hate not being able to use proper caps...OCD?)"Jonathan Edwards last eve. Got through the Intro and first 3 chaps. It was fairly captivating reading and read well though I feel like I am reading very slowly. This could be an optical illusion based on the thickness of the book and size of pages. I read for about 4 hours and only got to page 56, though the intro doesn't count into that and it is one of those books where I flip constantly to the back to read the footnotes.
I don't think I ever quite realized how tedious it is to have a person in a bio who has sisters and aunties and daughters all named after near relations. I note as well, there are women in his line who had daughters named after themselves. Grant it, perhaps the daughters are not "exactly" named after (called after, as they'd say in Scotland) the mum but rather after the person mum is called after, if this makes sense. One of my dearest friends in Scotland had not one but two daughters named Catherine, one was "called for" one relation, the other was called for another. Knowing Highland and Island traditions as I do, I'd venture that the said friend could have had 6 or more girls and named all of them Catherine and still not have run out of persons to blame/credit for it. To keep confusion to a min, one daughter was called Catherine, the other Catie.
So far the Edwards book is quite enjoyable and particularly good at helping one to fill in the historical realities of the world Edwards inhabited. (So far an outhouse hasn't been mentioned, but I can't but look at the picture of an East Windsor home included to represent Edwards childhood village and think, "there is another wee house out back and is it a one seater or two? which makes me think as well that I am of the last Western generation to recall true outhouses, not the things they have at fairgrounds...folk make a lot out of the remembering record players or 8-track tapes, trust me younger readers, the outhouse to indoor plumbing transition is much more notable. Now don't think that Mrs. F grew up with plumbing privations, but I did visit relatives in Norway and ancient cabins up North that had such amenities exclusively.)
I don't really expect the Edwards book to be particularly spiritually exercising, though marsden is a professing believer, because the book seems to be intended as a scholarly though readable critical appraisal of Edwards and his life. That said, one cannot but be spiritually exercised when hearing of Edwards own apprehensions of God as well as the piety of those around him. For those who desire a spiritually blessed bio, I highly recommend the memoirs of Thomas Boston, which I thank a dear pastor friend for putting me on to during a spiritually dry time a few years back.
Things I note so far...
1. Though I always knew the homes of pastor's in New England were hotbeds of learning, books, musical instruction and languages, I did not realize that it was very common to have an African Slave or servant. The author says this is due to the fact that the minister's labors were of course, confined to his study and parish and not to the field. I smile wondering how easily one could get today's church to put a servant (not a slave!) in the budget along with the pastors salary and benefits? Well of course we don't need one, we are such a small family with our children grown, but I can see how handy it would be for the Edwards clan to have such.
2.I can't find the quote at the mo but it was noted, as I have always known but find pleasing to be reminded of, that though the Puritans were known for their strict discipline in the church, they also were to be noted for their ready and sincere forgiveness when true confession was made. I think it is far too easy for even those who love the Puritans, to think of the public punishments as really over the top, but as any child who has experienced a parents wrath without said parent doling out discipline and "getting it over with" knows, a brewing or back stabbing resentment is far worse borne than a fitting punishment with hugs all round afterwards.
I still recall that I have promised to write some thoughts on the so called "Titus 2" woman, and now one of my commentators has mentioned Proverbs 31 as well, which shall have to be addressed at least in passing. Sisters and others, I feel myself to be in a very "ecclesiastic" mind, in which though I am content, I find writing and reading wearying, as well as shopping, and owning of possessions to be just so much drain. I have promised myself that I shall venture out soon and purchase another copy of Word for my computer. I cannot seriously write (though the critic I used to have locked in a shed now pretty much lives in my brain and says, duh, that's right you cannot write and even if you can, why would you?)without Word.
I have put this task off because of a "grudge" I bear against Microsoft. I purchased the word full edition via download whilst living in KY. I then had computer crash and new hard drive put in and lost said upgrade, never having bought a disk. I called to get the code again and the company said that I was without help unless I could provide a receipt. I haven't been able to find one or which card I put it on (so many different banks and debit cards due to living in several places in few years)and out of principle I have refused to pay again, but I also am not willing to use another persons disk as it violates the letter of the law.