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March 21, 1999
a year ago

Four Party Weekend

We had four parties and I had to deacon on Sunday as well. Gretchen says that I have the energy of a god, and I really don't *feel* like it, but damnit that was a lot of stuff to get through. My lists of things are starting to cover both sides of a Levenger, lined, pocket briefcase card. That's starting to get scary.

Friday night was the first party, with the same folks that we partied with earlier in the month, the old Synario crew that doesn't work on that any more. So many things to drag us apart, but so many reasons to keep in touch. We passed out our new address cards, and folks admired. That was very cool and Carol, who made our Victor's mugs and another 32 more, made us a plate and had everyone draw something and write on it as a good-bye gift. Or at least a 'til later gift.

Sleep didn't happen until about 1 a.m..

Saturday dawned way, way, way too bright for a Seattle morning, especially for a Seattle *weekend* morning. Impossible. So completely impossible I had to match it and get up before 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. That's insane for me, especially when I don't have to. John's parents and his brother Dave weren't going to be to breakfast until sometime after 10 a.m. and here I was getting up far earlier than I had to get up. Craziness, but it was so bright and beautiful outside that I joined John and Fezzik on their morning constitutional and we strolled about the neighborhood squinting.

I took along the digital camera and had fun snapping pics of John and Fezzik strolling. John was so cute with his Oakleys on and coffeecup in one hand. Sadly, we packed up the PC at home Sunday night, or they'd be here. I'm probably not doing major downloading to flick until after we get to Boulder. And I don't really like using the bandwidth for pictures, the tiny controls that I have already are already a bit of a bother, so I am just not going to mess with it. Yes, I have a slow connection I use to read these things to be sure the darned things work even for the modem impaired.

Anyway... zoom zoom. The Rostyki came and conquered! Well, at least we demolished a beautiful repast on the back patio in full sunshine with much keen conversation, wit and panache. Then the crew all suited up in work clothes and started to unload piles of wood that were stored in the back of the garage, as well as fire wood, old fencing, and loads of *stuff* from the one horse barn we've used for storage of all kinds of things that didn't mind being outside. David's truck was loaded nearly to the capacity of its springs, and we even uncovered Fezzik's old plastic crate, which he chewed the edges of as a puppy, using even that huge old thing as a teething toy.

It was such a sunny, beautiful day the heavy work was actually pretty fun. In the midst of it all, a couple came to see the house for the second time, and I halfway paniced with the agent, telling him that the house was a mess. Luckily, they'd already seen it once and were wanting to just see it again, so they didn't mind the mess, and they came as we were working outside and hauling things about. So they got the interior of the house to look around and about without us hanging around. So that was good. They really liked the place, and I had to admit that I really didn't want to sell the place, and wouldn't have if we didn't have to move.

I had to rethink that later... but that was later...

The Rostyki didn't get completely done with things until about 4 p.m., which was when I had to start making dinner for the Data I/O dinner group. Four couples that rotated dinner and who brought what. It's usually a fun group, but I'll admit that I was dubious about hosting a party when we were going insane with all the things we needed to do to get ready for the movers on Tuesday.

We managed.

We managed just fine, in fact, and had a really good dinner and a pretty good time, and everyone had young kids so went home around 9 p.m. which have been really useful except that I had to write a sharing for church the next morning for my last deacon's stint. I was up until past midnight writing it, and it didn't help when John walked by asking if I was going to do anything about quills.

Originally I was going to do what I thought everyone would want me to do, which was go over the last umpteen years that I've been a part of Eastgate church and what they did for me and what I liked doing for them and all that kind of hoohaw. Details details... but it seemed wrong. The scripture readings were the passages from Ezikiel about the raising of the valley of bones and the passage from John about the raising of Lazarus. Both spring messages, the taking of a loss of hope into life through faith, not just faith in God, but simple faith that there is still life to be had no matter how nasty things get.

I thought a moment about telling Eastgate that they'd make it from the near death experience of the congregation in the last year. That they were building themselves anew. But they knew that and it was more a sermon kind of thing than a layleader kind of sharing.

So, instead, I did a sharing about the fishy inkpot that makes me giggle each time I use it, starting with Shakespeare In Love, going through quills (which I showed them) to the crystal inkwell (which I thumped on the pulpit), and then through lots of little bits of leftover Sculpie II to the formation of the edge for pouring ink in, the spout, the diminutive height, the narrowness, the angle of the pot, the base so I wouldn't knock it down, and the all-abiding surprise of finding that it was something that everyone could recognize as a fish mouth rather than just the sum of all the bits of requirements I had. Ended on the note (of laughter) that they were doing the same thing (everyone laughs at that fish, I have no idea why, but they all do), and that they were going to have something much cooler than the bits and pieces by themselves when they were done putting together what they really needed.

I have no idea why, but they really loved it.

But folks do like my sharing, said so, even, when they had the dinner for John and I and had fun roasting us with memories of all the things that happened at the church with us. That was pretty fun, it is, however, somewhat intimidating to have fifty or sixty people gathered for the sole purpose of wishing us a good journey and to be sure that we come back and visit.

So... in effect, four parties in 48 hours, as the church dinner was done about the time the Gould party had started. It was pretty amazing.

I am exhausted, and all weekend, I was trying to fight off something that felt like a mixture of cold and allergies. Spring has sprung with a vengance and while it rained for much of Sunday morning, the afternoon was just gorgeous. I admit, though, that I spent most of the afternoon deeply and deathly asleep.

And, yeah, I wrote the sharing with a quill. That was fun. But it's really, really hard to cut a quill tip when one is up until 1 a.m. and the hands are somewhat unsteady. I should probably cut multiple quills when I start, then just go through them until each point wears out, then just stop until the next day and cut them to start with again. Unsurprisingly, when I sharpen my Swiss Army pen knife, it works beautifully for cutting a quill tip when done in the correct order.

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