Sunday, February 10, 2008

escape from iceworld

I am trying to find the words to describe how cold it is right now. It's -7 Fahrenheit (-21 Celsius) but for you warm weather dwellers that is just not comprehensible. I went outside to let my dogs out and the first breath I inhaled was painful, like icicles were forming in my lungs. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to swear even if you do not normally do so. Somehow it seems like the only appropriate expression. (&%@*%!$#)

There's only one thing that's keeping me from going into a full-blown mid-winter depression: On Thursday morning I will be flying out to Mexico for a little over a week. This is not a missions trip (unless you count me as the missions recipient.) By the end of next week I will be enveloped by warm Caribbean air, surrounded by the people I love most in the world, with nothing in particular to do except just BE. *deep cleansing sigh*

I will be traveling with my tribe, my loves, my people. There will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 26 or so of us. Four families with our kids ranging in age from 4 to 26 and several *kids* we have kind of picked up along the way. (There's actually more than this, but a few couldn't make the trip for one reason or another.) This is an extraordinary group of people. We really are more like family than a group of friends. Our kids joke that they have four moms and four dads, and they all interact like siblings. I'm not sure why this works because if you look at the individuals, we are very different from one another. We frequently disagree in very vocal ways. Actually, I suspect that's part of why it does work. No one is required to conform, and if you've read some of my story you'll understand why this is so important to me. So we love and support one another and sometimes hurt one another, and then we make the repairs needed to move ahead because there really is no other option at this point...we're in this for good.

I still have a lot to do before I leave so you might be hearing less from me. I do plan to bring my laptop along and there's supposed to be wireless access where we're staying, so theoretically I may be able to blog while I'm there. But I've been joking that if I spend too much time in blogworld my homies will arrange for an intervention of some sort. It might get ugly. They might unplug me forcibly. Sometimes people who love you have to get sort of tough that way.

So when I step outside tomorrow to an environment that is not fit for any living thing, I will be dreaming of beaches and warmth and family and friends. I will be smiling a smile that defies the harsh driving winds. I am already just a little bit gone.


  1. brrr ... is that a picture of your family from today? ;o)

    [just kidding. or maybe not.]


    be-ing time is never wasted. madeleine l'engle said that & i totally take her for a woman who knew her stuff. soak up the sun & the warmth, thaw out.

    i love hearing about your extended family & would love to hear about them more sometime. enjoy your time together. love each other. breathe deeply without icicles. and bring back some sun & warmth. sounds like minnesota could use it!

    love to you all,

  2. So you're just going to up and leave your Minnesota bro here in this brutal cold, huh? I see how it is.

    Soak some sun for me and be. :)

  3. yes,
    i am a warm, tropical girl!
    but yep,
    i do know how it is to be on teh negative degrees....

    and your words and that picture of lovely creatures are just so full of warmth...just like the lovely comemment you recently left in my place...

    sending you sun and warmth with hugs -Li

  4. Opps, my previous comment is not working..blogger is a little weird from my side of the world...

    so as ive said, sending you warm smiles and hugs -Li

  5. LOL! picture perfect. enjoy.

  6. kirsten: no, that's a picture of us next week at the ocean. duh! :) i'll definitely get in lots of being time. reading in the sun. so good.

    tom: you definitely need to get some video shoots in warmer climates. what the heck are they sending you to chicago in the middle of february for? tell them that in order to do really amazing work you need to fly to florida or bermuda.

    li: an islander like yourself must have suffered so badly at negative temperatures. i'm glad you're warm now. thanks for your kind words. i feel the same way about you.

    di: you're probably one of the only people besides christianne who is going to get the full meaning of the penguins. that last round it was buried at the bottom of a long string of comments.

    marcia: are you ready to be warm sista? and i'll let the penguins speak for themselves.

  7. oh happy for spend time with family in a sun dreanched country! What more can one want? oh..yes..the family would say a computer less Terry...just leave it at home...and BE. ...just imagine lying on the beach....reading a book....mmm....i love it!

    My parents live in Canada....and whenever I'm cold, I have to rething what I'm feeling, because yesterday was -42....cannot comprehend...but then again...those penguins are no where near any snow/ice...they are walking on the beach! :-)

    When I read a comment from you..I get the feeling of 'a mommy' feels to me as if you are taking care of everyone....and I just sit back and bask in your must be God beaming from your heart! :-)

    Have fun in Mexico! Sit back and soak it all up..let everyone take care (and spoil) you for a while! xx

  8. sure was cold here too... nice read

    gud eve

  9. hi, sweet girl. yes, i so get the penguin reference. :)

    hooray for you and the warmth that will envelop you BIG-TIME!!! ahhh, just being able to BE. i love that so much. love it for you. taking out the plugs and just letting down.

    i hope there are lots of hilarious stories to share when you get back. but most of all, i hope you soak up the sun and the sand and the BEING.

    PS: your description of the cold where you are helped make it a little more palpable. what am i saying? it made it a LOT more palpable. i believe it get it now. brrrrrrr!!!!

  10. Awesome! I'm envious of the time with the people you love and the whole extended family element, but given that we've been sweating out here that's not at all surprising.

    That sun, beach and love sounds like great soul food. Enjoy the banquet.

  11. have a WONDERFUL time.
    just rest, let it all hang out, drift away in sweet dreams as you nap, and read and soak up sun and surround yourself with these faces who love you.

  12. Last night as I was struggling to get through the 5 layers of clothing so I could, uh, use the rest room, I thought to myself "Self, why dost thou do thus unto thyself?" There was no answer. there never is. Which is probably a good thing, right?

    Anyway, the juxtaposition of the two extremes on the weather scale will be fun. At least going down. Not so much on the way back!

    And just so people in warmer climes know, the winter season in Mn isn't really that terrible. Just a handful of days that cause temporary insanity. Most of the time I really enjoy the winter.(It is a tad too long though) I'm one of those people who need all 4 seasons and we definitely get all of em in MN.

    Let's get packed hon . . .

  13. Dave, you crack me up. Except that you said it causes temporary insanity . . . are you sure your "self" didn't answer? really sure? come on, you can share with us. we'll still love you. in fact, we'll love you through the insanity, on deeper down into it. :)

    and can i just say again how SO CUTE you two are??! makes me so happy to see the love you share in this space.

  14. Shudder. I lived with cold like that for way too long. When the lining of your nose freezes as soon as you inhale outside? Too cold for humanity.

    I, too, am glad you get time to BE, and be with the people who mean so much to you. I'm interested in the kids you've "picked up" along the way, if you ever feel like writing more about them ;)

    Take care of yourself.

  15. Love that picture. You had me with the story until you mentioned going with a group. For some reason that never works for me. I like to take my small family and go it alone or should I say with just the 4 of us. Enjoy your vacation.

  16. Terri
    Me and Nate are over here laughing at your whole penguin thing.....that sarcasm with Kirsten. Ha. Your such a smarty pants. Nate said you might burn me at the stake for calling you a smarty pants.

    By the way, none of us knew that your hubby could speak King James English. I wish my other personality could speak King James, maybe I would read the Bible more......or less, depending on which me I am conversing with on what day. I am not sure what I am going to name the other me, something snappy like Eeyore.

    Nate says, "I am not sure if that is one or both of your personalities. Remember Tammy it's not what people call you it is what you answer to."
    My response to that is O God! I have discovered another personality. Before long I will be answering I am legion for many we are many!

  17. Terri
    Your voice is the only one left, Nate and i talked to Kirsten last night, and I talked to Christianne tonight for quiet a while.

    She had some really impacting things to say. She says I have a Southern accent....can you believe that? I thought i was doing so well at hiding that. I keep trying to tell people that I am from New York and they just look at me with this really blank look......

    No worries mate, have a blessed vacation, send us a photo with riding ON a shark, not INSIDE that a better cartoon image than you being swallowed by one?

  18. Terri
    FYI Nate and i both practice voodoo that is precisely why we do not post images on the net. We are in the process of constructing a voodoo doll that looks just like you......and guess where we got the image?

    No worries mate we love you so the only thing we will be brewing up for you is a concoction that will bring you lots of money.

    However if that concoction ends up like my chemistry afraid, be very afraid. all you will need to do is stand in your driveway and look due South. Did I tell you that we are part Native American and it is our practice to send our friends smoke signals?

  19. periwinkle: what a thoughtful comment. i'm so glad you popped over and took the time to give me that encouragement. it is always a challenge to let go of stuff when i'm on vacation...i always say it takes a couple of days just to get all the noise out of my head. bless you!

    angie: so funny...i say that all the time. must be why danny likes you so remind him of me. :)

    piercing: welcome to my little blogworld. hope you're staying warm in new york...i visited your blog and loved the drawings.

    christianne: you'll have to come here some time in january or february to really get it. enter in with me won't you? seriously though, thanks for the permission to just have fun.

    dean: this community means so much to me. it really is something to search for and work for. i'll be thinking warm thoughts of you and yours.

    bella: thanks. i'll most definitely do that.

    dave: i've always wondered why you speak in king james english when your fanny is frozen.

    christianne: isn't he the cutest? even cuter than your shuffle.

    sarah: i might tell that story someday, but i'm pretty careful to tell my story without giving out too much information about's a fine line, and a lot of my tribe is pretty shy. we'll see. and thanks for feeling me on the flipping ice cold weather.

    gardner: i normally would be totally with you on the big group thing, but somehow this works and we have a blast.

    tammy, tammy, tammy...i see you've been a busy little bee while i was teaching tonight.

    1) i'm glad you catch get my sarcasm...not many people can really appreciate the art of good sarcasm. so for now, i won't burn you at the stake for calling me a smarty pants.

    2) my husband only speaks in king james english when the temperature dips below -10 degrees. other days he speaks minnesotan...yah sure.

    3) i've already told you that you don't have multiple personalities. stop counting on that as a legal defense. ;)

    4) if i was being stubborn, i'd say, "ill trade you my voice for your photograph" but i'm going to practice radical acceptance instead. i give up all attempts at getting a picture of my new friends. i'm not going to say another word about it. honest. not one more word. (radical acceptance is really hard.) and since you and nate have made it clear that you're shy about pictures, i'll tell you that i'm shy about my voice. i have a weird laugh. seriously. ask anybody. and i sound like a little kid. it's disturbing.

    5) say hi to christianne next time you talk to her. and i'll definitely have to work on that whole voice-complex because i'd love to hear your southern belle thing.

    6) no rides on sharks. that's exploitation and i hate that just as much as gratuitous violence.

    7) voodoo? bring it! i ain't afraid of no voodoo. and i have gypsy blood, so there.

    must get sleep...g'night...

  20. I am insanely jealous.

    It cannot be healthy to be this jealous.

    Counsel me or something!

    Seriously, have fun ... we will be dying for our friends T and J to come back to us -- but happy for you all to have the long-awaited get away.

  21. Once again I have been hijacked by another religious extremist into yet another cult -- or this time -- occult. In either case, Tammy, you're on your own with that meltin wax stuff . . . and you know how I feel about needles. Tammy, got 4 words for you: the Blood of Jesus! :)

    Terri, are you a minister or a late-night talkshow host? I would tell you you're funny, but it would prolly only fan the fires of madness (which might not be so bad since you have tundra for a backyard). Seriously, you had me rollin ova here. Gotta love the fact that your wit hasn't diminished wit your age. You might be long in the tooth, but you're funny as hayle (that's how Tammy says it). I'm playin . . . you know that I love you (and sarcasm), (and NO, you are not merely a utility to me for comic relief, you are also useful for strokin my ego). Peace.

  22. 3 cheers for mexico!

    hip hip hooray!

    hip hip hooray!

    hip hip hooray!

    ahh... that felt good (:

    this pasty white belly is gonna be shining in the sun!

    (sorry for the imagery)

  23. Nate:
    First of all I did not mention anything about needles, I am afraid of them and I do not condone violence of any sort.

    Second: You are not gaining any ground with this whole innocent act, so drop it buster!

    Give Nate "hayle" over that whole age thing. Really pop it to him!
    But in his defense I will have to say that he is right on that Mother Teresa, Joan Rivers thing. I am still trying to pull a cartoon out of my head on that one.

  24. Terri
    Guess what Nate did for me today? He bought that GB book for me repenting of religion. Was that sweet or what?
    As much "hayle" as I put him through I am looking over my shoulder waiting for him to buy me a muzzle.

    The only reason that he has not already is that he knows I cannot keep silent by no means, and he knows that I would have it chewed off. I am worse than a yelping puppy except, I am relatively housebroken.

    I also wanted you to know that Nate and I went to Ga. today to visit my parents and Guess what I found? A photo of Nate that was shot at my brother's wedding. I don't know who shot that picture.

    I never take pictures so I don't know who took it. Confession, I have almost no pictures in my house. This is going to sound horrible, I am not into sentiment and I don't hang pictures on my walls because I am a decor freak and they don't match the furniture.

    That is SOOOO horrible sounding I know. It was just this past year that I hung one picture, and that was because a friend of mine started giving me a hard time. SO I found this spot in the hallway where there is nothing that can be mismatched and hung a couple of photo's, 2, i think.

  25. Terri I am overjoyed to see that you are taking this radical acceptance thing so well. I can tell the photo thing is not an OCD for ya cuz you jus don't mention it much anymore.

    What is this whole voice complex? If I sang would that help rid you of that voice complex? One tune and this parable would come to mind.....I thought it unfair that I had no foot, until I met someone with no leg. It is a good thing that the Psalms say make a joyful noise unto the Lord, i can handle the noise part, not a problem.
    No worries about your laugh mate.

  26. tara: you crack me up.

    nate: you crack me up too. but don't call me "long in the tooth" or i might bite you. "oh HAYLE no, he did NOT just call me long in the tooth!" ;) (old people get cranky sometimes.)

    danny: you're no pastier than the rest of us. but no one is gonna see my old wrinkled belly.

    tammy: how was that for giving him hayle?

    you'll love repenting of religion. honest. it will definitely not throw you into a funk like that last book.

    if that photo ends up in my email inbox i won't tell a soul.

    and the voice/laugh complex developed a long time ago and has been reinforced over and over again over time. it doesn't seem to shut me up though. i'm trying to practice radical acceptance about it.

  27. tammy - you crack me up something serious: the explanation about why you & nate do voodoo. ;o) terri talks about a variety of voodoo practices on my recent jazz post. it's pretty friggin' hilarious!

    and nate, i think terri is both: a minister & late-night talk show host. she's brilliant at both! ;o)

    pssssst ... terri. if you get that photo, hit 'forward' & send it to christianne & me!!

  28. juts dropping by again to greet you an advance happy hearts day Terri. Thank you for the kind words you always leave as you visit my place...

  29. Everyone, tonight I got this unexpected text message from a number I didn’t recognize. I go to my computer and run the area code; it’s from Minnesota. Could this be who I think it is? Instinctively, I check my email. Yes. It is my good friend Terri informing me that she is gonna call me and Tammy tonight.

    She called, and it was nice – real nice. It was so great hearing her voice. And despite the fact that I’m tempted to be funny and sarcastic, I will abstain, because the conversation was so nice. She had warned us not to make fun of her laugh, and said that her voice sounded like a little kid’s. But honestly, that did not come across at all. Terri has a very pleasant phone voice and her laugh was mad cool, didn’t seem strange at all. She doesn’t sound like a little kid either. She does, however, sound like she is around my or Clayton’s age. She just seems cool, and “wit it.” She is smart, funny and easy to talk to. Most importantly, Terri is DOWN TO EARTH.

    She also tells stories on her pastor. It was more than interesting to hear her first-hand accounts. She and Tammy seemed to really vibe (as much as vibin’ is possible in a first convo). She also has great insight. But who didn’t know that?

    I deeply appreciated her taking time out of a very busy schedule to call. I know that is not easy. She told me she is not a very good planner; that was a shock! Really, she seems well organized to me.

    Terri, glad I know you. Thanks for the call. And thanks for feeling me that first night I asked you to read some of my poems. I can’t tell you how much your “hearing” me impacted me.

  30. Terri
    I will clue you in on why Nate and I don't post photos. We don't want to come under the radar of America's Most Wanted. We might be recognized by our mug shots that are posted on the street corners and probably hanging in a few bars.

    The next face you see tacked to a telephone poll that reads WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE, it could be Nate.

    No worries Terri, it's all good. We didn't hurt anybody wer'e still running from the cops after that last bank heist. Where do you think we got the money for that hefty cash donation we sent?

    We pattern ourselves after the word of God, the Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. Our interpretation of STORED UP means the bank.

    SO we just made a sizable withdrawal from God's banking account. We have chapter and verse for this. Except we are experiencing some minor legal technicalities.

    NO worries, the Bible says the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Praise God we are about the Lords business.

  31. Amazing what you miss while you are sleeping huh?

  32. Terri
    I was going to bed until I went to Dave's blog only to find that my EX-friend Nathan has slung me into outer darkness of humiliation!

    Just remember Nathan is no longer friend HE IS FOOD.

    Nathan be afraid be very afraid

  33. Soak up the sun and have a great time Terri. Sounds heavenly. Please report back with the details so I can live vicariously through you.

  34. tammy. seriously. my sides are splitting.

    DON'T STOP!! :o)

    and nate - yeah. i agree with everything you said about talking to terri. she's pretty fabulous.

  35. tammy, you are cracking me UP!!! i love the part about interpreting the storing up as the bank. that line made me laugh when my brain interpreted what you meant. you are so, so silly. and i LOVE it!!

    hmmm. kirsten's talked to terri. nate's talked to terri. tammy's talked to terri. christianne . . . has NOT talked to terri. there is something wrong with this picture.

    terri, i am pulling a prophesy out of my hat by saying that i am sure i will love your voice. it sounds cute. just like you. and plus, it will be make me feel more at ease to know you feel self-conscious of your voice and your laugh when we talk because i feel SO self-conscious on the phone. seriously, so awkward. i hate it sometimes. most of the time. but i've come to peace with it for the most part because, oh yeah, all my friends are scattered all over God's good creation and i have no other recourse but to check blogs and email about 17 hours a day or pick up the phone and TALK TO THEM.

    you're leaving tomorrow. i'm going to miss you. i hope you have a beautiful, wonderful time (and that all the getting ready hasn't been too stressful!), but know you will be missed and thought of fondly while you're gone.

  36. oh no Terri is leaving us. Let me see......hmmm what kind of mischievous behavior can I get in to while you are away.????

    I may have Nate filleted before you return, and don't put is past me.
    I cooked dinner tonight at my house for me and Nate. You can rest assured he is going to be visiting the bathroom quiet often.

    Hmmm I don't know what happened to that box of laxatives. (me walking by whistling and humming, with this sinister devilish smile). Hmmm random thoughts......Nate, laxatives, chocolate, pay backs are hayle. FISH FRY? Hmmmmm Man that German Chocolate cake was delicious huh Nate?

  37. kirsten: thanks...maybe i need to look into that whole late night talk show host gig. i'll bet it pays better than my current job. (and i will totally forward the pic...but don't tell anyone.)

    deli: thanks for that sweet greeting li! you have yourself a fabulous happy hearts day too.

    nathan: how sweet. *deep blush* actually, the stuff i told you about greg was stuff he's said from the pulpit, so i didn't really tell on him. he's pretty transparent about his stuff. it was nice getting to hear the voice behind the downy. and about hearing're pretty easy on the ears.

    tammy: i suspected this all wonder you've been throwing out that whole multiple personality thing. and we gotta have a talk about exegesis.

    and you crack me up...i know you're just playing about being mad at can you be mad at that sweet little kid smile?

    chloe: thanks so much for the warm wishes...i'll try to be vivid in my descriptions so you can properly enter in. hope you're well...

    kirsten: *blushing some more* aw like really like me!

    christianne: you're next girl. but i don't seem to have your math. ask nate the next time you talk to him. and oh my...prophesy huh? yeah, it's a well-known fact at the church that the phone is my least favorite form of communication. i even tell my class, "if you wanna talk to me, send me an email or make an appointment, or even just drop in and take your chances that i'm not busy. if you call me i might start to resent you." what is it about the phone that makes me feel like an idiot?

    i'll miss you too, but i'll actually be a little closer to you, and i'll be waving as i fly over. plus i'll have my laptop so i'll sneak a peek when i'm not soaking up the warm breeze.

    tammy: oh sister, come back to jesus! no mischief while i'm away. and don't feed nate any exlax sweets. behave yourself! or at least if you really want to get back at him, just email me some pictures. it's kind of a win-win solution. :)

  38. Terri, I know you may be gone, but I SO resonate with preferring to communicate some way other than the phone! I've never met anyone else who feels that way about it ;) I dig nonverbal communication, and there's not much of that over the wire.

  39. Terri, Have a safe trip. Much love.

  40. thinking of you and your clan today, sister, as you fly over me in the air.

    i'll send you an e-mail with my digits. :)

  41. Terri
    You are absolutely right I am not at all mad at Nathan in the least little bit, I was rolling ova here. That boy cracks me up.He is soooo funny. Truly Nathan is a sweetheart. He is one of the most considerate people I know and I love him and cherish him so much.

    Okay, you and Nate and these words. I need a freakin dictionary to talk to you two. Nate is bad enough. And I wonder why people stop and stare when we are walking through Wal-Mart. I am sure it is not because of the 100lb dictionary I am carrying. Now don't you start.

    My whole point in that rambling was I picked up my dictionary to find out what exegesis means. So I am flipping through there trying to remember the word........I am over here E,G or what did she say? I found some word in the dictionary that looked like that word, and the definition for it is excrement.

    Okay,I think to myself, something must have gotten seriously lost in translation or Terri is cussing me. I have found the cross reference for the word s@#$. Something smells a little fishy here, or (@#$%y) depending on how we translate the words dung hill.

    Anyway I assume that you are referring to our fairly questionable interpretation of the scriptures. You should hear the ones we don't write on the net. I hope GOd doesn't decide to throw down a lightening bolt or two.

    I cannot remember how old I am if that gives you a clue.

  42. exegesis. excrement.

    oy vey. i hope tammy is a regular guest on terri's new late-night talk show.

    i know what you mean about needing a dictionary to talk to nate, tammy. luckily with e-mails, i can reply like i know what he's talking about without sounding as clueless as i might be. thank God for

    you know that madeleine l'engle book, a wrinkle in time? how you can fold the line of time so that you can skip hundreds of years & jump into a new place? i wish we could do that with maps. take one of the united states, say, and fold it in such a way that nate & tammy, christianne, & terri were all just down the road. i'd like that. i sure would love to work some origami magic to fold myself on down to mexico right now. ;o)

  43. sarah: i'm pretty sure if you're an introvert (i'm taking a stab at that...are you an introvert?) the phone is some special category of torture. i wrote in my profile that people misunderstand me all the time, and i feel like the chances of that go up exponentially when i'm talking on the phone. i pretty much turn into napoleon dynamite...IDIOT!

    nate: so far, so good.

    tammy: sorry...didn't mean to throw you for a loop. i'll be good from now on...

    kirsten: i have a short-cut to can't live without it. and yes, let's find a way to fold that map!

  44. I'm DEFINITELY an introvert. With a capital "I." When I was a kid, I would beg my mom to call MY friends and invite them over to play, just so I didn't have to use the phone.

    (I'm ranting and raving over here, but I would talk to ANY of you by phone. Just so we're straight here..."

  45. You guys are so funny.

    Terri, glad you're having a good time.

    Kirsten, I like origami too.

    Sarah, I'm introverted too; I just cover it up well. :) (Does that make me a hypocrite?)

    Tammy, "awwwww" @ the sweetheart comment. It's the ole heap-on-the-flattery ploy. I'm not falling for the okey doke. Nice try.

  46. (Ok, so I was going to email about this directly to Nate but don't have his email...sad)

    Nate, I don't think you're a hypocrite...just a socialized introvert ;) Nothing to do with socialism, just means you know how to interact with people and share yourself, even though you do most of your processing internally.

    That's what I see, anyway.

  47. Terri, I totally just read all the back comments on this post and wanted you to know that I would never want to ask you to violate trust/relationship with your people. I'm sure you know that, but I wanted to say it. I think I'm so fascinated by your talk of the other kids that you've "adopted" along the way because my brother is adopted. I know it's a whole different thing in some ways, but such stories are usually so redemptive and tell us what you feel like you can ;)