#40 on the list of fifty things I want to do before I turn 50 was get a massage. I hadn’t had one since 2001 so I figured it wasn’t too frivolous a purchase. I asked around and got a referral to a masseuse in Detroit Lakes at https://stylesonwillow.wixsite.com/salon. Her name is Emily Milligan and she was great. I don’t think I will wait nineteen years for my next one!
I love vegetables but especially when I am traveling, I tend to eat mostly bread in some way, shape, or form. Scones, bagels, crackers – I love the carbs. So, now that we are back, I want to swing the pendulum back toward regularly eating vegetables. I went looking on the internet for some good recipes and then I was reminded of this foolproof formula:
- romaine/ green or red leaf lettuce
- mixed baby greens
- bell peppers
Cook things like:
- mushrooms (sometimes I prefer them cooked)
- kale (same)
- brussel sprouts
These are the ingredients that make this process fun.
You can add things like:
- nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc)
- seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc)
- grains (quinoa, pasta, brown rice)
- hard boiled eggs (ONLY certified free range from the local farmer’s market)
- strawberries/blueberries/cooked apples or pears, or other fruits
It’s a great reminder for how to mix and match tastes that you like. I bought some spinach, nuts, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, and made a homemade salad dressing and I was all set. If you want to read the whole article that inspired me and got me back on the salad track – check it out here: https://medium.com/@MrsDeeGee/make-a-kick-ass-salad-that-wont-bore-the-shit-out-of-you-827d9781bdc7
I found this small catechism recently and I’m a big fan because it has nice, large print. In working with older parishioners, being able to see small print can be very hard. This little book is inexpensive and is easy on the eyes. If you are doing a Christian Education class or just want to have a few copies on hand at your church, you can find them at this link:
Martin Luther posted the Ninety-five Theses in Wittenberg in 1517. In the years that followed, Luther defended his position in numerous writings. Chief among these are the three treatises from Luther’s Works. Included in this volume are his treatises on Baptism, Good Works, and the New Testament. It’s a key text for Lutheran studies. Check it out!
#40 – Give Away 50 things
It wasn’t hard to give away 50 things. I seem to naturally like to purge my closets and shelves at least a couple times every year. In addition, since I started working on this list while we were in New Zealand and I wanted to have space in my suitcase for the new things I bought and not end up needing to buy another suitcase, so as we traveled I made trips to local thrift shops to drop things off.
It also didn’t hurt that as we traveled I read a couple books that added to my desire to downsize. One was My Van, My Castle, by Jackie Norman – a woman sells her home and nearly all her possessions to travel throughout New Zealand while living in her van. The other was, “Bewildered,” by Laura Waters – a woman spends five months hiking the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand and carries in her backpack everything she needs for those months. I was deeply enchanted with the idea of paring down my level of stuff.
So, I went through my suitcase each time we repacked to go to the next place on our journey and whittled out items bit by bit. Then, I asked my kids and my husband if they really were wearing all the clothes they had brought with them and we got rid of a few of their things because I wasn’t willing to pay for an overweight bag fee for anyone.
I had gotten rid of at least 25 things before we even returned to the States and then as I was unpacking, I took a discerning look at everything in my closet and got rid of 25 more things plus a few more. I brought them directly to the Goodwill the very next day. I wasn’t going to make the mistake I usually make – which is to hold them on until our church rummage sale a few months later. Every time I do that I end up going through the bags again and deciding to give this or that item a little more thought. I’ve learned by now that if I haven’t worn a piece of clothing hardly at all in the first months I have owned it, it doesn’t magically become a favorite thing to wear in the future. I like what I like and I know it after the first time I wear it.
So here is a summary of all that I redistributed:
5 pairs of pants
1 pair of pajama pants
10 miscellaneous items (nail polish, phone case, headphones, etc.)
2 tank tops
2 pair of sandals
I haven’t missed any of it – although I have thought fondly on a couple of the sweaters. I wore them all the time but I had them for eleven years and I was ready to not wear them anymore. For everything there is a time and a season – even when it comes to our stuff.
For the Next Fifty Years: I used to travel very lightly before we had kids and before we inherited the stuff that belonged to our parents and grandparents. I will travel lightly again someday. In the meantime, I’m thankful for our home and I’ll gently pass on what I no longer need as the time comes.
#25 Watch an Episode of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
#25 Watch an Episode of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
I began working on items on the list that very same night by watching an episode of a favorite show from when I was a kid. With the wonders of Youtube it was easy to find. I curled up on the bed in our AirBnb in Cromwell, New Zealand and typed “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl” into the search engine. There were several episodes and partial episodes to choose from. I chose the pilot episode, “The Sorcerer’s Golden Trick.” Immediately I realized I recognized the actor who played the villain. It was Michael Constantine, the fellow who played the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding! The actress who played Electra Woman was Deirdre Hall, best known from her role as Dr. Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives. Dyna Girl was played by the actress Judy Strangis.
In 1976, like many kids my age, on Saturday mornings you could find me watching cartoons. It was the only morning cartoons were on back then and so I would wake up early to creep down the stairs and turn on the black and white TV. It was about mid-morning when Electra Woman and Dyna Girl would come on.
There weren’t many shows with women in the leads yet at that time and I remember even at that age, I liked that there was a show featuring strong women. It was around this same time that the Wonder Woman TV series with Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsay Wagner were on the air. I was a fan of all of them.
Watching Electra Woman and Dyna Girl now, I’m struck by a couple things. First, the costumes and effects look very dated. The shiny gold communication devices they wear on their wrists are the size of coffee cups!
Second, there is a male character (“Frank” played by Norman Alden), a scientist who stayed at their “Electrabase,” operating a sophisticated Crimescope computer and tells Electra Woman and Dyna Girl where to go and what to do. I had forgotten about him – but come to think about it, Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman had similar male characters on their shows. The Bionic woman was saved by Oscar Goldman after a terrible accident and he gives her bionic surgical implants which allow her to work on secret missions with the Office of Scientific Intelligence. In the Wonder Woman television show of the 1970’s, Wonder Woman receives her orders from a “Charlie’s Angels”- like male voice. Then, as the show evolved, her co-worker, Steve Trevor, becomes her boss. I never questioned these things then. It seemed very natural that there be a man somewhere behind the scenes calling the shots even though the women were supposed to be the superheroes. It never occurred to me then that you would never see a woman in the background operating the puppet strings for Batman or Superman.
I watched the episode and set my phone down. I thought about how time has gone by. 1976 was a long time ago. Day to day, one never notices it – but if you watch a show from a few decades ago, that realization slaps you right in the face. And it’s always up to each person to decide if that slap in the face is good or bad. Sure, it can feel like a rude awakening – or maybe it’s just what we need to remember to pay attention! Life is on the move! Be quick to really live! Be quick to love.
And never underestimate what God is up to.
(But I guarantee God isn’t up to staying exactly the same.)
I went to the kitchen to get a cheese scone, thinking about how much everything has changed. And probably because I was on sabbatical from my work, I thought about how much the church had changed since I was ordained in 1999. So, I scribbled in my journal:
I’ll take the sparkly eyeshadow
I like how it matches my communion kit
And shimmers in the candlelight from the altar
I’ll wear the green nail polish
It’s the season after Pentecost after all!
And yes, that’s lace on my robe
And no, my husband isn’t a pastor, too.
And you can call me Dr.
Not Honey, or Sweetie
I once had a internship supervising pastor tell me I was too gentle to be a pastor
That I cried too easily
So I drove far away from him
And listening to Liz Phair all the way across North Dakota
And found a new internship supervisor
She knew how to take up space
To use her voice
She armed me with all those things
And blessed me
To go and use those superpowers
And others, too –
Of wisdom grown slow
Like in a garden
Like in a crockpot
So yes, I’m the pastor here
And no, you don’t get to comment
On whether or not you like
None of it is to please you
I’m not here to please you
I’m here to serve God
and she wove me together in my mother’s womb
and loves me
For the Next Fifty: I plan to show up just as I am. Now the world gets me “as is” and that is the only option. I spent too much of the last decades trying to please others and stuff myself into the expectations I thought others had for me. What I have come to realize is that most of the time, people are so busy thinking about their own lives that they aren’t paying attention to you anyway – so you might as well do as you please. Be you – everyone else is taken.
On this primary voting day, I’m thankful that we have the right to vote. I was reminded of this book that was put together by Elizabeth Cady Stanton – her own commentary on the Bible. This was a revolutionary text for the times in which she lived. She was one of the true pioneers of women’s rights. Check it out at the link below:
We were on the road between Hokitika and Cromwell, New Zealand, listening to the TED Radio Hour podcast. I forget which episode it was, but something in it made me think about the coming months and how I will be turning fifty at the end of May.
And in that moment, I decided to make a list of fifty things I wanted to do before I turned fifty. It wasn’t a bucket list – just a list that was a mixture of things I have loved in this life so far and things I had thought about doing and things I wanted to do more of in the next years. I called the list FNF: For the Next Fifty.
The list has some items that are easy to complete and others that will take a great deal of effort. I’ll share the list and the process of my completion of the items with you in coming posts.
My latest book available here: Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace https://www.amazon.com/dp/1985634112/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_7AleEbM93ZAZM