Walking to church with my son-shine

Dear Little Man,

Earlier in the fall, your mama did something that she is not proud of but which she felt was necessary. She tried to beg out of church greeting. The extrovert in her enjoys the greeting and the handing out of bulletins and the occasional hugging that transpires during her monthly church greets. However, God’s little errand was starting to infringe upon sabbath school with you, because she had to leave early to greet. Full disclosure: I am not the biggest fan of sabbath school. In principle, it is fantastic, but the practice of it involves sitting in uncomfortable chairs, singing a lot of high-pitched songs that stay in one’s head for three days, crafts that are not recyclable, and being peer-pressured into taking a Little Friend magazine. Sometimes it’s a lot to do before noon on a Saturday, you know?

Anyway. The greeting boss lady suggested that your mama just bring you as her greeting deputy and–why hadn’t I thought of that before?!

I have come to love these mornings that we walk from the big church on the hill to our contemporary worship gathering downhill. I love the time with you and just getting some fresh air in our lungs before we put on our greeting pants. I can’t tell you what we talk about and I can’t be sure you’ll remember this time at all. But I will. I will remember how you stood no higher than my elbow, how you held my hand, how you would get frustrated when I would trump your bulletin giving, how you would eagerly anticipate “bucket time” aka offering time, how our friend Jeni said collections at church must go up every time you are collecting because who could deny your big brown eyes looking at them and passing the offering bucket?

I can’t be sure if we are making a Kingdom difference, you and I, the Lee Greeters, party of two, but I know one thing is for sure: you being a part of this ministry is making a difference in my life.


Sept 2014

Nov 2014

Dec 2014

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

Read More

Humans of Tennessee: Snow Day Edition

Humans of CHA

I know how ridiculous this outfit looks but it’s actually a mosaic of all the places I have lived. Starting with the hat, which my old man calls a “stockin’ cap,”–I bought this at a high school football game for, like, $4. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and my grandfathers, dad, some of my uncles went to this high school for boys. St. Ignatius is a real Cleveland institution, but I used to call it St. Ego-natius because every guy who went there thought he was God’s gift to the girls at my all-girls high school. I’m pretty sure I was bitter because I was a super homely kid that no one ever invited to a dance. Anyway. The gray coat I bought at T.J. Maxx when I was pregnant with my son and my other winter coat no longer fit. I literally bought it, put it on, and stuffed the other one in the Goodwill bin on my way to pick up my daughter at daycare.The mis-matching gloves are from the rag bag in our family closet. I gave the matching ones to my kids who are off school today. My favorite part of this outfit is the Carhartt overalls, which my old man bought for me for my birthday at the Boot Box in Meadville, Pennsylvania. So many good memories in these overalls. I went to college in Meadville and this is where I first really fell in love with the outdoors. Many of my friends were environmental studies majors and they were always going backpacking or rockclimbing. One of these friends, Jeff, told me the first time I wore the Carhartts that they were a disgrace and I needed to drag them behind a truck and get them weathered. I still laugh about that because the next time I wore the Carhartts was on a camping trip with my boyfriend. We got utterly lost and had to sleep on the forest floor without a match between us. It was freezing and we could have lost limbs. But I married him anyway.

Read More

So then I looked up from the massage chair and I saw

This afternoon saw me with no office hours. A full 1.5 hour window with no claims on my time. Simple pleasure.

My back had been hurting and because I am now a woman of a certain age, I am pretty much one ache away from walking with the Dowager Countess’ cane unless I do beaucoup stretching or get a massage.


I sought out one of those chair massage places in the mall where you don’t need an appointment.

A very brawny woman, presumably Chinese, smiled when I pointed to the 22 minute chair massage on their menu of services. She led me behind two Asian screens to an area where there were several very weathered looking massage chairs. She put a paper towel over the face pillow with the doughnut hole in the middle. My back hurt so much; this was no time for luxury. She told me to sit down and she put my purse on the rung of the massage chair.

The massage began well. Knots were starting to unravel. I was entering the happy place, forgetting that if someone wanted to steal my purse from right under my nose, they could literally do so.

At about minute 15, things started to get really awkward. The pressure started to get strong and then fierce. The massage therapist was punching me. She was punching my backside. She was punching like if you wanted to hurt somebody.

Then it was over. And, honestly, I was feeling rejuvenated and all-around better.

Until I opened my eyes and saw my massage therapist. It was Yao Ming.

Or at least his Tennessee doppelganger.

It was a bizarre bait and switch and I have no idea how it was achieved. I was certain a female therapist had started off the treatment. I have no idea when Yao Ming took over or who did rear-punching treatment but later when I was watching Little Man’s gymnastics class, my toosh felt incredibly sore.

I have an appointment for another massage later this month. There is sure to be one massage table. One door. One masseuse. It’s going to be so boring. And by boring, I mean awesome.

Read More