June is always a strangely busy month, but this one managed to take the cake. I might have overbooked myself a tad, though it was worth it. Here’s a little bit of what I was up to:
It started off with a trip to Charlottesville, Virginia. My grandmother died in March, but with family spread literally coast-to-coast, it made sense to do the memorial service when everyone could make it. My parents and I drove up to C’ville, spending a night in Bristol, TN, so that I could officiate the memorial service. We also got some good running in.
It was good to see my extended family and my grandfather. My grandmother’s niece put together these amazing posters of pictures from her life and career in occupational therapy, including the article and picture from when she met President Kennedy. My grandmother in the ‘50s:
Because I had to be back at church on Sunday, I flew out of Charlottesville to D.C., where my flight got delayed. When we finally boarded, somehow someone got on the wrong plane so we had to all get off the plane because of the security breech, get rescreened, and re-board the plane. It was a nightmare.
Next up was our 5th anniversary vacation to Excellence Riviera Cancun. Sun! Sand! Beach! Except that it rained nearly constantly for the first few days thanks to the remnants of a tropical storm. We still managed to have a good time and check out for a week.
Joe’s aunt and uncle are doing their second long RV trip around the country and were due in Nashville the next week. They requested that I bless their RV while they were in Nashville, so they invited us over for dinner, and I put together a short service. That was certainly my first RV blessing! I also opted to travel with them down to Lynchburg, home of the Jack Daniel’s distillery. We had a large family-style lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House before touring the distillery. Hanging with Jack:
We also went to the Grand Ole Opry with them, which is always a good time. That night we saw Patty Loveless, Joe Diffie, and Vince Gill, in addition to some other acts. The next morning I drove down to Bell Buckle for the RC Cola Moonpie Festival 10-miler. Miraculously, we had relatively cool weather, and I ended up having a great race for my first 10-miler. Of course, I had to refuel with the festival’s namesake treats:
Joe’s second cousin hosted a Father’s Day brunch for Joe’s uncle and my dad, so I went straight there from church for a fabulous spread of food, including a breakfast casserole that Joe made all by himself! And then I headed back down I-24 to Monteagle for a week as the priest-in-residence at Camp Gailor-Maxon.
Camp ministry is seriously the best, and I love the Camp II kids because they’re old enough to have some spiritual discussions but still young enough to have fun and be goofy. Hikes, beautiful scenery, swimming, judging cannonball contests, and dancing. All in all, a great week. I love my camp “congregation” so much. They always give me so much hope for the church.
Straight from closing Eucharist to my parents’ house for a fellowship graduation party for Joe. His mom and her boyfriend drove down from Wisconsin bringing lots of beer (New Glarus!), brats, and cheese. The next morning, my mom and I ran the inaugural Franklin Half Marathon in scenic Leiper’s Fork. It was amazingly hot, humid, and hilly. I took care to hydrate at every aid station, but there were points when it was so hot I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. Beautiful Tennessee scenery though.
And we finished! My mom avenged her not-so-great race the week before and beat me by a few minutes. Something happened with the results, and I had to stand in a long line in the sun to get it fixed. Not happy.
The rest of the day called for pool time and beer before getting cleaned up for Joe’s graduation dinner.
After getting a few days to recoup and do laundry, we were headed north to Bloomington, IN for my best friend Abby’s wedding. I got there just in time for some of the bachelorette festivities (which were really pretty tame). The next morning, those of us so inclined met to jog a very slow 3 miles around the IU campus while we chatted and sweated out the previous night’s toxins.
This was my first wedding to officiate, and it was very special and meaningful. I was essentially part of the wedding party in terms of photographs and everything, but I also had to lead the rehearsal, etc. The rehearsal dinner was at Upland Brewing Company, known for their great beer, but the food was maybe even better. The next morning, after running 11 miles with my mom on some great trails and paths, the female members of the wedding party went and got our hair and make-up done and got all ready for pictures.
Unfortunately, it rained for most of the afternoon, but I think we got some great pictures in the auditorium. It was a great wedding, and I received a lot of compliments on the ceremony. I managed not to cry during the ceremony, though there were a few moments when I thought I might lose it.
Their DJ was amazing – no boring wedding standards – and we danced until he shut it down. Then we moved the party to a bar downtown, though at that point Joe and I were so tired that we stayed just long enough for John, the groom, to sit in Joe’s lap.
Congratulations John and Abby!
And now I don’t want to go anywhere for a long, long time.