Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer is too busy

I won't even mention the line that goes something like, "Can you believe how fast summer is going?"

We haven't been all that busy with events and things like that. Our life within pregnancy has seemed to change things. We still go to the Farmer's Market, which is great. Over the 4th of July we went canoing down the Wisconsin river, near Arena and Spring Green. That was great to get on the water and be outdoors. Speaking of outdoors, we bought a great tent (well, it depends who you ask) at REI for cheap. My version of a great tent is one that can be strapped on to your backpack and fits just above your head as you're lying down to sleep at night.

Katie's version is the one that can fit a queen-size mattress and where we can fully stand up inside. We bought the latter. But we'll use that tent for the next 20 years at Family Camps at Fort Wilderness and other State parks around Wisconsin. Look at the view from inside that thing!!!

So we're doing our best to stay active. Katie gets really tired and is just wishing she could work out like she used to. No bike rides, no runs. The paddling wasn't that comfortable for her, either.

Summer has been busy. What's new. But like Matt Metzger talked about today at Blackhawk - we need to be intentional about taking a Sabbath, taking a day off to rest and refresh.

For me, that includes reading and writing. I started this blog to process life, and that's gotten too far and few between. I need this time to create journal memories and document and process.

I need to read b/c readers are leaders - I get refreshed when I read the paper and learn new things.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Concert on the Square

One of my favorite things about Madison is Concert on the Square. For 6 weeks during the summer, the Madison Orchestra performs on the Capital Square as people gather around the lawn with blankets and small chairs. It's actually quite and ordeal - people really go all out on this. Nice food, nice wine. Concerts are upscale events. And we love them.

Of the six concerts, the best one is near the 4th of July, when they do a patriotic concert. My dad always was playing patriotic music when I was a kid, and I developed a big sense of loyalty and appreciation for my country. When I think about the armed forces, I immediately think of the respect I feel towards their service to our country. Their efforts, along with the men and women who served before them - their efforts are why we are free and safe.

There's a point in the concert when Maestro Sewell does a tribute to all the men and women who've served their country. The song starts slow, then it goes into branch's song. As the song for the National Guard plays, anyone in the crowd from the Guard stands to a round of applause. This continues for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Seeing these men and women stand up here in Madison in their civilian clothes, I think about the time they gave to this country. When did they serve? What was their job? What did they see? Learn? Accomplish?

What I like to do after the show is walk over to one of the men I saw stand up and shake his hand and thank him for serving. Here's a couple of the men I saw last night.

This last guy was in the Air Force, and he's the one I thanked this year. I just want to do a small part to show appreciation for what he's done.