Sunday, August 27, 2006


Hi gang. I've been on vacation! I've been taking it easy, no blogging and no writing. I've going places, watching DVDs and watching some of my favorite sci-fi programs on TV. Teresa and I have actually gotten out of town! We escaped the bonds of the Bay, traveled to Boise, McCall, back to Boise and then back to Berkeley. It was a long trip. We were gone from August 2nd to the 12th. The worst part was between Berkeley and Sacramento. I hate driving in four to six lanes of freeway traffic. You never know when some knothead is going to cross several lanes of traffic to swoosh right in front of you. Sometimes you end up having to cross several lanes of traffic yourself in order to get to the right exit. I-80 is much nicer though after you get past Sacramento. You climb up through the foothills and then you're in the high Sierra's and are back in the West. We stopped at the rest stop on Donner Pass, and there was a familiar yellow pine, sagebrush and granite country that I love so much. It was great to be at altitude and low humidity again.

We took two days to drive to Boise, stayed overnight in Boise then drove up to Paradise Point camp on Payette Lake. The camp is just beautiful, as you can see from the photos below. Going to Fat Goose Camp (St. Michael’s church camp) has been a tradition for Teresa and I. It’s a very relaxing, fun time with old friends and new friends, with kids of all ages.

We came back to Boise and visited with friends and family. I took care to plan down time. I’m a firm believer in not box-carring things – going from one thing to the next, to the next. We humans need spaces between events to rest, reflect and center. It is another principle in living a humane, contemplative, mindful and heartfelt life.

A dear friend Boise, who lived for a time in Walnut Creek, CA, suggested a way to avoid the Sacramento to Berkeley six lanes of traffic scene. So we took the levee road – highway 160 – to Antioch, then Highway 4 to I-80 and Berkeley. It was a nice sight-seeing trip along the Sacramento River into the delta region.

Overall it was a much need vacation, a time to touch base with home. If I sound a little homesick, not to worry, every time I would talk about GTU or CDSP, I could feel my energy rising and hear the excitement in my voice, which confirmed to me I’m in the right place for this point in my life. There is a lot I value about being here in Berkeley even as I miss Idaho and that is OK

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm Done!

I’m done. All the papers for all my second semester classes are done. My first academic year is now officially over with. Now I feel I can truly say I am a second year seminarian.

It has been a struggle with this stubborn respiratory tract infection which my doctor is now called pneumonia. Pneumonia, bronchitis, an illness by any other name would still be miserable! What matters is my symptoms are going away. No fever for two weeks. My chest no longer hurts. The cough is much decreased. Energy is coming back. Note - I am being cautious to not over do things.

So with perseverance and pacing (working when I felt good enough, resting when not) I have finished the class work for the year. I’m good at perseverance. Maybe I have that stubborn Scot gene. The question is, am I listening to the events I have to persevere in? Am I hearing the message, the wisdom they have for me? Heavy questions which spurn quick answers. Heavy questions I will have time to reflect on before classes start again.

Teresa and I leave tomorrow for Boise and McCall. I feel ready for the trip and excited to go. It will be great to visit with friends, to see my home town, to be in the mountains of Idaho. It will be nice to dry out. Humidity in Boise today is 10%. In Berkeley it’s 51%. I don’t think Berkeley has ever seen 10% humidity. Yep, I’m a desert rat, a daughter of Idaho. There are things I love about Berkeley, the Bay and the GTU, but my roots are in Idaho and they are pretty deep.

One thing I especially love here in Berkeley is the GTU library. It has just about every book, scholarly journal and reference work you need to do in-depth research on any religious or spiritual topic. When I walk into the library, I have real sense of the Scare, like holy work is taking place. The silence is a peaceful, encouraging presence. When I leave Berkeley, it will be one place I will miss.