Monday, July 30, 2007


A Long Journey

One of the things that I love about art (be it movies, music, paintings or books) is that it becomes a sort of soundtrack (or movietrack, or booktrack I suppose) for your life. I can always associate seeing the Star Wars Episode 1 (however lackluster that film may have been) with my engagement to Stephanie, since those events were only days apart. I always think a lot about my childhood when I hear the Beach Boys, because they were a staple in our house. The whole Star Wars series began less than two years after I was born, and has meant a great deal to me. And I will always associate the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis with Dulles Airport in Washinton, because our dad read them to us as we slept in the airport, waiting for a flight home.

And so, to the point. Back in January of 2001, two things happened. First, my wife and I took a weekend trip to Chicago, Illinois. We were going to check out the Seminary there where I hoped to gain a Masters. Our plans to move to Chicago were firm, and this trip was an attempt to tie up some loose ends and give Stephanie a taste of Chicago, our new, temporary home. We couldn't know that Chicago would be the birthplace of our first daughter. We couldn't know that Chicago would become symbolic of so much of our maturation as a couple. We couldn't know the friends we would find there, nor the love for the Midwest that would capture us. A momentous weekend indeed.

But secondly, I began that weekend a book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. At that point, the fourth book in the series was the current volume, having been released six months earlier. I couldn't know how much these books would capture my imagaination. I also couldn't know how much they would remind me of the writings of CS Lewis and the mythology of Star Wars. Lewis is much more overt in his Christianity, and I have no idea what Rowling's beliefs are. But nevertheless, the mythology of the series has been at once so captivating and familiar. Yesterday, the long journey that began back in 2001 came to an end as I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This book proves Rowling to be a master of this form. She has surprises galore, yet at the same time all of the revelations make perfect sense within the world she has so vividly created. She has created an orderly world, where certain rules apply, and there is nothing (however surprising), that is random.

This journey has mirrored some big moments in our lives. The fourth book was a birthday gift from my parents that I received in our new aprtment in Deerfield, Illiois. I distinctly remember reading the fifth book on my Metra train trips to downtown Chicago, where I continued as a part timer with Trader Joe's. Jack was born weeks before number 6 was released, and I devoured that book as it came closer to resolutions of old questions. And as I finished number seven yesterday, I did so in my own living room in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I never would have imagined in January 2001 that I would finish this series as a resident of Minnesota. But as is the case with Rowling's world, while God's world has surprises, there is nothing random about it. I will not spoil the ending of these books. But I will say that the ending is satisfying. It completes this long journey very well.

Monday, July 16, 2007


By the Numbers

0-The number of hits Barry Bonds had last weekend against the Dodgers

1-How many car seats I had to take out of my car this week due to a certain little girl's graduation from said device to a booster seat.

1-How many times I had to pull over on our trip to Trader Joe's today to buckle a certain little girl's seat belt after she undid it.

4-The Twins swept a four game series in Oakland this weekend!

5-The probable number of weeks we have before our next child is born.

6-The number of Psalms I have been to teach at Bible study. So far, I have covered Psalms 89-94. I have enjoyed finally being able to teach some OT.

11-The number of games in a row the Dodgers have won in San Francisco

20-How many cases of bananas I have to bring in per day on the weekend to satisfy the masses at Trader Joe's St. Louis Park (90 bananas per case)

32-Sandy Koufax's number, Magic Johnson's number, and my age.

100-The number of cases of Charles Shaw Chardonnay we sold in less than half a day on Saturday, thanks to the wine winning a contest in California.

For more "by the numbers," stay tuned.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Family Reunion

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