Not dead yet

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Yes, I'm still alive, despite not posting to the main blog in a few days. (You might have noticed that I have published some items on the linkblog in the meantime.)

It's been a busy (and sick) few days for our family. My wife has a chest cold. The 15-month-old is getting over an ear infection. Saturday I minded him and the six-year-old while my wife attended a church women's retreat. I spent most of Sunday going to and from Ponca City, where my ten-year-old son sang with the Tulsa Boy Singers at an evensong service at Grace Episcopal Church, a foretaste of their June performances at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, York Minster, and St. Paul's Cathedral.

A couple of happy memories from the past few days stand out.

Thursday evening the weather was in clear, calm, and in the 70s. My daughter doesn't have school on Friday, and my son had a field trip to Ft. Gibson the next day, so we didn't have the usual pressure of getting through homework. The little one was feeling miserable from his ear infection (trying to make the pain go away by saying "all done! all done!"), but he wanted to go out in the backyard. He walked around smiling, barefooted and barebellied, rolling a ball ("bah!") up the slide ("sigh!") with his big sister.

His vocabulary is growing at a rapid pace: He's been saying and signing for food ("foo?") for a long time. He likes to feed himself with a spoon ("boo" or, sometimes, "brrrrrrrrooo") and enjoys crackers ("gah"). The sound of a car or an airplane elicits a motorboat noise from his lips. He loves to "go-go-go" in the car. The signal for dropping something (even if deliberately) has recently evolved from "uh-uh-uh-uh" to "uh-uh-oh." He loves his "Dah," his big sister "K-k," and his big brother "Gng." (Hard to transcribe that last -- a kind of nasal grunt.)

By far, the cutest thing he says is "ma-ma-ma-ma" -- the vowel sound is midway between an "ah" and an "oh," and there's always a wistful look on his face when he says it. (It sort of goes down the scale, too, which is even cuter.)

My big son still had to get his violin practice in, but my wife let him do it outside on the deck. She brought out her own violin and tutored him on the minuet he's trying to perfect. When he was done with that, he worked on "Faded Love." The sweet sounds of the violins were mixed with the songs of mourning doves. (The little one says "click, click" and does the sign for "bird" when he hears them sing.)

The scene was enhanced by the bearded irises and tea roses in bloom and the lush, thick carpet of grass. A year ago, most of the backyard had been bare dirt. Our growing trees had shaded much of the bermuda grass to death. Last fall, we hacked up the dirt, and I scattered a bag of Pennington Enviro-Shade grass seed and a bag of lawn starter. The lawn has almost completely filled in, and it's as green as Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. That may be my most satisfying achievement of the last several months.

On Saturday afternoon I dropped the big boy off at a classmate's house, then took the girl and the little boy somewhere we could go for a stroll and enjoy the sunshine. We were down south, so we headed across the bridge to Riverwalk Crossing. We walked along the riverfront and bumped into Ray Pearcey (I run into him often enough and in enough different places that he's sure I'm tailing him), who was having lunch with Oklahoma Eagle publisher Jim Goodwin and his daughter. Jim had some very kind words for my work in UTW, a high compliment coming from someone who runs one of the longest-running newspapers in the state, with a proud heritage of serving the African-American community.

The kids and I had a very nice lunch on the patio at Los Cabos. The chips and salsa felt good on my scratchy throat, my daughter enjoyed her mini-corn dogs, and the little one shared the grilled chicken in my taco salad, and he didn't seem to mind the bits of sour cream and guacamole. Toward the end a trio of Mexican guitarists started playing, leading off with "Ghost Riders in the Sky." After working through some standards of the genre ("La Bamba," "El Condor Pasa," "Guantanamera"), they played and sang a Spanish version of Dion's car-crash classic, "Last Kiss." ("Where, o where can my baby be? The Lord took her away from me.") We finished our excursion with Chocolate Butterfinger and Vanilla Oreo ice cream. Later we went to a garden store to buy some annual flowers for my wife's birthday.

So I have been busy, just not here.

A couple of things to look forward to this Monday:

It's the maiden broadcast for my friends Gwen Freeman and Chris Medlock, the new co-hosts of KFAQ Mornings. Listen live from 5:30 to 9:00 on 1170 kHz or listen later to the podcast online. Break a leg, guys, or... strain a tonsil or... something.

Also on the air and on the web: Two of my favorite bloggers, two that I find consistently challenging and thought-provoking, shared a microphone recently. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, interviewed Dawn Eden, author of The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On for his radio show today. From this description, it sounds like a conversation worth hearing. (Too bad another Kentucky blogger, Michael Spencer, couldn't have been there, too. That would have made for a fascinating roundtable discussion.)

The show should be available here later today, but in the meantime you can hear Mohler's recommendations for must-read Christian biographies (here's the corresponding blog entry).

Or you can read this essay by Mohler, which Dawn Eden recommends, about how Evangelicals can and should work alongside Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians in challenging an increasingly secular culture, yet without compromising the "Evangelical affirmation of salvation through faith alone by grace alone through Christ alone.... [W]e must be ready to stand together in cultural co-belligerence, rooted in a common core of philosophical and theological principles, without demanding confessional agreement or pretending that this has been achieved."

UPDATE: Here's a link to audio of Al Mohler's interview with Dawn Eden.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 23, 2007 5:14 AM.

Randy Brogdon profile in UTW was the previous entry in this blog.

Local news roundup for April 23, 2007 is the next entry in this blog.

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