One of the great delights of being with the fabulous folks in the Diocese of Mississippi for their 10th Annual Retreat at the Gray Center last weekend was getting to share the adventure with my wife, Lori.
It was her brilliant idea to use the "Where I Am From" poem template to get us started on our "Are We Running With You Jesus?" theme for the weekend -- so on Friday night we all had a chance to back up a little and spend some time reflecting on where we were from in preparation for reflecting on where we're going -- where we're "running" -- next.
Here's the template we used if you want to try it for yourself. Here's what I came up with ...
Where I'm From
• I am from plaid skirts and knee socks; from the Helm’s Bakery truck bringing bread to the back door and the milk man leaving bottles on the front porch.
• I am from a big stucco house with squeaky screen doors, dogs on the couch and the smell of eucalyptus trees in the afternoon sun.
• I am from the California live oak, palm trees and the Santa Ana winds.
• I am from never missing opening day at Dodger Stadium and staying up on election night until all the precincts have reported in; from Bill & Betty and Worth & Tillie; from Browns and Bundys and Gustafsons and Hesses.
• From “when I say jump, you say how high” and “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
• I am from the Book of Common Prayer and “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones.”
• I’m from Los Angeles, Minnesota and Atlantic City, from casseroles with cream of mushroom soup and Beef Wellington on Christmas Eve.
• From saving bread crusts to feed the ducks at the Arboretum, from listening to Vin Scully on the patio on warm summer nights and from fishing for sunfish with a drop line from Aunt Anne’s pontoon on Lake Geneva.
• I am from Eagle Rock, Ventura and Santa Barbara; from unconditional love and constant critique; from the double feature and the seventh inning stretch; and from sometimes you win and sometimes you lose -- but you always dress out.