This summer was a bit more all over the place than normal, I think. My love of stability coupled with my love of cool, temperate weather makes me more than ready for the familiar routines of fall.
Regular church activities are picking up again, fall TV seasons are premiering, kids and teachers are back to school, and everyone’s talking about how well (or not) their fantasy football teams are performing. Ah, it must be September.
We bid a fond farewell to summer with a fun, but low-key Labor Day weekend. For the second year in a row, Jeff and I enjoyed a free day at Coney Island Amusement Park thanks to the frequent donor program with our local blood bank. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed being young at heart. On the actual holiday, we loaded the dogs into the Subaru for a long hike at one of our great local parks, ate an All-American dinner of burgers and corn on the cob cooked on the grill, and shared homemade ice cream and apple pie with friends over board games.
The following weekend was our long-awaited book club for our summer pick, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Part biography, part scientific discovery, part ethical debate, part history lesson, this book is the fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks (and her family) and what her immortal cell line, HeLa, have meant to science research over the past 60 years. It is a little heavy on the science details for my taste, and I give it 3.5/5 stars.
Whoever picks the book also hosts our discussion. We’ve all tried to do something around the theme of the book, and Kyna did a great job!
I agreed to again help teach our Wednesday night girls program at church, Pioneer Girls. In the past I have taught the 5th/6th grade class, but this year the need was for the 3rd/4th grade class. We started up again in mid-September, and—after a few “why did I agree to do this?” moments—it seems to be settling down and going well. I usually prefer to work with 5th-8th grade (I know—I’m crazy), but the girls in my class are very sweet, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them throughout the year.
Flock group also resumed in September. We are again taking turns bringing a meal to share together before the study begins. I’m so glad we’re continuing this shared meal, not only for the convenience, but for the added sense of community and belonging that comes with it. Rather than study directly through a book of the Bible like in years past, this year we are reading and discussing Crazy Love by Francis Chan. So far it is really good! Our church is our family, and our flock group is like our immediate family. We are very blessed to have each of these lovely people in our lives.
My brother and sister-in-law came to visit us this month! This was a big deal to me because we haven’t had many family members visit us here. We are always the ones traveling to see family. They stopped by on their way to Hocking Hills, and we ate lunch together at our local neighborhood burger joint and hung out at our house for the afternoon.
Our last hurrah for the wonderful month of September was a quickie camping trip to nearby Miami Whitewater Forest.
The park is beautiful, and the campground is pretty nice for a close-together, family-type place. While I enjoy tent camping, I also enjoy hot showers that come with having a bathroom and shower house nearby! We only stayed one night, and that ended up being a good thing since we managed to forget our sleeping bags. You’d think we’ve never done this before. Fortunately, we’d brought lots of layers and had two picnic blankets plus our air mattress. This time we wanted both the dogs on the air mattress with us for their body heat. Our friends Ryan and Kyna (and Ivy!) came with us, and they managed to forget their camp chairs. Maybe we’re all not the veteran campers we liked to think we were.
Other happenings in September not already chronicled on the blog include:
- an S’s dinner at Mommer and Popper’s
- game night at Megan’s without Kristin, but with Ian
- downtown Chicago business trip for Jeff
- Natorp’s annual plant outlet sale
- Ian staying with us while waiting for his new apartment to be ready