Health Update: Saw the specialists again today, and we’re on schedule —  My annoying penicillin bag comes out this week (!), then I’ll do 4 weeks of pill antibiotics (plus hopefully returning to my job at the school in June), building to a planned late July surgery to put in a molded plastic plate (not titanium like I thought…kind of a let down :-)).  I’m having some lingering symptoms that we’re not able to pinpoint, but can definitively say none of the really bad stuff is happening.  Thanks for praying; I’ll keep you posted!

Holidays.    Knowing they’re coming soon makes a rainy week go faster, or a gloomy season less gloomy.  Who cares?   Soon, we get to have fun!

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, which (besides honoring those who died in their service to our country) serves as the unofficial kickoff to summer).  And, if you’re in the greater Seattle area, signals the return of the Northwest Folklife Festival.

Since I first discovered Folklife in the mid-90s, I’ve been able to get back nearly every year to enjoy the kaleidescope of culture, talent, and weirdness that fills up Seattle Center for those 2-3 days.  One can tour the world in a day by way of a global cavalcade of food, music, dance, people, and flavor.  My annual pilgrimages have been in groups, on tour busses, solo, in pouring rain, in blazing sun, with pockets full of cash, or with exactly $7  to spend on the whole day.  

Even though every time I go back, I pretty much know what I’m going to get (the two Italian guys singing old Neapolitan songs, the hip-hop bagpiper, those guys that make the awesome samosas).   And, yet, I love it both for the sameness and the newness each year brings…Here is a Facebook album (click on link) I made of last year’s spectacle; you should be able to see it, even if you’re a non-Facebooker (both of you out there).

For too many of us, this has been a rough year.  Too many of my friends & loved ones have lots jobs, relationships, good health…and yet, in all things, we know there will always be a holiday coming up soon.  Those traditions, just knowing they’ll be back, and knowing they’ll be a little bit the same and a little bit different…I think that’s what keeps us going sometimes. 

For myself, this has definitely not been a year I expected; a year ago, I never could have written out this script, much less told you how it’ll play out from here.  And yet,  through the whole thing, God keeps showing up and telling me, “Don’t you see?  I planned this.  All that other stuff you didn’t understand?  All part of the puzzle.  Just hang on…” 

You’ll have to excuse me; I get a little ponderous when traditions I love come back around, and I get to step out of my current paths, and return to something I know will still be waiting there for me.  So few things like that these days…