I want to tell you about my summer plans, both to share this part of the journey and to let you know where I’ll be, and who will be ‘on call’ during those times when I’m away.
My summer plans begin on June 30, when I’ll be at my daughter Sue’s home in Carlisle, MA officiating at the wedding of my former wife, Anita. She and Gerry Fried graciously asked me to do their wedding ceremony. Lory generously agreed. It’s an affirmation of the ongoing friendship Anita and I have shared for nearly 50 years when we met in college.
Lory and I will go from Carlisle to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, to our cabin, where we’ll spend four or five days decompressing.
On July 20 we’ll leave for Chautauqua, where I’ll be minister of the week for our Unitarian Fellowship there, as I’ve done for several years. We always look forward to our time at Chautauqua with its many opportunities for lectures, theater, music and time to sit and stare.
Margie will be ‘on call’ for most of July; I’ll be ‘on call’ for most of August. Ed will be filling in for those times when Margie and I are away. The office has a schedule that indicates who is ‘on call’ for church-family emergencies for every day during the summer.
In mid-August, the 18th to 26th, I’ll be with Lory and Carlyn on a European cruise, to celebrate Carlyn’s 16th birthday. Carlyn’s friend, Katherine Freedman, will be joining us. I’ve never been on a cruise ship, and I didn’t initiate this idea, but I’m a willing and even eager participant.
We’ll start in Barcelona, where we’ll spend a day or so before getting on the big boat. We’ll do day trips in several cities, including Majorca, Spain’s largest island in the Mediterranean, which I’ve wanted to visit since being told about it by a member of the congregation in Attleboro many years ago. Ed was an artist and I have two wonderful paintings he did of street scenes in Majorca. Then we’re off to Nice, Naples and Rome. “If this is Thursday it must be Rome.”
Before the big cruise, Carlyn will be attending Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York. It’s a 7-week summer program “…for accomplished young violinists, violists, cellists and pianist training for professional careers in music.” The school’s distinguished alumni include Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman. It’s an intense, demanding program and an honor for Carlyn to be accepted in it. By mid-August she will be ready for a cruise without the cello!
I’m looking forward to some exciting summer plans, as well as the opportunity to get to that pile of books that have been waiting patiently. I’m also looking back over my shoulder to a very productive, satisfying year of ministry. Thanks for the part you played in making it all work; I appreciate your support, encouragement and occasional critique.
Whatever your plans and wherever your inner journey may take you, I hope you have a good summer. We’ll stay in touch — I’ll let you know how things are going.
I’ll leave you with words from Thoreau’s journal: “I wish to begin this summer well, to do something in it worthy of it and of me; to transcend my daily routine; to have my immortality now in the quality of my daily life!”