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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Summer Plans? Hmmmm....

Last friday was the last day of school for students ( and graduation for our seniors). Today was the last day for teachers. I was asked in a meeting if I had any plans for summer and was momentarily stumped. What does this summer hold? Compared to our last summer with Emily and Keith's wedding, it seems calm. I remembered the fact that we're going to a wedding in Iowa this weekend. That will be nice, but it doesn't quite qualify as summer plans.

(Truth is I always have a tinge of melancholy when we go back to the Iowa town where we lived for 18 years. We have many close friends there. The sights 'round every turn are so very familiar that my head spins with recollection. I am the kind of person who drives to each house we lived in just to sit and stare for a while. I do that in all of my “home towns.” From our motel window, I'll be able to see the smoke stack of the hospital where all of our children were born. All of these things provide a non-stop monologue in my mind whenever I return to Waterloo.)

Summer plans? At some time yet to be determined my siblings and I have to spend several days sorting through the family homestead. Bob, Mom's husband, bought a nice place in Port Huron and is gradually moving his things there. I'm happy for him. I'd do the same if it were me, but I'll miss the thought of knocking on Mom's front door and being invited in for a cup of coffee. Even since Mom's been gone, there has been something comforting in the two times I've sat in her living room. I wish it could somehow stay the way it is, but I am much too old for such wishes. I do not want the house to be empty, and hope we do not have to sell it right away. (I do hope to bring home the Duncan Phyfe from the barn. Julie is thrilled. =)

Summer plans? We hope to go camping as often as our schedule and the gas tank will allow. I'm truly looking forward to that.

I hope to have some time to write again. Here are some things you may read here this summer:

I'll be writing some chapters about the home we built in the 70's, the same house we'll be "closing." I particularly want to tell you about how we dug our well in 1972. I also hope to begin a series on the value of working "jobs" that have nothing to do with one's eventual career. I've lots of those. And in my next post, I hope to share a draft I started last summer called "Climbing Through the Milk Chute."


Blogger the walking man said...

Tom, sounds like a plan. Visiting the adult roots, being a guest at a wedding, some camping and writing.

May your winds favor this plan.


4/6/08 3:29 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

I'm sure you are ready for a little relaxation now that there is another school year done.

There is something special about going back to previous homes-the memories, reliving in our minds the times with family and friend.

Most times that I go back to the other side of the state I want to detour from our normal route and drive pass someplace-Judi does not understand why.

I also hope one day that I can make a trip to Maine and see the house my parents lived in when I was born (8/14/1963). We moved out of the house shortly after January 1965, that is when my father died. I have no memories of the house, yet I really want to see it. There is something about the past that seems to pull at my heart and mind...

I hope you and your family have a great summer. Enjoy it.

4/6/08 10:07 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I too love to go back to the old homeplaces and reflect. Being drawn to the past, is nurturing and fulfilling for me. It's like discovering a lost treasure.

I'm glad this is not our wedding summer- even though it was so much fun... it was a lot of work!

You probably need a laid back summer. Your last year has been full of life changing transitions and a summer of reflection and relaxation may be good for you. Molding the lives of children can be a a huge job, you deserve all of the down time you can get! Enjoy and keep us posted.

4/6/08 10:46 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I was just reading your last few posts...the tornado story...and the Memorial Day post.
I've always been interested in WWII- it was my father's era but he was 4-F...but his very best buddy was killed in Iwo Jima. And as a kid I watched that old movie about the Sullivan brothers with my parents on TV- so heart-wrenching!

Sounds like you have a nice, relaxing summer planned.
I can imagine the emotions swirl sometimes when you visit your hometowns with so many memories!

Thanks for stopping by at my wedding post...


4/6/08 2:03 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

My husband is the same way. If we are in the area of a place where we used to live, Jay always wants to drive by just to see what the house looks like now. We don't ever stop, but we do talk about some of the memories that we had while we were living there.

I look forward to reading some of your stories this summer.

4/6/08 2:27 PM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

I also like to drive by the places I used to live. There aren't as many as you have.
It sounds like you have a good summer planned.

4/6/08 5:13 PM  
Blogger heiresschild said...

hi Tom,

looking forward to your future writings. i couldn't wait for summer when i was in school, though when i was in school the past few years, i'd go straight thru the summer so i could finish early. i still have 5 classes left, but since i'm leaving for CA saturday morning and won't return until november, i probably won't complete my classes until next year.

my daughter is in the hospital, and hopefully, the babies won't come for some weeks (it's only 27 weeks right now). thanks for your prayers, and please continue to keep us in prayer for a safe flight for me on saturday, and that the twins will wait a little longer.

4/6/08 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do the very same thing when we get back to our past towns. Last summer was a class reunion and I along with friends drove all over town remembering. We even drove up into the yard of my childhood home and the present owner came out and talked to us. IF not for the fact I couldn't get out and walk (long story) I think he'd have invited us in to see the place. The house used to seem huge when I was a kid but it's a small-ish bungalow style and I'm sure isn't quite what my little girl memories have stored away. Maybe another time. I actually grew up in two houses...that one first until age 10 and then another where I finished until I moved out when we married (I was 20). So would LOVE to see that one as well.
I wish I had an e-mail address to you so I could ask if you know the people we knew in Waterloo. I could ask you this...did you by chance attend the Baptist church there?
Summer....oh how I wish the weather would act like it was that! Chilly and grey then a teaser of a day or two then back to the chilly and grey! But it's a good time to have some "down/time" and I will look foreward to more entries. One of these days I just might have to begin to blog so that way we'd have MORE in common!

4/6/08 6:38 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Speaking of winds of favor... there are more reports of some very strange high winds tonight. My sister-in-law's barn blew down in 80+ MPH winds in Kansas last night. What's goin' on?

Tom A.
I do the same thing you do with Judy. I even do it when I drive to Julie's little town on 600 people in Kansas. I drive by her grandmother's house, etc.

I can see from the thoughts shared here that this is far more common than I thought--I mean "common" in a good way.

I hope you can someday go to that house in Maine. It sounds like your love and respect for your father is strong though your memories from age two are deep in your mind. You may enjoy a short poem I wrote called Only the Roots Remain

Can you believe it's been a year since our "wedding summers"? I really can't. The couple is doing fine. Hope yours is, too.

5/6/08 12:50 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

You have a good summer, too.

It must be something we all need to do sometimes. When I go back to my childhood house on Buckhannon St. in Roseville, all the elms that lined the street are gone, and there is hardly a child in sight. In the 60's it was swarming with kids.

Dr. John,
I know you can't answer this directly, but I'm wondering if you always lived up in the U.P.

Going to California until November! Well it sounds like you'll have plenty to keep you busy. We'll be praying for your daughter, the twins, and for you. This has been a year for you to be a helper to others that's for sure.

Now let's see if we can play this game without email. So far you're on to something. Now it just so happens that there are lots of Baptist churches in Waterloo, and yes, we did attend one of them. It is a church with more than 100 years of history. It is one of the largest churches in that area. It used to be on Walnut Street downtown (Billy Sunday preached there more than once), but then the church moved to Ridgeway Avenue in the 70s, and its new name reflects both its first and second street names. (I also know folks at some of the other Baptist churches in that town.)
Somehow it would not surprise me if we did know some people in common--we already do (in MN).

5/6/08 1:01 AM  
Blogger the walking man said...

Tom I could go on about how all of this is a sign from God. But I'll leave that for the fundamentalist Christians.

Didn't Christ point out that there will always be these weather related events? Believers are to give them only the amount of mind necessary to get through them as a community, living on to focus on the higher callings of love, peace and, eternity?

I do have a spiritual fundamentalist belief on these types of incidents but they do not relate to sin, neither personal or national.

But rather more like Job, who in his understanding, The things he feared happened to him. Everything of which he was afraid of happening, happened. Loss of family, wealth, sustenance. Yet God provided for him because of his faith that God would indeed restore him.

I do not know your sister so I do not know what, or even if, she was apprehensive about her barn or the things in it, or just nervous over Plains State weather.

What I do know is that the less fear a person has the easier this life is. Let's not forget also that nearly 80 years ago, Kansas was a dust bowl state. Did her barn need maintenance?

Winds are always going to blow eh? So will droughts and fires and floods and all sorts of calamity but for now, in this forum, I will simply leave it up to the weather witch doctors to say if we are in a high, mid, low point of a cycle.

I am praying her continued safety.


5/6/08 1:58 AM  
Blogger Lone Grey Squirrel said...

HAve a wonderful summer. Must be good to have abreak from the school kids!

Sorry to hear about the tornados from your last post. The storms do seem to be getting more frequent and more frequent in large urban areas like the ones that hit Atlanta earlier this year.

5/6/08 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the weather that's happening..I think there is scripture to back this up and I'll have to try to find the reference THAT weather and other phenomenon will manifest in a certain area of time (that I won't reference here)as "birth pangs". From this we are to be mindful or watchful of them.

Its not a fundamentalist thing...it's a God thing!!

5/6/08 1:41 PM  
Blogger the walking man said...

Anonymous...there are sacred writings that will back up any point.

If you choose to look to the weather to find your eye and open it, then so be it. Whatever allows you to look to the One who created all for succor is good.


5/6/08 7:22 PM  
Blogger bettygram said...

Hope you do have a peaceful summer. I hope I get to my 50 class reunion and in doing so see the homes I lived in.

5/6/08 11:19 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Well, we arrived uneventfully here in Iowa but we are under a tornado watch. It's very hot and humid.

I'll have to review the comments, but when I asked "What's goin' on?" I was speaking meteorologically (sp) not spiritually or prophetically, though I agree with you... there are scriptures that point to such things depending on one's interpretation of them. Since that's not our purpose here, I'll just say as the Bible does that the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. As you pointed out Job is a perfect example. One of his greatest trials was when his supposed friends visited him to tell him that all the bad that befell his was surely a sign that he had displeased God (which was the opposite of the real cause). By the way, the absolute most beautiful reading of Job I've ever heard is in the form of a long poem by John Piper. It can be read on line at this link
The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God
There is an audio CD that comes with the book if you find it at the store. It is simply beautiful. Never has the Book of Job made more sense to me, and I think you'll appreciate Piper's gift as a poet.

I do know what you're talking about and I'm confident that TWM (Mark D.) does, too. I have not yet paid much heed to the patterns of extreme weather except in the sense to come in from the rain and stay away from funnel clouds if possible.

Here's an old hymn that shares what Horatio Spafford (late 19th Century)thought about the storms of life:

It is Well with My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Thanks. Actually, I'm in the building through the summer and to be honest, the quiet is nice for about a week and then everyone in the office misses all the "life" in the halls. We are looking forward to the change of pace, and already today's trip has brough a change of scenery. Crossing the patchwork farmland of Illinois and Iowa is truly beautiful.

5/6/08 11:48 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Weather update:
Last night as a heat wave spread across the plains to the east, we were in a tornado "watch." At 2:00 AM the tornado sirens about a mile from our motel went off, but the tornado sighting was about 20 miles away. I've not heard how severe it was. It looks like Michigan is going to be in a severe storm watch all day.

6/6/08 9:59 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Our comments must have crossed in cyberspace. Yours was not there when I wrote the above. I hope you get back to your hometown, too. Until I read your comment some time ago, I thought you and Dr. John were still in the U.P., but as my Yooper friends tell me. "Once a Yooper always a yooper." Have a great summer!

7/6/08 10:56 PM  

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