I started this blog to keep my church, friends and family updated on my year volunteering in Katrina recovery with the Presbyterian Church (USA). I've now signed on for a second year working in disaster recovery and another year living in Mississippi. It's getting good....

Monday, October 09, 2006

A great weekend of football, fun and fellowship. (10/8/06)

What a great weekend!

On Friday, my housemate Linda and I went to dinner in Biloxi and finally found where all the young people in the gulf live- in a gym at the Methodist Church! There were about sixty 20-somethings gathered for food and fun organized by Hands-On, a non-profit volunteer agency working in the Katrina rebuilding effort. But they live in a gym. A lot of them. With 3 showers for 60 people. The gym did not smell good. Not at all. I am glad that I don't live in the gym. There will be no complaints about my living situation, ever. I don't live in a sweaty gym- hooray! But it was fun to met other young folks working in the area, and I am sure we'll head back over to the sweaty gym again soon to make some friends.

After the sweaty dinner, Linda and I joined the rest of our roommates at the hottest, most happening place to be on Friday night in Gulfport: the high school football game! They do love their football here in the deep south. We arrived at half time and the score was 42-0. I spent the second half watching the cheerleaders and band members avoiding each other and remembering how painful high school really was for most people. Then some snotty high school girl ma'amed me in front of all my friends and that stopped me from feeling bad for her any more. I mean, I know I live in the south and so kids at church and tellers at the grocery store are going to call me ma'am, but I just can't take with when the cheer captain does it when I am giving her my coolest schpeel. Whatever. I am old. Maybe it is time to accept it. Humpf. We finished the evening enjoying the surprisingly cool weather out at the beach. A beer by the water is always a good way to end the night!

On Saturday, some of our PDA friends came over for the Texas/OU football game. I also snuck out for a quick hike in the nearby National Forrest. The trails were so damaged by the storm that many paths are now impassable- but that just serves to get me into the scrambling mood and attack those trees. The spiders slow me down, though. Big spiders with really big webs.

Sunday brought the double dose of church I've come to love- 9am service with the Episcopals and 11am Presbyterian Extravaganza. It's a fun combo and the commute is right (they both worship where I live). We bombed out of the service to make it to a sports bar in time to catch the horrible Redskins game. I've noticed a pattern this year- when I watch the games, the Skins lose. Maybe next week I won't watch and they'll be great again! Then we came home and I attended the Blessing of the Animals, hosted by my Episcopal friends. It was too cute. Everyone was told to bring any animal that would fit in their car to be blessed by the priests. The dog and cat owners were cute, but the kid with the fish just cracked me up! Then I went to the beach for a bit to clear my head before our evening- planned to include family dinner, spiritual gumbo and some board game fun! I met a few random strangers on the beach, watched a beautiful sunset and took off for home. We had a great team dinner and then dove into the bible study/discussion on faith that I have come to call spiritual gumbo- because you never know what will come out of that pot! We each take a turn hosting the evening, so it stays fresh. Tonight I hosted and we had a lively discussion about faithfulness. I can't begin to tell you all how brilliant, talented and funny the team is and how glad I am to have them in this adventure. We closed with a pathetic game of Trivial Pursuit- which may never be played in this house again. Unless we can get those blessed animals in on the game. They may actually be able to answer some of the questions. Wait, I thought I said my teammates were brilliant?

Oh well. It's late. I'm beat. Too much football. I love football. But maybe not every day. I love my housemates. I love the animals. I love all of you. And I miss you. Miss you like mad. But I am doing well, feeling strong and ready to work. This is going to be a good week.
All my love,

PS- I ate zero casseroles this weekend. No, wait. I heated up casserole left-overs for lunch on Saturday. Gotta love those Presbyterian women and all of their casseroles!

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