Tuesday, 20 February 2001
Where is this month going? Where ever it is going, it is going quickly. I got the comps for my house yesterday. Who knows how much I'm going to be able to get for it -- hopefully a good amount, but it looks like not much considering how long I've lived here. I've only lived here for three years. The value has risen, but not by that much. My tenant is very interested in a land contract, but everyone says to be very, very careful about that. After three years (or how ever long the contract is for) I could end up with a trashed house. That wouldn't be good, of course. Maybe my tenant would want to work something out, who knows. I would rather, frankly, not be bothered with it. Just too much going on right now.

My brother came down on Saturday. He was craving a good hamburger and a beer, so we grabbed a couple (no beer for me!). Then we went to see Crouching Tiger. Very, very visual film. Wonderful cinematography! I was surprised by how popular this film seems to be considering it has English subtitles. My brother didn't know that going into the film and I wondered how many others where surprised when they realized the subtitles in the beginning were not just for effect. I was have expecting a collective groan, but no. I really want to see it again.

We also talked a little about my sister-in-law's and his relationship. He said one thing he realized while being out of the house for three days, was that he does want the feelings for my S.I.L. to return, which is certainly progress! I don't know whether he means he just wants the feelings or whether he wants to make it work. The two can be the same, but they can also be very different things.

My parents have been down in Kentucky at my grandmother's house. They have been sifting through all her and my grandfather's belongings. She died this past summer. It is very hard on my dad (it was his mother). I feel for them. Don't know what I can say, but I do feel for them. WIth her death and the selling of that house, the only place in my life that has been there ever since I can remember, my connection to that place, that culture, will be no more. That saddens me. It is a different place in Appalachia -- bad in some ways but good in so many others. I can vividly remember the smell of coal that permeated everything. It wasn't an over powering smell by any means, subtle most of the time. It was just there in the background like the roar of coal trucks or the passing of a slow moving trains laden with heaps of coal. No much mining going on there right now. The slow drawl of the kids. The incredible beauty of the mountains in summer. The long, thick icicles clinging to the rock outcroppings of the mountain side. People and relatives that would do anything for you. Nehi grape soda, Ma Browns Apple Butter, the little store down the road. My grandparent's house with its cement block wall out front, Papa tree in the side yard, stream in the back. Dogwood trees blooming all over the mountains in the spring. One addition after another onto their small but growing house. Summers spent playing in the yard. A vision of my grandfather coming home from the mines on evening, covered with black coal dust with only the skin around his eyes without the black grit. Hard hat with the lantern on top still on his head and the black lunch box in one hand. Driving down a howler (how do you spell that?) and coming upon a group of men on the front patch of lawn playing a banjo, a bass (a real one), a guitar, a fiddle. Knowing that people took family very seriously and if you crossed one, you crossed them all. Potato candy. Very winding mountain roads shared by huge, speeding coal trucks, mountain on one side and very long cliff on the other. The interstate has pretty much ruined that experience through that part of the mountain. My great-grandparents. both my grandfathers, my grandmother, and some day my maternal grandmother, and parents will all be in the local cemetery. They will all be in one place. I have no idea where I will be. Part of me wants to be there, too. I've never lived there (accept my first year of life when my dad finished college), yet that is where my family is and that is where my families people are from. Where else is home for me? Vermilion is where I grew up, but I haven't been there for so long and who would venture to Vermilion for the sole purpose of seeing a grave sight? Who knows? Life is full of mysteries and surprises! That's the good thing about life -- never boring.

I am feeling much better about seminary and what follows. Actually, I feel great about seminary, it is what follows that has me nervous. Wondering where I'm going to be placed; wondering what I am going to be doing; wondering what I am going to have to endure is weighing on me. I know it is not going to be easy, especially if I am placed in a smaller town where the whole idea of having a gay priest/minister/pastor will generate a great deal of opposition. I'm not the type to broadcast my personal life and I am not a posterboy by any stretch of the imagination, but the tremendous controversy going on inside the Anglican Communion right now over this very issue doesn't even compare to the possible issued I may have to deal with on a local level. But, I am getting more excited about it all. The time will be upon me in no time!!!

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