Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Found, on Folly

I flew to Folly this past weekend.

My sister lives there. Her name is Jennie. She is eight years younger than me. I have always thought she was mine. Have practically "raised" her as one of my own. (No offense to our Mum.)

We don't see each other nearly enough, but when we finally catch up, we make up for lost time.

She has the sweetest little boy, that I call "Charlie Brown". He used to have one little tuft of hair when he was littler, and it just sort of stuck in my head.

He calls me "Snoopy".

I love it.

Last time I was in Folly was during my boys' spring break.

Jennie was planning Charlie Brown's 4th birthday party. It was like a hurricane of activity. I was having my last spring break of homeschooling my kids. We both were worn out, on opposite ends of the spectrum.

We met somewhere in the middle, out on her back deck, with our elbows on the table, sipping on a couple of bottles of wine between us. Every now and then she lit a cigarette, which did a little waltz with the fireflies, as she punctuated syllables and such.

We talked as deep as the red wine. We always do. That's one of the lovely things about red wine. And my sister.

She dove deeper and came up for air, asking me to baptize her.

I'm not even kidding that when she asked me to baptize her this song wafted up from the basement, where the boys were watching, O Brother, Where Art Thou:
"As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way !

O sisters let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O sisters let's go down,
Down in the river to pray.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good old way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way !"
Our elbows never made it off the table to pray in the river that night. Sometime around 3 a.m. our eyelids grew heavy like the sleepy South Carolina sky and we decided we better cork the bottle for the night and go to bed. A little too much communion followed by a 3 a.m. baptism is probably not the best liturgy.

Anyway, you know what they say about time flying. Well, it did. And before we knew it, spring was broken in, and it was time for the road trip home.

Jennie and I left things that we'd try and coordinate her summer visit with the summer student conference we do at my church where they have a beautiful baptismal service at the end of the week, when my Redheads and I could baptize her.

Before we knew it, it was the week of the conference was at hand. It didn't look like it was going to work out this time either. I figured it would work out when and the way it was supposed to work out. Jennie has always lived by this easy-going philosophy. That's one of her many charms. And if there's anything I've learned from my sister, not to mention, cancer and chemo, it is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. It's a lot more fun than trying to run the ride. And a lot less pressure, since I'd probably wreck the world if I was in control.

So it was the Sunday before the conference, and I was sitting in church, listening to our pastor, Dave Workman, talking about "going and making disciples, baptizing them...." He told a story about a guy who had recently emailed him about baptizing a couple of friends, in the pond behind our church. Do I even have to tell you that it was a middle of the night baptism? 3 a.m. to be more specific?

I got the message and sent my sister a text message asking her if there was any way she could come to Cincy on Friday for the baptism.

She called me back as I was walking out of church and told me she was just going to ask me to come to Charleston because the church she has been attending was going to do ocean baptisms on the following Sunday.

"Aha," thought I... Dave Workman did say "Go." So I flew to Folly Beach the following weekend to see my sister get baptized.

It was to be an early evening baptism service off Folly Beach. The church had gathered. They sang a few worship songs. The pastor read some passages on baptism. He introduced those about to be baptized. Then he pointed out the storm brewing behind us, and said we better get about "the Father's business" in a hurry because the sky was about to let loose. He headed off into the water. Here is a picture of my sister heading toward the water:
The MINUTE she stepped into the water, here is what happened:
My brother-in-law, Eric, and his live action coverage:
The life guards and the oncoming storm had us all scurrying in separate directions, toward shelter. When we found everyone, we found out they were going to have to reschedule the baptism for 2 weeks later.

I was seriously bummed.

Jennie asked me to baptize her. Again.

"Aha," thought I... Dave Workman did say "Go... baptizing them."

My hub, who had been following the whole thing through my text messages, called me. I think I had left him somewhere with Jennie walking down to the water, so he was understandably anxious to hear that she came up out of the water at some point. Anyway, he said if anybody has been a pastor to my sister, it's been me, so I should dunk her.

I also liked how Eric summed it all up, by saying that it couldn't be any more obvious that this was the way it was supposed to happen.

So we walked along the beach toward clearer skies, past the life guards' boundaries, and headed back into the water. Jennie's baptism, take II:
And here is the video of the baptism:
Did I mention that, in the end, the storm was all bark and no bite? It did look seriously ominous, I'm not gonna lie. But all we got hit with, was a wee bit of drizzle.

Here we are, my recently dunked sister, Charlie Brown, and me:

Eric, Charlie Brown, and my sister (also note the tiny speck of sunshine getting ready to burst through the clouds and make a clean slate of the sky):

After the dunking it was time to drip dry, so we went, soaking wet to a little beach bistro to celebrate. We had them uncork a bottle of red wine, which we thought paired well with irony.

And we all signed the cork, as a token of remembrance (Luke 15):

I'm so glad I flew to Folly this past weekend. What a crazy blessing that I got to go and baptize my own sister!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gazuntite, Germany... Here Comes Mikey!

God willing, our Mikey will be going on a YWAM mission trip this coming school year. The first leg of the trip is a 3 1/2 month discipleship/filmmaking training school in Germany. The second leg is a 10 week filmmaking outreach in a third world country, TBD. The final leg is a week of editing back in Germany.

For more info and to follow his adventures, check out his blog here.

If you happen to be in or around the Cincy area tonight, please come join us for a German wine tasting benefit at Little Sonoma Fine Wines from 7-10pm, officially kicking off Mikey's summer of gearing up for Germany.

Little Sonoma has graciously offered to host this event. They are located at 6078 West Chester Rd., in West Chester, OH 45069.They will be offering 2 flights of German wines: 3 Rieslings or 3 Reds, for $10 per flight. A round trip ticket (both flights) is $20. They will also feature a Riesling and a Red for purchase by the glass. Little Sonoma is graciously pouring at cost and are donating the profit from tickets sold to to benefit Mikey's mission trip. Also if you feel like doing some wine shopping that night, they will donate 10% per case sold to benefit Mikey's mission trip.

For those who don't feel like wining ;) Corner Bloc Coffee Shop of Cleves will be offering flights of 3 coffees for $5, as well as pouring cups, for $1 per cup. They are also graciously donating the profits to Mikey's mission trip.

There will be no cover charge, so feel free to come hang out and talk to Mikey about his trip, even if you don't feel like buying or flying. We will have some desserts/apps available for those who like to dine while they wine or caffeinate.

Mikey will be performing a few songs with Amanda and Matt. Yes, they will be singing the "Chemo Cocktail" or "Cancer is a Bitch" song they wrote for me.

Also performing will be special guests Amanda Evans, Logan Sand and Jenn Silver.

It will be an open house sort of thing so feel free to come and go as you please. The musical guests will each play 2 sets, which we will spread out over the evening so there will be 2 times to catch their acts. They will also have CDs available for sale at the event.

Auf wiedersehen and Gazuntite,
Dave and Julie Evans

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Brain is, and I quote, "OK"

This post comes to you from a place I've been recently: a place called Vertigo. (Cue U2)
Uno, dos, tres, 14? Well, yeah, that's how we count there. Anyway, cuatro would have been way to predictable. But I digress. And that's one of the things about Vertigo. They say your mind can wander there. It's true. Been there, done that. Bought the t-shirt. It looks like this:

If you print out this blog... then carefully cut around the preceding octagon... then fashion it into a top by taking a pencil (which, if you're anything like me, there is probably one conveniently stashed right behind your ear) and poking a hole in the middle of the well, for lack of a better term, spirally thing... then spin your top and just stare at it for hours on end... then you will have a glimpse of this place called Vertigo.

So I woke up a few weeks ago and the second I opened my eyes and I wondered if I wasn't in Kansas anymore. But then I remembered that I don't even have a dog named Toto. Still, the room was spinning around me and I couldn't make it stop for a minute or two. I felt like I was falling through the bed and I just braced myself to keep afloat in the waves of the blankets. It was actually quite scary. While I was in the Vortex of the Vertigo I could not get up to get out of bed to go find Dave eating his bowl of Kashi or one of the boys, still fast asleep. I don't usually talk to myself, but after the minute or two I tried once more to get ahold of myself and said quite firmly, "Steady!" And things did slow down a bit. I was eventually able to get off the merry-go-round I like to call my bed. I did rise. I did try to shine. But the dizzying light was not me shining. I hate to admit this, but I was then, and still have been having episodes, of feeling... DIZZY. And I'm not even blonde anymore! Go figure.

So I called my oncologist's office and had a chat with one of my fave nurses in the world, Brenda. And she told me Dr. Lower thought we oughta go ahead and do an MRI because of those "Damn Spots", not to mention, the "Vespa Incident". I thought that sounded reasonable and that I hadn't had any really serious photo shoots of my brain since Rome, so why not?

Then they send me the script for the MRI and I note the diagnosis:
I have to admit, the giddiness part was a wee bit offensive. I am GLEEful on a weekly basis. But seriously, GIDDY? Here is a pic I took showing just how shocked I was to see it it in writing, that I, yours truly, am for all medical intents and purposes, diagnosed, IN WRITING, as giddy:
Then I thought, why not embrace this giddiness. Now, as you know I have been doing fashion shows these days. So I thought, why not? Right here, right now. In my dressing room. And so here are the bootleg photos. Wardrobe provided by The Mary Jo Cropper Breast Cancer Center of Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati. And Adidas. Although I haven't received the royalty check for that product placement yet. I'm hoping the iPhone product placement will net me an iPad as soon as Apple reviews this photo shoot done entirely with just me and my iPhone. Imagine what I could've done with an iPad. It boggles the imagination. Anyway, no word on that yet, either. So without further ado, here is my "ta-da" pose:
I know the bared calf was risque, but you know how high fashion is these days. What's a supermodel to do, but flex it?

And here's the cord you pull when you get bored in the dressing room. Or if the nurses aren't paying enough attention to you.
I didn't really pull it because I didn't really get bored at my own fashion show. It has actually kinda revolutionized the fashion world and I really wish you could've been there.

Anyway, so you're probably wondering what was all the buzz about my brain? Well, the oncologist's office called back after all the publicity from my fashion show antics died down ever so slightly, and the nurse said that my MRI results were back and that my brain was, and I quote, "OK."

I said, OK, as in good?

She said, OK as in OK. No evidences of masses or hemorrhages.

The word I was looking for, and I don't know if she was avoiding the word, dodging the topic, or just withholding helpful information, was NORMAL. But I didn't press her any further.

I'm OK with OK. Normal was probably pushing it anyway. And really, it's overrated if you ask me.

So after the oncology nurse called to tell me my brain was OK, a dear old Texas bud called, and I told her the good, I mean, OK report. She's an emergency room nurse, so I try to sound all smart and medical when I talk to her, speak her language and such. Well, apparently this doesn't work so well for me when I have Vertigo. Either my tongue got tied, or that oncology nurse wasn't telling me something, but I told her that the MRI showed that I had no evidence of masses or hemmorhoids on my brain. Well that's a relief.

And on that note, the note of H, as in preparation, I must sign off and bid you adieu. The world of high fashion continues to call. Ciao dah-lings!