perfect weekend, almost

Just had a completely great weekend. Started, as weekends sometimes do, on Friday evening with a barbecue at the home of our friends Jill and James. There were quite a few of us there and it was a very pleasant evening, good food too. One of the nice things for me was that Toby went off to play with Steve and Laurie’s niece Sierra, who is almost five and was just great about looking after him. So it meant that Em and I could relax a bit over dinner and let him do his own thing, which he also seemed to enjoy.

Saturday included more lardiness – we went to the Black Forest Inn our friends from St Mark’s, Terry and Annelise – her parents actually own the place and it was nice that they came over to say hi. As the weather was perfect – not too warm, not too cold – we sat out in the courtyard, it was very mellow.

The afternoon saw us continuing with Project Napalm, which started ages ago when we realized we needed to rip everything out of the front garden which was a mess when we moved in. It’s really coming on now, I think we’ve pretty much taken care of the nasty shrubs and their roots, and we’ve started planting some things round the edge so we have something to show for it. It’s been quite heavy going sometimes, but Emma’s been great at keeping us on the path to success. For the central part of the garden we’ve decided to use weed-blocking fabric covered in gravel, and by a stroke of luck it turns out that our neighbors over the road are doing some landscaping work for someone in a couple of weeks who wants 21 tons of gravel removed from her yard. I’m sure we won’t need all that, but they’ve offered to drop it off at our place so that’s going to save us a fortune. I wish we’d taken photos before we started, but hopefully I’ll have some pics in a couple of weeks when we’re done.

On Sunday morning the Cathedral was packed, as we had a special guest – Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who was confirmed to his position in quite a media storm last year at the Episcopal General Convention here in Minneapolis. For those who don’t remember, the fuss is because he’s openly gay and in a committed relationship, and more conservative parts of our church threatened to split away, but as far as I know they haven’t yet. Anyway, he preached an excellent sermon and seemed to be a very nice man – I imagine he’s been through a lot in the last couple of years and there was a real strong peacefulness about him. I was actually standing next to him for most of the service – my place in the choirstalls means that I’m usually next to the priest – and it was good to shake his hand during the Peace.

So the “almost” part of the title to this post refers to our son’s behavior last night – he woke up at 3:30 am and didn’t get back to sleep till about 5:30 after lost of grief. No idea what was up with him and it was a huge pain to have such a lot of hassle, and a shame to be so wiped today after such a great relaxing weekend. But there we go, what can you do?

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