This time last year, Rebekah and I were happily touring Tuscany! So I think I'll include an image from the epic trip just to make myself feel better about mowing the yard today.
Visiting Andrew in his favorite part of the world was an amazing experience, and one of the top "Great Journeys with Rebekah and Derek" we've experienced thus far.
But we're certainly not in Italy today, and it's other people's turn to travel. This weekend my parents traveled to England for their summer visit, and Andrew flew from Bahrain to - guess where! - his home-away-from-home in Italy, to volunteer as a middle-school counselor for "Beach Week" with hundreds of American young people with parents living all over Europe.
Travel sounds fun but, at least for a while, Rebekah and I are happy to be spending a few weeks with some regular routine around home. So today that meant a long morning's yard work for me... and a day of sermon preparation for Rebekah.
It's amazing how my poor long-suffering lawnmower can give me one more effort, week after week. That's how we always start the mowing, with a short pep-talk. "Can you please, pretty-please, give me one more trip around the garden before I have to buy a new lawnmower?" And, sure enough, we limp back to the garage and hope to do it again.
The weeds are especially happy this time of the year. What with good rains every few days along with 98-degree temperatures they're growing like - well - weeds.
But this week, playing golf, I took a look at the house and garden from the 7th green. I noted how nice it looked. So today I took my camera up there. It turns out the view looks better when I'm actually playing golf, but here it is just the same.
And so, while I trudged around, pushing my lawnmower, I actually saw a different view in my mind's eye. I was looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, from the cliffs at Cinque Terre, trying to keep up with Andrew, who thought his parents were unreasonably slow.
Enjoy your ten days back in Tuscany, Andrew. We'll hold down the fort here in Florida. Meanwhile, my hiking boots are itching for the opportunity to get back on the trail.
Grace and Peace - DEREK