Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Your identity determines your activity, your activity does not determine your identity."

My identity should be in Christ and not in myself and definitely not in what I do. Well that is an incredible relief actually. I dont have to strive for that myself. And if I do choose to put that burden on myself anyway, then I am not showing Christ to those around me the way that I should.
I do not want to give in to the lie that focusing on myself will make me happier or that I should compete with other women to win the title of "beautiful" or that I must strive to maintain some "adequate" level of self confidence for the rest of my life. And I do not want to become a middle aged women who has overdone hair and makeup, is still upset about looking old and is overly concerned with trying to be some sexy trophy wife thing.
I want to be a peaceful spirited women filled with the Lord's contentment and joy and peace and pouring that into other people, centered in God' s grace and truly seeing myself as that beautiful woman that God made me, not worried about my external appearance or how "exciting" i am coming off as, or whether or not my husband thinks I am prettier than the chick passing us on the sidewalk. I am praying about this- i am far from attaining it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marmie from Little Women

"I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good; to be admired, loved, and respected; to have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married, and to lead useful, pleasant lives, with as little care and sorrow as God sees fit to send. To be loved and chosen by a good man is the best and sweetest thing which can happen to a woman, and I sincerely hope my girls may know this beautiful experience. It is natural to think of it, right to hope and wait for it, and wise to prepare for it, so that when the happy time comes, you may feel ready for the duties and worthy of the joy.
... not that they would marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing- and, when well-used, a noble thing- but I never want you to think it is the first prize to strive for. I'd rather see you poor men's wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, then queens on thrones, without self-respect or peace."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am reminded of myself

"I was born with an enormous need for an affection and a terrible need to give." -Audrey Hepburn

"I don't need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much appeal fully clothed, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain." -Audrey

If I were a person that photographers wanted to take pictures of, I would want it to be not because I exhibit stereotypical appeal, but because I exude joy.

Letter to Liz Gilson

"...We are doing good- drenched in Christmas spirit. Yes, we still LOVE our church oh my oh my we love it so much. These people are so genuinely loving and giving and Christ-seeking. God is good. I have been reading up on social justice lately- As in I'm reading like 4 books at once: "Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices" by Julie Clawson, "Investing for Change:Profit From Responsible Investment" by Landier and Nair, "Fields of the Fatherless" (concerning caring for orphans) by Tom Davis, "The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse" by Allender, and Isaiah, plus I'm keeping up with campaigns like Love146 and NotForSale and Joyful Heart Foundation and RAINN and Equal Exchange.com. I feel like I am in an intense and pivotal point in my life-journey and I am excited about it. I just hope that it doesnt fizzle out like lots of my spiritual spurts have in the past. God has placed in me a desire to love people- especially the broken and the oppressed. I just have to figure out how to do it and pray that the motivation doesn't wear off due to delayed action and that my new found humility doesn't get trampled by a new (and stupid) kind of pride."


Why would a company become more environmentally friendly or humanitarian?

Gallup polls revealed that 65% of Americans would like to see major corporations having less influence and only 18% of Americans have confidence in big business. I agree with the majority here- I do not trust many big corporations, which are too often driven by money-hunger, but I like them better than big government. I like how Julie Clawson, author of Everyday Justice, put it, "I don't oppose capitalism or necessarily think any other system would work better, but I find myself disturbed by economics without ethics."
One may deduce from the above statistics that Americans might demand more gov control over corporations, but that is not the case. Rather, as explained in the book, Investing for Change, the majority does not believe that "the government should further regulate business or industry" thus showing that "ppl don't view gov intervention as the way to make large companies more responsible." I am glad for this too. It is up to the consumer/investor to harness the power of demand to influence companies rather than depend on further government regulation. Government regulation has often merely driven companies to other nations where sweatshops are legal and environmental codes are laxer, thus worsening the problems and removing the woes from consumers' eyes. By the consumer-driven change method, competitive businesses will be more inclined to adopt a more socially responsible approach whether they are based in America or elsewhere. We consumers just need to inform ourselves and put our purchasing power to work.

Useful resources for informing yourself: Everyday Justice by Julie Clawson, Not For Sale by David Batstone, Investing for Change by Landier and Nair, http://www.equalexchange.coop/ , http://free2work.org/home , http://notforsale895.corecommerce.com/cart.html

good songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsSUr7ChMPI&feature=player_embedded#! , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Yasgzjc0w , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5AkNqLuVgY

Monday, December 6, 2010

my fortune cookie says, "Happiness is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it." I like what Greg Matte said better, "Joy is not the absence of crisis, but the presence of Christ."

Friday, December 3, 2010

The grocery store found my journal.

It is officially winter now, but here is a journal entry from the once lost but now found fall journal. November 19:
I like rakes less than leaf littered lawns. Right now, my back yard is smothered in orange and the historic village in yellow. I often stare from the store porch and smile.
I like sunny days when the translucent yellow leaves glow overhead and turn the forests into light sources.
I like windy days when gusts send leaves stampeding down our village streets passed trees redder than stoplights. And when bigger gust wrench stragglers from their branches and create leaf blizzards!
Most of all, I like sunny windy days when an occasional gust scoops leaves up into a glowing yellow torrent, swirling them about in a 10ft tornado. I stopped to watch one today. When I crossed an old village street, the wind first tried to pick up my gown then launched 100s of unraked leaves into the air and danced with them. I watched then twirled too on my way to my station.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The expiration date on my milk carton

Back when Chris went to sea (thank the Lord that is over), I would get excited about his homecoming when my milk's expiration date was after his return date. Now, the expiration date on my milk reads Dec. 02, so I am getting excited about Christmas!

On that note, may I say that I am so pleased by the perfect placement of Christmas in our seasons. Just as the last lovely leaf falls and the seemingly unending gray sets in, the joy-bringing anticipation of Christmas comes to the rescue and distracts our spirits from the temptation to be dreary.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time Warp

I don't know if I have ever been quite so aware of time as I was yesterday, when we were leaving Boston. On 93 South, we came to the intersection: S to Providence, RI or N to Portsmouth, NH. A year ago, we would have turned N and it would not have occurred to me that I may someday do otherwise. But yesterday, when I watched the roads diverge as Chris veered right and the Portsmouth sign fell left, my brain spun into a time warp. The initial feeling was short of doleful, edging on longing, and closest to a deep yet simple awareness of time. Memories fired in my mind in quick succession then, as the familiar sign fell out of site, I blasted forward into curiousity, semi-nervousness and anticipation about the future. Which way will I turn 3 yrs from now, when we move again if we move again? Which way will I turn to go home from Nashville? Which way from Denver? Which way from New York?
Yesterday, we went to New York. Today, I am in New York. I am not worried.

Actionpacked 4 days

Thursday: Bell ringing at New York Stock Exchange. We met Navajo Wind Talkers and I got to walk around the floor while Chris joined the men on the bell platform. Later, we marched in the Veterans Day Parade down 5th Avenue. I was asked thrice if I was a reporter while I took notes in my cute peacoat. ha. After that, we went out for dinner and free drinks with a lot of uniformed men.

Friday: Turned 400 kids through the historic village. Whew! Then Chris and I went to a military gala, so I was excited about wearing a long pretty gown, getting my hair done, and standing next to handsome him in formal uniform. Chris gave a toast to New York City and did a really good job. Afterward, we changed into our pajamas in the car and downed some caffeine before driving directly from the gala to Boston, Mass. for the rugby match. Arrival time 2:45am.

Saturday: Chris played in Rugby match in Boston...lost :(. Ate dinner in Little Italy YUM! then went for famous cannolis and cappuccinos with a Bostonian friend. Spent the night in his 10-story warehouse-turned-apt. building. Nice view.

Sunday: Freshfruit and creme on Belgian waffles with a side of sunnyside ups and coffee! After the huge brkfst, we walked to Bunker Hill and toured the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides). Of course, we drove up and down Beacon Hill (my favorite place in America after Gruene Hall, TX) and scoped out Boston Common in its divine fall colorfulness. On the way home, we called up some friends in Connecticut and invited ourselves to eat dinner with them and meet their kittens, then surprised the Masalins (a family we love) before finishing our trip back to New York City. Home at 11:00pm.

How do I describe Boston? Were Boston a spoken sentence, it would be well articulated. Were it a written one, it would be in cursive.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A reason I like my job.

English Breakfast Tea in hand, I walk from the parlor of our 1890s house staff building, where my sewing colleagues sing English folk ballads in harmony, to the landing, where The Duke of Kent's Waltz (1830) streams from the blacksmith's office, then duck under a clothesline web on my way to the sewing room from which I fetch a handful of vintage buttons and return to my task of mending an 1860s gown.

Cider Donuts

Our history buff and battle reenacting friends, Annie and Jay took us to the Monmouth Battlefield in New Jersey where Washington and Howe clashed and stalemated in June 1778. "This hill is perfect for sledding," Jay told us at the top of the highest, steepest one from which you could see every other. Long shadows of leafless trees reached like skeleton hands over the convex ground hinting that the sledding season was soon to come. Our group hiked under their shadows and over the rolling hills of the battlefield where orchards and cornfields still grow beside 18th century houses. Jay stopped us periodically to enlighten us on facts of the battle: "Here, Washington discharged the obstinate Lee," "There, Molly Pitcher worked her famous cannon," "Down that hill galloped the British grenadiers- oh and Chris, your intimidatingly tall self would have been a brigadier."
After wondering the battlefield for an hour or so, we delighted in the marvel of cider donuts and well, cider from Battlefield Orchard before our Ruby Tuesday dinner and subsequent journey home.

Home=sleep. Chris and I were sleepy ppl- That morning, Chris worked the New York Marathon (morning=4am) while I helped with the hope-fillingly great orphan program launch at our church. Whew- what a day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

6:55AM. I went hiking in pajama pants and dress shoes.

I accidentally found a lakeside hiking trail when I got lost on my way home from our friend's apt, where Chris and I crashed after attending a military event aboard the Intrepid in Manhattan. (hence the dress shoes... and the pajamas).
Despite the weird looks some joggers gave me, I really enjoyed my hike! I walked across a stone bridge then alongside a still lake that reflected two tree covered hills. AKA the water was yellow and orange! One particular family of yell low trees looked like they had all caught a contagious cold and sneezed leaves everywhere. Yellow covered the path, the water and the rocks in between. I love autumn and I am lamenting its pending ending.

Oh and the Intrepid- that was quite interesting and fun. The staff turned the information desk into a bar and played Academy football footage on the wall while lieutenants and generals in service dress socialized on the deck of the famous aircraft carrier.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wouldn't it be terrible to work at a landfill? It is so much better to just pretend they're not there.

. . . please sense my sarcasm. We need to live in a way that takes care of the earth. (I live on Staten Island- (New York City's garbage dump until 1997. The landfill here can be seen from outer space).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I made apple pie by myself for the first time last week. I have made two since and they are dang ugly but boy do they taste good. :) I have also spiced cider and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin bread cupcakes tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

This weekend at the historic village, we celebrated Old Home Day:

blacksmithing, tinsmithing, carpentry, basket making, rope making, weaving, quilting, butter churning, cider pressing, bread baking in a historic brick oven, apple butter making, stewing (beef, veg, pumpkin), Indian weaponry making, dulcimer playing, hay jumping, historic game playing, historic building touring...

On week days I give tours the farm to elementary field trippers. The kids pick pumpkins, ride a hay wagon, dig, carry a yoke and buckets, beat a rug, scrub on a washboard, tour a farm house, learn about 19th centry equipment, (and chase chickens :P).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We drove to Western New Jersey where the October hills are covered with a patchwork quilt of heathered red, orange, yellow, and green fabrics. We wound down country roads between meadows and forests past goat farms and cider mills then stopped at an orchard to pick apples. After that, we hiked to a waterfall in tranquil Hacklebarney State Park. Lovely.

My Daddy's Devotional

A devotional that my dad wrote was published in The Upper Room devotional book this week. :) Here is the link:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Not To Buy


Many in my church are reading this book. I ordered it yesterday. In the meantime am looking through these websites. I do not want to be one of those Americans who unknowingly oppresses people elsewhere with my purchasing decisions. So I am trying to inform myself of "what not to buy" as well as how to help.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Strong Woman

The opening page of the book I am reading reads, "In loving memory of my mother whose strength always amazed me." When I read that dedication, I wrote a prayer, "Lord, make me that kind of a woman. Show me how. Make your strength my strength and keep me thankful, prayerful, and humble. Amen."

I was thinking later that the first step to becoming a strong woman is deciding that you are not the center of your universe. No, I do not mean "realizing," I mean "deciding."

"Strong women, may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Child Trafficking Issue:


Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis BY E.J. GRAFF | SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

"...The State Department was confident it had discovered systemic nationwide corruption in Vietnam -- a network of adoption that was profiting by paying for, defrauding, coercing, or even simply stealing Vietnamese children from their families to sell them to unsuspecting Americans. And yet, as these documents reveal, U.S. officials in Hanoi did not have the right tools to shut down the infant peddlers while allowing the truly needed adoptions to continue. Understanding how little the State Department and USCIS could do, despite how hard they tried, helps reveal what these U.S. government agencies need to respond more effectively in the current adoption hot spots, Nepal and Ethiopia -- and in whatever country might be struck by adoption profiteering next.

....In a cable from Jan. 8, 2008, Ambassador Michael Michalak wrote, "I am becoming increasingly concerned at the growing evidence of large-scale organized child buying in Vietnam ... a system under which unscrupulous orphanage directors and agency facilitators have turned infants into a commodity amidst rampant corruption ... Local officials are willing to create documents to cover 'discrepancies' in a case ... [T]he miraculous arrival of over 30 infant girls at Hanoi Center 1 within five months of the opening of that center for international adoptions is not an atypical trend in Vietnam. We have frequently seen that areas and orphanages not engaged in adoption only have older children and those with special needs. This is a clear illustration of the supply being created to meet demand."

I read an Upper Room Devo the other day...

(http://www.upperroom.org/devotional/) in which a British woman named Emma wrote, "Sin clouds my sense of God's nearness." The line could be easily skimmed over. In fact, I doubt Emma thought much of the wording of this particular sentence. When I read it, I realized that I have always subconsciously thought that "Sin makes God not near." But that is not true. God never leaves us or forsakes us; He is ever near. Our sin just hampers our ability to sense Him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I wrote a song.

Glory be to God above
May Your love and mercy overcome
On earth as it does in heaven.

Let our every deed proclaim Your name
And our hope for justice prove our faith
In You, the author and perfecter

You bring rest to the weary
You bring strength to the weak
You give peace to the restless
Inheritance to the meek

You call us, Holy Father,
To imitate your selflessness
To feed and comfort,
To pray and listen,
To give our time to the fatherless

To teach and mentor
To help and rescue
Devote our lives to your purposes

… ending:

You bring us hope when we are weary
And strength when we are weak
You give peace when we are restless
Inheritance for we are meek

We commit, Holy Father,
To respond to what you have done
To love the orphan
Forgive our debtor
For such is how you treated us

To feed and comfort
To help and rescue
For such is how you treated us

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Questions to ask ourselves:

Is it wanting nice clothes or is it wanting popularity and acceptance? Is it wanting popularity or is it wanting self-confidence? Is it wanting confidence or is it needing faith?

Is it wanting a car or is it wanting independence and control? Is it wanting independence or is it wanting to depend on something constant?

Is it wanting to be attractive or is it wanting a boy or girlfriend? Is it wanting a bf or gf or is it wanting attention? Is it wanting attention or is it wanting to feel worthy?

Is it working to be good at a skill or is it wanting recognition? Is it wanting recognition or is it building an identity?

Is it really about drugs and alcohol or is it about escape? Is it wanting to escape or is it searching for peace?

Is it wanting stuff or is it wanting satisfaction? Is it wanting satisfaction or is it longing for joy?

Put your faith in God because He is constant. You are worthy in his eyes and if you put your identity in Christ, you will be filled with peace and joy.

Below: This diagram's definition is just not true even though the world tries to convince us that it is. We were not created to be fulfilled by these things.


Rando comments on my blogo:

Comments of this sort appear on my blog posts quite regularly. I assume they are mass dispersed to various blogs, but why is it written in this manner? Perhaps they writer is trying to mask an advertisement a normal post... but the ad part of it is not very clear and it definitely doesn't incline me to look it up. Waste of the wierdo's time.

"Mature Excellent post, after reading several articles on the subject realized that everything did not look on the other hand, a post once very interested. So engrossed that I missed a football Interestingly, and cognitive, and will have something on this subject? Exl how old dupe! Classroom paper, by the way the author would like to offer yandeks.deneg chip set from the site, "Give the ruble." I would give, so to speak on the maintenance. Oh, thank you. very nice, so we would have done so Accidentally saw. Not expect."

Conversation with Mom


So I attended a women's Bible study group that meets every Monday morning- its pretty much a group for stay at home moms, so naturally they bring their kids. Chris asked me how it went and I acted it out for him:
"So how has your week been? Honey, share the ball. My week's been good Tim has been in Uganda and oh sweetie we'll read the book later. And I'm excited to hear about his trip with he gets home. Babe, give him a turn on the cart. I know you're hungry we'll eat lunch in a little while. What did you think of the sermon? Oh Knox don't touch that; play with this instead..." ha.

Mom's response:

That's funny and so true. Only women can multitask like that and keep up with a conversation -- a man wouldn't even try!
Your dad and I were playing golf with another couple one time. And you know how men are so picky about having complete quiet when they address the ball so it doesn't disturb their shot. And women couldn't care less about that. They can stand on the tee or the green and carry on a conversation while they are actually hitting the ball. I always thought that came from having kids with you all the time and having to think about more things at the same time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

pumpkins spiced lattes available Next Week.

2 feet from my face, a web of Stars of David stamp the soles of tennies propped up on a table at the other end of a girl in a Princeton t-shirt. We sit in a circle of rustic fabriced chairs in an eclectic Tudor-style coffee shop. Across the street, the University stands like a young fortress, the way that Cambridge may have looked in 1550. Classes start in 2 days and America's smartest freshman scurry around clueless and bumping into things.

Outside, summer is seasoned to taste with autumn. Sunflowers still decorate the median and apples grow alongside gourds at Terhun Orchard where patrons can clip their own flower bouquet, harvest pumpkins, and see a Christmas tree farm from afar. There, I felt like I was standing in three seasons at the same time, so I waved goodbye to the flowers, shrugged at the conifers, and picked 12 apples. After I had selected from Gala, Jonathan, and Macintosh apples, I followed a gaggle of guinea hens, who looked like someone had smeared tooth paste on their faces, scurrying like clueless college freshman to the porch-register, where I was greeted by a dog, a duck, and a very long haired cat. $5.

The orchard sells cider, but Starbucks does not yet sell Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Therefore, it is not fall quite yet, so I didn't buy a gourd.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New gets old and interesting becomes normal. If you run from that fact then change just becomes routine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I closed my eyes for the purpose of optimizing my sensory experience three times today.

First at 4:00, after I left the walled garden and sat on the green grass of the allee facing the Georgian-style Phipps mansion, I tilted my head back like a sun-hungry flower and closed my eyes to better feel the wind as it swirled my hair upward and rolled up my neck and face urging me to breathe one of the purest breaths I have ever taken.

Second at 6:30, when Chris and I walked hand-in-hand from the lapping waves across the expanse of white sand, I closed my eyes and relied on him to guide me so that I could better focus on the fine sand that molded to my bare feet with every step and the sound of the ocean.

Third at 8:40, I closed my eyes as the spoon approached my face so that I might savor the taste of hot fudge and caramel on an ice cream-topped brownie in our oak dinning booth... at TGI Fridays.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Union Square Park: Farmers Market

Amongst stone and steel, we approach a patch of green. A network of herb-topped tables across from mazes of “summer annuals.” Between the networks and mazes, bustles a classy throng. Girls in the dying fashion of long blouses over tights and ballet shoes sniff flowers. A granola couple in dreadlocks under worn bandanas walks with armfuls of herbs. Amongst them, double strollers and Yankees t-shirts buzz from vender to vender.
I step up to an organic honey vender complete with honey bees. A sign leaning against the glass jars reads, “We didn’t bring the bees.” The jar lids read, “Summer Flowers, Goldenrod, R, TF, S…” I had no idea there were different kinds of honey. The saleswoman hands me a drop of golden rod on a toothpick tip. That ranks among one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. But I dont want to lug an 8 oz. glass jar around the subways.
I walk on to a table of cider. “Directly from orchards in upstate New York,” says the woman as she pours me a dixie cup sample. This tastes like dry apple juice. “Thanks.”
My hand caresses a sheep skin as I pass the booth of dyed wool and roasting lamb then we pause for Chris' sake at a beef jerky stand for a sample of red peppered dried beef. Of course, I pretend like I am considering buying the product so that I feel a little less like a mooch.
After admiring the works of local artists, I buy a chilled lavender-apple tea from the members of an herb-garden commune. "Can you be replicated?" I ask my tea as I walk on toward The Strand's "18 miles of books."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dog Crate Analogy

Every day, when it is time for my puppy to go into her crate, I simply toss a treat into it. She follows the snack right in then I close the door. Once she finishes eating and realizes what has happened, she cries and rustles around unhappily. EVERY DAY. I take this to mean that either A) She has not figured out that after I toss treats in the crate, I will close her in or B) Momentary satisfaction is more important to her than consequences.

Are humans not like this too? People repeatedly make the same mistakes and are lured into a crate (habit, lifestyle, or addiction) of sin that traps them. Either A) people haven't figured out that the first step to a sinful habit is the decision to commit the first act or B)we are blinded by momentary satisfaction and do not stop to look at consequences it might bring.

Fortunately, we have a forgiving God who has sent A) Jesus to loose our bonds to sin and smash our shackles and B) the Spirit as a helper to help us not to go on sinning.

1 Corinthians 10:13
James 4:7

Romans 6:15-18
"Don't you know you are slaves to the one whom you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed... you have been set free from sin..."

Friday, July 2, 2010

My New Job

Last night, I looked up from carving the leftovers of the chicken I had roasted for dinner while listening to my JJ Heller station on Pandora.com after coming home from my first full day of work and smiled. The chicken turned out really good; I am so excited to have a job in general; and I really like the job that I have.
I spent most of the day hanging out with three women in an 1820s kitchen. We made strawberry rhubarb pie in a dutch over (we set it on top of hot embers by the hearth and heaped more embers on top of it) and we roasted two chicken breasts in a tin reflector oven while sipping tea and honey that we strained through our handpicked mint and nibbling on brick-oven wheat bread and home-churned butter. All while dressed in 1820s garb. Two women worked a spinning wheel from one corner while the other did the baking. I was just learning for the day, so I tasted things and asked questions and watched the Canadian geese and goslings waddle around the lawn outside.

On the premises, we have a blacksmith, a tinsmith, a cooper, a basket maker, a printing shop, a tavern, an old courthouse, a church, a general store, um... candle-making, book-binding, old school laundry washing equipment... things of that nature. The place holds fairs and festivals, English Country dances, irish musician concerts, October pumpkin picking from our own patch and all sorts of fun fun things like that.
One days that visitors tour themselves, I'll be posted in the general store, but most of the time, I will be a tour guide and walk around with groups.

Monday, May 17, 2010

midday jamboree

From my favorite bay window of my favorite coffee shop, I noticed a jamboree hoppin in the long shadow of Market Square's church. Four motley men strummed, plucked, and tapped facing a horseshoe of bouncing spectators. I rushed to join.

The group made a sort of raspy sound. They sounded like a cross between The Decemberists and a Grand Old Opry regular. Their music reverberated and clanged and their voices sounded like minor chord, harmonized, yodels. From left to right:

The washboard and cowbell player was the only musician wearing jeans and a cotton t-shirt.

The banjo player beside him had a thick red beard that stuck out further than his nose. He was dressed as an Appalachian lumberjack in his red plaid shirt, high-water corduroys, and suspenders. His poor banjo was peeling and torn.

The singer-bass player wore bomber hat. His voice rattled and his head shook when his volume grew.

The accordian player was my favorite. A hat that may have belonged to Charlie Chaplin (as in that old) with a Yankeedoodle's feather in it, a black vest with a few brass pins and what other than silver spoons attached by diaper pins on his breast. He wore a pink pinstripe shirt under that and his pants rolled up to his calves to show his shiny, tapping, businessmen shoes.