Intellectual sloth

MontanaSam turns 30We went up in the mountains this weekend to celebrate non-brother-Sam’s birthday. A really lovely, much-needed time away with dear friends.

We also sit around and talk about Paris and Beirut and ISIS and the elections and fear and realize: We have no theoretical solutions. We are at a loss. (To solve the human condition?)

In light of this, Paul gave a helluva sermon yesterday, All Is Forgiven, which I recommend heartily. He speaks about the deeply, undeniably offensive nature of Christianity.

“Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.” — William F. Buckley

Waiting for @jacktarpey's visit... #pyrrhagramPyrrha doesn’t care about any of this. She just wants to know who put her on a diet.

Outdoor summer

Visiting Andrew and Tara at "Montana"
“Montana,” with Tara and Andrew.

Friday night, we trekked out to “Montana”–the Hill’s cabin in Waynesboro–to have a peaceful, happy dinner with Andrew and Tara. (Well, mostly happy. We were all a little sad that Baby Leah wasn’t there.) Tara made heirloom tomato soup. We talked about creationism and mommy culture on Facebook. Pyrrha found a baby snake under my shoe. We laughed. We were loath to leave.

I mean, look at this place.

Visiting Andrew and Tara at "Montana"
Soy fields at “Montana.”

The following day, we took Pyr on a little hike through Pen Park.

Pen Park visit
Pyrrha and Guion at Pen Park.

While on our way back down, we had a thrilling wildlife encounter. Pyrrha and the doe (featured below) squared off with each other for a solid three minutes–neither one blinking, twitching, breathing. Guion and I were getting bored. “OK, which one of you is going to make a move?”

Deer!
Pyrrha vs. Doe.

Finally, the doe flicked her ear. And took off. And so did Pyrrha. And so did Guion.

Pyr may have frantically lost this hunt, but the encounter at least whetted her appetite for big, wild creatures.

“Did you see that?” Guion said, walking back to me with Pyrrha in tow, breathless. “She acted like a DOG!”

It’s always something we celebrate around here.

In other news, I am thrilled by the prospect of two weekends in a row in which we do not have any travel, weddings, or house guests. This is something of a summer miracle. I have been doing lots of chores, taking the shepherd on lots of walks, and reading lots of novels and letters. Saturday, I even took a NAP–something I haven’t done in many years. It felt profligate.

How have you been spending your summer?