purse purchases, coincidental comparisons

Before posting yesterday evening’s musings, a couple of notes on the relative silence of this page for several months. Reasons, not excuses: (1) The pace of life continued to pick up, both at home and at work. Non-essential activities were curtailed to focus on the really important stuff in front of our noses. And (2) I had a lot to journal about following Easter, and it’s not always easy to discern what’s fit – or interesting enough – for all audiences. Nor is there always time to figure it out (see 1). Last night’s notes are a case in point; you decide if it was worth the effort to move the bits.

Quote of the day, by A.J., after hearing that schools in Florida begin this week and in Illinois in two weeks, compared to his freedom until the day after Labor Day: “Isn’t it great that I live in Wisconsin!”


After the day’s accounting, which included cash, check and credit entries to cover most of a departmental birthday lunch, Dy moved into her new purse with some consulting by Arey. It felt “like a small suitcase” once filled and shouldered. No matter how the stuff was arranged, and despite a light purging, it proved somewhat of a stretch to accommodate the well-used DayTimer. Altoids end up in the external cell phone pocket.

I passed the traditional price guess, knowing it was bought at Goodwill. My rule of thumb is to estimate fair market value and divide by two – or four for Goodwill. Thus my $1.50 shot came in just below the actual $2. And it can be returned for credit if necessary. I didn’t account for the fact that it seemed unused.

While Dy was unloading the remains of Saturday’s garage sale and searching for a deal at Goodwill, I was at lunch learning about leather product purchases from the women of one of my departments. Somehow I ended up being the only guy not on vacation the day of this lunch. Over delicious stir fry at a new Flat Top Grill, I heard a local purse shop recommended (stock reasonably priced at $15) and tips for buying such goods south of the border (pinch the leather, show the dealer a lighter). The classy joint’s loud atmosphere lent itself to observation more than conversation, at least for me.

The commercial references above aren’t paid product placement. The only point is that Dy and I often feel strongly the cross-cultural adjustments to suburban life and in ministry based from a large (for us) office here with multiple subcultures. The chosen simplicities and sacrifices learned from years in the field and a season at camp – our form of what some call a wartime lifestyle – is challenged by various kinds of differences. Our commitment’s survival no longer seems to be at stake, but reaching far beyond numbers and attitudes stretches space to live and describe the glorious vision that graciously compels such radical commitment. Thankfully, we’re well aware that the disciplined life can look very different from disciple to disciple. The day’s confluences were just interesting enough to prompt questions that reflect and probe deeper realities – in a quieter setting. – j

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