The summer was a whirlwind and we are looking forward to settling in to a more leisurely fall schedule. Often in the summer Michael would be at work from 7 AM through 10 PM. He usually had longer break on Friday, but then Saturdays consisted of a 9 hour drive only to start back to work on Sunday. The kids and I got to see a lot of new places and we really enjoyed the summer. Michael got to enjoy moments of it, but really, he put in a lot of hours doing ministry and music and all the tasks that go along with it.
Throughout the summer, Michael often played for worship or to provide a backdrop for prayer. This lends itself to using very familiar songs so that people can easily participate without having to shift focus away from prayer to learn new lyrics. At parish concerts he is able to play more of his original music (while still creating some great moments for prayer and ministry). Michael is excited to get to play some of his own songs again! He even has some time between concerts that he can devote to writing new songs.
We are looking forward to these changes, but are also aware that some new challenges will be thrown into the mix. We will have more travel days and more changes of location - which means more hitching and unhitching, more cleaning and stowing goods. We will have more private time, but we will be "on our own" more - which means more cooking in the Airstream. The girls will balance homeschooling with travel days and embracing the opportunities in the city that we are in. I was unsure how everything would balance out, but hoping for the best.
The first week was easy as pie! Michael played a parish concert and weekend Masses at in Greenwood, IN. They set us up right next to the school playground. If the kids got bored of that, the city park and playground was right up the hill. The parish was totally welcoming and one of the members had retired from an RV shop. He looked over our Airstream and gave us a giant outdoor rug and a few new hoses.
From there we settled in at a State Park near Cleveland. With that base-camp, the kids were easily able to complete their school work and then enjoy time outdoors. Michael could catch up on computer work and spend some time writing music. We also met up again with Greg Wasinski. Michael recorded an interview for his podcast and they did some praying and planning for their series of Advent Missions
The big score of the week was a new RV refrigerator. We hesitated to spend $1,800 on the special 2-way propane or electric fridge. When we drove through Cleveland, we were able to find what we needed on Craigslist for under $200 in new, unused condition! It was a near-perfect fit and Michael was able to install it right in our campground.
I think I can get used to this schedule. Productivity balanced with ministry balanced with leisure. Hopefully we can keep up the precedent.