September

3 09 2011

Over at RevGals’ they posted the following Friday Five:

Headquarters for me is the northeast of the United States. Here school is getting back in session, the tease of autumn is in the air (or the hope for the tease of autumn is in the air) and church life is gearing up to full throttle.

One thing I’ve learned with blogging and social media is that the where I live is not necessarily where you live. And so I want to know what September means to you, in your place of the world and time in your life.
This week’s Friday Five is:
What are 5 things that the beginning of September mean to you?

So here’s my Five September things:

*Mid-autumn Festival/Moon Festival. Coming up on September 12th is Moon Festival, Zhongqiu. All the shops are full of mooncakes – from Starbuck’s drinkable mooncake to Dairy Queen’s ice-cream mooncake through the traditional boxes of pastry stuffed with lotus seed paste, often with a salted duck egg yolk in the centre. Mostly for us this means trying to guess which of the beautiful peony-printed boxes will have the best mooncakes to give to Chinese friends and helpers!

The actual idea of eating mooncakes is lovely (though outside my gluten-free experience). Autumn festival is a time for family reunions and so the mooncakes are eaten together while admiring the full harvest moon. If it isn’t possible to be physically together, there is a sense of unity as all are gazing at the moon wherever they are!  (image from here)

*Congregation returns! Summer is ending and school is beginning so September means the congregation grows very rapidly from about 40 worshippers during the summer holidays back to 120 or so. New families arrive, Sunday School swings into action, the choir are back and will sing anthems and benedictions again, dinners for eight are around the corner… It is a whole new experience for southern hemisphere pastors but life gears up in September in Beijing.

*Visitor season. We have just said good-bye to friends who have been with us for two weeks enjoying Beijing. We have about ten days before our next visitor arrives. The weather is slightly cooler but still warm and its a great time to be out and about seeing the sights in Beijing.

*Health Stuff. For me, September also means gearing up to go back to New Zealand for a six-month check-up to see how treatment is working and to plan for the next six-months of treatment. It seems very odd to be planning a trip for three weeks time – this time I’m really hoping it will only be the 12 days that I’m booked to be in New Zealand and not an unexpected four months away.  I’m looking forward to x-rays, scans and spirometry showing good improvements and hoping that we can begin to taper off this high steroid dose.

*Father’s Day. In New Zealand the first Sunday in September is Father’s Day. So this is a Happy Father’s Day shout out to my wonderful stepdad Bill and to all fathers who parent with love, affection, steadiness and patience!

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One response

6 09 2011
Lilian Nattel

I hope you get good news on the health front!

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