One of the on-going struggles of owning a humble, old house is the never ending need for repair and renovation. Each year Wendy and I have some major update that we’re doing. Last year it was residing the upper level. Before that we needed to replace most of the windows in the main floor. Before that it was the roof. You get the picture.
Over the past few years we’ve known that we need to deal with the water issues in our basement. So, this past Saturday we combined Project with Paddy’s Day. My faithful friends came over on Saturday morning and helped me tear out old paneling, a shower, a stool, and a set of shelves. We had to uncover the walls and make way for Midwest Basement Systems to come and waterproof everything.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun as we labored. In the evening, the guys returned with wives and little ones to enjoy some of Wendy’s homemade pizza and Guinness Cupcakes as we celebrated the wearin’ o’ the green.
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”John 2:9-10 (NLT)
Over the last several years, Wendy and I have come to love a nice glass of wine with our meals. We are no experts and we never will be. Still, it’s amazing how your nose and taste buds can begin to tell the differences in varieties, how they pair with what you are eating, and how they can change with time and conditions. It’s always fun when we run across a wine that is so good, we are both similarly struck by it.
Reading the account of Jesus turning water into wine in today’s chapter was interesting to read from the perspective of one who appreciates a nice vino. When Jesus tells the servants to take a dipper from the jar to the master of ceremonies he was following the same etiquette a good server will follow in a restaurant today by pouring the wine and letting the head of the party taste and approve before serving to the rest. The Master of Ceremonies knew his wine. He could tell the difference between a cheap everyday table wine and the good stuff. The wine that Jesus created was such a distinct contrast to what the party had been drinking and was so good that it moved the man to compliment the bridegroom on his choice.
I love that Jesus’ first public miracle was to provide the wine at a wedding reception. There’s nothing like a great wedding reception to celebrate the fullness of life and love. I love even more that the wine Jesus made was not a bottle of Three Buck Chuck but one that made the wedding guests sit up and take notice for its distinct quality. The wine Jesus made honored the host and esteemed him in the eyes of his guests.
The Creator makes good things on both the macro and micro levels. Along the journey I’ve come to appreciate that God pays attention to the details. Jesus said that He came to bring us life, and then He qualified that by adding the detail that He came to bring abundant life. How appropriate then, that He cared enough of to make sure that the wine He provided for the wedding reception was the good stuff.
Wendy and I are currently rehearsing for Union Street Players’ production of Night of January 16th penned by acclaimed author Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead). It’s a Law & Order-esque courtroom drama about a sensational New York City trial in the mid-1930s. A Donald Trump type business mogul with no scruples and many enemies is found dead. His secretary and jilted lover is accused of the murder. The fun thing about the play is that the jury is seated with 12 members of the audience and they decide the ending of the play with their verdict.
Because it is a courtroom drama, most of the characters in the play do not interact with one another on stage. So, to have a little fun the show’s director threw a party on Friday night. Each of us were to dress for the party as our characters might dress in today’s fashion. For the first hour or two of the party, we interacted with one another in character and mingled, trying to learn more about each other. After a while the director called us together to take a little quiz with prizes going to those who could identify certain facts about the most characters.
It was a fun evening. Wendy plays an exotic dancer and I play an Irish gangster and crime boss. We had a fun time hanging out and chatting with our fellow cast and crew members, both in character and as ourselves.
New Year’s Eve was Wendy’s and my 6th Wedding Anniversary! We enjoy being with friends on New Year’s Eve, so we actually celebrated our Anniversary the day before. We decided that we’d celebrate this year by checking out all the after Christmas sales, get a few new clothes, and then go out to eat. We had a great day together and did find some wonderful deals. Taylor was working at J. Crew and she told us that Clayton was meeting her after work for a date night, so we met them for coffee when she got off work and enjoyed some conversation. We ended our evening at the Latin King for a nice leisurely evening meal.
New Year’s Eve was spent at the Pella VL’s with a small group of friends. It was supposed to be a potluck of appetizers, but everyone brought enough food to feed an army. We had Wendy’s chicken fingers, meat and cheese platters, chips and queso, a few more meat and cheese platters, pita bread and hummus, and more meat and cheese platters. Then there was Wendy’s snicker doodle cupcakes and chocolate truffle cheesecake for dessert.
There was plenty of great conversation around the room and everyone enjoyed getting to meet baby Camille. She was the center of attention for a while. The VL boys got back from being with a babysitter and we got to enjoy seeing them before they headed to bed. I even got to read Casey at the Bat to Nathan. With the kids down, the adults retired to the family room to play a hilarious game of Quelf and laughed until it hurt.
By the time Wendy and I got back home, cleaned up a bit, and got to bed it was closer to my normal waking time than I care to admit. We were able to sleep in, however, and we enjoyed a very quiet day spent mostly on the couch Sunday.