Friday, March 15, 2013

Rites of spring

The outside is calling so this post will also appear in The Valley Times-News next week.
 Sorry.  I know that you love to read my stuff twice and I appreciate it. 
peace from the Hooch.

Rites of Spring--or the tangled adventures of Hooch living

Birds are singing in the dark even though it’s 7:30 AM here on the Hooch. I’m loving the light at the end of the work day, and I’m an early bird too so the dark is ok with me.   God did a great job with the weather last weekend and I hope He has another fabulous one up his sleeve this weekend.  Ventured into my flower bed in the back last Saturday; I only go there during this time of year.  It’s my jungle spot… filled with two kinds of vines, ferns, and hyacinths—go figure—none of those planted by me.  In 12.5 years of residency I have not managed to tame it.  There is one precious vine, so innocent looking, I think it’s a creeping fig for those of you who know your vines.  This sweet thing would choke us in our bed, left to its own devices.  Loves to creep it’s little figgy self into the siding and run up my gutter.  One beautiful, charming piece is very close to my 2nd story bathroom window—right outside our bedroom.  Could be curtains for it today and not the ones on my bathroom window.  It’s on the opposite side of the house from the Hooch jungle bed.  I still have an entire section of house to de-fig today.  Me and Aleve are best friends this time of year.  Wish me luck.
Elizabeth Smart held captive ten years ago is going to speak in Columbus on April 9th.  You know her, she is that beautiful little girl taken from her parents’ home during the night.  She is a now a beautiful young woman, and advocate for children, who has a wonderful story of courage and redemption.  Tickets are available in our Columbus Pastoral Institute office at 1-800-649-6446, just ask for Brandy.  The proceeds from this event will help fund counseling services in the homeless shelters in Columbus.  You will also get a fabulous meal.  You can also go to for tickets.
Noon luncheon Lenten services during Holy Week begin on March 25 at local United Methodist Churches.  We love having all of our brothers and sisters who are hungry for The Word and food join us.  All of the preachers know you’ve gotta prayer, sing, listen , eat, and get back to work or your other daily tasks so it’s just for 1 hour-- tops.  The schedule is Monday: West Point UMC, Tuesday: Hopewell UMC; Wednesday: Goodsell UMC, Thursday: Huguley UMC and Friday: Langdale UMC.  If you have just been waiting for an opportunity to visit Shawmut UMC we will have communion on Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 6PM.  Good Friday service at 6PM, Easter Sunday sunrise at 7 with breakfast and an 11 for all of you who will be hunting eggs and your snooze alarm until then.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate God’s presence and redemption than joining together with others in our community to sing, pray and eat!  Hope you will come.
Time to go outside and sing with the birds.  They’ve gotten the sun up so I’ll be able to see that creeping little vine.  Peace to all of you from my beautiful spot on my river.
Karen Erwin-Brown is the director of the Valley office of the Pastoral Institute.  She provides individual, marriage, and family counseling. Call 334-768-2341 for an appointment or more information. Visit her blog at for more river musings.

A Hooch view from my bank. 

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