Airstream Almanac – vol. 3 “the impact of a ‘low-history’ diet”

Airstream Almanac – vol. 3 “the impact of a ‘low-history’ diet”

Airstream Almanac – vol. 3 “the impact of a ‘low-history’ diet”

This volume of Airstream Almanac is being brought to you from the outer edge of Hurricane Harvey – a category 4 storm that is currently reeking havoc in Texas.

Our travel trailer model name is a “Flying Cloud.”  We’re hoping that’s not anything prophetic.

We’ve adjusted our travel plans – to stay longer in central Texas, instead of our original plans to head southeast for an upcoming family reunion; about 90% of our family is directly in the path of historic floods and an unsettling number of tornado warnings.

Writing this story is giving my “momma mind” and heart a place to linger – instead of marinating continuously in concerns about children and grandchildren too close to harm’s way.

My heart is peaceful; held close in the kindness of Airstream with America friends who are praying for God to bless Texas – including our family.

The music coming through the surround sound speakers from Pandora is like listening to a live broadcast of a surfer…we’re up enjoying a beautiful wave of clear internet…and now we’re down again.

The musical surfing doesn’t have to compete with any white noise from our air conditoner for a few days as the storm has lowered the 95+ degree Texas temperatures in August to a high of 71 today.

When it’s just windy, but not raining…we’re enjoying the Airstream windows open for the first time.  It’s a new kind of freedom; there’s a peace that comes from the wind.  At least when it’s not hurricane strength!

Friday we spent as much of the day outside as we could – realizing the next 3-4 days could be spent completely inside Freedom because of rain predictions.

We bought groceries; we bought as many groceries as fit in Freedom’s frig and freezer.

As I write this story, the smell of purple hull peas seasoned with jalapeño sausage fills our Flying Cloud.  We’re going to bake in our oven for the first time this afternoon – cornbread!

And we went to the Gillespie County Fair parade through downtown Fredericksburg.

Nostalgia at it’s finest.  

  • Local high school marching bands.  
  • Uniformed men.  
  • Men on horseback.  (This is Texas, remember?!)  
  • Drill team girls.  
  • Parade floats with the “Fair Queen” and her court – with small town perfected parade waves. 
  • More of the Fair Queen floats – from neighboring counties.  
  • A giant “Come and Take It” flag.  
  • A similarly sized Republican Party float.

The only thing missing was protesters.  

Oh yeah, there was not even any booing or heckling.

About a mile of Main Street America – created to be wide enough to turn an eight-oxen team -was all the space needed for handshakes, tubas and trombones, and celebrations of passions –  a few of which were clearly in contrast to current day political correctness.

The ideas permeating the air during this event were better than any good Texas barbecue – and as powerful as any shot heard round the world.

The reason you didn’t hear this shot is because these ideas – like natural gas – have no scent or sound of their own.

We flavor ideas with our words; I am honored to offer a “take a deep breath of freedom and peace” for your aromatic marinating pleasure in this Almanac post.

This beautiful scent blended with the sweet smell of hay and the lingering fragrance of manure at the livestock show of the Gillespie County Fair – the oldest county fair in America.

Doug and I were drawn like strong magnets 

  • to the father and son standing in the arena – showing a cow and calf pair.  
  • and to the small Aggie boots.  
  • and to the children playing with a plastic farm set – complete with fancy plastic horses – while dad sheered a show lamb nearby.

Family.  

Multi-generations.

Work.

Connection.

Prizes.

Loss.

Celebrations.

Consolations.

Oh wow – the deeply satisfying smell of abiding.  Not perfection.  Abiding.  

Abiding has a smell as comforting as the purple hull peas simmering in our crock pot.

Abiding happens in places vulnerable enough to be real – and to need help.  And to receive it.

Abiding is when the more mature hold hands with the still maturing.  

Abiding is more than side by side; it’s connection.  There is something that longs to be given – and that needs to be received.  

The hand off happens in love and trust rather than on the dotted line or on the now traditional sticker chart.

Because there’s love and trust – it’s safe to struggle.  Struggle is an expected part of growing up.  

The calm of the older one travels with permission through the mutual connection – as a vital ingredient in an old-fashioned wisdom recipe.

This calm lowers the blood pressure in the younger; it gives a healthy strength – required to persevere.

Perseverance produces maturity; maturity smells like belonging.  

“It’s good to be me here with you” – our working definition of JOY.

Performance doesn’t always offer this same aroma; perfection can have a nervous smell.

It’s has a pleasant whiff when the high fives and hand shakes are with the ones who’ve helped you win – and protected you from shame if you didn’t.

Performance stinks when it’s a required burnt offering; it smells like bondage.

We’re created to be workers – not performers.

The added artificial ingredient is most often fear; cortisol.  

Sometimes the artificial ingredient is hijacked dopamine.  You’ll know your efforts have been tainted with it if you struggle with any addictions.  

Maturity offers a hint – or sometimes a strong whiff – of tension, but not fear.  Tension is required for growth; there’s no growing up without real effort.

The fear that comes from the recipe for performance is a “two circle world” fear.  It comes from a world of “us” and “them.”

  • “I can’t. You can.”
  • “You belong.  I don’t.”
  • “I’m rejected.  You’re accepted.”
  • “I’m welcome when I get my stuff together.  You look like you already have your stuff together.”

Performance isn’t a purpose, it’s a result.  To perform means the work we’ve done offers something of real value to others.  

In a healthy world – most often, we celebrate heroes, rather than celebrities.

Abiding loses it’s fragrance when it’s selfish.

These invisible ideas – heroes or celebrities, love or fear, perform or work, abide or strive to belong – are most noticeable when they’re scented with our words.

And our willingness to live in a “one circle” world.

  • “You can’t?  Can I help?”
  • “I’m sorry you’ve had a bad day.  Can I take you out for ice-cream?”
  • “Not long ago, I struggled with that, too.  Can I tell you my story?”
  • “Your struggle is part of your journey; it’s not your identity.  Can I protect you from that shame?”

We learn this language in relationships of trust.  These conversations offer a way to reconnect.

Reconnection is recovery.

Reconnection acknowledges a struggle – maybe even a war.  But two circles are fading – and becoming a part of the memories.

One circle under God.  Not “us vs. them.”  Just us.

The parade reminded us; there is a way to acknowledge we’re different – and we all still belong.  There is a way of celebrating history, instead of denying it – or repeating it.

We can celebrate what is healing.

We take the “good fat” out of history when we hide from the beauty and wonder – and ongoing struggle – of restoration and reconciliation.  

A “low-history” diet can offer us the idea that pain has no balm – or that disconnection has no cure.

Oh wow – the deeply satisfying smell of abiding.  Not perfection.  Abiding.

Grace is the glue that best holds us together; grace is stronger than perfection.  

What if the family table was a safe place to connect – and reconnect?

What if home was a safe place to struggle – and grow up?  instead of perform to belong?

What if family meal time was the place we heard:

  • “You can’t?  Can I help?”
  • “I’m sorry you’ve had a bad day.  Can I take you out for ice-cream?”
  • “Not long ago, I struggled with that, too.  Can I tell you my story?”
  • “Your struggle is part of your journey; it’s not your identity.  Can I protect you from that shame?”

What if “at the table” in our homes offered the deeply satisfying aroma of belonging?

What if the mature ones weren’t scared of the imperfections in the still maturing ones?  

What if their highest priority was staying connected – and being a trusted source of strength?

If you’re a regular reader of the Airstream Almanac, you already know our dream is “rebuilding our great nation on conversation at a time.”

You already know we’re inviting families to make the table a safe place to be known – to be real, to be healed, and to dream.

Let us know if you’re joining us in this rebuilding effort.  We’re encouraged when we get comments and emails that “connection” is having an impact and influence for good in your family.

We offer these few guidelines:  

At the table, at least one night each week – 

  • with no social media and 
  • no shame. 

Follow these links if you’ve missed vol. 1 or vol. 2. of the Airstream Almanac.

If you’d like to know more about Janet Newberry and Company’s online class:

“connecting…and reconnecting – at home”

follow this link to the “How Can I Help?”  page.

Celebrating Freedom – and one circle, under God.

Connection is life.