5 Quick Things #297 🐶
dumbphones, school lunch, refuges, & imaginative history
Kyle and I just returned from our morning walk with Ginny, wherein we also laughed at her antics from this week. She’s gotten out several times and gone on Incredible Journey-style adventures — normally she’s an insanely obedient, stays-with-us-even-off-leash sort of family dog. But a few mornings ago, a neighbor called me early morning to let me know she had Ginny on her front porch (turns out I’d met this neighbor a few months ago at the local coffee shop — huzzah, small towns!); later that afternoon, the manager of said coffee shop brought Ginny back to our house (we live 200 steps away, front door to front door), saying she was just hanging out and making friends but figured all the same, she might like the reminder of where her home is.
Ginny only does this when one of us — usually me — is out of town. True to her farm dog herding proclivities, we think she’s trying to herd her sheep back through the gate. She leaves the pasture for an “all paws on deck” rescue mission, blissfully unaware that our temporary departure is entirely planned. The evening before her sunrise mission, she’d heard Tate’s voice on the phone, in which Ginny immediately began wagging her tail, cocking her head and twitching her ears, and later whimpering quietly to herself.
In short: We think Ginny has been crawling the neighborhood looking for Tate, oblivious to her new residency 1,000 miles away in her new college dorm. Poor, sweet canine… What a gal. ❤️🩹
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 🗃 From the Drink archives: Earlier this year I spoke with Autumn Kern about her switch to a dumbphone and how it’s affected her …well, everything.1 It was a great conversation. Give it a re-listen, or perhaps a how-did-I-miss-this? first-time play.
2. When your son says lunch was the best part of school today — I always appreciate Joshua Gibbs' perspective, and this short reminder adds to that opinion. It's a common response to the parental question, but perhaps there's more beneath that answer than we presume.
3. “‘No point hiding or retreating, AI is here to stay.’ ‘This is your life now, embrace the machine and all will be well!’ —Liars, the lot of them.” It’s all well and good to distance yourself from AI by touching grass, but most of us still need to put bread on the table, and technology remains the tool to do that. Where’s the solution on how to keep our world as real as possible?suggests we have to create Refuges of Authenticity. Yep.
4. Both my boys have recently told me that they find the study of history dull. I was shocked! I love history; it's my second-favorite subject after English (if we can divide these things cleanly, which we, in fact, cannot). On further inspection, it turns out my boys find certain ways of presenting history dull, not the subject matter itself. They actually love learning about history: the great and ordinary folks who made things happen, the why and how of important events. They love reading imaginative books, going to real places and traveling (field trips!), watching good movies, and getting outside. Could we stand to infuse more imagination in our kids' learning of history?says it's imperative. A good reminder for parents with kids in all sorts of learning environments.
5. And finally, I appreciated this reminder from Bishop Barron about keeping a healthy theology of work—work is good, work is ennobling, work makes us more human. Humans worked in the garden before the fall.
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📺
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“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”
- Wendell Berry
What do you consider yourself? 👶🧓
I've always found this to be a more interesting way to learn about age demographics, and like the last time I asked this (several years ago now, I believe), I'm delighted in the diversity of answers! Even though most of Commonplace's readership falls in line with my own age, I love that we've got readers and listeners on either side of that pie slice. Perhaps everyone, from the young to young-at-heart, longs to lean more into the timeless truths and beauty we're made for?
(That narrow slice represents ‘children of the 2010s,’ at one percent. Once more, I couldn't get that label to show, alas. I'm sure you children of the 2010s could figure it out for me...)
Find this week’s poll here.
Mark Your Calendar: Thursday, October 5 🗓
Fabled Bookshop, the beloved favorite bookstore in Waco, Texas, is kindly hosting an evening with me for a signing and Q&A to celebrate First Light & Eventide. We'll talk about gratitude habits and examen practices as a great way to bring in the fall holidays, and infusing small liturgical practices to our ordinary days to create meaning and order in our homes. Enjoy drinks and an evening among kindred spirits as we welcome autumn with a spirit of gratitude. It's a fantastic bookstore!
Bring your book club, your neighbors, your friends, your kids — it’s completely free!
Quick Links 🔗
🇬🇷 Join Me in Greece: June 20-30, 2024 (you won’t want to miss this)
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What three small things am I grateful for today?
Have a great weekend,
I learned of this show after asking for mystery series recs, and so far so good (though we’re only on season two). Next up: Foyle’s War! We watched the first episode because that’s all that’s available in front of a paywall, but we really liked it. …It’s been on my TBR list for a long time.
‘Tentatively’ because I adore this book, and Netflix is hit-or-miss (mostly miss) in its movie adaptations.