The One with the “World’s Largest Rummage Sale”

You may remember my love of garage sales
Rummage sales. 
Yard sales. 
Consignment shops. 
Anything second hand?
I’m all about it. 
Well, the largest church in our conference hosts the world’s most gigantic rummage sale every July. 
I’ve looked forward to it every since I had my first taste of it’s amazingness in 2005. 
This is a garage sale guru’s heaven. 
Prices are super low. 
Inventory is categorized, mapped out, and sorted beautifully. 
And get this–
all of the proceeds go directly to world missions!
So you can’t even feel guilty about spending money because it’s going to one of the most noble causes. 
All the way back in May, I had requested off Thursday, July 29th. 
I needed the day, people.
This sale is not for the faint of heart. 
I arrived a few minutes before the doors opened at 9am, 
and the parking lot was already filled to capacity. 
With the rush of shoppers, I headed into the book room. 
The book lover’s gold mine. 
All books were 75 cents and after about a half hour, I had a box full of 17 books totaling $12.75–the cost of one inexpensive book at retail cost. 
I found another copy of Tolkein’s The Silmarillion and The Hobbit
(I was really really hoping for the Lord of the Rings trilogy as ours in literally broken apart at the binding.)
C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra.
Karen Kingsbury’s Like Dandelion Dust
(which, I hear, is being made into a movie.)
I overheard someone asking about her books and the lady said, “I know there’s one over here.”
And I said, “I think I have it!” 
*sly grin*
I picked up two Bibles–one a devotional Bible for couples and one with notes by Max Lucado. 
(Bibles for $0.75?! I mean, really?)
I found a couple of Bronte classics, 
and a collection of the Browning Poetry.
(Kevin doesn’t know Elizabeth Barret or Robert Browning.
What in the?!)
Today, I went back for more. 
Mostly because I knew more books and merchandise would have surfaced and prices would be even lower. 
Sure enough books were just a quarter today! 
I found 7 more!
Devotionals by Billy Graham and Corrie Ten Boom. 
The Swiss Family Robinson. 
(I loved that movie as a kid!)

Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis 
(Heard it was great. No idea what it’s about. 

But I really love Bell’s stuff.)
More success. Excellent. 
I also managed to procure about 4 sweaters, some blouses, a jean jacket, a fall trench coat, and a pair of black slacks for me; 
a dress shirt and 4 awesome ties plus 2 great polos for Kevin;
AND four pairs of amazing shoes (nearly new, perfect fit, irresistibly adorable) and 4 purses/bags (once again: nearly new, perfect fit, irresistibly adorable).
I kind of have a purse fetish. 
But I figure it’s not a terrible thing when I get them all for under a dollar. 
And realizing I can buy 30 purses for the cost of one in the department stores?
I’ll take it! 
I finally own an apron!  
It’s red–perfect match for Stan the KitchenAid MixerWilton Angled Spatula 8″
I snagged an offset (frosting) spatula–Wilton Brand, 
a couple beautiful tumbler glasses*, 
and a mug and a couple random miscellaneous items for my husband who loves random miscellaneous items.

*By the way, we’ve decided to become those people with the awesome mismatched collection of glassware.
I mean, what fun is having all of the same glasses.
“They” say you can mix and match your table settings.
So I say that goes for glasses.
And besides, my husband has some crazy obsession with cool glasses.
Really.
Every time we’re anywhere and he sees a new drinking glass, he wants it.
It’s hilarious and awesome at the same time. 

When I went back for me this morning, I detoured at a friend’s yard sale. 
She had some fantastic clothing items–but after seeing the church’s really super cheap prices, hers seemed steep. 
I did manage to get a brand new Spring Arbor sweatshirt and three cute tops for $7. 
I’ll call that a win. 
Especially after I spent $1.75 on 7 books. 
I love rummage sales, did you know that? 

The One that’s Out of Control

Have you read Crazy Love?
The book Francis Chan wrote to beat us over the heads with the fact that we should be overwhelmed by a relentless GOD. 
I read for the first time around Christmas and thought it was excellent. 
Now, months later, our church is gearing up to start a small group study centered around Crazy Love
I’m really excited about the possibilities of the changes God could do in the hearts of our people through this book. 
Kevin and I are going to be leading a young adults group, 
and possibly taking our teens through it as well. 
To prepare, I’ve decided to read the book over again. 
Luckily this is the type of book that needs to be read. 
Repeatedly. 
As I got to the second chapter, the concepts starting hitting home. 
A little too close to home. 
Know what I mean?
“Justified Stress” was the title of the section. 
Oh, great. 
Just what I need to hear. 
How terrible it is to be stressed and 99 ways to combat it. 
Turns out, Chan’s words were exactly what I needed to hear.
Sure, it was a little (or rather large) kick in the pants. 
But it was necessary. 
I’ve been so overwhelmed lately. 
So stressed. 
Feeling so out of control.
Worry worry worry. 
Chan’s definitions of worry and stress are shockingly accurate. 
Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. 

Stress says taht the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others (who, me?!), or our tight grip of control.

I have known that worry is a sin. 
In fact, it has always been my biggest area of sin. 
Do not worry about life“–yeah right. 
That was one command I didn’t foresee myself being able to obey. 
But what I hadn’t considered before was the devastating, embarrassing truth that worry isn’t the only sin I’m committing. 
I am being totally and completely selfish. 
As if, by some twist in the rules, I have “the right to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities.” 
And not just that, but worry is an outright proclamation that I have forgotten about God. 
Yes. 
You read that right.
Forgotten about GOD.
Who do think I am? 
Thinking “it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff (it’s just stuff) in my life is somehow exceptional
Both worry and stress reek of arrogance
They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.”(p42)
So, Mel, why don’t you just get over yourself and step aside. 
Allow God his rightful place in your life. 
In control. 
Yes, Melanie, that’s right. 
You don’t need to be in control.
*shiver*
It will be okay.
In fact, life will probably be even better than your wildest dreams if you stop trying to make your own measly plans succeed. 
God wants to use you to bring him glory.
And that can only be done under His direction–
thus ensuring, the outcome will be magnificent. 
Mel, the point of your life is bring Him glory–
whatever it is you are doing. 
Making dinner for your husband, 
texting your awesome teenagers, 
cleaning bathrooms, 
teaching piano, 
or even reading a book. 
“The point of your life is to point to Him.”
So, in case you forgot the whole point–
get over yourself.
Realize that, standing before the throne of God, the only thing that will matter is who I am in Christ and how I lived for Him–
hopefully, with reckless abandon to fulfill every ounce of His will for my life no matter how unknown or how worrisome the path.

The One where She Speaks Her Mind

I didn’t realize it until now, but apparently I resolved to live out loud.

As in, saying what I think. 
No. 
Don’t get the wrong idea. 
I’m not experimenting with rude remarks or hurtful comments. 
Although, I would have to admit those negative words may find their way from my thoughts to my lips. 
And I’m none to proud of those moments. 
What I am doing is being intentional about sharing the positive thoughts or thankfulness I feel toward an individual. 
It occurred to me that if I love hearing words of encouragement
(boy, do I ever!), 
then I’m assuming most people would be fed by such praise. 
So whenever I think, “I love that top she’s wearing” 
or “I really appreciated that helping hand” 
or “That meal was amazing”
or “I enjoyed the conversation we shared,”
I’m trying to share those thankful thoughts with the individuals who made me feel that way to begin with. 
It’s made me more aware of the abundant blessings in my life—
and they are many! 
So why shouldn’t we fill one another’s souls with encouragement?

The One with the Most Gorgeous Newlyweds

It’s been a wonderful few days of celebration.
Being a part of the festivities for one of my closest friend’s wedding was such a blessing.
The minister reminded me of that yesterday.
What a privilege it is to be included in the inner circle of a wedding.
Witness to the covenant.
Participants in the covenant, really–
charged with encouraging the marriage,
fortifying it,
keeping the couple accountable.
Those are high callings.
After work Thursday I hurried to transform myself from “camp worker” to “girls’ night out girl.”
Brooke’s sister, Bree, threw her a “Little Black Dress” bachelorette party, 
and I was honored to be invited. 
I was so thankful my office hours coincided and that,
20 minutes before leaving for Lansing,
Debbie let me borrow the most perfect Audrey Hepburn-esque little black dress. 
When I arrived for the party, the girls were passing out gorgeous strands of pearls as well as beautiful feathers and flower hair accents. 
We were really glamorous. 
(It was a nice change from sandy flip flops and tshirts, boy, was it ever.)
I met some of Brooke’s beautiful friends from high school who had traveled (literally) across the country for the festivities. 
We snapped a few photos, 
ate a few slices of cheese and some crackers,
and headed to PF Chang’s. 
Brooke was kind enough to ride along with me as I was not able to stay for the whole evening’s lineup of events. 
We had a wonderful conversation 
(despite the blinding rain),
and made it to the restaurant right on time. 
The hostess led the 12 of us to a private dining room 
and we spent the next 2 hours laughing, 
telling stories, 
sharing advice, 
and eating the most amazing food.
The waiter even brought us dessert on him!  
I had Friday off, (thanks to Debbie’s willingness to trade days with me!),
and we spent the first part of the day at the doctor’s–
discovering Kevin’s knee issues* were caused by a spider bite-turned-skin-infection. 
*six inch long area of redness on his inner thigh above the knee…
with a central area more red and inflamed than the rest…
tender to touch…
stiff, hard muscle tissue under the surface…
hot to the touch.
Thankful the (free of charge!) antibiotics have done their job!
At four pm I hit the road again, and warmed up my voice. 
Brooke had asked me to sing in her wedding.
Well, more specifically I would leading the congregation in a time of worship along with one of our mutual friends–who happens to be a worship pastor. 
The two of us never practiced a note together before we ran it at the rehearsal.
It wasn’t half bad. 
(Of course we stuck around afterwards and tightened the loose ends.)
I was invited to attend the rehearsal dinner, 
but Kevin had been ordered to rest his leg, 
so I really wanted to get home to him. 
I drove back to camp in MORE downpours resulting in limited (NO) visibility
and tromped into the camper dripping wet, 
and irritated that my cute heals were now soaked and filled with mud. 
Awesome.
Saturday dawned beautifully storm ridden for the wedding ceremony.
Surprisingly, the rains moved out of the area just before Kevin and I arrived at the chapel in the woods–
an hour before the service. 
Ephram and I warmed up together, 
I helped guys pin their boutonnières, 
we caught up on the lives of some college friends, 
joked about the length of the service being led by one of the most dramatic and winded men ever
(not to mention inspiring and filled with the Spirit),
and Brooke’s mother even pulled me into the girls’ dressing room to sneak a peak at the bride and bridesmaids.
I was so. honored.
Every minute of the weekend made me realize how blessed I am. 
The service went off without a hitch. 
Every moment was beautiful, sacred. 
The bride was stunningly beautiful.
Which, if you know how gorgeous Brooke is, you would understand. 
I even told Kevin, “Man, I felt quite beautiful today, but after seeing her looking like that, I feel like I look like a pile of dirt.”
No, I wasn’t putting myself down. 
That’s just how STUNNING Brooke was. 
Steve, her groom, surprised her with a song he had written for the occasion. 
It was so moving, so romantic, so heartfelt.  
The two of them never stopped glowing at any moment during the service. 
After showering the newlyweds with orange rose petals, 
Kevin and I headed to the reception. 
With time to spare we stopped at Starbucks
and read some Fellowship of the Ring
We arrived fashionably late to the hall and were invited to sit with some friends–new and old. 
We had such a refreshing time talking to the couples at our table.
There were hilarious stories and plenty of shared experiences.
And living with little interaction with people our age in our stage of life made the evening that much more enjoyable.
There was a photo booth 
(Kevin would love to explain to you how terrible I am at photo booths),
and amazing cake and chocolate cheesecake, 
delicious popcorn balls and chocolates, 
fun dancing, 
and an all around beautiful evening. 
Thank you, Brooke and Steve, for giving me the honor of participating in your ceremony.
Leading worship during your wedding was the greatest blessing for me.
And besides that, I thank you for your friendship,
your encouragement,
your loyalty,
your love.
As individuals and now as a united couple, we are blessed to call you friends.
Our love and prayers go with you as you embark on this beautiful journey of marriage. 

The One with the Rain

Observations. 
Will it ever stop raining? 
My little Escort is not meant to navigate eroded roads. 
Or flooded roads. 
I like being able to see when I’m driving. 
Is that too much to ask? 
People really need to drive a consistent speed in bad weather. 
Vacillating between 55 and 70 is really dangerous.
And even more annoying. 
Will it ever stop raining? 
I have the best coworkers. 
Sara, Debbie, you girls are amazing. 
I have loved my time with you this summer. 
I didn’t realize how much I missed sharing clothes. 
In college, everyone’s wardrobe is at your disposal. 
Used respectfully, of course.
Debbie offered two of her dresses for my weekend occassions. 
A girls’ “Little Black Dress” night out. 
And a wedding–in which I am singing. 
I loved both of the dresses.
And was thrilled with how perfectly they fit me. 
*squeal* 
In case you didn’t know this, Deb, I think you’re awesome. 
And I love you.
Not just for your dresses either. ;)
A night “in” was just what we needed.
Eating too much food. 
And snuggling on the couch. 
And watching too much How I Met Your Mother?
Ahhh.
Oh! And I musn’t forget the bathroom runs. 
In the torrential rains. 
Believe me, we considered our options carefully before venturing out. 
But in the end, there was no choice.
So we hugged each other close and shielded (most of) ourselves with the umbrella.
And then we went to sleep. 
Listening to the rain. 

The One with the Longer Distances

I thought I had avoided it. 
But of course NOT. 
Why in the world would I think everyone around me could be sick and not pass it on to me. 
Thanks, friends. 
Thanks, a lot. 
I’m congested. 
Sore, itchy throat. 
Dry, painful cough. 
Bloody noses (4 since yesterday) as a side effect. 
Achy, shaky. 
Exhausted. 
I know I’m sick because I don’t have an appetite. 
And I always have an appetite. 
But chewing just seems like too much work. 
I need to lay down and not get up for a long time. 
I’m just praying all of this subsides by Friday. 
Or Saturday at the latest. 
I’m supposed to sing in one of my best friend’s wedding. 
The state my body is in is not all that conducive to making beautiful music. 
Or even to feel up to going to her “night on the town” bachelorette party. 
Sad day, Mel. 
But this morning, when I wasn’t feeling so crappy, I had another running achievement.
I’ve been pushing myself since Friday. 
I realized it was about time I get over my thought process–
that I can only run 3 miles.
And that I’ll always have to stop halfway through. 
Now, I completely believe that running is a mental sport. 
If I tell myself, “Self, I’m going to run here and back and not stop.”
Then, gosh darn it, I achieve my goal.

But if I say, “Oh good, Self, the halfway point is in sight. Time for a break.”
Suddenly I can’t catch a breath and I feel like I’m about to die. 

Friday, one of my teens wanted to run with me. 
She made it about mile and then decided to head back.
Running with a partner made me realize how keeping my mind off of the negatives made the experience enjoyable. 
I added an extra half mile or so that day. 
No problem. 
The next day I was at Kevin’s parents’ house and I decided I needed to conquer the dirt road next to their home. 
This road is torturous. 
The entire stretch is hill after hill. 
It’s mountainous almost.   
Brian and I had run it together 3 years ago. 
In 30 minutes.
And almost died. 
But Saturday I decided I could tackle it.
I ran to the end and back in 24 minutes. 
TWENTY FOUR minutes, people. 
On Hilly McHillerson Rd. 
Wow. 
I was proud. 
That brings me to today. 
I had already tried out a new circular route on Monday and enjoyed it. 
So today I added a couple side streets to the route. 
Turns out I ran about 4 miles in under 34 minutes.
Not too shabby. 
I’m totally excited to be over my fear of longer distances
and more time running.
I’d like to work up to 6 miles. 
A 10K. 
I know I can handle it. 
And I’d like to get there by the time my days at camp run out. 
Think I can do it? 
I do!

The One with the Kitchen Shout Out

They say “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Either that or it just makes you really appreciate what you have. 
My kitchen, for instance. 
I’m really really really missing my kitchen. 
Who would have thought?
My faithful KitchenAid, Stan
My fridge overflowing with apples, 
and eggs, 
and milk,
and cilantro, 
and yogurt, 
and cheese, 
and all sorts of fresh veggies. 
My expansive countertops. 
My homemade cookies. 
My beautifully organized pantry of staples. 
My recipe binder.
My freshly baked bread.
My meals for my husband. 
My husband’s excitement over the meals. 
My Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. 
Especially since July is National Ice Cream Month! 
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Obviously I didn’t realize how passionate I was about my kitchen. 
It’s actually a little ridiculous how passionate I am. 
But I suppose it’s a good hobby to have. 
In healthy moderation of course. :)

Since I haven’t had the times or means or the kitchen to keep the good foods coming,
I decided to keep posting over at Adorkable Recipes in a different fashion.
I’m still scouring my favorite recipe blogs for inspiration.
Check out the links I’ve been drooling (not literally) over.

Now, maybe in September when I’m home sweet home, 
I’ll realize how much I really do appreciate that enormous kitchen of mine. 
The people gathering. 
The fresh baked goods sending their delicious aroma to the far reaches of my home. 
The (almost insane) amount of time I spend in that room of our house. 
And I will continue to dread the day when I have to leave that amazing kitchen. 
But I know that a home with a great kitchen is probably my number one priority. 
And I am so thankful for mine. 

The One with the Great Servants

We have the best youth group in history of time. 
These teens rock my socks off. 
They are awesome
And yesterday I got to spend tons of time with them!
It was my (one and only) day off for the week of Family Camp. 
I got a peak at them working with the nursery and Bible School kids. 
It was so fun to see them leading. 
They’ve done a great job all week 
and many of the adult leaders and parents have been so thankful for their help. 
I’m *proud*
We declared Wednesday “SpiritFire” shirt day.
We just got an awesome new design for our youth group
and we just got our tshirts in a week ago. 
It was so fun being associated with one another. 
And having people ask about our shirts
and compliment their awesome design.
(Credit goes to Jake B–awesome Graphic Design artist
and marrying a friend of mine!) 
After lunch with the “family,” 
I hung out around the four square court for an hour or so.
Playing for a bit because my teens convinced me I’d be awesome. 
And then I got to talk with a new youth camp counselor.
Got to know one another.
Refreshing moment. 
We all crowded into the air conditioned camper 
and watched movies,
played games,
napped, 
snacked. 
It was glorious. 
Everyone hung out at the Spring Arbor University sponsored cookout 
and then we headed to the BIG top tent to reserve seats.
It was the teen service night.
Every aspect of the evening service was being run for the teens. 
It was perfect since our camp theme is “Love em and Lead em”–
this IS the upcoming leaders.
The adults and teens need to learn how to worship together.
Learn together. 
Lead together. 
And that’s what we did. 
It was an incredible service.
(Not to mention our group was tied for first place in the 10 question riddle competition–
out of 1200 people!!)
Kevin built an enormous, beautiful fire after service.
We all gathered around and pulled out all the s’more ingredients. 
It was marshmallow heaven. 
There was worship music playing, 
and great conversation happening. 
I have loved seeing the friendships grow and change this week.
Watching my teens work in unity.
Share tents. 
Hang out during free time. 
Be prompt and on time for every single schedule item.
It’s been a blessing to have them here. 
I needed some quality time with each of them–
being away for the summer has been much harder than I thought. 
It’s good to get renewed. 
I love you, my children, my teens. ;) 

The One with our “Family” for Family Camp

Well that was a wonderfully enriching post, now wasn’t it?
An empty page. 
Thought provoking, no? 
An existential moment for you all. 
Now on to normal thought processes. 
(Did you pronounce that “prahsesses” or “prahseseeeese”?
Cause the latter is way cool.)
I am officially wearing (at least) two hats this week. 
Working at camp as per usual.
Except that it’s the conference wide Family Camp. 
So there’s, oh, 800 people camping here. 
All with needs. 
All who come to the Welcome Center with those needs.
Which means our little office keeps rather busy. 
But besides the different routines, 
different paperwork,
different parking passes,
and different schedules of camp this week, 
I’m putting on my youth pastor hat. 
Thankfully, my husband is an AMAZING youth pastor himself. 
So he’s got things all but covered.
But nonetheless, we are in charge of 9 teens for the week.
They are camping on our site.
Eating meals with us.
And working morning and night with the kids and nursery programs while the adult services run. 
This is a week of service and volunteerism for them.
Our mission trip didn’t pan out, so this is a great alternative. 
Learning to lead and serve.
Experiencing the phenomenon that is our conference wide family camp. 
Meeting tons of teens from across the state.
And hopefully making memories at the camp our churches own that will keep them coming back to this great ministry! 
So far so good.
We started off with a church picnic.
Then we headed to our site to set up camp.
Kevin and I put up the 6-8 person tent that we own.
Then it took 11 of us to set up the monsterous “house tent” that one of our teen’s family’s let us borrow. 
The girls were TOTALLY stoked about their amazing abode. 
And it was a really fun “group building activity.
And there wasn’t even any yelling! 
How awesome is that?! :)
A victory, I’d say.
The adults in charge of nursery and the kids’ program were so blessed to have our willing teens to help them.
There was even an announcement in the morning service’s newsletter. 

Publicly thanking our youth group for the help. 
I was beaming with pride.

The nursery is always short of help, 
and five of our girls were jumping over each other to have the opportunity to work with the under 3s.
The other four teens worked with the kids 
and everyone did a great job! 
I’m so proud of them.
We ended the evening with a camp fire.
Smores.
and lots of miscellaneous junk food.
They all went to bed without an argument.
And were up before 7am!
I’m impressed. 
I look forward to seeing them experience the rest of the week.
Praying for unity.
And changed hearts.
And an encounter that might forever change their lives.

The One with the Golf Outing

Here is one memory I don’t want to forget! 
Golfing.
For the first time. 
With my dad. 
But the story has to start back a day or so.
Well, a month really. 
I was struggling to come up with a good Father’s day gift for my dad. 
Does anyone else have this problem?
Dads already have everything, it seems,
and whatever they want is waaaaaay out of my price range. 
At almost the same moment, my dad and I both thought of going golfing together.
This would not seem to be that big of a deal, at first glance. 
Other than the great time spent together, why was this idea so entertaining?
Well, I’m not all that coordinated.
Or sports oriented. 
And I’d never actually been golfing before. 
Unless you count the driving range.
Once. Seven years ago.
Or the awesome round of mini golf (puttputt) I just played a month ago with our teens. 
No? 
Those don’t count?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
At the end of last summer, Kevin and I came up with the crazy idea that it could be fun to learn how to golf together.
Since we’re both unexperienced, it’d be quite a sight to see.
So I found a great set of clubs and a beautiful new bag (complete with back pack straps and self-contained stand) at a rummage sale for TEN dollars.
Yesterday the temperature was through the roof, 
and the humidity made it even more stifling. 
But we both really wanted to go golfing. 
(I didn’t want to put the first time on old any longer, you know!)
We waited until 7pm and it was perfect timing.
With the sun heading quickly toward the Lake Erie horizon,
the temperature was much more bearable. 
The 300 guys who had just finished their 5pm league tournaments were on their way out–
leaving the course almost empty.
Perfect for the self-conscious beginner. :)
We teed up at hole number one. 
And Dad asked if I had balls.
Or tees. 
Nope. 
I didn’t know what I had to bring other than whatever was in the $10 garage sale bag of clubs. 
And besides, the putt putt course supplies the balls! 
It was a slow, slightly frustrating start for me. 
But a few strokes later, I was getting the hang of it. 
Unfortunately, my problem with any sport is consistency. 
I’ll have one great move. 
And three terrible ones. 
Same here. 
But I tried not to overthink it. 
And I tried not to focus on the power of the shot but on the accuracy. 
It worked well–
whenever I actually adhered to those little guidelines of mine, that is.
But we had a blast together. 
I had a few really really fantastic swings. 
So much so that Dad shouted, “NICE job, Mel!!!”
That just made my day. 
Sure, I ripped up lots of grass. 
And shanked a couple balls.
I never actually completed a hole.
For time’s sake, I would pick up the ball and skip a couple swings. 
I didn’t keep track of my score. 
But those 2 hours were so enjoyable. 
I loved the time with Dad. 
And hearing his encouragement. 
And I really hope I get into this golf thing.