I should have realized it was trouble when I left my house yesterday morning with the feeling of light snow flurries and a car I had to thaw out, but I didn’t see the signs . When I arrived at the hotel where the Northwest Weekend seminars were located none of the first seminars were particularly of interest and so I helped some people clean up the teen dance from the previous night, being pelted by some sleet and watching the first bit of snow. I figured this was a bad sign but it was too late for me to do much other than hope that things would get better in terms of driving conditions through the day. Spoiler alert: they did not. In the meantime, though, I had much to do, namely a good deal of sitting and listening.
Seminar day is often enjoyable to me because I enjoy learning and tend to learn fairly well by both listening as well as reading, both of which are often present given the fondness of power point presentations that are text-heavy by people who give such seminars. Throughout the day there were seminars on prophecy, showing how speculations about prophecy have gotten people into trouble before, a couple of seminars on the difference between various families of Greek manuscripts, all the more interesting because it followed a conversation I had with a friend of mine as I was getting ready for seminar day, and a seminar on mentoring, a subject of considerable personal interest as well. As was frequently the case my expertise in knowledge was tested by the various speakers as a surprise, and yet no one has asked to be mentored by me in answering questions as frequently as I do. I have no problems sharing my expertise in the matter. During the lunch break in the middle of the day I had a tasty lunch with a close friend of mine who was glad for the company, and for dinner I ended up joining a group of young people at Who Song & Larry’s at a taco bar where I ate enough to justify the price of the meal, but probably only barely.
In retrospect, it was probably already too late by this time in order for my day to go as smoothly as expected, because during the course of dinner the horrible traffic on the road convinced me that it was unfeasible to travel up Sylvan Hill along US-26, and so I made arrangements to stay with one of the families on the north side of the river whose place I have visited from time to time for such diverse reasons as sports award presentations, a Super Bowl party, and practice for various music acts. Before heading over there, though, we went back to the hotel for the minute to win it, where I assisted one of the members of that family with a particularly embarrassing game that involved tennis balls and garbage cans. After the games were done I drove somewhat cautiously but also not particularly slowly to their house after a bit of a diversion to Wal-Mart in order to see if I could pick up some sports-suitable clothing for today. The store was closed, which was a bit disappointing, and one of the entrances was closed until Spring, which led me later to make a weather-related joke about it when I arrived safe and sound. After some cinnamon toast and hot chocolate provided by the daughter of the house, and some humorous banter on my part, it was time for us to sleep. I was quite appreciative to have somewhere safe and warm to sleep, although I am such an awkward person that I am never sure I make my appreciation well enough understood.
Although I did not sleep particularly deeply, I was ready this morning after a shower to head to sports day even if my clothing was not suitable for playing. I ended up driving the son of the house to the high school where our sports day was held, and it took a while to get the car heated up enough for the windows to thaw, and then a bit more to get out of the ice and on the road, but after that the trip was a safe and generally enjoyable one. The Sports Day was well attended, there was the usual fellowship and a surprisingly large amount of people braved the roads. I did some reffing and tried to keep the games going quickly and fairly, and hopefully those who played did enjoy themselves. I managed to find myself rolling a ball with a toddler from a neighboring congregation whose oldest sister happens to be an acquaintance of mine after our numerous times singing together as part of the same choir when I visit their congregation. The little girl’s father, whom I also know, was somewhat surprised at how interested his daughter was at playing with me, but there are probably others who would find my rapport with toddlers and small children in general to be a very Nathanish sort of thing. After the games were done I watched the end of a Settlers of Catan game and then drove home, along the way stopping to eat some dinner. Once I got home, of course, it seemed as if my roommate had a great deal to say, to which I patiently listened and chatted a bit as well before returning to my usual cave to write and to ponder about the adventuresome nature of a weekend like this one. Is life the better for having so many adventures?
 See, for example: