Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the rains came down!

I suspect that most of you are aware that Georgia has received lots of rain in the past three days, so much in fact that at last count nine people have died in the flood waters. June and I have been in touch with our friends in Turtle Cove, and our neighbor Dave Levee sent a photograph our Jackson Lake shore line. Fortunately the folks at the Georgia Power dam tell us that all is now manageable and that the lake level is under control:

Our generation department is doing everything possible to release water out of Lake Jackson. We are running all six generators and the trash gate is open. Currently the inflows from the Yellow River and South River are decreasing, however the inflow from the Alcovy River is increasing. Based on USGS reports and the information we have, the lake should peak between today and tomorrow. After that we should start seeing a decrease in our inflows. The lake level is currently at 531.0. The normal full pool for Lake Jackson is 528.5.
That's good new for us. We wish there was better news for everyone in the Atlanta and northern Georgia areas.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Courtney and Matt's Wedding Reception

A little over a week ago, September 4, to be exact, Courtney and Matt McFarland were married in Florida. And this past weekend, they returned to Indianapolis for a wonderful reception at the Greenwood Community Center where lots and lots of their friends and family gathered to wish them God's blessings. June and Andy drove up for the celebration on Saturday and then enjoyed a high-spirited breakfast on Sunday with the newly weds, Liz and Art, and Jeff, Andy's nephew. After breakfast Courtney and Matt took us over to their new home. It was really a great and wonderful weekend!

More pictures here.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our Lutheran Family

Well, I guess I knew that Garrison Keillor was Lutheran (maybe), but I didn't know of too many others except some fine theologians (e.g., Krister Stendahl, after whom Krister was named). So it was a nice surprise for a friend to send me The Lutherans' Song, a video which I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jessica and Andrew Ehret get married!

On a glorious Sunday morning in early September--the sixth, to be exact!--Jessica and Andrew gave wedding rings to one another and started married life within the lovely setting of the Memphis Botanic Gardens. It was the Song of Songs come to life! You can see more picture at here!

Lovely Sunday, September 13

Last Sunday Chelsea, June, and Andy drove up to Faith Lutheran Church after stopping earlier for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Richmond. The Divine Liturgy was beautiful, the singing robust (especially when cantor Ole Wndroth led us in chanting Psalm 19), Pastor Luckey's sermon straight-forward in presenting the gift and challenge of the Gospel for the day, and Jesus gift of Himself in Holy Communion could not have been a more wonderful climax to the Eucharist. Thank you, Lord.

Later in the afternoon, June and Andy attended the Marengo Drive Block Party where June somehow managed to get arrested by our neighbor, Office Kurt Hall, while Andy renewed his friendship with Farley, his barbar, who has only recently been released from prison. The food was oh-so-good! And June's potato salad was the hit of the table. Wonderful time.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kirk at Work

If you think you might enjoy Kirk doing his thing; watch him at . Be warned: you may get exhausted simply watching him! Amy says that she can take about 30 seconds; as his dad, however, I enjoy watching the whole sheebang!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reading Flannery O'Connor

If you don't know her, make your acquaintance with her now! Flannery O'Connor is Georgia's most famous (and rightly so!) author. Andy has been reading her stories and novels many times over for years now. On Tuesday, July 14, he drove over to Andalusia in Milledgeville to visit the old dairy farm where she wrote a good many of her shocking (or so some say) stories. A devout and hard-nosed Christian (Roman Catholic, not Baptist), O'Connor has earned first-prize in America's literary circles. She died when only thirty-nine years old of lupus. Surely God has welcomed her into his everlasting arms; she suffered with and for Christ, all the while demonstrating what a writer can do when captured by the grace of God. Get her stuff and read it!

Culling for peaches

This morning, June and I drove over to Musella and Dick's Peach Packing Plant. We got there at 9 and after a short stay in line, picked well over a half-bushel of peaches. June is now upstairs, cutting them up and slicing them for the freezer. Just moments ago we both had a bowl of peaches with fat-free ice cream. Gosh, it's no wonder Georgia is the peach-state!

Merry Anna is going to South Korea!

On Thursday evening, the Greene side of the family all got together to celebrate Merry Anna's birthday and to wish her Happy Voyage as she flights to South Korea. Culture shock, here she comes!

Lora, Kirk, Madalyn, and Simone Come to the Lakehouse

Over the weekend of October 17 and 18, Lora, Kirk, Madalyn, and her friend Simone gave us a wonderful visit. It has been such a long time since June and I have been able to chat with our Nashville clan! With a lovely evening boat ride, some grand tubbing (so grand that Madalyn lost her bikini bottoms!), and lots of good food, beer, and wine to share, it was absolutely lovely. Madalyn repants herself in the water, we all went to St. John Lutheran Church on Sunday, and we found out that Madalyn, even as an eighth grader, has already scored 23 on her pre-ACT test. Cheers to you, granddaughter! And Simone was such a delight! On Sunday afternoon, later than we anticipated, we said good-bye to one another, and the Nashville Harnacks headed down to Charleston for a week on the beach. Thanks for coming, y'all!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Up and out to the High Museum in Atlanta

Yesterday June and Andy drove up to Atlanta's High Museum to see Monet's Water Lilies and other great artsy-fartsy stuff. Andy especially liked the folkart exhibits! Most of all, he was impressed with the work of Howard Finster, who painted this work, The Angel of the Lord, on plywood in the late 1980's. Take a look at life and witness of this fascinating artist. Try as we might (we were both patting his bottom!), we just couln't get Claude to smile.

Our July 4 Weekend

Last weekend Lisa, Tim, Katie, Amy, Kevin, Mary Carol, Jackson, Hayden, Carole and Hugh, Sara Beth and Matt, Chris and Stan were over (some for several days) for our Independance Day celebration and family reunion of sorts. The big news is that Jackson and Hayden, both of whom had never dared to tub before, gathered up their courage and danced the Big Bob on the lake. Then on the evening of July 4, we entered our boat in the Boat Parade and, singing "God Bless America" for all we were worth, somehow managed to get an "honorable mention" award from the judges (Amy swears it was "pity reward") with a crisp $50 bill. After that thrill, we join the hundreds of boats in a moonlit flotilla up river. It was absolutely wonderful, fireworks booming all around us. When we got back, Kevin and the kids put on their on booming display, and then we all went to bed, some with a beer, and all with good dreams.

For some pix of all that went on (but not all, what goes on at the lakehouse, stays at the lakehouse!), visit Photobucket (no password necessary; the whole world can take a peek!).
Our thanks go out to Lisa and Amy who submitted photos (as always, edited!).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chelsea: Kentucky State Champion at 100 Meter Hurdles

Chelsea won a second-straight state title with a dominant performance on Saturday in Louisville. Our standout junior beat out her nearest competitor by almost half a second as she cruised to the Class A 100-meter hurdle title at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association State Track and Field Meet.

Chelsea also finished second in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash and third in the 300-meter hurdles. “I had a pretty clean race,” she said to a reporter about her 100-meter hurdles. “I got over all my hurdles. It went pretty well.” Her time of 15.89 in the 100-meter hurdles broke the school record and was her personal best. She also ran a personal-best and school-record time of 12.54 in the 100-meter dash.

In the 200-meter dash, Chelsea was in third place mid-way through the race, but used a late kick to pass her nearest competitor and finished in a time of 26.44. She got off to a bad start in the 300-meter hurdles; however, Chelsea rebounded to post a time of 48.17.“I wanted to do better in the 300-meter hurdles, but I kind of messed up,” she said. “But, overall I think I did pretty well and met my expectations.”

Led by Chelsea, the Lady Patriots racked up 36 points and finished in seventh place. Model has finished in the Top 10 at the state meet for six-straight years.

Monday, May 11, 2009

June on Mother's Day

Mother's Day in Richmond was quite lovely. For June this was the first Mother's Day away from her children, and she was a little blue for a while. But all the phone calls from the kids helped a lot. And when flowers arrived from Carole and Hugh, there was a definite perk-up in her spirits. Next year we'll try real hard to be in Georgia for Mother's Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Chelsea's Track Record so Far

Chelsea has been winning lots of gold-medal firsts for her Model Lab School Track Team this spring! Just take a look at her terrific record as it stands now.

April 18
Chelsea ran a 26.94 in the 200m at Bryan Station Invitational, placing first.
Chelsea ran a PR of 46.63 in the 300H at Bryan Station Invitational, placing first.
Chelsea ran a PR of 12.72 in the 100m at Bryan Station Invitational, placing second.
Chelsea ran a new season best time of 16.03 in the 100H at Bryan Station Invitational, placing second. Chelsea was tagged in 2 photos in Woodall Invitational by Durbman.

Apr 11, 2009
Chelsea ran a 49.42 in the 300H at Lake Cumberland Classic, placing first.
Chelsea ran a 12.73 in the 100m at Lake Cumberland Classic, placing first.
Chelsea ran a 16.88 in the 100H at Lake Cumberland Classic, placing first.
Chelsea ran a new season best time of 26.85 in the 200m at Lake Cumberland Classic, placing first.

Mar 11, 2009
Chelsea was tagged in an article: Mason-Dixon Class A Highlights.

Mar 07, 2009
Chelsea ran a PR of 7.63 in the 55m at Mason-Dixon Games, placing second.
Chelsea ran a PR of 1:03.68 in the 400m at Mason-Dixon Games, placing second.
Chelsea ran a 9.33 in the 55H at Mason-Dixon Games, placing first.

Feb 21, 2009
Chelsea ran a 1:04.20 in the 400m at KTCCCA Indoor, placing second.
Chelsea ran a PR of 9.22 in the 55H at KTCCCA Indoor, placing third.
Chelsea ran a new season best time of 7.63 in the 55m at KTCCCA Indoor, placing first.

Feb 08, 2009
Chelsea was tagged in an article: Crist HJ 6-02, Brown-Campbell LJ 20-07, Harnack Wins 3 Events at Mason County.

Feb 07, 2009
Chelsea ran a 9.43 in the 55H at KTCCCA Indoor, placing first.
Chelsea ran a 7.67 in the 55m at KTCCCA Indoor, placing first.
Chelsea ran a 1:07.98 in the 400m at KTCCCA Indoor, placing first.

Nov 15, 2008
Chelsea ran a new season best time of 22:09.88 in the 5000m at Kentucky State Cross Country Meet, placing 65th.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Katie's Easter

This just in from Lisa: "Hi everyone! It's been a little while since I have sent pictures of Kate your way, so here she is. On Sunday, she had her first taste of corn on the cob, and she didn't want to let go of the cob--even through egg-hunting, she kept it. She finally relented when given the option of chocolate."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

On Tuesday June and Andy spent the day house-hunting, all to no avail. Not knowing what we're really looking for doesn't help. So we are continually (at least for now) rethinking location, price, size, style, the cost of maintaining a place, how much lawn to mow, and so on. Andy would rather be reading a good book or taking a long walk.

Again on Wednesday we spent another day traipsing around homes, some empty, some looking as though Mt. Etna just erupted so that the dwellers fled moments ago. Nothing looked as though it was left empty or recently unoccupied just for us. Buying a house is not so much a choice as set of eliminations. Not this one, not that one: oh dear, this must be it! Opps! Wrong again!

Today--Thursday-it's raining cows and bulls. Andy is staying mostly inside all day, only going out to drive down to the lake dam to watch the three-foot wave of khaki-colored water throw itself continually over the precipice, a sheer drop of some eighty feet into the Ocmulgee below. It's our very own Niagara Falls! Standing near the edge, one can hear the great roar; it does, in fact, sound like Niagara Falls.

While June looks online at real estate, Andy is working his way through two books: Kathleen Norris' Acedia and Me and Ched Myers' Binding the Strong Man. Both excellent.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last Monday June and Andy attended a meeting of Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action (BUILD) at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington. Quite an event! For a full report, see "Putting heat on the city for affordable housing." Over 160 members of Faith Lutheran Church attended the crowded sanctuary of nearly 1300 people. To find out more about the event, visit our sister-site at

Image Sources: The Assembly, photograph submitted by Arnon Lundborg []; Andy and June at the BUILD Meeting, photograph submitted by Larry Van Dyne]. Thank you very much, Arnon and Larry, for sending in the photographs.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chelsea drives to Valley View and back

This morning Chelsea passed the test for her driver's permit, and this afternoon she took her first extended drive, some twenty-five down to Valley View and back to her home in Richmond. It was a drive in the country; the road was curvy, the shoulders not quite up-to-snuff, and the middle yellow line often missing, but Chelsea navigated everything wonderfully. She's going to be a quite wonderful driver: careful, courteous, and considerate of both car and passenger. It was a real joy to ride along with her, her smile lovely as she took another big step toward independence.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dad's January Trip to Haiti

In January Andy served as team coordinator for a group of thirteen Lutherans and Methodists who went to Haiti. Dr. Joe King on the University of Kentucky medical faculty worked as our photographer, and he's invited you to see his "Haiti Slideshow." Travel to, use the password mesi (that's Creole for "Thank you,"

be our companion as we fly down to Port au Prince, stay a while at the Village of Hope, and then take off for the mountain village of Ranquitte, where we built a small home for a Haitian family in desperate need of shelter. You'll enjoy the trip.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Chelsea takes numerous first-place medals at the Mason Dixon Track Meet

This morning Chelsea led her team time and again to victory as she crossed the finished line in first place, not once, not twice, but three times. When the official times are finally posted sometime this weekend, they will appear here as an update. Congratulations, Chel! You are one speedy, fast, energetic young woman. You run like a beautiful deer, bounding over those hurdles, speeding down the track. You are a champion's champion!

Andy becomes at oblate at Mt. Tabor Benedictine Monastery

On Sunday, March 1, during Morning Prayer with the Benedictine sisters of Mt. Tabor Monastery, Andy was received into the community as an oblate. Having studied the Rule of St. Benedict intensely for more than a year, Andy promised to support the Benedictine community with his prayers and way of life that would give glory to God, especially as that glory is manifest by a life of hospitality, the special mission of Mt. Tabor Monastery. With June, Harry Smiley, and Danielle and Stan Brown, and all the sisters supporting him with their prayers, Andy is looking forward to his renewed prayer life and the rededication of his life to obedience to the Gospel.

Ash Wedneday, the First Day of Lent

At the Ash Wednesday Eucharist, Pastor Luckey at Faith Lutheran Church marked our foreheads with ashed signs of the cross. Those ashes were made by burning the strands of palms blessed last year on Palm Sunday; the ashes were then mixed with oil. As our Pastor marked our foreheads he looked straight at us and said, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." With those words he forcefully reminded us of our mortality, the real truth that we shall die, and our bodies will return to the earth, "dust to dust." Later during the service, Pastor also preached a sermon hard to forget, telling us that on Ash Wednesday the Church intervenes dramatically to tell us that we are in deep need to God's grace. We are addicts to sin. For this reason the Church comes to us, sits down with us, and tells us the truth: as addicts to self-centered behaviors, we are hooked on sin, "junkies" to selfishness, and abusers of one another. We are in deperate need to help. On Ash Wednesday the Church pleads with us to repent and make a determination to change the direction of our lives. Like drug addicts and alcoholists who know they have hit rock bottom, we too must come clean and actually see what's wrong with us, how we have damaged our own and other people's lives. We need God's intervention. Knowing who we are with renewed clarity, we confessed our hurtful lives, received absolution in the proclamation of the Gospel, and in the Holy Communion came to Jesus to receive God's healing from the disease of sin, stubborness of heart, and addiction to egoistic behaviors. We opened our lives up fully to Christ's healing and therapy. Made whole and healthy by God's incarnate Presence in Christ, June and I drove home, determined to drop ourselves like seeds and die in the ground--just like seeds!--so that we might burst forth with Christ in resurrected lives.

The Prayer for Ash Wednesday

Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Brunch at the Galt House with Art and Liz on February 8

About every three months Art and Liz Harnack and we Richmond Harnacks get together at the world-famous Galt House in Louisville to have one of the universe's finest brunches. As our favorite server--Manny, who's been hosting us for sixteen years greets us--we enjoy a wonderful spread of out-of-this-world dishes, all the while being rotated around and around on the top floor so that we see the Ohio River and the city of Louisville in all its splendor. We look forward to this get-together with great anticipation, glad to see one another, happy to swap stories, and wish one another God's blessing and good health three or four times a year. Let's do it again soon!

Memories, Christmas in Georgia, 2008

Several days later the Georgia clan met first at Becky and Wayne's home for a gosh-awful good supper and games--Apples to Apples!--and then again everyone got together at the lakehouse for Christmas cheer, more great family food, stories, and lots of very expensive gifts for everyone. Isn't that Merry Anna something!

Memories: December 21, 2008, Christmas at Lora and Kirk's Home

On December 21, the day after
Audrey and Josh's wedding, we had some a wonderful, festive, and delightful family Christmas celebration. The food was--oh, so good!--delicious, the gift-giving lots and lots of fun, and--best of all--the kids had gobs of fun. Thank you so very much, Lora and Kirk (and you too, Madalyn!) for being such wonderful hosts! We all love you dearly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting Ready for the Trip to Haiti

On Saturday Andy, the team coordinator for a thirteen-person trip to Haiti, met with eight friends to pack 20 bins of medical, food, and maintainence supplies that the team will lug back into the mountains to the village of Ranquitte. Four of the team are from Faith Lutheran Church, Lexington,and nine are from First United Methodist Church, Richmond. For the their first time, Pat Mundt and Joe King (unloading Pat's car here), will make the trip of their lives!

December 13: Merry Anna's Graduation

On Friday, December 12, Sara Beth, Matt, June, and Andy drove down to Columbia International University in South Carolina to be with Merry Anna as she graduated with a B.S. degree. It was quite some ride down--lots of rain. But the next day, the day of Merry Anna's commencement, was just gorgeous, full of sunshine! Congrats to June's granddaughter!

On the way back to Kentucky we stopped at the Golden Girls Restaurant north of Knoxville to share supper with Kathy and Steve Stout, Matt's parents. Broasted chicken! Gosh, it was good! And so good to get to know Sara Beth's parents-in-law; it's no wonder Matt is such a great guy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Weekend with Hisae Kuroda

A month or so ago Richmond's mayor, Connie Lawson, asked June and Andy if they would like to host someone from Japan who would be visiting our town under the sponsorship of the Japanese-American Society of Kentucky. On Friday evening at the Acres of Land Winery and Restaurant we met Hisae Kuroda, our 59-year-old guest from Shikamachi, Yata, Japan. We had a wonderful weekend with her. On Saturday, the 25th, we gathered at Irvine McDowell Park and watched the homecoming parade when--lo! behold!--Amy and Kevin, Mary Carol, Jackson, Hayden, along with Sharon and Carl Kuhn, and Carol came walking up Oak Street. What a wonderful surprise!

After the parade June, Andy, and Hisae had lunch at JW's on Main Street and then spent the better part of the afternoon shopping in Berea. That evening we had dinner at Barb Griec and Mas Smith's home with a big roasting of "s'mores" over coals in the outdoor fire pit.

On Sunday Hisae accompanied us to the Eucharist at Faith Lutheran Church in Lexington. Afterwards we drove down to Riptides, a river-side restaurant under the I-75 bridge on the Fayette County side of the rive. And from there we launched ourselves on three pontoon boats (tied side to side) for a trip down the Kentucky River, sponsored by Riverkeepers with artist Pat Banks as leader. Later that evening we went to the Grey Oaks Club House for a dulcimer performance and reception hosted by the Mayor.

Then on Monday it was another full day. by bus Hisae went to Louisville, and we followed by car. For lunch we stopped by the great ballroom at the Seelbach Hotel, then went to Churchill Downs for a terrific tour, and wound up at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts where we took in "The Kentucky Show." It was then that we said good-bye to Hisae, who had stayed in our home for three nights, given us lovely gifts, shared breakfast, and lots of chatter about her home and our home. It was really quite something!
On the way home, we stopped by to see Amy and the kids (Kevin was at the Titans game!) and played some spirited rounds of "spoons."

You can go to to Photobucket and see lots of pictures submitted by all the hosts and guests, including some by Andy.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Breakfast at the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

This morning the four of us--Lora and Kirk, June and I--got to spend some precious hours with one another, meeting in Gatlinburg, TN, for breakfast. Gosh, it was wonderful! Kirk showed up with a banged-up right hand, damaged in Amsterdam (take a look at that pinkie finger!), and Lora, we found out, has nearly a brand-new job, now that her situation has dramatically changed for the better under a new boss. We're so happy for both of them! At the end of the month, Kirk will be heading to Bejing; about the same time June and I will be flying out to Santa Fe for a two-week visit in one of Andy's favoriate cities. We will be staying overnight at Lora and Kirk's home, flying out on November 1 and getting back on the 15th. All of which means that we get to do Halloween in Nashville! Watch for June in her bogeywoman mask!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Andy gets some ideas!

Yesterday was quite a treat for me. With an "All Access Pass" given to me by Pastor Luckey, I was able to attend several presentations at the Idea Festival in Louisville. Two presentations were particularly impressive: first, Mark Beaseley's "Creative Space"; second Will Short's "Puzzled?" As Short described the history and creation of cross-word puzzles, he noticed one couple in particular, appropriately dressed for the occasion. I took a picture of them afterwards, promising that they appear in this blog. Ain't (yes, cross-worders use the word!) they something!