Thursday, January 11, 2018

If the Magi had been women

by Jen Hunt, from the archives, 2013

How different the Christmas story might have been,
If the Magi tasked to greet the baby Jesus had been
My guess is they would have
Asked directions, and reached
Mary and Joseph before
The Child was born
With a crib and a blanket, or, better,
a hotel voucher--
God’s story is decidedly more messy,
And therefore,
More comforting.

For Amber Joy on Her 10th Birthday

by Jen Hunt

Amber Joy has just turned 10
She'll never be this young again--
She's never been this old before--
Who can guess the fun in store?

Amber's height has grown aplenty
God, bless her from now till 20
No! Bless her until 21--
Hold that--bless all her trips around the sun!

With Love,
Mrs. Hunt : )

Cynical "Family Rules" Poster

By Jen Hunt. From the archives, 5/31/2013

There’s only one right way.
Your job is to make everyone happy.
Doing not being, Stupid.
Shame on whiners.
Judge. Win. Dominate.
Intimacy is way overrated.

Alden's half-birthday

Alden's birthday invite. From the archives, 1/18/2007

January is . . .
Fun in the snow
Board games, cocoa
A story or two—
And you!

Please come for
Alden’s half-birthday
Saturday, January 20th
2:00-4:30 PM

Absolutely no gifts.
Just a bring yourself and
Hope for snow

Can we talk golf balls?

For Humana employee "for sale" board by Jen Hunt

Can we talk golf balls?
Hi, my name is Alden. I’m eight years old, and I’m in an awkward situation. You see, my grandparents and great-grandma are snow birds, and they’re due back any day now. It’s great having them nearby in the summer . . . but now that grandpa’s retired, I think he has too much free time.

How do I know?
Because Grandpa’s always looking for excuses to get out of the house. Sure, golf helps--he plays twice a week. But apparently even that’s not enough time away from the women-folk. So when he’s not playing golf, he’s hunting for lost balls. Then, to justify this use of time, he passes his finds on to me every time we visit. “Here, go earn some money with these,” he says. (Wish it were that easy). Anyway, now I have a whole laundry basket full of grandpa’s finds. Mom is worried they will take over our garage.

Folks, these really are very fine balls, as used golf balls go. I oughtta know, I had to wash them all by hand. I’ve tried selling them the old fashioned way with a permanent sign outside our duplex and setting up a booth at Mom’s garage sales, but now I think it’s time I got serious. After all, I’m itching for a new computer so I can use Skype with my Aunt Jeni in San Francisco and play video games at warp speed.

So now, Humana friends, for a limited time only (limited, that is, by how soon my mother will clean them out of the garage), you can buy a dozen perfectly good golf balls for just $2.00. Even better, buy five dozen for $10. You won’t even have to leave your beautiful building. What a deal!

When you buy your used golf balls direct from me, you’ll naturally save money. But I’d wager that even your swing will improve knowing you are contributing to three great causes: my granddad’s sense of purpose, a cleaner garage for my mom, and a new computer for yours truly.

Just call Graham at x----- to reserve your order. No need to get out of your car in those iffy parts of town. No need to pay the steep mark ups at the pro shop. Saving money never felt so easy!

Courtesy of Mom’s Marketing

Fifteenth Anniversary Vows

By Jen Hunt
Written following the Occasion of the surprise Alaskan Getaway

Graham, Life is . . .
• an Alaskan glacier in April and I will stand a mile away at the closed gate with you.
• a search for cheap halibut in Anchorage, and I will eat mine in a mall food court restroom hallway with you
• a discount card inquiry at Safeway grocers in Seward, and I will ask for the out-of-state card swipe with you and endure your reprimand for doing so
• an aurora borealis, and I will sit under a cloudy sky with you
• a three mile $12 round-trip once an hour tunnel, and I will drive it with you--once
• a search for wildlife of any sort, and I will step in moose scat with you
• a freezer dried fish sandwich not listed on the Arby's menu, and I will order it for you

Introducing Jen Hunt

A Second Cup Profile, 3/5/2009 from Second Cup, by Jen Hunt, from the archives

My name is …
Jennifer Mary Hunt. Not to be confused with my (unmarried) sister-in-law, Jennifer Mari Hunt. Once when we were traveling together British Airlines only reserved us one seat on a flight, though we had bought two, and for nine years our credit reports were merged --all because we shared my husband’s folk’s postal address for 3 months. Don’t let this happen to you.

My family consists of Graham (married for 16 years), Alden (10) and Calvin (7). Priceless.

I have attended Spring Lake … since right before Paul went gray.

I spend most days …
home educating, sabotaging paper airplanes, singing the famous You Tube “William Tell Overture Mom Song” in slow-mo, and wondering where I put my pen.

For enjoyment, I …rearrange furniture, read kids’ books, walk in frigid weather, record household expenses in Excel, think “New Yorker-cartoon-esque” thoughts, listen to Prairie Home Companion, and try to get friends to do all of the above with me.

I am passionate about…questioning the ridiculous and reviving the undervalued.

In my spare time, I…obsess or shop. I know this is why God doesn’t give me more of it This questionnaire took me 1.5 hours to write--time to get busy!)

The last book I read was … Penultimate: Harry Potter. Ultimate: Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. Next in line: Taking Charge of ADHD.

My biggest challenge as a woman, wife, mother, etc. is… following through on great intentions.

I like my coffee …with cream, in a nice looking mug, while sitting in front of a fireplace with a good book in my lap and friends on either side.

My favorite scripture verse is:
1 Corinthians 1:26-31. “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’ “

Anything else you’d like others to know about you?

I’ve been married to an accountant, a programmer, a network analyst, a consultant, a grade school principal, and an associate pastor, but I’m not polyandrous, and I’ve never been divorced. Pretty neat, huh?

When people who don’t know me discover my academic background (which includes a Masters in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary and a degree in History from Princeton University) they often assume I either should know everything about the Bible and just about everything else, or I must think I do. When people who do know me discover it, they are usually shocked. (I’m not sure which is worse!) I’m so glad that at least Spring Lakers know I’m just an absent-minded Jesus freak, and they forgive me when I forget their names. Mostly I just love Jesus, and I delight in His majestic ones. If you know Jesus, that includes you! If you don’t know him yet, may I introduce you?

Jokes and Riddles

by the Hunt family(can't remember which of us in particular), from the archives 9/2009

Why do sharks swim in saltwater?
Because if they swam in pepperwater they’d sneeze!

What did the herb say to the rutabega?
Beets me!

Knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock.
Try using the doorbell.

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Forgetful chicken.
Forgetful chicken, who?
Knock, knock.


by Jen Hunt, true poster made for a Halloween tragedy. From the archives, 2009

Two (2) Medium radioactive Pumpkins
Answering to: Orange and Curly
Last seen: Friday, October 30th, around 5 pm,
by our front porch

Reward for any information
leading to their return by October 31st.

Over the Skyway and through the Plains

by Jen Hunt, from the archives, 11/27/2009

Over the Skyway and through the plains
To Grandfather’s place we go
The van knows the way
To travel Broadway
Though traffic horns may blow
It stops the heart
Frays belts apart
As thru Cross Bronx we go....

A Psalm 23 Blessing for Kandace

Improvised by Jen Hunt, from the archives 1/2/2010

The Lord is Kandace’s shepherd.
God has a specific plan just for Kandace and has taken on the personal responsibility to see that it is accomplished.
She shall not want.
From his unlimited wellspring of generosity, God has given Kandace everything good she truly needs, and that knowledge satisfies her.
He makes her lie down in green pastures.
Kandace knows she doesn’t have to manage all the details of the move, her future ministry, Kirsten’s needs, or her marriage, because God knows how to handle them all perfectly. Kandace can rest in him.
He leads her beside still waters;
God is actively drawing Kandace in order to refresh her with his peace when life doesn’t go according to plan.
He restores her soul.
Jesus is Kandace’s living water. She doesn’t look to dry cisterns to satisfy her. She has found her refreshment in his loving presence alone.
He leads her in the right path for his name’s sake.
Kandace is convinced God doesn’t make mistakes. All that is taking place in her life right now is for his glory. If she suffers for doing right, she does so in identification with Christ himself.
Even though she walks through the darkest valley,
she will fear no evil.

At those times when circumstances may tempt Kandace to feel alone, she remembers God’s presence and his promise that nothing will ever harm the part of her that will last forever. God keeps her safe.
Your rod and your staff--they comfort her.
God’s correction, his boundaries, what he has given and withheld, his discipline and his tender guidance make Kandace feel not deprived, but secure.
You prepare a table for her in the presence of her enemies;
God has preserved for Kandace a ministry platform despite any spiritual opposition that would seek her downfall. Her reputation is his concern, because she is his.
You anoint her head with oil;
The undeserved kindness of the Lord’s favor is appointing, equipping, and refreshing her.
Her cup overflows.
Kandace has found God’s provisions to be more than enough for all she needs. It is out of his abundance that she touches others.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow her all the days of her life,
Kandace is convinced the work God does through her will remain behind long after she is gone.
And she shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Kandace draws upon her heavenly citizenship for strength. Though her earthly address may change more times than she can count, her eternal address will stay the same. She has begun the eternal kind of life now and knows it will never be taken away.

Calvin when He’s at His Best

By Jen Hunt, from the archives, 1/9/12

Calvin, when he’s at his best
Is vim and vigor, sprite and zest
Calvin, when he’s at his worst
Is stomps and slams and parents cursed
Calvin when he’s in between?
Now that’s someone we’ve never seen!

I Write This Poem for My Son

By Jen Hunt

I write this poem for my son
The “raisin bran and pop-rocks” one
Who jumps around like a Mexican bean
And owns the coolest shirt on the scene
Fighting like a proletarian
Eating like a dessertarian
Made of muscle, brawn and bone
His goal? To see his brother poned
He bites his fingernail tips off
Likes his blankie blue and soft
Prefers to sleep on the floor
Dozes with the faintest snore
Humms the moment his feet hit the floor
Fibs maybe just once or maybe more
He may get love notes from several women
Still with Madden 12 and Grand Tourismo he’s smitten
Effervescent in mood, he’s a portable party
But under the brawn, he’s all tender hearty
When he grows up, who knows where he’ll go
But for now, I just wish he’d play his cello

O Calvin, My Calvin

By Jen Hunt, from the archives, 1/9/2012

You joined the world red faced and wild
A bouncing bag of playful child

At one, in Aunt Nat’s pool, Mom found
Your craft capsized; your head faced down

At four, circling the flat, donut in hand
You sliced your head on a rocking chair band

At five, when catching frogs on the dock
Your tumbled bottom snagged a rock

At six engaged in dusk bike travels
You flipped yourself chin-first on gravel

At seven, when great grandmothers’ funeral had ended
The kitchen counter your head dented

At nine Pop Warner padding failed
Your thigh bruised and your brave nerves paled

At ten in grandma’s kitchen landing
All down her staircase you fell ka-banging

I wish you, Son, more lives than a cat
You’re almost through with nine, at that!

I sure hope when you turn eleven
God keeps you safe from then till heaven

Alden Eight Grade Acronym

by his mom, Jen Hunt

Alert to new ideas
Loves his iPod
Drummer extraordinaire
Excellent at math
Near to my heart

Chooses his own path
Highly academic
Introverted at home
Social at school
Tennis player
One in a million
Enjoys travel
Reads a lot

Urban bound
Night owl

Alden, I want you to know how very much I love you. I can’t believe there are only four more years before you go to college. I want to make the most of each day and learn more about your dreams and ideas. I thank God for giving you to me to take care of. I’m honored each time you share a bit of your heart with me. The Lord promises to give you a hope and a future. Now go for it!

P.S. Hebrews 3:14 says, “We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first,” and that is my prayer for you.

You’re Invited to a “stained patio” jam

By Jen Hunt. An invite sent to our neighbors 8/23/12

We’ve finished our deck; the staining’s done
So what the heck---let’s have some fun!
You’ve endured power washer and sander din
Now it’s time for a toast to the deck nightmare’s “fin’”

snacks, drinks and yard games, music and more
Is our way of hailing the end of that chore.
(If you’re really curious, perhaps we’ll disclose
The spots squirrels chewed in corn-on-cob rows.)
Stop by if you’re able; stay if you can
For our simple and low-pressure “Stained Patio Jam”

Date: TODAY! Friday, August 24th (apologies for the late notice)
Time: 6:27–ish until the bugs get the upper hand
Place: The Hunts’ backyard (duh!)

Just bring yourself. No need to RSVP.
Just an informal chance to hang out
before school year craziness begins

A Dearer Rain

By Jen Hunt, from the archives, 1/27/13

Hanging head and huddled spine
Ever-guard my inner shrine
Yet the hole in my gut cannot hold rain
Back’s silhouette though a curvèd line
Echoing the shape of upturned palm
Is ne’er as calm.
Who can know a dry soul, filled
When on their feet and granite-willed?

Upright when I should have lain,
My head, aloof, forms a roof
Beading off the beggar’s gain.
“I’d rather die of thirst than sink;
I’m better off,” or so I think.

Give me courage to lay me down
Cradled in your royal gown
Quench me with a dearer rain
Than grief or pity, doubt or shame.
Enter, fill my inner chest
With what is good, and true, and best.
For who can know a dry soul filled
When on their feet and granite-willed?
May my posture and my frame
Befit your all-sufficient Name.

The Eight-O, Birthday-O (To the tune of Belafonté’s “Banana Boat Song”)

By Jen Hunt
I used to tease Dad about not completing a song for me like he did Nat and Jeff. He finished my half-song when I was in my 30’s. When it came time to get this party together, I realized I had never returned the favor. So here goes...

Eight-O, the birthday-O

He did not want a big-to-do
Eight-O birthday-o
But time has come for some ballyhoo
Eight-O birthday-o

Let’s raise a toast to our fav’rite octogenarian
Eighty years and still going strong
For vim and vigor, and that Jill would marry him
Eighty years and still going strong

Hey, Dr. Donald, talk to all your fan-a’s
Cartoons, rocks and savoir faire
What is the secret of your youth and manners?
Perpetually debonair

It’s mowing grass and photographing smiles
Facebook, eBay, amazon, CNN--
Making rounds and driving cars for miles!
Liking each post your loved ones send!

Eight-O the birthday-O
Eight, we say eight, we say eight-O
Eighty years and still going strong

It’s wiping gentlemanly snots
Donald E. Miller is his name
Exclusively with hanky cloths!
Aging suavely is his game

Eight, we say eight, we say eight-o
Eighty years and still going strong
Eighty years and still going strong

The Game’s at Noon

Written on 11/19/17 by Jen Hunt as part of her "Poetry Challenge"

It’s hunting season in Packerland--
Trucks parked curbside litter the edge of Howard’s woods on the drive to church--
Game today.
Call the kids to the Sunday School room window
to see the pre-fly-over roar.
The part-time custodian
Returns overflow seating to the wall--
Second service is smaller when the game’s at noon--
He leaves, chuckling,
“The largest congregation in Green Bay seats 70,000”
Then I return to the church parking lot, newly emptied
By those rushing home to beat game-day traffic
Prepare their curd trays
Or grab a seat.

Love’s Not the Imagined

By Jen Hunt
Written on February 4, 2017 as a Gift for my Soul Keeping companions: Ellen, Bonnie, Karen, Peg, Laura, and Holly. Given with a wooden dish brush.

Love is more an act than a feeling,
Less swoon or sigh than potato peeling--
It transforms vile chores into reverie,
Dishwashing into soul company.
What are bowls and cups, plates and grime
But steady invites to the sublime?
Heaven begins not far from the brink
Of the suds and dins of your kitchen sink.
Dish towels and brushes are soon set aside.
What’s carried out with love abides--
An eternal store, which shall never be wasted,
Love’s not the imagined, but the tried and tasted.