Beer Growls?? Party On.

That’s the word on the street in New Harmony.  I didn’t hear the growl when the half gallon bottle was opened, but the beer tasted good (1816 recipe straight from Germany).  It was a growler of Harmonie Bier (auf Deutsch).  New Harmony began as a religious Utopian experiment in communal living.  After that failed, someone bought the whole town and brought in the Boatload of Knowledge, a boat filled with scientists and intellectuals, who began a new secular utopian experiment.

There are two labyrinths (one of granite, the other shrubbery), at least one of which I hope to walk some time when I visit again.  There is a roofless church, along with a number of original or reconstructed buildings.  There really is a feeling of peace and serenity that seems to be part of the landscape.  Sara’s Harmony Way is a shop that offered at least an hour’s worth of very enjoyable conversation as well as the growler of beer that provided an interesting addition to the first of the three Easter weekend gatherings Lisa, Denis, Abigail, Ashlyn and I attended.

The first party was at the home of the folks with whom we spent a week at the lake in Vermont last summer.  A number of members of their extended family were there.  There was lots of good food, entertaining conversation, and the feeling that we were included as members of the family.  (There was even some lobbying for me to do the wedding next summer for one of the couples present – we’ll see.)

The next morning was Easter worship.  The pianist at the church there is very gifted.  He is a jazz pianist who knows church music well.  The accompaniments are always reverent, interesting and easy to listen to.  At one point after finishing a congregational song, he transitioned through some unstructured time of liturgical activity by improvising based on the melody of the song that had just ended.  Were he to write down the improvisation, it would sell as a very good piece of music.  The service was well-done, a great way to spend and Easter morning.

We rushed home after the service, changed clothes and went to the Smith family Easter gathering.  Lisa’s husband Denis is the youngest of ten.  Almost all of the siblings have multiple children, many of whom also have children.  All the little ones especially were moving far too fast for me to attempt a head count.  There were probably near sixty of them.  The Easter egg hunt was a hoot (learned that word usage in Oklahoma) with little people running (or crawling) everywhere.  Again there was great food and great conversation.  The many hugs shared made me feel like part of the family.

We stopped at the store on the way home for a couple of last minute items in preparation for the third of the weekend’s parties.  Some of the folks from the Friday evening group and another family from Lisa and Denis’s close circle of friends gather at Denis and Lisa’s for a very relaxing evening of food and talk.  The eight young children had much fun with a couple of very large cardboard boxes.  There was another Easter egg hunt.  Again, I have been graciously accepted into the circle of friends.

The day ended with a SKYPE video call with Son Micah, Becky and Chloe who were taking a quick couple of days visiting Seattle just to enjoy the sights and walk the beach.  They too had a wonderful and relaxing experience.

Today was the ten hour drive home for me and back to work for Lisa.  Denis took a couple of days off to spend with the girls while they are on spring break.  We all need some time to recuperate from days of eating large quantities of food and thoroughly wearing ourselves out enjoying good times together with friends and family.

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