You can never have too much ice cream.
Hell-o friends! I can hardly believe that it’s the end of summer. Where did it go? It’ll soon be time to head to the Oregon State Fair. I’ll smash a soft-serve swirl cone through my Covid-delta-stopping mask. Nummm. On second thought, maybe I’ll just have a quart of Ben and Jerry’s all alone in my closet. It’ll be way safer that way.
In addition to keeping up on all things fundraising, development, and stewardship, I’ve been indulging in other things, too. If you must, call me a Renaissance woman. In this Special Edition of Inspiring Generosity (you read it here first), take a gander at a few of the TV shows, movies, and books that have made my summer a good one:
On the Tube
High on the Hog: This Netflix four-part series is part history, part travelogue, part cooking show. Gorgeously filmed, it makes you long to travel and eat. The show explores how Africa and African Americans have influenced the way we cook and the types of food we consume. Inspiring? You bet.
Ted Lasso: I wish I could give everyone an Apple TV subscription just to see this show. Now in its second season, the premise is a so-so American football coach finds himself in England coaching the other “football” (soccer). Ted is an all-around good human being – though not without faults. The cast is wonderfully quirky. Generous? Ted Lasso is for sure.
Schmigadoon: Let’s just say that I’m glad I got a new iPhone a few months ago and with it came a year of free Apple TV. If you like old musicals, you’re going to love Schmigadoon. It’s hilarious and bawdy and ultimately about love. Generous or Inspiring? It’s a stretch – but you bet it’s both.
At the Movies
Joe Bell: Based on a true story out of Eastern Oregon, Joe Bell (played by Mark Wahlberg) is the father of Jaiden, an LGBTQ high school youth (brilliantly played by Reid Miller) who was bullied and ultimately committed suicide. In honor of his son, Bell decided to walk across the United States. It isn’t lite by any stretch. Inspiring? Yes, especially as a father seeks redemption.
CODA: Short for “Child of Deaf Adult,” CODA is the coming-of-age tale of Ruby whose parents and older brother are deaf. Ruby helps her family navigate the hearing world. This responsibility conflicts with her desire to go to college – a few hours away from home. Funny and sweet, there’s a reason this won the Audience Choice award at Sundance. Bring your hankies. Inspiring? Absolutely.
Courageous Warriors: Produced and directed by my old high school friend and independent filmmaker, Darla Rae, this documentary is a moving journey through breast cancer from the perspective of those who have or have had the disease. There are therapeutic horses and amazing tattoo artists in addition to many brave survivors. Though not in general release, you can find information about it on the Courageous Warriors website or on their Facebook page. Inspiring? Undoubtedly.
Rest and Read
Caste: This incredible work by Isabel Wilkerson makes a strong case that the United States is bound by the caste system, and that our tendency is to rank privilege by skin color. The material is often hard to read and much of it will anger you but it will also move and change you. Inspiring or Generous? Not really – but that’s not the point.
Jesus and John Wayne: For this old evangelical, this was a walk down memory lane. Kristen Kobes Du Mez argues that over the decades a majority of evangelicals have had a love affair with manly men (and a few women) who reinforce traditional patriarchal and gender norms. She starts with the 1950s and goes through the election of the 45th President. A fascinating read. Inspiring or Generous? It’s not that kind of a book but it helps clarify our current situation.
Just because. They’re funny. Pickles, Baby Blues, Zits, Pearls Before Swine. I think it’s the only reason I keep subscribing to a newspaper.
So…what did you read or watch this summer that was meaningful? Did something make you laugh or feel inspired or increase your faith? Let me know.
You still have a few precious days of summer left. It’s never too late to sneak in one last book, movie, TV show…or to eat that last pint of ice cream. Nuuuuum. Enjoy!