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Little Children, Come Out and Play. . .

21 Jan

. . .The moon is shining bright as day.

Last night was the Super Blood Wolf Lunar Eclipse – or whatever – and I desperately wanted to see it. The next one won’t be until 2037, and I seriously doubt either of us will be around then. It started at 10:30 PM and ended around midnight. It was bitterly cold – 11° – and blowing a gale so the wind chill was 5 below (-20 C). Even on a good day, standing around outside in those temps would not be wise, but I have a dreadful sore throat. The Squire wouldn’t have allowed me to go out, and I’m smart enough to not have seriously considered it.

Fortunately, we could watch the entire business from one of the upstairs windows. It really was spectacular and well worth staying up for. Show over, we pulled the shades and fell into bed. I woke up a little after 2 AM with so much light coming around the shade that I thought I’d slept until midday.  The moon really was shining, bright as day.

I’m sitting in the den, watching the birds at the feeders. Because there is a spring close to the house, our sidewalks are frequently wet and/or icy. One cardinal flies up the feeder, grabs a seed, and then lands on the walk to eat. The walk is a sheet of ice, and her little feet go out from under her. She’s done it three times, so far.

Bird brain!

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The Funeral

20 Jan

Yesterday was unusual. Not bad, not exceptionally good, just unusual.

I have not felt up to snuff the last couple of days. I’ve been very, very tired – a sort of “hitting the wall” exhaustion – and had a scratchy throat all day yesterday. This morning I have a full-fledged catarrh of the throat – swallowing hurts, my ears hurt, the whole nine yards. Today was the Annual Meeting at church, so I was just as glad to have a reason not to slog through the rain and wind.

The deceased and her mom had been estranged for many, many years, and even though the daughter had cancer they had never patched things up. When her wheelchair was pushed up to the coffin, Mom spent quite a while apologizing to her daughter. Public displays always make me “itchy” and while I certainly should have been more sympathetic, I couldn’t help wondering why all this wasn’t done when the poor girl was still alive. Cancer does give you plenty of time to set thing in order.

The fellow in front of us during the service played with his cell phone the entire time. Even when we all stood and put our hands over our hearts when the military Honor Guard  folded the flag and presented it to the wife, he didn’t get to his feet until his wife poked him, and only transferred his phone to the other hand so he could continue his texting.

I wonder why people like that even show up.

You know, every year, my Lenten discipline is to try to be less judgmental.  I am not making much progress.

Say WHAT?

18 Jan

Scrolling through my email this afternoon I came upon this subject line:

Show Stopping Sleepwear

Exactly what sort of “show” might this be, pray tell?

The Nothing Burger

18 Jan

The forecast was for a “blockbuster” storm. When I stopped for a prescription last night I had to park on the lot across the street because the grocery store was mobbed.  As promised, the snow started falling a little after 7PM, but it was “puny”, to quote The Squire. When we went to bed a little after 10 it seemed to have stopped completely.

When I opened the shades this morning, the expression above popped into my head: A Nothing Burger. There wasn’t enough snow to even close the schools! Man, I can remember when I was in public high school having to wait one hour before trudging back home. The worst sound in the world was the clanking of the bus’s snow chains coming down Joppa Road – usually at the 55 minute mark!

We were also to have frigid temps, but it was 40° at 3PM. Maybe that’s frigid in Florida, but it certainly isn’t very cold in Maryland – especially in mid-January.

The daughter of one of our families died this past week, and the funeral is tomorrow. A lot of circumstances make this entire endeavor very tricky. The father is in a wheelchair and on oxygen, and the mother is in such bad shape – emotionally and physically – that the two sons don’t think she’s going to even make it to the service. We are allowing the viewing to be in the narthex – pretty much an absolute no-no in the Episcopal Church – before the service. The committal service will be read at the church door because neither of the parents can make it to the grave.

The mission is for the church to serve the people, not the other way around. My mum’s church only has Eucharist once a month, and I was absolutely livid when her minister refused to bring her communion when she was dying because it was “the wrong time of the month”.  And then, there’s that marvelous case where the Roman Church refused to allow a girl with severe celiac disease to use a rice wafer for Communion instead of the normal wheat.

A dear friend of ours moved to Colorado about thirty years ago, and I called him to let him know about this death; he was a long-time friend of the family. In the course of the conversation he told me he had what he called “a cancer”. He said he didn’t know exactly what sort it was, but he was not “pursuing” it, as he phrased it. He is in his mid-80s, and simply can’t see the point to dragging himself through all that mess.

Makes perfect sense to us. Give me pain meds, and leave me alone.

The DEAN is Back

13 Jan

It snowed last night and most of today, and as a result, tout le monde is in a state of uproar. Honestly, you’d think the world is coming to an end.

Somebody called here this morning to ask me if we were having church. “I’m not the one to make that decision. Did you call the Senior Warden?” (Wardens, for you non-Episcopalians, are sort of church officers – Senior Warden and Junior Warden are responsible for business and property matters, respectively.) Well, no, she hadn’t. I called and the SW said Yes, we were having services this morning, so I called her back.

I’m not really sure why this person even bothered to ask, because she apparently had no intention of coming anyway. “Are you going to church?” Of course I am. “Is The Squire going with you?” Do you think he’d let me drive in this mess by myself? Anyway, she gave me some info about a couple of things to be done this morning, which we did see to.

Now,  part of the concern about whether or not we were having service was that Fr. B is away this weekend and the supply priest we had lined up had to come from quite a distance. The SW had offered the man the chance to back out gracefully if he desired, but No, all systems were Go.  Bless him, the man drove here from the Eastern Shore – in the teeth of the storm!

When we arrived, I stomped the snow off my boots, stuck out my hand and introduced myself. “Ah,” said Fr. Supply, “You are one of the Wardens, then.”

“Um, no sir. Not a warden. I’m just the DEAN. Doing Everything As Needed.”  Apparently, somebody had told him I was one of the wardens, and that I would see to it that he had whatever it was he needed this morning.

Good Grief.

The Addicts

11 Jan

The Squire went up to the gym this afternoon and swung into the library on his way home.  He noticed a David Weber book, Through Fiery Trials on the “New Books” shelf. “Oh, I think we’ve read this one”, sez he, and put it back.

When he got home, he went upstairs to see if it was on our shelf (we’ve purchased all of the others, normally via AbeBook.com) and didn’t find it. Hmmm. I suggested he go back up and get it, but he said he’d survive without it.  A bit of research and we discovered it was indeed, a new book, just out on January 9. It was out on loan at all of the other branches, but I did put in a request at our local branch.

He settled in to read the books he had in hand, but about a half an hour later he came into the den and told me he was going to go after it anyway. “It’s supposed to snow tomorrow” and that was really all the explanation I needed.

I understand perfectly. Two people, snowed in, and not enough books to go around. Oh, the horror!

Never a Dull, part 2

10 Jan

My car had a leak in the pipe that goes from the gas cap to the tank, so I left it at the garage the other night. This morning The Squire dropped me off at church for knitting while he went to the dermatologist. I was quite early, so I went into the church and set up the altar for Sunday morning.  The flowers that were there for last week were not fit to be seen for a second week, so I stuffed them into a garbage bag and headed for the dumpster.

Just as the church door closed behind me I realized I had A) locked the door behind me when I went inside, and B) I’d unlocked the sacristy door and my keys were hanging in the knob.  Today is the coldest we have had so far this winter, and blowing a gale.  Lovely.  Fortunately, I had dropped my cell phone into my pocket when I left the house this morning. I don’t normally carry it, and I hadn’t bothered with a purse either because The Squire was driving.

Normally Mac’s wife opens the building for knitting, but both of them are home sick today. I hated to drag her out of bed, but she kindly put on her bedroom slippers and drove over to rescue me. Talk about feeling idiotic!

I did learn that the incident Tuesday night involved a group of teens – a young man and two females – goofing around in the early evening. He had climbed a tree, and the branch had broken, dropping him to the ground.  Crews had come back in the daylight, and the entire tree was dead – and on private property, clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs.