Archive for the ‘Homelife’ Category

Much convincing and prodding

September 6, 2010

My quiet time each morning is from 6:45 a.m. to about 7:30 a.m. Lately I have been spending the time with the daily Lectionary readings and one of Thomas Merton’s books: Thoughts in Solitude. The book’s chapters are short, and one or two at a time usually does it.

Today is Labor Day.This morning as I sat down I was wondering why I was thinking about going down to the prison to visit the men in solitary. I wondered why I was going down there when I could/should be relaxing on the patio and enjoying the beautiful weather. Going down there at all usually requires much convincing and prodding on my part. After a few minutes, something inside me said, “Do your readings.”

In Merton was this quote on page 103: “Whatever may be our vocation we are called to be witnesses and ministers of the Divine Mercy.” There it was. A clear and unequivocal statement of why I felt the pull to drive 1 hour and 20 minutes south to stand in a noisy wing trying to listen to some offenders through solid steel doors.

I went. It was good.

Late night campfires under the stars

July 1, 2010

In the back of our garage is a small enclosed utility trailer which has been sitting there for 25 years following 4 additional years of sitting in another city. The tires have been flat for at least half of those years. Perhaps it’s time to drag it out, clean it up, and sell it to someone who can make use of it.

When I opened it up a couple of days ago, a flood of warm memories washed over me. Inside is a box of our camping supplies: nested cooking set, silverware, cups, a small metal percolator. There is a laundry bag with towels, dish cloths, ponchos. Our Coleman lantern and stove, some canvas cots. The smell of the contents is as it always was and triggered  the memories.

We camped many, many times each spring, summer, and fall for at least 15 years. Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana were among the states in which we pitched our tent. Our 10X14 cabin tent had plenty of room for four cots and a lawn chair or two. The tent is still good and is nearly 40 years old. We use it for overflow guests when on vacation.

Many work and church friends enjoyed camping as much as we did; we seldom went camping alone. Late night campfires under the stars as the little ones slept in our circle of tents … what more can be said.

I hope some family can make use of our trailer. It was such an improvement over our car-top carrier for holding all the gear plus sleeping bags. There are new tires, and I shall get the bearings repacked before I list it.

We’ll see what happens.

A little fresh air and sunshine will be nice

May 14, 2010

Short visits to the prison are better than no visits. At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Today, I needed to see three people (offenders in solitary)  for sure, and I needed to inform one other offender about future communion service plans. All of that was accomplished, and I returned home.

I should be up to full speed in another couple of weeks. Until then, a triage approach to my visits to those in solitary will have to suffice.

This weekend should see and end to the rain, and, hopefully, will present an opportunity for some leisure time outside. A little fresh air and sunshine will be nice … unless a “to do” list is being generated elsewhere, of course.

Nothing that a little neglect can’t cure

May 9, 2010

A peaceful Sunday, Mother’s Day, afternoon. The Cardinals are on TV and are winning at this moment. The resident mother is enjoying an afternoon nap.

Earlier today, our outdoor sprinklers and timers were set up. All is ready now for some fresh plantings, clawing, mulching.

I don’t know where the moles went. They could be in sleeper mode with an insurgent push scheduled for when I’m distracted with other activities.

A trip to the roof yesterday enabled the completion of a short “to-do” list: checked and tightened antenna cable connections; blew leaves, seeds and other debris out of every nook and cranny … especially the crannies ; cleaned gutter screens, and polished up the skylight. Only one plugged downspout. Now the rains can come once more.

The yard is looking pretty good, but nothing that a little neglect can’t cure.

Isn’t that right Wall Street?

May 6, 2010

Today IS a better day. Open windows, a cleaned off patio. The first semblance of feeling normal since April 25. My partner is still not feeling well, however.

The situation in Greece is not good. Their debt structure and inability to create enough of a revenue/spending gap makes their recovery look like a very long-term exercise. Default, I assume, remains a real possibility with their having little capacity to repay lenders over the long haul. Even keeping up with interest charges will be tough.

I can’t blame the Greek populace for being upset. Much of what is happening to them on an individual basis resembles what happens here: The party is over, the shiny limousines have pulled away from the curb with their tipsy and self-satisfied cargo, and the check has been handed to those busing the dishes and sweeping the floor. Whether Greece’s socio-economic policy has been healthy and realistic over the years is beside the point. The little guys shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Isn’t that right Wall Street?

The British elections are today. The Diane Rehm Show this morning had an excellent panel to discuss some of the dynamics. One thing of note was the main distinction between their conservatives and our Republican party. They don’t have a religious right so the conservatives are able to be more responsive to the signs of the times and diverse constituencies … I guess, rather than being stuck in the Old Testament. The panel also noted that the disaffected conservatives in Britain have a leader whereas the Tea Party movement has no leader, (nor sees any need for a message rooted in reality, I say).

It will be fun to see what happens.

Tomorrow will be a better day …

May 5, 2010

Things are looking up. Heading to the store for some fresh fruit: pineapple and strawberries.

Our entertainment for the past few days has been some major excavation work at the house across the street. It seems their lateral sewer connection failed. The pile of dirt is immense; a large pink dogwood was lost, end of their driveway and two sidewalks demolished.

I know the guy operating the backhoe, but have talked with him very little during the job, not feeling up to snuff and all. He probably doesn’t miss my engineering assistance.

Everyone in our village  pays $28 per year into a community fund to help with such failures. If pooled funds are sufficient, 90% of the cost can be covered (provided proper bidding processes are followed). Ours went a few years ago with the repair at $4,000. Ninety percent helped! The job across the street is running around $12,000.

We are missing lots of beautiful weather in an attempt to avoid the tree pollen. Windows shut and the A/C on when they normally would not be.

Tomorrow will be a better day …