Wanted to post on this date of triple 11’s, so here’s eleven things.
Time Mom and I have for the 2nd year decided not to go off daylight savings time. It is a little different this time around because before our whole farm was a time zone unto itself, but this year it is just our quarters within my sister’s house that is in a different zone. We have to remember as we cross the threshold in either direction that the time is an hour different. The rest of the household has adjusted well – when anyone gives a time, he gives both theirs and ours as in, “I’ll be leaving at 5, 6 your time.” The Home Health nurse has even made the adjustment.
1/53rd Our parish, St. Michaels, scheduled all-night adoration from All Saints evening to noon on All Souls Day. Things were looking as if Mom might be needing a trip to the ER and maybe a hospital stay, so I promised a holy hour if we could avoid that. (Not so much bargaining as making sure this weak flesh would actually do what the spirit was willing to do. Formalizing it into a promise, I hoped would make me get there if we weren’t in the hospital.) I thought the holy hour would be a great way to begin the 53 days of praying for a poor soul. We always get Mom up at midnight, so I thought that right after she got back to bed, I’d head up to the church – a 10 minute walk. As it turned out, the beginnings of 8” of snow began to fall late afternoon on the 1st and Mom didn’t need to go to the ER. Mom rose at midnight and then went back to bed. So it was All Souls Day and the promise was there, but the flesh was looking for excuses since this particular flesh does not like the cold and isn’t wild about snow. But it ventured out. There was that snow-quiet that is beautiful, and it wasn’t so cold. As I reached St. Michael’s, I straddled over the split rail fence meant to keep people out of that particular area around the church. Then I noticed that the parking lot was unlit. (Father had said it would be lit.) I noticed the church was dark. (Father said it wouldn’t be.) Noticed no cars in the parking lot. (Father had said there would be Knights of Columbus around all night.) I got to the door to find the sign with 10 p.m. on it that said that adoration was cancelled due to the snow. As I turned to leave, another 1 a.m. would-be-adorer was driving into the parking lot. I flagged him down to tell him of the cancellation. He gave me a ride home. In the five minute drive I learned that he was originally from Omaha, had spent time in Roanoke in the Navy Reserves, had been in South Dakota where he finds people the most friendly, been in Colorado since 1993, likes driving in the snow, normally doesn’t get home from work until 4 a.m. but that night he was off. Mostly I found out that he was a great guy and I was glad to have met him. So I did my praying for the Poor Souls at home and threw in some prayers for my ride-giver.
VOD Many of you have fond memories of writing and recording your Voice of Democracy speeches for the contest sponsored by the VFW. This year Seton took 1st and 2nd with Michael Hill and Michael Collins taking the prizes. And Seton’s 8th grader Emily Heim was the winner of the Patriot Pen contest. All three of these have alumni siblings. Maureen Terza Campbell is local teacher of the year. More on her in a later posting.
Peach Tree Some of you may remember that a couple years ago I planted some peach pits outside and one of them sprouted and reached sapling stage when grasshoppers invaded. I dug it up and brought it inside and it kept growing. It reached a couple feet in height that first year before its leaves fell off. It got its spring leaves, but it quit growing up and just put out more small branches. The tree was in the house at the farm where brother Jim tended it, then at my sister Kath’s until this past Sunday when she brought it up to Barb’s. So we now have the leafless peach tree here. I think for survival it will need to be transplanted back outside next spring. I called a radio garden show to ask the garden experts how best to transplant it. Basically, they told me to dig a hole and put it in. They did say that the hole should be no deeper than the depth of the bucket the tree is now in but that it should be much wider.
Another Tree Barb’s apple tree in the back yard produced abundant fruit this year, so I would with some frequency pick apples and make an apple crisp. The crisps enjoyed some popularity in the household. Then I decided I would branch out (tree allusion there intended) and make something that Mrs. Carroll makes called Apple-Macaroni in which you treat the apples as if they were going into a pie, add cooked macaroni and bake. It tastes like apple pie to me, and I think dessert as a main course is great. Most of Barb’s family (Barb and Dave were brave) refused even to try it. They called it Apple-Sphagetts, (the “i” left off and the “s” added) and thought it was ridiculous.
Yet Another Tree You may have noticed that I am standing under the branches of a tree in the new picture for the blog – this tree is in the front yard of Barb’s house. Last night at midnight, Barb, nephew Nathaniel, Mom and I were talking about trees. Nathaniel said that when he was at Christendom’s summer program, Dr. Cuddeback in the philosophy class asked if trees had feelings. Nathaniel answered that they had to since there are all those “happy trees”. The class laughed knowing what he was referring to, but Dr. C did not know (and neither did I last night) that there is an artist on PBS who often adds “happy trees” at the end of his art work. We also talked about the tree in the front yard. It is unusual in that it has green leaves for the most part, but a section of yellow leaves. And it lost all its leaves in the middle of August in about one day. Barb said that the tree is stressed because it gets no water. Nathaniel said it must also be bipolar (characterized by two directly opposite natures). So now you should have new appreciation for the tree in the picture, knowing that it is a stressed, bipolar, rapidly deciduous tree with deep feelings. (Things tend to be funnier at midnight.)
CC The state cross country meets are today. When I get results, I’ll try to post them on comments under this posting.
Mrs. Carroll at CC This CC is Christendom College where Mrs. Carroll delivered a talk on Christopher Columbus that Dr. Carroll was scheduled to give October 25. He had a stroke October 24, which took most of his power of speech. He kept practicing the speech hoping to give it one day, but was never able. There were a good number of Seton alumni in the audience to listen to Mrs. Carroll give Dr. Carroll’s talk. If I can figure out how, I’ll give the link that will enable you to listen to the talk.
CC: a different one Here is a story from Mrs. Carroll. About a week after Warren’s stroke we were praying the rosary and Warren was asking me to pray for different departed friends. He was hard to understand, but we would play 20 questions and I would get the answer because I knew whom he usually prayed for, but one name I couldn’t get. I asked about all the personal friends I could think of and all the places he had been, but I couldn’t guess. Then I asked him to try to write. All I could read was the first letter of the first and last names – both were C’s. All I could think of was Christopher Columbus and that was the right answer. Since he had spent so much time on the speech he considered Chris his personal friend. So in the Book of Remembrance at All Saints, along with his parents and college friends, Christopher Columbus was entered.
Spirit Week at Seton I think you would enjoy reading about Spirit Week and other goings on at Seton found on the Seton website seton-school.org. Click on newsletters at the top and then on November 10 issue. There’s a good blend of the old and the new in spirit week. I think it should bring back some memories. I have to admit it looks as if it is a lot more fun now, but no duct tape in decorating! What are they thinking?
Veterans’ Day Assembly: It is now a tradition to have a veteran speak at Seton during the week in which Veterans’ Day falls. This year an army veteran friend of alumnus Andy Cooper was the speaker. He told his story of how he got into the army after not wanting to be in the service for a long time, then told of his military career and his being wounded in Afghanistan. He rehabbed at Walter Reed where he met President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. His funny and inspiring talk was almost an hour long, during which time the students were riveted. He was given a standing ovation. God bless our Veterans.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto the Poor Souls.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.