Archive for February, 2006

Sue’s first tomato

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Sue loves dirt. She’s happy moving wheelbarrows full of soil back and forth for Chuck’s purposes, weeding and mulching around small trees, digging for a conch shell garden, but perhaps her favorite dirt is found in her garden.

Her garden is a tiny patch of The Peabody Estate, nestled behind the shed and new beach right next to the Hutson’s gate (through which their dogs enjoy the view). Her garden may be tiny, but it contains a huge variety of flowers and vegetables.

TomatoA few days ago Susie gave me the tiniest tomato. Apparently it fell off its vine and wasn’t quite ripe - but after a few days sitting on a windowsill, it brought joy to my salad with bright colors and great flavor. God bless Sue and her garden! Mike

Four Good Friends

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

How Much We Need Four Good Friends…

Have you ever stood or sat paralyzed when someone asked you to do something or it was your turn to say something and you couldn’t move or speak? For me the paralysis is accompanied with a sudden sweat and a pounding in my head!!! I find it amazing how I can attend Mass daily and love Jesus, but when asked to “do” something, I turn to ice water, my feet frozen to the floor in terror! I remember the first time Father signaled to me when there were not enough Eucharistic ministers! Only two people stood up at the altar to perform Eucharistic Minister duties and Father looked straight into my eyes and nodded, “Susan, come here.” Like a poor frightened child, I ducked my head and my eyes replied, “Not me! I’m not ready! I’m not worthy!” A woman stood up in the back and walked to the altar and I realized I was sweating… with fear? Of what? (“Oh Lord I am not worthy.”)

What if the four men carrying a paralyzed friend to Jesus had suddenly frozen up in fear of approaching the Lord, of breaking into someone’s house by tearing a hole in their roof or of lowering their paralyzed friend through the roof into the midst of a bunch of people maybe above the four friends’ social status? The great Teacher and the scribes from the Temple were in that house…. What if the four friends had said, “We can’t DO THAT!” The paralyzed man would have remained on his bed, alone and unsaved. Instead his four friends took advantage of the presence of God and grabbed their friend to take him to Jesus. When the way was blocked by obstructions, they found another way! Illegal? Maybe. Hard? Very. But get to Jesus they must. The motivation, “Our friend needs the Lord!!!” had to be foremost on their minds. For the full story, see the Gospel of Mark 2: 1-12.

I’m not suggesting that anyone “break and enter.” And fortunately our churches and rectories are open most of the time. Many churches are blessed to have Perpetual Adoration chapels open 24 hours a day so we can go to the Lord most anytime. But if we can’t work up the nerve to stand up and approach the Lord or we don’t know how to approach the Lord (“Oh Lord I am not worthy…”), then just wait! I remember vividly at an Emmaus retreat a woman taking me in her arms and leading me, saying “don’t be afraid, just trust me…” She led me to a chair and said “wait here.” I thought at that time, “This must be what sitting at the gate of heaven feels like!” I was so grateful that someone came to get me as I stood paralyzed and unable to walk to the Lord myself. She walked with me and sang to me and said, “Be not afraid.” Was she the hand of God? Yes she was; a good friend. I believe to this day, she brought me to Jesus when I couldn’t go on my own. Friends… if you have a friend who needs help, first pray for guidance and then… bring your friend into the presence of the Lord. Gently whisper “Be not afraid, for I am with you.” Even our prayer can move someone. Don’t be afraid… Be one of the four good friends and don’t be defeated by the obstacles keeping you from bringing your friend to the Lord… You might not “fit” into the gathering either by your social status or your education, but the Lord wants you to come. My pastor writes, “The men that carry the sick man and that lower him through the roof symbolize a community that takes the suffering to the feet of Jesus. We, as a community, can be the instrument by which the sick and distant are taken to God with our prayers, faith, service and example. Upon seeing the faith of the brothers of the community, Jesus approaches the paralytic man and forgives his sins.

What if we don’t take a friend to the Lord? We might ignore opportunities the Lord places before us all the days of our friend’s life. Then we might just one day be carrying our friend when it is too late. Do it now. God bless you good friend.

Men in my backyard

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

Chuck and I are blessed to have lots of friends. Surely Mike is to be considered a best bud as he filled in his eroded beach and I have taken half that dirt OUT to fill various needs in my yard. Mike provides the hoses and water, the expertise on wierd stuff and the photos. Mike provides topics for my books when I’m blank. As for the other men in my yard, they are dolls too. I noticed new muscles on Chuck’s arms from work, work and work with shovel and hammer. Thanks to the guys who stood on Chuck’s rikkety ladders and helped put the martin house back up after hurricane season… the martins are back today singing and dancing in their slightly cock-eyed home (in case you didn’t know… coming back to the same “house” every year is a thing martins do… Mike and I think it’s a genetic thing like the swallows coming back to Capistrano…) Today is a beautiful sunny day with blue sky. Thank God! Have a great day my friends!

What’s wrong with this picture?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Miami-Dade County applying weed control chemcials to our lake on Groundhog Day.
Weed Control - what's wrong with this picture?

Of the three men in the boat, why is the one applying the chemicals not wearing protective gear, while the other two passengers are well protected? Mike

who’s got a hot tub?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Not me!!! Dear dears. The hot tub just drove out the drive way. We gave it away to a nice family who will actually go in it! I have to admit. It sat on my patio for 2 years…. I went in it once when Heather and Perry owned the house.. Then with the rebuild after the hurricanes it was “what are we gonna do with the hot tub????” Today we rolled it out to the driveway and voted (the neighbors were a quorum and we voted “get rid of it…. Chuck and Sue don’t know the meaning of the word maintenance”) and Chuck and I went out to dinner and the neighbors were loading it on to a trailer when we came home from dinner…. Bye bye a way of life… imagine floating in the hot tub while looking out at the lake. Never did it so .. well you know the rest. We also have a canoe I’ve never been in…. Sometimes I feel guilty!!!!! Love and kisses from a lady who has it all! Susie