Archive for October, 2008

November musings

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

This will be our first late autumn visit to England and although we have been this cold in June, we haven’t witnessed the harvest festivities of autumn yet. Witches decorate the stores, and the “kids” carved pumpkins this morning. The oldest “kid” is almost 30, and the youngest is near 25, but joy fills all hearts at harvest-time.  This visit to the West country of Cornwell it has been a real pleasure as I tried to pet a wild pony on Bodmin moor, and as we ferried to Padstow to eat fish and chips from a box while enjoying sunshine on our faces; watching Sally’s three girls and their good friends laugh and enjoy youth, and worshipping once again at the small Catholic church called Saint Peter in Bude.  A magazine I read called Catholic Digest (November 2008 issue) explains that November is a dreary month that begins the dark quarter of the year beginning November 1 (All Saints Day) and ending February 2 (The Presentation of Jesus). To challenge the darkness and something like the fear ancient peoples felt in the dark, we escape into fantasy dressing up in funny/scary costumes and visiting the lighted houses in our neighborhoods. At this time of year, we light fires and candles to dispel the darkness, we have parties, we tell tall tales, and we escape the darkness.  The pantries are full. We have harvested the fields and killed the pigs, geese and other animals we bought early in June to “fatten up.”  Our friends Mervyn and Brenda showed us their little pen with 2 pigs who will dress holiday tables in late November. Brenda’s geese will probably be saved for Christmas dinner. Families gather and the feasting “provides a foretaste of the everlasting banquet of saints,” and reminds us that eventually we will be “gathered” into a hospitable heaven. Chuck and I look forward to celebrating festival days on the south coast of England in Dorset in Kingsbridge, Lyme Regis, and Abbotsbury before heading for the cruise ship that will leave Southhampton on November 6. The school children will all be off on holiday for a week called “half-term” and the party week will be in high gear until November 2 when England will pull up the covers and face another chilly winter. Many thanks to our English hosts!  Cheers and God bless us all! 

England again! The Grand Adventure Part II

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

On October 16, 2008 a flight attendant woke me up asking “omlet or cereal”? I actually slept on a trans atlantic flight!  I wisely chose cereal and so began my first English day on a healthy note. The view from my window seat was of sunrise over thick clouds that blew away as we passed over Ireland and turned South over Scotland towards London. This is the reverse of the route the Pan Am flight was on when it was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie. Visiting Lockerbie is like a chapter in our lives that we all have to open. Many people died for a useless cause.  The sky cleared over England and the sun shown. We lost 40 degrees since Miami as the pilot advised it is 50 degrees (was 90 in Miami). Last night on the plane I watched “swing vote” a light Kevin Costner piece with heavy places about an important election question for Presidential candidates… “If America is so rich, why can’t I feed my children?”  Flying over the Thames we saw a new stadium perhaps for the 2012 Olympics. a fine round domed stadium, perhaps for the opening ceremonies. Houses of Parliament look good, Westminster Abbey.  All seems well. The adventure begins!  We picked up the rental car and headed out on the great M25 and M23 south towards our first stop in Sussex. We are visiting friends in a small village. They took us to a Brewery in Lewes. a small quaint town with shops and pubs!  We made plans for them to come to Miami and bask in our sunshine. As well we invite all friends to come to our sunshine!  We are already eating too much and drinking the local ales. Our hosts have a sweet old home (1600s built) and 2 sweet dogs Molly and Suki. We’re off to Battle Abbey in East Sussex. It is the sight of the 1066 battle of William the Conquerer a Norman who became king. God bless us all!

What can we do with America?

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

What can we do with America? America’s in trouble and the rest of the world seems to be falling down with us! That tells us one good thing… that people of this world look to us for leadership even if we have let them down recently. I’m not sure that as an individual American, I can do too much for the economy, but with our vote, we can change the leadership of this country. And with prayer we can change things too. I don’t think we can do anything else. I already voted by absentee as I’ll be away for the election, and I for one intend to pray a lot and try to be a little nicer and help someone out who needs help. That’s all we can do isn’t it? The Gospel reading this Monday was The Good Samaritan. You remember the story don’t you? A guy got beat up and robbed and left for dead. The ones who were supposed to help (because they were the ones in power) walked around him, probably casting their eyes away and saying it wasn’t their job. But do you know what the Samaritan showed them? A single person and a little kindness goes a long way to fixing things up. Kindness and justice can defeat greed and the downslide our world seems to be going in. God bless us as we try to fix our country.