Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On Second Thought

Instead of praying for my teeth, pray for this young man and his family. He lives in this area, and has connections with members of St. Paul.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I am sitting at my own computer in my own house. There is electricity. There is a roof, but no shingles. The shingles get put on tomorrow.  The carpet smells kind of musty, but not very bad at all, and it will be leaving soon, so that's okay. My books seem to smell fine. I am excited. I almost believe that one day I can live here again. I can't wait until Saturday when I can come and clean things. Boy is my keyboard dusty!

When you have a well, no electricity = no water. Now there's water.  I can flush the toilet!! I can turn on the AC, but strangely enough for July in Mississippi, it's not hot.

I can weigh on my scales. I have lost four pounds since the roof got clobbered!

The reason I am down here is that I was supposed to have a root canal today. Now they think I probably don't need one.

All-in-all, this is a great day.

I love my house.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Home Sweet Home Away From Home

So, this is where I live at the moment.

The little street that leads down to the corner where there is an expensive grocery store cum deli.

Miss Cordelia's, the aforemention store where I am sitting and drinking a coke so I can use the wi-fi.

What it looks like from my seat.

So, now we have been here a week. Yesterday, we went to the house to see how things are coming along and I was going to take a picture, but it was so depressing, I didn't have the heart to do it. The chimney is down. That's about it. It's a good thing we have a nice place to stay, even if it is a bit like living in Downtown Disney World. 

On the other hand, it's very relaxing here, and much closer to work, so I'm feeling very much more awake than usual. This is good because my job, although wonderful, wears me out. I do really love the job.

Okay, time to go. I have no internet access at my temporary home, and I'm really busy at work, but I'll try to get back soon.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Seek the Bridegroom and Not the Teacher

St. Bonaventure
Christ is both the way and the door. Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages. A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation. Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over. Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert. There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulcher, as if he were dead to things outside. He will experience, as much as is possible for one who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardor of his loving passion. 

This comes from The Journey of the Mind to God by St. Bonaventure. The entire passage can be found here.

Wish I had time to say something, but I don't. Probably for the best.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Moving On

Well, what we found out yesterday was that what had been done was nothing. Oh well. We did find out that it will be at least next weekend before we get back in the house, so now we are moving some of our furniture into an empty condo that some friends have been so generous as to offer us for the duration. It is in a very nice place on the river and everything one needs, except a church, is within walking distance. And, of course, I have my own church, so we're set.

I don't think I"ll be able to post anything from there, but hopefully I can post some pictures from work.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

We Shall See What We Shall See

So, I'm going to go to Mass now, and then I"ll drive down to the house and see what, if anything, has been done. The other tree--the one that is tilting towards my neighbors' fence is coming down this morning, so I know things will be buzzing there.

Also, I found out that we cannot stay here after Monday, because they are full for the rest of the week, so I've got to figure out where we are going to go. It's a good thing I like pilgrimages so much.


Thursday, July 11, 2013


Yesterday about 7:00 a.m., I was sitting on the porch of Cracker Barrel saying my rosary and waiting for Sally to meet me for breakfast. It was a nice breezy morning, and there was some kind of nice greenery blowing in the breeze in front of the restaurant. It was very peaceful and pleasant--a nice break from several days of moving around from place to place and making a million phones calls to the insurance company and the contractor.

There was Country and Western music playing on the speakers. One song called "Way Down South," had a line that went, "I kissed girls and I shot squirrels." I thought this was the quintessesence of C&W music. It made me laugh.Then, they played a song by Kenny Rogers that was based on an old hymn, "Love Lifted Me." Rogers has messed around with it a good deal and taken out all the embarrassing Jesus parts, but he left the refrain pretty much the same, and when he got to the refrain, it really got to me. The original lyrics go:

Love lifted me,
Love lifted me,
When nothing else would help
Love lifted me.

And it is Love who lifts me--Love who keeps me from feeling too sorry for myself and helps me to keep going when I'm feeling totally exhausted and befuddled. Love who keeps me from ever asking why this happened to me. I mean, why not me? Love who fills me with the belief that this is somehow His gift .

Yesterday, I had a few minutes and I looked around (listened around) some YouTube videos because I wanted to find a few different versions of the song and post them here, but I couldn't find any that suited me. The version that I really wish you could hear is Miss Gilmore's version. It was Miss Gilmore that first introduced me to the hymn. Almost 40 years ago, Miss Gilmore and I were in the same prayer group. I was a young mother in her mid-20s, and Miss Gilmore was a little old lady in the most wondeful sense of the phrase. She was really little, and she was really, really old. She lived alone on a former farm in rural Mississippi and raised chickens. Every now and then in the middle of the prayer meeting, she would raise her high, quavery voice and sing about how Love lifted her, and it always lifted us. Miss Gilmore didn't have much, but she had the one thing needful.

So here's B. J. Thomas singing "Love Lifted Me." It's not great, but if you've never heard the hymn before, it will give you an idea of what it sounds like.

I can't believe that actually worked. It's the first time I've ever had to type the html to embed something. This computer has a mind of it's own which, I suppose, is the reason that all this post had to be in italics, and you can't copy and paste anything. Also, it tells me that both Sally's and Maclin's blogs have questionnable content and therefore I can't access them.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's Going On

I'm in the complimentary "Business Office" of the hotel where we have a suite, so just a quick update.
The adjustor came yesterday, and he seems to be doing right by us, so now we can get things moving. Our friend Terry is a contractor and his company is going to fix the house. They can do everything. Someone is coming today to see what's what and we should have some idea of how long we have to be out of the house. I want to move back in as soon as it's safe.
If it will only be a week or so, as the adjustor thinks (not for all the work, but until it's basically livable), we will stay here in a suite and get free breakfast and dinner and watch too much TV, which for me is any TV at all. If it's going to be longer, some friends have offered us an empty condo in a very nice community on the river and we will move some of our furniture down there. It won't be worth it to move the furniture for a brief stay. We should know something today.
By some miracle, none of the furniture seems to be damaged. The only piece that even got very wet was my grandmother cedar chest which got a lot of water dumped on it, but it's a very sturdy piece of furniture.
So my goal today is to go to a couple of doctors' appointments (check-ups) and figure out how to get my clothes washed.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another Big Change

One of the things I do in my job is to write the bulletin. There is always a little box in the upper left-hand corner that tells where we are in the liturgical year, and quotes a passage from that day's readings. Sometimes there are other quotes in other places when we need a filler. All last week, I was thinking about the quote in that was in the corner, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." I probably should have been paying more attention to the quote in the filler that I deleted when a new announcement had to be squeezed into the bulletin, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

As many of you know, Friday evening (I can't believe it was just 48 hours ago.) a huge tree fell on our house during a storm. It was the tree on the right in the picture below. You would think the one on the left would have fallen, wouldn't you?

I wish there was something in the picture to give you some perspective, but the birdhouse on the right, which is about 10' high, and you only see about 2/3 of the tree, or maybe only 1/2. 

Here's a shot from the roots up. The house is completely obliterated. 

The tree fell on the front of the house. This is the back of the house. See the part on the right that's sticking out? That's the closet in a bedroom. The window with the air conditioner on the left of the closet is the bedroom window. The big room to the left is the kitchen. If you look closely, you can see the rest of the top of the tree is laying on the other side of the kitchen. It was hanging over the back porch. On the front of the house, opposite the bedroom you can see, is an identical bedroom. This is the room where my granddaughter (who took these pictures) was when the tree hit. Her room (which she had just spent a week painting.) took the brunt of the hit and the force of it knocked her down, but she was otherwise unhurt, thank the Lord. We were in our bedroom, which is on the opposite side of the house, and was unaffected.

Here's the chimney sans tree. There's a similar hole on the ridge of the wing which ends in the kitchen. It's over the dining room.

When I heard the storm coming, I was thinking the wind was really strong and, "Darn it! All the pool toys are in the pool and they're going to blow away. Then BOOM, and total darkness. Tessa came out of her room before I knew the tree had fallen, thank goodness, so I knew right away she was okay. Then water started coming through the living room and dining room ceilings, so we figured we needed to leave immediately. We grabbed a few clothes and left, and after a stop at the house of some neighbors who have been incredibly helpful, we drove to my Mom's, here we still are.

Now the tree is gone (the one on the left, too) and the holes are tarped (just this afternoon) and we await the adjustor tomorrow. I'll write some more soon, but now we are hungry and I'm going to let the insurance company buy me a hamburger.


P.S. Some of the pool toys are in the yard, but at least half are still in the pool!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Inexhaustible Patience


Who is this who waits
With arms extended
And wide open hands?
It is Christ, Our Lord
For ages and ages,
He has been waiting here,
Generations have passed,
He has not folded His wings 
Or closed His eyes.
For whom does He wait,
for whom the invitation,
for whom the inexhaustible patience
of infinite love? 
It is for one,
who comes slowly,
hesitating, afraid,
trusting more to chance,
to perishable things
and the frailties of men,
than to the everlasting arms. 
It is for me,
that for two thousand years,
Love has waited here,
with wide wings spread. 
It is for me,
the courtesy
that will not be importunate,
will not constrain my love
or force the suit. 
It is for me,
the silence of the word
wherein the beating heart
alone is audible. 
It is for me that God awaits,
with open hands,
a beggar at the locked gates
of my soul. 
It is for one who doubts,
mistrusts and fears,
who sees the tears
upon the human face
of God,
through her own tears,
and is not moved.
Of all the world
unworthiest to be loved,
driven at last
from self-inflicted harms,
to the Eternal Arms.
                         -Caryll Houselander

"I want you for my own," He says, and I say, "That's nice, but could I please have this?" Of all the attributes of God, it is this inexhautible patience that leaves me speechless.


Monday, July 1, 2013

My New Job

Well, it's been a very interesting two weeks--and one day.

First of all, there is a palantir in front of the office.

I haven't been foolish enough to look into it yet, but it's very tempting.

And then one day, there was a prodigy in the sky.

My favorite thing, though, is the name of the restaurant across the street from the church.

I haven't quite decided if they just like to be criticized or if it's some kind of an in-your-face taunt directed at the Health Department.

On a more serious note, I am continually in awe over the way my life has changed so quickly and how different it is now. I was excited from the beginning about being able to go to Mass everyday, but it wasn't until I was there about a week that it really hit me that I am right next to the Blessed Sacrament all day, and that I can go make a visit whenever I want--and I do. I keep thinking about Psalm 27:
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD'S house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD'S beauty, to visit his temple.
Of course, there are difficulties. It's hard to go from being the person in the seminary that everybody went to for information to being the person who hardly opens her mouth except to ask questions. I remember wondering when I first started working at the seminary if there would ever come a day when somebody wouldn't ask me a question that I had never heard (or thought of) before, and although that day passed years ago, I'm now right back in the same situation. 

And then there is the bulletin. You should find the person in your church who does the bulletin and kiss her on both cheeks and hug her and promise her that you will read every word of it and never throw it away (or deliberately leave it in the restroom) again.You should frame them--really.

When I heard that part of my job was going to be arranging funerals, I was really glad because I know how much difference the person in that position can make to the family of the deceased. It never occurred to me, however, that the very first time I had to arrange a funeral, the pastor would be out of town and I would have to meet with the family alone. Thankfully, the family turned out to be one woman, and it went well, although we have to get together again tomorrow and figure some things out. I hope you will all pray for me to be able to make things as easy for her as possible.

And I also ought to say that everyone has been very welcoming and extremely kind and patient. It's been rather humbling, and I'm not a person that's naturally very humble. And even though I am always exhausted by 4:00, I actually look forward to going to work everyday. Amazing.