Archive for May 2011

WEDDING CHAMPAGNE with TORNADO CHASER

May 30, 2011

(Literally.)

It was a beautiful outdoor wedding on the lake at the Kellogg family’s gracious manor house yesterday.    Wonderful young people who deserve a lifetime of happiness together.     There were birds singing, flowers and leaves rustling in a slight breeze, and the sound of gentle waves lapping against the shore.

Then we moved indoors for the wedding banquet and reception….

And then we moved downstairs into the cellars for the tornado!

(No photos yet, because even now, 24 hours later,  power, cable, and Internet service are still interrupted.     I am a “refugee” in a Burger King for food and Internet, two necessities of life.   Hats off to Burger King – and other public places that provide such things to their customers.)

The wedding celebrations  were eventually restored upstairs, and afterwards I left as it was getting dark.   The manor house was located in the midst of a maze of narrow, winding, rolling mostly-paved country roads.    It was the one time I nearly lost faith in what the GPS was telling me.

On the drive back I did see a lot of storm damage and  had to dodge a few tree limbs.    Drove through my little neighborhood, thinking how late it must be because everything is “so dark.”  It wasn’t until I tried and re-tried and re-tried my garage door opener that I realized we’d be having a “memorable” Memorial Day this year…without power.

Here was my plan for today:

That is the flag for this year’s Rolling Thunder group.  They are selling them for your motorcycles for their fundraiser.    Today, hundreds of thousands of motorcycling  men, women, and families will gather in Washington D.C. to proclaim our freedom and raise in honor the many soldiers who died to preserve that freedom.

I witness with increasing sadness, sorrow, and a little fear how our rights as American citizens are being taken away, one by one, several by several – and always because of some vague, nebulous “good” that is chosen by unnamed others.

One of our Founding Fathers said:   “He who gives up freedom for security will, in the end, have neither.”

Just so.

I won’t be able to watch Rolling Thunder on television as I had planned, but it is nice to know that they are indeed there,  proclaiming and celebrating our freedom and the lives of the many soldiers who died to, so far, preserve it.

I thank God for placing me in this country.    May I take good advantage of the opportunities that Freedom offers us.

“WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE”

May 26, 2011

Wherever you go, there you are!   

Traveling can be fun…or not so fun.  It depends on why you traveled and what happened when you traveled.  

And it’s always you:    wherever you go,  there you are.

There I am —  somewhere near the middle of the right-hand palm.  

As I traveled during these past two weeks, I was able to “try on” different states, like a woman would try on new dresses – just to see how they feel.   

Would I like to look out over distant green mountains every day?   Would I like the verdant pasture lands of Kentucky?    Would I like daily access to the ever-changing ocean?    Would I like the dry, dusty red soil of Georgia?  Or the congested, busy, fast-paced capital city of Georgia?   Would I like to have oranges growing in my backyard?    Countryside?  Mountainside?    Hillbilly accents?   East Coast accents?   

What would it be like to live there?

What would I be like if I lived there?

 What a surprise to come home a few days ago and feel….at Home.    

This is a state that suits me just fine.      What would I be like if I lived here?     I’d still be  like  me.   I think I’m comfortable with that.

Wherever I go,  there I am.    

I’ll just have to  bloom where I’m planted.    

. . .TO STORMY SUNSET

May 25, 2011

It’s time to bring this Florida driving trip to a close.

A lesson I learned:     I stopped in northern Georgia, desperate for a place to lay my head.    I found myself in a small, old, kind of smelly, “basic” foreign-owned  motel room.     I told myself   “I’m only here to sleep,”  as I cringed and curled up in sheets brought from home, and waited for the air-conditioner to freshen the air.    With a chair wedged against the door I felt somewhat safe;  what more do I need to rest my body than safety, privacy, darkness, and a  bed?

The next morning , after cleaning up and packing up, I went into the office area to see what breakfast they offered.   It was “breakfast.”      White bread and jelly;  white bagel and oily spread;   white biscuits and white gravy.    And miniature waffles, which the owner told me proudly that he had made himself….”already.”

When you put “already”  together with “made waffles,”  you get ice cold waffles.    ….which the foreign-born owner helped me microwave  (I do not microwave my food !) – and then proceeded to pour my coffee and my orange juice, and talk and ask how I was and generally make me feel like he enjoyed his job and he enjoyed all the people who came his way.  He treated the couple others in there the same way.

In the end, I had heard his life story, was most impressed with his straightforward and humble way of telling his American success story – hard work, seizing opportunities, preparing for his own future, and all the while caring for other people….sounded a lot like Hubbie!

The sun was shining, and I felt genuinely good about the morning!    And I really liked “people” in general and I felt pretty confident about myself.

After a stop at a gas station to get a “proper breakfast”  of sunflower seeds, some nuts, and a fruit  vegetable juice blend, I was ready to enjoy a sunny day of driving, rather humbly noting to look for the hidden goodness in seemingly less-than-favorable circumstances.

More hours and hours and miles and miles – but as you ponder all the road trips you’ve ever taken,   take time out to THANK A TRUCKER.    They keep our grocery stores filled – and all the other stores we need to go to.

Pleasant hours and hours and miles and miles in the GREAT SMOKIES:Surely some day I will travel to the Smokies instead of through them.

We are all watching the third day of killer tornadoes on television.   The first of these days was on my mind as I drove north out of the mountains, into familiar Interstates – and into heavy skies blowing across my path.

It was serious.  I saw the aftermath of a spinout from hydroplaning.

But soon I was getting that feeling that the End of the journey was in sight:

I couldn’t stop taking photos as I got closer and closer to those rays of sunshine:

I turned westward onto I-96 and had one more big thunderstorm to drive out of – Stunning.

I  looked straight ahead and thought of all kinds of things…..”light at the end of the tunnel.”   “Darkness before the dawn.”   “Now, we look through a glass, darkly;  but then we shall see face to face….”  A difficult trip…ends with the promise of home: This is my experience;   this time.    I’m sure you have had or will have this kind of experience sometime too.    Through difficult times….on to a beautiful sunset. 

Another lesson learned:    At the end of a long journey,  however long our journey lasts:  “Joy comes in the morning.”

Hope is a Gift of the Holy Spirit.  It’s a “theological virtue,”  as we say in Christendom.   If you let it into your heart and nurture it and grow it,   then even a beautiful sunset can remind you of the Morning that is surely waiting for us.

God is good.

SUNSET TO SUNSET . . .

May 24, 2011

This wasn’t a “vacation.”   This was “a trip to Florida to see family.”    My Dad wanted to see me;  I think he wanted to see for himself, in person,  that I’m okay…by myself now.   

The trip turned into a family reunion of sorts.  Daughter and her little family were nearby on business, so they came down the 60 or 70 miles more to see us.  Son flew down to be with us all and complete the picture.    We were all busy, hurried, aware of how little time we had, but it was good to be together.

And then it was “the last sunset”  on  our trip.   That’s the view out my hotel window as I was contemplating the family issues of the past week:   life, death;   together, apart;   baby beginning life, adults ending life;  good things and difficult things;   the history we are making, the history we have to turn back and face.

I was also contemplating the drive ahead.   Will I drive for three days?  Or will I make it in two?    Will those terrible storms in Missouri reach the Interstate I planned to drive on…when I was driving on them?  Will I be as weepy on the way northward, driving without Hubbie, as I was on the way southward, without Hubbie?

So I started out the next morning, four wheels and forty prayers.    Homeward !!!!

Not much to say about my first day of driving.   Looking out my front window:

Still looking out my front window:

Just stare at those two photos for about ten hours.  Ha Ha – That was my first day of driving.    Homeward !!!

Along the way I said good-bye to the ocean, the incredible blazing heat of the southern sun, the palm trees, kudzu, and the Spanish moss:

That was Spanish moss alongside a gas station that I stopped at.   

Then I noticed that there weren’t many of those horrible Love bugs to scratch and scrape off the windshield, as before.  

Instead of a multitude of Lovebug residue, I had a few giant splotches, like Bug Explosions against the windshield.   Next time I stopped at a gas station I discovered what those were:

About three inches long.    Growing up on the Illinois prairie, we called them locusts.    They were littered all over the gas station driveway every four or five feet.    And on everyone’s windshields.   Bug Explosions.

I drove as far north as I could that first day.     As I drove I was facing the possibility  that this might be the very last family reunion photo op that my side of the family will be able to have.   The end of an era.     I was looking alone-ness square in the face, feeling the miles of distance from my family,  feeling my singleness, settling in to what it feels like to accept the end of things.

The end of the first day….    Looking out my front window in northern Georgia.

SQUID LIPS

May 21, 2011
YUMMY!

I’ve attempted to eat “native” while down here in Florida, at restaurants with names like Green Turtle,   Island Fish Grill,  Crabs on the Beach –   and Squid Lips!

While I didn’t go everywhere that sounded good, I did experience shrimp, lobster, a wonderful fish chowder, conch fritters, and – at Squid Lips –  a very interesting praline tilapia, complete with pecans and brown sugar praline sauce.

They feature a rustic ocean-front decor with  “strange things” in a refrigerated food case out front, and a little store.   You can sit indoors or “out back” with beach sand under your feet and colorful tables and umbrellas while you watch the swiftly flowing Indian River ripple in the moonlight.

Son, Daughter, Son-In-Law, Grandson, and I had the birthday party dinner for Son there at Squid Lips…..they were very nice to us, even serving Son a giant one-quarter of a rich chocolate cake with “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate on the plate…..and four forks!

Baby Cooper gurgled happily in his seat, while we all caught up on family news and enjoyed comparing each other’s dinner entrees.    They didn’t even mind that we “closed the place down,” although their polite hints that we leave soon eventually became a bit noticeable….

I think I finally have the “flavor” of Florida now.

Tomorrow, Sunday,  I’ll be saying my good-byes and leaving all those “flavors” behind.

HUNTING IN FLORIDA

May 20, 2011

Just mostly photos in this post.    Son and I went on a hunt for manitees yesterday.

Here’s what we were looking for:   Manitees, those lovable, friendly, harmless mammals of the ocean coastal areas, related to the elephant family.

My Mom made it look so easy, about ten years ago.   I was visiting her again, and one day she said,  “Let’s go see the manitees!”    So we drove to the park, walked out to the end of the pier, there were about four of them floating around, and she knelt down, one came over to her, and she reached down and petted it and stroked its funny looking face.

Son and I….with our GPS….missed the first turn into the park.  Were redirected to approach it from a northern angle eight miles away.  Drove into three different private drives.   Were redirected back to the southern route – and this time, 45 minutes later, we made it:

There were cautions and instructions….And our hands were eager and ready to Go Pet A Manitee.

It was such a beautiful, peaceful place.

I sat down on the pier and enjoyed the calm river, waiting for a manitee.    Waiting.    Waiting….

Finally we noticed we had a visitor:

Alligator, not manitee.    It was just a baby….

Skinny, bumpy, maybe three or four feet long.

Son encouraging the alligator to come closer….It didn’t.

We drifted off to other viewing locations in the park.   We never saw a manitee, but we found other “wildlife” at the bottom of the river:There were crabs and many schools of little fish and many large fish jumping out and flopping back into the water.

Very peaceful way to spend an afternoon.

Watching the barnacles grow….

…everywhere they can…

So…. a quiet vacation day in Forida.

(But I still have to ask my Mom how she got the manitees to come!)

“NOT FROM AROUND HERE”

May 19, 2011

Something wrong with the camera filter today, but maybe you’ll get the idea.   We went out to the beach today.   Enjoyed all the beautiful blues of sea and sky.

I tripped along happily with my camera, barefoot in the sand, until Son called out, “Watch out!”

For these….

All over the place.

The sand didn’t come out the right color, but the little jellyfish were really purplish-blue.

Son’s feet, for size comparison.   The black is oiled seawood, the little purplish-gray blobs are jellyfish washed up by the waves.

Look again closer at the waves.    You might be able to see they are filled with “freckles”  which are thousands of little jellyfish floating in the waves.    They aren’t from around here.   The strong east winds have carried them into the shore.

I don’t know the name of this kind of jellyfish.

I’m not from around here either.

Watch your step!

THE UGLY, THE GOOD, AND THE BAD

May 18, 2011

(Apologies to Clint Eastwood for the mangled title)   —  My first view of my parents’ home:

And, in their driveway,  trying to see their garage door:

I spent two hours the next day scraping, soaking, rubbing, soaping,   applying a de-bugging  acid-remover, detergent/wax and elbow grease trying to get rid of these things.

That’s poor Hubbie’s Big Red Car which suffered the attacks of the Lovebugs….In one-half hour of driving I-95 through a storm of black specks that sounded like sleet or hail hitting the windshield, the car was covered with these things.    Can you read the front license plate that he was so proud of?

Nope.   And the local news says you have to get these things off your car within 48 hours or else!  If you don’t, the acid from these dead bugs will eat right through your paint job.

So it was two hours in the hot sun, removing these things…oh, yes — or else!

There are some GOOD and   “charmingly” different things down here in Florida.   For one,  all night long, during the hourly traffic reports, the traffic situation is given for drivers “heading out to the beach”  or  “coming home from the beach.”     All evening at regular intervals:   “Highway 518 is clear with no incidents, no delays for those of you leaving the beaches.”      Well, that’s nice, after a hard day…at the beach.

Palm trees are “charming” too.  Imagine having palm trees just growing in your grocery store parking lots and alongside city streets.

One time I was coasting to a stop at a busy city intersection…and was being paced by a pelican!!!

Night birds are very … exotic.   The sounds they make range from the eerie to the downright menacing.  But I guess they’re just little birds bedding down for the night.   At least I hope so.

And the “BAD” of this posting’s title?    I am an inveterate and incorrigible DX-er.     And this is a terrible place for it!    How I miss familiar voices and the  thrill of finding new ones.   What do people DO all night long around here?

VIEW FROM 53 MILES

May 16, 2011

Just a quick little photo for you this morning…..

Endeavor’s launch trail this morning, seen from 53 miles south of the Cape.    Interesting.

YESTERDAY….(CONTINUED)

May 14, 2011

Same skies as yesterday:

Same big thunderstorms.    Strong rains.   Strong winds.  Lightning.   Thunder.   Even a bit of hail again.   This time it’s Georgia and northern Florida roads.    No hydroplaning this time.   I learned to slow wa-a-a-a-y down when it rains that hard.    Honestly,   the rain comes down harder and faster than just mere gravity would account for.   These southern storms are amazing.

The goal of this day’s journey – worth the effort –  I made it!

Ron Jon’s –  of Cocoa Beach.    (It’s a lot prettier when it’s sunny.)

I don’t surf.   I don’t live the lifestyle.   I won’t even go into the ocean anymore, knowing what’s still in it from last year.   But it’s not the actual activities – it’s the Idea of it all.    I love coming here.   I shop here maybe once every two or three years.      This time I needed to replace a wide-brimmed, drawstring hat that I use a lot and lost somewhere in all our traveling.    I use it instead of an umbrella – keeps your hands free to wear a wide-brimmed hat.   They didn’t have it  in navy blue, like they did a few years ago,  I had to buy a tan one.   But I’m going to like it too.

Ron Jon’s is located in this city, which is a post card I own –

I can tell you, Cocoa Beach didn’t look like this today.    Dark churning skies melded into dark churning waters….

The  bright,  sunny, beach fun was all   inside Ron Jon’s.     Glad I made it.    Probably doesn’t make much sense,  but everyone has to have a favorite place to visit.

DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS

May 13, 2011

Had a nice wake-up experience this morning – nice sunny breakfast room:Tomorrow morning will be more “basic” –  Just needed a place to “crash”   –  Ouch  – terrible phrase we have about sleeping.

After breakfast the Big Red Car and I ascended the Great Smokies.   I am always amazed at how many shades of gray there are – and where does all that “smoke” come from that covers the Great Smoky Mountains?     No matter how close you get to a mountainside,   it’s still “smoky.”    It’s not a trick of distance or of misty mountain air.

The  trees on the hills in the distance are really that smoky blue color.   Mile after mile of these long hills, up hills and down hills.     Shades of gray and blue-gray.

And then – the storm began.    The next time you hear the weatherman say “strong storms and hail”  in Tennessee or Kentucky,   know that there are thousands of people up there trying to drive through it.   Visiblility about forty feet or less;  other cars are there, close to you, you just can’t see them – and you know the trucks can’t slow down enough as they come up on your rear end;   and the pounding noise of the windshield wipers, the rain hitting the car, and the hail pelting the rooftop.

The worst thing was discovering a Big Red Car can hydroplane.    Enough said about that.     I guess God wanted me to live another day.

Hours later, coming down out of those stormy mountains had another big driving challenge.   I’m smart enough to time my entry into Atlanta, Georgia,  before rush hour begins.      Didn’t reckon with driving so slow through a long storm.

Got to Atlanta “just in time” to be part of the crowd.    Here I am in Lane 2 of 8 or 9 lanes.     We’re about ten feet apart from each other, going 5 to 8 miles per hour, abruptly slowing down to 2 to 3 miles per hour, and for about, oh…..forty-five minutes. . .  ( or years).         I gained some years in that time, I think.    I’m older now.   And wiser.     Next time I’ll aim for after Atlants’a rush hour.    Then if I’m late….it will be okay.

Anyone look up that song on YouTube,  This Old House, from yesterday’s posting?   I’m singing that tune again tonight.

Tomorrow – easy riding.    Heading south,  I make one  left turn and one right turn….then into my very favorite shopping place of all time – Ron Jon’s !!!

“THIS OLD HOUSE”

May 13, 2011

I’m here now.     London.

London, Kentucky,  that is,   right about under the C of Kentucky, I think.      Renfro Valley.    Renfro Valley music on all the radio stations, if you know what I mean.    All three of them.     (Not much AM radio reception in the mountains.)

But it’s a lovely place, with beautiful green “hills” that stretch on forever.   Through my driver’s windshield I see long curving roads, uphills and downhills, bright green valleys and mountains,and gorgeous rock cuts that look like I’m driving through the walls of a stone palace.

I allowed for time to get out and look around a bit.   I was on a kind of mission.   Hubbie and I discovered Daniel Boone’s last home in Missouri last summer, and we were both curious about his life in Kentucky.

 Well, I found him here.      Fort Boonesborough in the heart of Kentucky, where he lived his earlier, most famous pioneering years and where he raised his family and where he fought Indians from the fort.

It was a working fort.

This loom dates from about 1820, which was not far from the time Daniel Boone lived here – maybe by fifty years.   His own father and grandfather were weavers – taxed for having five looms by the English Crown (before the War for Independence.).

The fort was filled with other “inhabitants” too – a blacksmith, a woodworker, a cook, storekeepers.    Very friendly and willing to talk.   Soemtimes the women had leisure time to sit and talk too:Got my exercise walking around that fort for a couple hours.

Feels like I got my exercise just driving the car too.    My goodness!!!    I’ve never been this old before!!!    Found a very nice motel last night in London, but, you know,   being close to Renfro Valley and all,  I could just hear the great old deep  voice of London Paris singing out This Old House   (as well as Rosemary Clooney,  Mel Tillis,  Brian Setzer, Tennessee Ernie Ford…..)

Just search a bit on YouTube for a performance of This Old House, and tap your feet – you can feel it all throughout your aching bones:

THIS OL’ HOUSE

This old house is gettin’ shaky
This old house is gettin’ old
This old house has seen the rain
This old house has seen the cold

Ain’t gonna need this house no longer
Ain’t gonna need this house no more
Ain’t got time to fix the shingles
Ain’t got time to fix the floor
Ain’t got time to oil the hinges
Nor to mend the window pain
Ain’t gonna need this house no longer
He’s getting ready to meet the saints

Oh his knees are gettin’ chilly
But he feels no fear or pain
‘Cause he sees an angel peepin’
Through a broken window pane

(http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics)

POST-POST-POST MOTHER’S DAY

May 11, 2011

Well.    I didn’t expect that.

Mother’s  Day . . . .

. . . . . “knocked me for a loop,”  as they used to say.      Lost my composure.    Haven’t found it yet.

I don’t know if there is some sort of 6-month anniversary mark after the loss of a loved one or if Mother’s Day just brings out feelings of Family, family living, family loving, who’s here, who’s not here……

Personally, it was a very nice Mother’s Day, with all the right “ingredients,”  including a very patient son.   It was Mother’s Day for every family in our country.  

And it was a day to recognize our Mother for everyone in the world:

We have the whole month of May to ponder our Mother.    “Woman,  behold thy son,”  Jesus said.   And then turning to John, He said, ‘Behold, thy Mother.”

John was not named right then because all of us were  meant.     Her universal motherhood received the sanction and confirmation of her Son, Whom she was about to lose.    She’d understand those who lose loved ones.

Will be traveling for a while.    Going to learn more about God’s good earth.   And. . . . going to see how my own mother is doing.

Further posts coming from the Interstates!

MOTHER’S DAY EVE

May 7, 2011

By now, our Mother’s Day plans for the mothers in our lives are usually all laid down, the day is planned for and prepared for – and we’ll be ready to honor our mothers on the morrow.

 Funny how our mother is a constant in our lives.   We change,  our mothers change,  we learn different things about our mothers as we grow up, we understand things about our mothers as we mature…but it always comes back to love, the constant fact of our mother’s love.

It may have been an imperfect relationship, or a great one, a tumultuous relationship, or a gentle one,  but the bottom line is we first learn of love from our mother’s care.

When I was a teacher, I used to assign little writing exercises (as did every other teacher!) during this time:   “What is a mother?”        ” What do you like about your mother?”       “What do you like to do with your mother?”

Ugh!    Sounds so dumb.    But you know what?     My children’s’ teachers did the same thing.    And I still have some of their answers, some carefully  printed out, some in newly learned cursive letters;  and some are on little scraps of paper that they wrote on their own, without the teacher even telling them to write something!    I keep them where I’ll come across them frequently – and they still bring warm, happy tears to my eyes.    

My own mother lives far away.      I’m not in her memory very much anymore;    there is not much memory left in her mind.     Soon, in about a week,  I will travel south to visit her.      I hope she knows who I am.

But if not, if I have to keep reminding her mind who I am,  it’s going to be all right.    As I said above, a mother is a constant in our lives, and she is still the same mother that I had every year of my life.    

I’d like you to meet her:

Mom,  young and pretty, in sunglasses:

Mom,  older and pretty, 60 years later:

And something cozy that she made for me….I love every stitch:

Happy Mother’s Day. . . .

PICK-ME-UP

May 5, 2011

Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up.   

Mine is called The Coffee Barrel: 

Been feeling a little tired these past few days.   My wounded thumb is “under control” – I think it’s more healing than not.   At least it’s not making my body feel hot and achey anymore.

 I was wondering if what’s left of feeling icky this week is what my Grandma used to call Spring Fever.      Tired for no good reason.

God grows a remedy for that.

And they sell it inside The Coffee Barrel:

Every four or five or six months I make a trip here and choose from all the wonderful white bags of fragrant smelling coffee.    I usually just post the bags that I’ve purchased, lying on my kitchen table, but this time I want to remember the fun of walking into this little store and smelling all the wonderful smells, all mixed up together.

Then you walk around the displays, reading everything:  Blueberry muffin coffee;  Highlander Grog;  Toasted Almond;  Roasted Chestnut;  Bananas Foster;   Dark Chocolate Decadence;   and my all-time favorite:   Almond Joy, which tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar, only not sweet.

Hmmmm.  Think about that one.   A candy bar that isn’t sweet.  

I like my coffee dark,  strong, and  bitter.    I always say,  Just like life:  invigorating! 

Come to think of it,  they have Espresso flavor there too!

UNDER AN OVERLOAD

May 3, 2011

On overload today.

So much to do.   So much to get out into the mail tomorrow.   So many places to go.   So much weird and serious news information to think about.    I think I don’t feel good.   And the thumb I cut this weekend has finally stopped bleeding but it makes me feel hot and achey all over.

So….I’ll post in another day or two.   Probably be just fine tomorrow.

But I was thinking:    I was out with friends today.  Out shopping.  Out having lunch.  Out to class…. I was happy to be everywhere I was;  smiling and conversing.    But all the while I was feeling very icky.   

So – NOTE TO ME:    Next time I”m with friends, maybe one of them, too,  is feeling terrible, but they’re not showing it.    You never know.    What a great need there is to take time to be open and compassionate to the people we’re with.     They won’t necessarily tell you their problems.

They might not even want to talk about their problems.

Just, being a friend is being available.

(2nd NOTE TO ME:      Take two aspirin and go to bed.   Check back in the morning.   Or in the evening.)

A SUNDAY BY ANY OTHER NAME…..

May 1, 2011

Quasimodo Sunday

Today is one of the most solemn feast day Sundays of the entire year.   This day is also known as Low Sunday;   also known as Close-Pasch Sunday;  formerly also known as Sunday in albis depositis.

So solemn is this Sunday that no other feast may be celebrated on this day…no other commemoration may bump off the considerations appointed for this day.   

Quasimodo?    Funny name!

Quasimodo – “in the manner of.”       The entire phrase which gives today its name is from the first book of Peter, chapter 2:    Quasi modo geniti infantes.    In the manner of,  or just as, new born babies…..

This is the last day of the Easter Octave;  in other words, it closes out the Easter week;  i.e. Close-Pasch.     We are given a week to “dive in”  to all the deep rich meaning of Easter, new spiritual life made possible for us. 

A long time ago, those who just entered the Church at Easter, today, at the end of this week,  stop wearing white robes which showed everyone that they were brand new and had been made clean by their faith and baptism.    That’s the name Sunday in albis (the white robes)  depositis (put ’em away!).

Pure and innocent, without guile, like the baby’s eyes above

Whether we have been believers for a long time or whether we are brand-new believers, today’s Introit which opens the liturgy begins, ‘As newborn babies, desire the rational milk (of the Word) without guile, that you may grow!

The Gospel today reminds us about St. Thomas.    “Also known as The Twin,”  St. John adds.  Didymus, or as the Great Alcuin comments,  geminus.   Twin.   Twin-minded.   Double-minded.   Should I believe what the other disciples told me, that Jesus has risen from the tomb?   Or not.

“Don’t believe  everything you hear.”   Jesus knows St. Thomas (and we) have heard this before.   What kindness and patience.

One lesson here today is:  Just because you shouldn’t believe everything you hear doesn’t mean you shouldn’t believe anything you hear.      Want to hear more about Jesus?

Nearly 2,000 years.      No one who has come to Jesus, questioning,  open,  without guile, willing to know and to learn,  and hungry for the sincere milk of Truth has ever been disappointed.      

We can start there.    Hungry for God.      Quasi modo….as a little infant, ready and willing.