Sunday, September 25, 2022

Nine years passes quickly

 In August at our summer community days we got together to take a Community Photo. We gathered in the chapel, arranged by height, and tried to show off our best smiles for the camera. This week the large print of this endeavor was hung in the administrative hall, at the south end near the community room (for those of you who know our layout). It replaces one that has hung there since 2013. You can imagine that there are lots of changes in 9 years! Stop by and see it when next you come.

click to enlarge

Sunday, September 18, 2022

End of summer treat


Smiley's ice cream truck came by at noon Saturday for a delightful end-of-the-summer 

surprise for the community, courtesy of friends of one of our sisters.

Here's the board with all the selections and, after you've studied it for 10 minutes, 

you put in your order. Much to my surprise the owner, seen here, was a Villa student 

of mine years ago. They always seem to know me, but for me it's harder! 

Guess I'm closer to looking like my 40-year-old self than they are their 16-year-old self!

The queue for the Queen had nothing on us! It took one hour to serve the 40-50 sisters 

with a sundae or cone. Well worth the wait! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The lost and found

This Sunday our presider presented a reflection on the Gospel that is worth my attempt to share. The reading brought three short parables of Jesus to us about the lost and the found. He started by musing on Lost and Found departments in many large institutions, public places and the awareness that the items "lost" end up taking up a greater and greater space, as not many of them are claimed/"found" by their owners.

These parables, however, bring us stories where the lost are also found.

The first would be seen as totally ludicrous, he said, if it was really understood as we understand it today. No shepherd in his right mind would leave a flock of 99 sheep to try and find just 1 lost one. Secondly we have a woman sweeping her house to find 1 coin, lost out of her 10. Much more realistic in a way because 1 out of 10 is more to lose than 1 out of 100, and that for women of the first century owning much money at all would have been unusual and therefore a real loss. In both cases, whether they make sense in their importance or not, the lost sheep and lost coin are found...amid great rejoicing.

Finally, the lost son, in the prodigal story that we know so well, is not really the son that left his father's house and returned repentant--the lost son is the elder son who cannot understand or accept his brother's "finding" nor his father's compassion and forgiveness. He is the one who is really lost at the end of the tale.

All of these, in the way so many of the Christian parables appear, are stories of paradox and mystery and head-shaking. Not much logic here, not much of the expected behavior or outcome. Welcome to the Gospels of Jesus.

Monday, September 5, 2022

A welcome home


After nine hours of travel a walk around our place helped the transition back 
by discovering these sights: here's a patch of cosmos that is replacing
a tree planted in memory of two of our sisters' sibling.

The new bridge across the marshy area on the way to the hermitages
is coming along. This is sort of like replacing the 19th century
village bridge with the George Washington across the Hudson
(which I was on this week, by the way).

And one of the new trees, that spent its first 3 years in a garden,
is now on its own in the yard. Seems to be doing ok. Hopefully next 
year it will survive the winter and flourish in the summer.

And, finally, here are some old friends which I hadn't seen
on the grounds all summer. Back to graze in the lawn and 
poop on the sidewalks all day!

Sunday, August 28, 2022 every little shore town


Along the county trail that we walk nearly every day, there is a smaller tributary with a sign that announces it as "Butterfly Lane." It's chock full of tall colorful flowers and.....butterflies. Here is a photo of what we found there early one morning this week. 

The Jersey shore seems to be a summer extension of Philadelphia and New York City. And, as in those two large cities, there are Catholic churches everywhere. I swear every little shore town up and down the coast has at least one and sometimes two of them. We haven't felt that the one nearest to us really fit us too well, so this weekend we traveled 5 miles north to the next town and "tried" their church: Saturday afternoon 4:00 pm Mass. The people were friendly, the music good, the reflections on the gospel were fine and the presiding priest did his part well and let everyone else do theirs. All in all they seemed happily engaged in their parish, at least from the little we observed and read about in their bulletin. It fit much better. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

When on vacation

My mother had a theory on eating out: "If you're going to order what you could have at home, what's the point of eating at a restaurant?" she'd say. I think of this often, especially when I'm eyeing the chicken entrees at some eatery! 

I'm going to expand her philosophy by saying" "If you're going to do on vacation what you do at home all the time, what's the point of going on vacation?" 

In that vein, here's one of the I-don't-get-to-do-this-at-home activities that Anne and I are enjoying this week on vacation: slowly and purposely reading newspapers, in this case the Sunday New York Times.

It has opinions, columns, arts and leisure, and news articles from everywhere/about everything. But here I am sharing with you my favorite feature, "Metropolitan Diary." Every week on this 1/2 page they run four or five little vignettes from New Yorkers, about their everyday life in this huge gathering of people, pace and possibilities.

Here's one from last Sunday's issue, shown above. You can google it and get a free session to read a few of them without the standard fee.

Dear Diary, I was waiting for a cab to take me from an urgent care clinic near Lincoln Square to a nearby emergency room. I had fallen the night before while leaving the theater, smashing my knee and face on the sidewalk. After an interminable wait, I spotted a lone cab stopped at a red light. The driver indicated that he would pick me up as soon as the light changed.

Then in a clear breach of taxi etiquette, a man who was maybe 20 years younger than I, jumped into the street ahead of me. He saw me and must have realized I was waiting for the cab. He obviously didn't care because when the light turned green, he hopped in brazenly. I was angry. Then the unthinkable happened.

The cab approached me, the taxi thief opened the door, asked where I was going, invited me in, waited as I hobbled aboard and told the driver to take me where I was going, which was a few avenues out of this man's way.

He told me he was late for a doctor's appt. and asked how I had gotten hurt. I said I had fallen after leaving the theater. He asked if I worked in theater and said that his wife did. When we got to the emergency room, he wouldn't accept any money for the ride and asked just one thing in return: He wanted me to tell his wife what I had told him: that he was the nicest person to ever steal a cab from me.

"She needs proof sometimes that I'm nice," he said.

I didn't get his name or his wife's, but hopefully she will read this. Gwen M.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Fourth and final

Ok, here's the fourth and final update on the first home that was built on the lots we sold along Carters Beach Rd. (north of East Lake Rd on the Glinodo side of our property). The first three "reports" were May 15, June 12 and July 10. Here we are August 14.



I don't think our new neighbors have moved in yet, but it is very close. It took me a while to like the window selection. All I could think of was washing them--all those individual panes. But I think the look of them, framed in the white all around, is beautiful. Worth the washing! The back, of course, is stunning. What a deck! and quite hidden and private and right up against the woods that surround it on three sides. They should see our local wildlife up close and personal.

The next three weeks I'll be sharing with you our exploits from the Jersey shore. I'll try to pick things that make you green with envy.....that's if you're a water/beach person!