Sixty and Ninety
Our son Donn is exactly 30 years younger than John. Well, almost exactly: John's birthday is August 2, Donn's, August 1. (I tried to hold onto the baby one more day, but babies keep their own calendars.) The two usually celebrate together -- but 2013 was a special milestone.
The "cake" is always watermelon!
A Priest in the Family
Last month John and I were in Garden City, Long Island, for the ordination of our granddaughter Kerlin to the Episcopal priesthood. With us were Kerlin's father and brother,who flew from Nashville to Boston so the four of us could take the train down to New York (no passenger trains where they live.)
"Magnificent" hardly does justice to the splendor of the ceremony at the cathedral. Next day there was a much smaller but equally meaningful service: Kerlin's first Eucharist as priest. Unlike a deacon, her previous status, a priest can consecrate the bread and wine, perform the other sacraments, and pronounce blessing.
Kerlin outside "Bushwick Abbey," on December 8, her first Sunday as priest. The "Abbey" has no permanent home ("The church is the people, not the building," Kerlin reminded us) and its present venue is a radio station. "We want to serve people who might not enter a traditional church building."
Shopping in Small-Town France
Shopping in France, outside the large cities, is an art apart. The unwritten motto of the small-town shopkeeper is, “I won’t sell it,” and of his customer, “I don’t want it.” On our first stay in a country town, years ago, John and I went at it all wrong. We needed stationery, and sure enough, on a shop window on the main street was printed in large letters:
Marchand de Papier
The sign, we soon learned, meant nothing. The fact that a man has set himself up as a paper merchant, acquired a supply of merchandise, and hung out a shingle to that effect, is no indication that this same man is interested in selling paper. On the contrary, he is simply a devoted paper fancier. He has founded his shop the way another man might found a bird sanctuary, as a kind of paper haven where large quantities of it are safe from the consumer.