Archive for February, 2009


Monday, February 23rd, 2009

22 February 2009, 7′th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Roman); last Sunday of Epiphany (Anglican).  Winter drags on, and today was cold, although the promised gloominess did not materialize.  It was sunny for most of the day.  Sister Barbara preached today on forgiveness and the paralytic from St. Mark’s Gospel.   It was good to have her back again, if only for the sermon!  For various reasons, about only half the choir was present this morning, so that was a bummer.  I made it through my own solo with only one croaked high note!  I am glad it was only one.  With regard to voice, it’s just hell getting old!

Speaking of getting old, this January past, I turned 60.   Now I am, according to niece Jenna, officially old!  Its funny, but I don’t feel older, and I sit transfixed in wonder as to how I got where I am.  Just yesterday it seems, I was graduating from college and starting a working life.  I have been in this house for 16 years.  It just does not seem possible at all.

I had the harddrive on my computer replaced a week ago.  Its a good thing since the old one died the moment we got it out of the laptop.  Fortunately, we had made a total backup the week before.  Now begins the work of tweaking things to the point I once had them.

During the week beginning today, is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday, and the day I have to travel to Chicago for work.  I will be there till Friday.  I hate leaving home, even for work and even if temporarily, and I really am not fond of flying either.  I suppose I will have to look at this trip as a lenten penance, for Lent does begin on Wednesday.  Mr. Charlie T. Dog however, will be going to the Doggie Hotel and Spa for the week. Besides being boarded, he will have his shots updated, his wellness exam and his nails done. I have the feeling he is not too fond of doing that either.  But by Providence, this time next week, I will once again be ensconced in my own house with one overweight black dog dutifully snoozing at my feet.

I stumbled upon a Stroup genealogy website this past week (one of my ancestral lines), and have joined a Yahoo Group for that family.  It’s been a few years since I examined my Stroups.  Much of the information I had came from one  Ethel Belle Stroup, who had researched this family for years.  She has passed now, dying in 2006 I believe.  And of course, despite all her years of work, modern YDNA testing comes along and with several simple mouth swabs, destroys everything.  What I learned, is that my Stroups did not descend from Matthias Stroupe the Iron Worker, but another family altogether.  Fortunately, the time frame is so far back (pre-american revolution), that I only have a couple of generations screwed up.  I need to revise my data base because of this new information, and will accomplish that sometime in the near future.  Genealogy is so like life:  just when you think you have it all figured out, it all changes!

I spent a good part of Friday afternoon past, going through an old house up the way from me, that is for sale and has been a few months.  The bulk of the building was built between 1840 and 1860 and is of solid brick construction.  I have always had a penchant for old houses, and this one has always attracted  me greatly.  It has a huge lot that has been planted with splendid floral perennials over the years, in terraced levels.  With some maintenance work, it can look as good as it did when Mr. Uhde lived there.  Over the past several months, it has been “updated” on the inside.  But that work was done quickly and on the “cheap”, so I guess I wished they had just saved their money and effort.  There remain problems, not the least of which are leaky original single pane windows, inadequate wiring and plumbing, and no insulation.  It must cost a bloody fortune to heat the place.  Still, I am considering buying it and moving there.  That entails selling both my current houses, a move I am not sure I am willing to take with the economic mess as it is.  I have tried to put it out of my mind for some months now, and with little success.   This is one tough decision!  Anyway, now that I have probably put everyone to sleep, I will close the ramblings for tonight.  I am going to try to attach a picture of the house below.   Let’s see where it ends up on here.

Catch-up Time

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009


Tuesday, 10 February 2009, week of the 5’th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Roman tradition) and the 5’th Sunday of Epiphany (Anglican tradition).  A lot of Catholics think that the appellation of Ordinary, as relates to some Sundays, means that not much is going on.  Ordinary, in this case, for the Roman Tradition, means that the Sundays are numbered, as in “ordinal” numbers.  Ordinary here, has nothing to do with hum-drum; especially not, since every Sunday, even those in Lent, are celebrations of the Resurrection.


This is a rainy, gloomy, gray day but quite warm for this time of year.  It was 70F yesterday here.  I have a horrible cold and feel like the proverbial offal, and so, am catching up on things, like this blog, rather than expending my efforts for work.

Here are a few of the things that have animated my life since Jenna’s wedding at the end of December.


My teaching/preaching for the LIFE session of 7 January 2009 went very well.  It was on the saints and prayer.  I can email you a copy if you would want one.  I understand that sometime in the near future, it will also be on the St. Mary website and you’ll be able to read it/download it from there as well.  The LIFE (Living In Faith Everyday) program has been developed by our pastoral team for use at St. Mary.  By and large, the presentations, both scriptural and church-practice, are prepared and presented by the laity.  This is a great blessing for us.


Barbara Brown Taylor was featured in the Sunday Forum, and preached during the Eucharist at the National Cathedral on Sunday 11 January 2009, the Baptism of the Lord.  Dean Lloyd of the Cathedral introduced her as the “most sought-after preacher in the Episcopal church today.”  I can understand why.  I awaited her reflections eagerly and was certainly not disappointed.  Her sermon was absolutely phenomenal.  She is an ordained Episcopal priest, but no longer is active in parochial ministry.  Rather, living in northeast GA where our McCallisters did for a time, she writes and lectures at several colleges/divinity schools.  All that is in addition to gigs as guest preacher in churches around the nation.  She has a new book about to come out:  An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.  I am certainly getting a copy as soon as possible.  In it, she calls for the marriage of the mundane with the sacred:  a wedding, I would think, espoused by all the great saints, and certainly by Jesus himself.  You can watch or listen to her sermon by going to the Cathedral site, and looking in the Sermon Archives under the Spirituality & Worship section.        Everytime I hear someone so Spirit-filled preach, I just wonder why our Roman Catholic tradition limits both its priesthood and its preachers to men only.  That’s nuts!


Barach Obama was inaugurated as president.  I never thought I would ever see a black American assume this position.  Whether he will be an effective and conscientious president remains to be seen.  But he does instill a sense of hope, which we all need.  I trust for now, that we the American people, will not be disappointed.  Yet, he inherits some horrendous challenges.  With prayer and God’s will, may he succeed.


We had a huge winter storm: days of freezing rain and ice, followed by a topping of snow.  We never used to get ice storms here at all.  They stayed far south of us, usually affecting places in northern GA and AL etc.  For several days, the sharp winter cold was pierced by gun-fire like cracks of limbs breaking, trees falling, and wires kissing the ground.   I did not lose power here, except for an occasional flicker, nor did Mary Anne’s house, although she has telephone and electric lines close to the ground now.  She had 14 people (mostly Anthony’s relatives) staying there whose own homes were without power.  Vickie and John also were without power for a week or so.  Cousins of mine, in several different families who still live in western KY may still be without power.  The icy devastation was huge.


My sister Mary Anne, Jenna’s mom, had a relapse of her “plumbing” problems and was in the hospital for a bit at the beginning of February.  Additional surgery may be indicated at some future point.  Between daughter Jenna’s wedding, husband Anthony’s bum legs, and the ice storm, I think the stress took its toll on her system.


Enough rambling for today.  If you enjoy my thoughts, drop me an email.  I am always glad to hear from folks.










Ice Storm Picture

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

This is Mary Anne and Anthony’s house, the same one we grew up in, that belonged to Charles and Catherine McCallister.   Yes, the house really is in there someplace!  This view taken from the end of my driveway after it finally quit iceing!