More Catching up……

9 June 2009, Tuesday after Trinity Sunday (Roman) and Tuesday after the First Sunday After Pentecost: Trinity (Anglican).  I know it has been a very  long time.  The days have ramped from cold winter to early muggy summer.  I saw my first lightning bugs yesterday evening, and to me that means that summer is here.

I began Lent in Chicago on assignment for the agency I do work for from time to time, and attended Ash Wednesday Eucharist at Old St. Pat’s Church, just two blocks away, it turns out, from my hotel.  Old St. Pat’s is a refurbished space and the assembly throbs with energy.  That Wednesday early evening, the place was packed and the presider used the Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation, a wonderful touch!  Lent at my own church, St. Mary in downtown Evansville, was a fulfilling season and Holy Week, even though I had to sing at every service, remains one of my favorite rituals.  It culminates with the Vigils of Easter on Holy Saturday.  A solemn time but a happy time, all in one.  Easter Sunday was spent at my sister Mary Anne’s house and included the mandatory egg hunt.  I was once again the “Rabbit”.  My sister Vickie had some kind of bug and was unable to attend, for fear the rest of the clan would get infected, so I was informed.   That’s OK;  I just show up when called, sit where I am told, and smile my toothless grin.  It keeps everyone happier that way I think.  Our Pentecost celebration this year was super, beginning with the jubilation streamers down the aisles, banners, orchestra and choirs.  We again did the polyglot interpretation of the reading from the Acts of the Apostles.  I read Latin again this year, offered to do German, but we settled on latin again anyway.    In addition to English (of course) and Latin, we had Tagalog from the Philippines, Korean, Spanish, French, and some kind of Aramaic……all from members of the parish, all reading singly and together, with the choir underneath it all, chanting Veni Sancte Spiritus, a setting from the Taize monastery in France.  The interpretation we do never fails to move me.

Some genealogical news and family news too.   Over the past few months, I have heard from a descendant of Great Grandpa McCallister’s (Charles Abell) sister Sarah.  She (Sarah, not the descendant) died about 1911 in Egypt Arkansas.  I have been promised copies of a few letters written by her brothers to her.  We might get lucky and find something new in them.  I have also heard from a descendant of Mr. George T. Mills.  He was the brother of my great Grandmother, Lucy Ellen Mills McCallister, and grandpa Nick’s uncle.  He and his family lived on the same road as Grandparents Nick, Julia and family outside Uniontown.  Closer to our main line, cousin Teri McCallister Earl reports she will soon be a grandmother for the 8′th time.  She also related that her brother, cousin Bo (Robert Earl) McCallister had shoulder surgery to repair damage from falling off a ladder.  She wasn’t too specific.  Bo’s daughter Tressa, of New York City, has married and is still working on Broadway, but that is all I know of that so far.

My sister Mary Anne’s husband Anthony has had total knee replacement surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Clev. OH.  He seems to be doing well enough.  I understand the other knee gets attention next year.  He is a professor in Respiratory Therapy at the University of Southern Indiana here.

I am still in contact with David McCallister of Dallas, a descendant of Uncle Phil’s.  David and his wife, whose ancestors were also Union Countians, have two kids.  Also still in contact with Jim McCallister of Bakersfield CA.  Jim descends from Great grandpa’s brother, Moses McCallister. 

I have also heard from John Luke McCallister, John and Shirley’s grandson in Union County, who wants me to email him back, but he is using the school’s computer, and it refuses to accept my replies to him.  So John Luke, if you are reading this, you know why I never emailed you back!

Tonight, I was priviledged to attend a concert given by my friend of 35 years, Mark X Hatfield at St. John’s East UCC, where Mark is music minister, organist and choirmaster.  He turns 60 this month.  Billed as a birthday bash, it featured two pianos, with pieces for 8 hands.  The fine Wicks organ was also used.  The performers, besides Mark, were Eulalie Wilson, who also turns 80 this month and is still playing piano fiercely; Karen Helmerich who was a one time piano student of Eulalie’s at the University of Evansville, and Dr. William Barnett, who was an organ student of Mark’s in years past.  Mark and William used to play organ for me at Holy Rosary when I was choir master there.  I didn’t know William was going to be there, so I was absolutely thrilled to see him.  He is currently interim Canon for Music at Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal) in Phoenix AZ.  This fall, he will be on a organ concert tour in the midwest, south and east coast.  He has come some distance from the slender lad of 14 with the green and purple streaks in his hair when I first met him.  The evening was quite entertaining.

This year’s garden is mostly in, and already more things need to be done.  I don’t mind admitting it….I am feeling my age now.  Next year, if I do a garden at all, it will be tiny.  Even this existing 50′X50′ garden wears me out and I am not being nearly as productive as I used to be, nor as I need to be.  I did manage to crawl onto the roof and caulk around the chimney the other day.  Getting up there was bad enough, getting down was a circus.  Fortunately, I didn’t tumble off it, but it was nip and tuck!

By the way, the year’s blueberries are large, very sweet, and few!  Oh well!  All for now.  Family members, if you are reading this, send me your news!  On a personal level, its great to hear from you.  On a family level, its wonderful to keep up.


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