Thursday, April 26, 2007

yeah, I know

I know it's been a while since I have posted. But NOT AS LONG AS PAULA!!! Thanks Paula! :)

Monday, April 23, 2007


When I was little, we lived close enough that we could walk to and from the elementary school. No buses for us, until junior high. I used to take forever to get home, I'd dawdle all the way because I was so interested in all the leaves and flowers and rocks- I really liked rocks- and neighborhood pets that I would visit along my route. But when I was in trouble...
When I was in trouble- say, on report card day, or I had been spoken to in school or told to "go stand on the wall" at recess- when I knew I was going to GET IT, I would practically RUN home! On those days, the days that I should have really avoided going to my doom, I rushed toward the trouble.
It's still true now, I guess. When something difficult is on my horizon, I don't want to wait to address it- I don't want to wait at all- I want to rush toward it, dive in, and get it over with.
Now I'm in this time of mad transition, and I just want to get to the punch line already! But this change, from the moment it became a possibility, to the process of its evolution, to its still-future resolution, has been all about "slow and steady". S-l-o-o-w.
I hate it- it feels like dishonesty to hold on to this news- I want to tell everyone! I dread the process of transitioning, I want to do it fast! Like ripping off a band-aid!
But God has taken control of this process, which I know is leading me to a place which He has chosen for me, a situation that is right and good, and God-sent- and I can see that He is making me feel and be present in every step and minute of it. Which I hate, but I am starting to understand the value of it. I guess He knows that letting it all tumble by in a blur is not the most useful way for me to face this change.
At my Search retreat in high school, there was a saying: "don't anticipate, PARticipate". I reckon that's my mission now.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My vacation forecast:








Could be worse, right?

Monday, April 09, 2007


This weekend I got to take one of the perks of my job; I got to tell a parent how wonderful his kid is. We had both volunteered to do some of the set-up for the Easter Masses, and since his son wasn't there, he grabbed the opportunity to ask me... what is the deal with my kid being so involved in Youth Ministry? Is it the Holy Spirit, or is it the girls?
Although I had to admit that it was probably the girls who drew him to YM, but somewhere along the way the Holy Spirit had stepped in. I told him about how he reached out to the kids on retreats this year, about a great, insightful talk he gave at youth group one night... I told him how I had sat with his son at Mass and watched him seek out every kid from the Sophomore class who was present there, and made a real effort to touch base with all of them for the sign of peace. With every great thing I got to tell this Dad, he looked up at the sky with an amazed expression. He rubbed his chin and said "wo-o-o-owww". His eyebrows arched and he said "huh!" It was pretty cool.
It's such a blessing to be on the outside of families. I get to see the very best of kids, even while their parents suffer through the grunts and moans and whines and other frustrations of living together with their kids. I wish parents could see what I can see. It's a blessing to see it, and to tell the good news.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter is Holy here

We have a very special and unbreakable policy at our house- we hold Easter to be family-holy. We both work hard all during Lent, and harder during Holy Week, with both of us at our own parishes, basically saying "see ya!" on Holy Thursday and reuniting after 10:00pm on Saturday night, after our parish Vigils.
So when Easter Sunday comes around, we stay home. We put on our pajamas and have a late night snack and then head to bed to sleep it all off. Then, Easter Sunday, we do.... nothing.
We sleep late, stay in those pajamas for the whole day, don't shower, don't go anywhere, don't talk to anyone. We have a great, greasy breakfast, sit around till the afternoon, then have a nice dinner (roast beef, bernaise sauce, rolls, peas, mashed potatoes, a lovely wine today) and then head back to the living room to "sit it off". And that's about it for Easter Sunday. I try not to think about work, I try not to do any churchy reading, and I steer our tv viewing to old movies and Simpsons episodes. It is pure heaven, and surely makes Easter something we look forward to all during Lent. We are so blessed.
K, now I've worked too hard. Must go back to my chocolate and wine. Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

cinders on the porch

So last night was Scott's "24 hour fast-a-thon" at his parish, which is basically a lock-in with a ton of kids who go without food for- well, yes, 24 hours, to raise money for Catholic Relief Services. Anyway, I went down to visit them and stayed 'till the amazingly late hour of 2:00 am.
Passing through the Wakefield area on 95, I noticed that the sky was pink- I thought maybe from the North Shore Mall or something, but it was really pink-er than I thought that should look. Then I noticed smoke and light wayyyy off- I thought it MUST be a fire, and a big one, and I fought the urge to go off looking for it. But as I traveled farther up 95 and then to route 1, the light got brighter and I realized I was headed straight toward it.
It was the old Danvers State Hospital grounds, and the fire was RAGING. Many of us drivers pulled over to take a look and I luckily had my camera...

It's hard to take good pictures of fire... but I hope you can tell from these how wild the fire was. The grey-ish one above shows the big burning cinders that were floating down onto Route 1, where a bunch of us were pulled over to gawk. I got what I thought was the most brilliant and original idea to go up to the supermarket parking lot on the opposite side of the highways from DS... when I got there I saw I was not alone in this plan! It was like a drive-in movie theater!

Okay, one more- I was surprised to see how well the fire could be seen from all around- I never had known that from the medical center near my house, you could see the state hospital. Here's a view of how the fire looked from that parking lot:

Today there is soot in the air, and we have black cinders on the porch. And the worst part is, Scott's too tired to wake up and look at my pictures!!!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Thursday

This morning I rolled out of bed seriously grumpy. That word sounds too cute for the mood I was in, really- I was mad because I had to get up early and drive in to work for staff meeting. Not "regular" staff meeting, though, but "touchy-feely" staff meeting, which is a new invention at our parish meant to foster loving feelings between the staff and leadership. I suspect I'm not the only one who usually views these meetings as a waste of time- we're supposed to use this time to share and support each other but no one does- there is a general understanding that the less is said, the sooner we can all get out of there and back to our busy days.
Today was different because our pastors thought it "would be good" for us to meet for the Liturgy of the Hours before the meeting. And to boot- on this particular morning there was an additional blessing of an inch of messy, slushy snow... sigh.
Anyway, I took my seat in the church with my fellow staff members and a few parishioners, and I knelt to pray briefly. I asked God to help me find meaning and direction in Jesus' story this week, this Holy week, and to help me pay attention and receive his direction willingly, eeeeeeven if what He wants of me is not what I want.
I decided to really focus on the readings and prayers, each word- and I did. I heard about freedom from persecution, and I read that if we just will do what God leads us to do, He will stand behind us. Okay.
Ten minutes in to the prayer service, three of "my kids", high school seniors, walked in wearing sweatpants and sneakers and sat down in the pew ahead of us- one of the front pews in the church. I noticed that the staff members around me sort of sat up straighter, taking on "role model" mode. The kids settled in and figured out the prayer sheet, reading along with the Left side in the call and response. I was at once affirmed and convicted.
After the service we went off to TFSM and the kids went back to school. Now I'm here at home for the shower I never took this morning and a do-over for the day.
Happy Holy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

aw shucks.

Here, HV, does this make you feel any better?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

the first blooms

They're here! Our first Iris blossoms. Apparently they couldn't wait to get tall before displaying their gorgeous blooms. That's okay with me!