Sunday, April 25, 2010

checking in... more to come

Hello there. I know, I know I have been so absent from the blog... sorry about that! I went last week to Las Vegas for the NCCL conference, which was really wonderful. We all agreed that the presenters were smart and current and academic, and that the conference was full of great information and inspiration and very little fluff. We all came away inspired and excited and raring to go.
In the meantime, we had fun checking out the strip and eating great food and all that. I, unfortunately, came down with a WICKED stomach bug on Monday (second day there) and after bolsting from my workshop and losing my lunch all up and down a conference center hall, I was pretty much down for the count for a day or two. I rallied enough at one point to go and convalesce at the pool, which was lovely... and then forced myself to crawl back to living little by little. I was as sad to miss the workshops, which were excellent, as I was to miss the food and fun.
Once I get my bag of free things sorted out, I'll write more about the actual information part of the conference, so do stay tuned.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nothing of Substance

A thousand apologies to my loyal readers (both of you!) for my seriously lax blogging habits. Lent flew by in a crazy flash and then Holy Week, well... I'm still catching my breath from it. Plus, I was trying to be a daily-ish blogger for the parish, and with all that, you poor readers had to suffer the loss. I am sorry.
But now it's Monday and still Easter, and my classes are nearing their end, and there's only one more GOF session (and it's going to be AWESOME) and a week from now I'll be in (hopefully) sunny Las Vegas at the NCCL conference. My papers, due this week, are done, and I'm even practically caught up on my reading. Life is indeed good.
This weekend we went to a small graveside funeral in a city-cemetery, and marveled at the non-Catholicity of it all. The graves there lacked the big crazy gothic statues and crosses seen at Catholic cemeteries, and instead were all engraved with personal symbols like... shamrocks and boats. One gravestone had a Betty Boop figure engraved in it. What's that about? The graves all had stuff on them, too- plastic toys and little statues and stuff. The funeral was nice enough, with scripture readings and such, and the protestant minister who did it was lovely. He wore a stole with a pointy back which, when the wind blew, would pop up behind his head and make him look like something out of Star Wars.
We took advantage of the beautiful weather and ran home to plant pansies and do some yard cleanup and then sacked out on the couch for the rest of the night, in preparation for the crazy Sunday ahead.
See, I have nothing of substance to write about, but this is what you get I guess. I have to admit I am looking forward to a week of nothing of substance to write about! Ahhhh Easter/Spring!!!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

We are Easter People

Ahhhhhh Easter. The best day of the year.
This Holy Week, as a person with no discernible job description, my role at the parish was to do... well, whatever. I spent the week carrying donated flowers from the rectory to the sacristy, cleaning out pews between Masses, making sure the Magnifikids were out for each liturgy, putting things in places and taking a lot of pictures. I am the de facto photographer for the parish, which is a really fun job. At the beginning of every event, the pastor says to me "are you going to take pictures for the bloggggg?" meaning the parish blog... and then I dart around trying to get artsy shots while remaining unobtrusive.
On Friday I had the job of moving the line along for the veneration of the cross. I stood opposite the deacon and tried to inspire people in two lines to take turns approaching the cross, in orderly fashion. I was in the position to witness beautiful expressions of reverence and love for the rough wooden cross that was held lovingly (and achingly! It's heavy!) in place by four teenage boys. Young people curtsied in front of the cross, adults reached out to touch it, but the elderly people- they struggled to kneel and to bend to kiss it, and then struggled to rise again. It was such a lovely and inspiring thing to witness. I am so fortunate.
Last night as people gathered around the fire in the back of the church, I crept out into the sanctuary in bare feet, to stand in the dark in front of the altar to take pictures. I alone got to witness the stunning beauty of the light being passed throughout the church, and the people moving slowly back to their seats with lit candles. It was such a special, secret blessing for me.
Now, today, the most beautiful day so far (it's in the 70's at 5:00!) we woke to have cinnamon rolls and iced coffee on the porch in the sun. Now after gorging on cheese and crackers Scott is snoozing on the porch and I am still in my pajamas, looking for great Roast Beef recipes. I found one that calls for bacon! Bonus!
Tomorrow the world starts up again but today, there is only pure joy and refreshing renewal, peace and happiness in our lovely lives and the Good News. Happy Easter!