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Showing posts from February 5, 2012

You can't go back home again

Penne (my dog) had to be with Ron and Lee (her “day” dog sitters) today.  We got to their home and as soon as Penne jumped out of my car she began to walk back to home!  (Don’t worry, once she was inside with Ron and Lee she settled down and was very comfortable).
This reminded me of the phrase “you can’t go back home”.  Thanks to Wikipedia I discovered that it originated in a novel by Thomas Wolfe (“You can’t go home again”, pub 1940).
Here are a couple of quotations from Wolfe’s novel. (George Webber is the protagonist in this novel.)
1.“Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox in America--that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. At any rate, this is how it seemed to young George Webber, who was never so assured of his purpose as when he was going somewhere on a train. And he never had the sense of home so much as when he felt that he was going there. It was only when he got there that his homelessness began.”
2.“You can't go back home to your family, back…

Signs and "wonders?" via my brother Martyn

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Chef Povey?

I took myself down to the Sarasota County Technical Institute this afternoon for a programme at their Adult and Community Enrichment (ACE) programme.
I was there for a “Hands on Culinary Arts Lab” -  i.e. a cooking lesson. 
The facilitator was Chef Brian Knecht.  
There were about sixteen of us in his “class”.
We students worked in pairs (my partner was Joyce – a very pleasant “snow bird” from Montreal, Quebec).

Chef Brian led us as we prepared two dishes –
Firstly:  an entree (main course) dish called “Chicken Chorizo Basquaise” (from the Basque regions of France and Spain).
Secondly: “Toasted Israeli Couscous” (with Pine Nuts, Raisins and Parsley).
We were in a very hi-tech kitchen.  Brian was a good instructor.  Joyce was an extremely companionable partner.
And we got to take our dishes home!
We’ll all be together again next week for a second lesson in which we will prepare a vegetarian dish, and Baba Ghanoush.
I enjoyed the “buzz” of the class.
 I learned some good skills from Chef Brian. 
I…

I'm a Yankee doodle dandy.

I have a good life here in Sarasota FL.
My life includes good friends, fabulous weather, a nice home (with three gorgeous pets), and membership and ministry in an excellent Episcopal church.
I am grateful.
But I miss New England.  I miss the four distinct seasons. I miss the hills and the mountains, the valleys and the streams.
Mostly I miss thoe wonderful parts of New England life  which include:
 a generally  liberal outlook on life;
a deep appreciation of education and of culture, 
and a lack of ostentation.
It’s not that New England is better than Florida.
It’s more that I am a “Yankee” at heart.

Dinner at the Bistro Charron.

My pals Ben, Bob and I went down to the Bistro Charron for dinner last evening. Bistro Charron is a friendly little eating place in the Gulf Gate area of Sarasota.  Our dinner was outstanding.
First there was prosciutto with melon.  That was followed by a modified caesar salad – lots of very crisp lettuce with crunchy croutons and a flavour-filled dressing.
The main course was angel-hair spaghetti – cooked al dente – with shrimp, scallops, broccoli - and just the right amount of garlic.
Dessert included fresh strawberries, served with sour cream and brown sugar - yummy!
It was a fabulous meal.
We were happy to meet the chef and to be able to compliment him on a first class dinner.  And we were impressed with the hostess who made us feel “at home” within seconds of our arrival.

I don’t eat out very often.  To my mind most restaurants are over-priced, and most of them serve indifferent food. I can do better at home.
The “wait-staff”, or servers (whatever we call them these days) are either har…

I'll be burned at the stake.

I was seven years old, going on eight, when the Headmistress at Greenbank Infants' School in Bristol, U.K. called us all into the assembly hall on February 6th 1952.

She told us that the King (George VI) had died.

I cried.  Not because of the King's death.  But because I knew that we now had a Queen, and that was scary.

For the only other Queen I could think of was Mary I, and I knew that she had "burned all the Protestants".

I thought that now that we had another Queen, I, as a little Protestant, would be burned at the stake.

( Of course Mary Tudor [Queen Mary I] didn't burn all the Protestants -  but that's what I thought at that young age)

Sermon for 5th February 2012.

Sermon for 5th February 2012.  The Revd. J. Michael Povey at St. Boniface, Siesta Key, FL Mark 1:21-39
There are times when I am tempted to think that the bible is no more than a compendium of religious information – some of which is useless trivia, and some of which is more or less useful.   Or I will begin to use the bible as if it were a self-help manual, filled with inspirational snippets which will help me through life.
Of course, that is not what I said when I was ordained.  I avowed that the “Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and contain all things necessary to salvation”.  That means, among other things, that within the bible we discover what God’s word and will is for life.
Indeed the bible is filled with accounts of human encounters with the Holy One, encounters which are more than the anecdotes of religious people.  They are encounters which are meant to move us towards the conversion of our lives to God. They are encounters through which are th…