Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A super day. (and I'll be off blog until Sunday)

TODAY.




1. Prayer service at Resurrection House -  Sarasota’s Day Shelter for homeless people.  There were ten of us there.  It was simple and lovely.  I was glad to pray with my homeless friends.

2. Lunch at “Dry Dock” on Longboat Key (near Sarasota. FL) with my dear friends Jack and Pat – visiting from New Hampshire.  We sat on an outside patio alongside the Florida west coast Intra-coastal waterway.  The food was excellent, the air was balmy, the view was excellent, and my friends are great.

3. Evening Eucharist at St. Boniface Church on Siesta Key, Sarasota, FL.  (This is my responsibility on the first Wednesday of each month).

It is Holy Week. The Gospel reading from John was about Judas’ decision to betray Jesus.

I raised the question (apropos Judas) “Do we betray ourselves before we betray others?”  (I think so).

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NOT A BAD DAY.  Indeed a good day.

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 I will not be blogging for the next few (and holiest for Christians) days.

MAUNDY THURSDAY: (When I’ll have the privilege of preaching, and celebrating the Eucharist at St. B’s 10:00 a.m. service).

GOOD FRIDAY:  (When I will assist another of St. B’s retired clerics at a 7:00 a.m. service).

HOLY SATURDAY:  (The day when for Christians “God is dead” and there is no hope.)


I expect to make my next blog entry on Easter Day (2012)  --Sunday 8th April.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

NOT SO GOOD and VERY GOOD

NOT SO GOOD

A couple of Canada Geese have taken up residence in these parts.

The Gander is very aggressive. He puffed out his chest, extended his wings, hissed a lot, and then took off after Penne and me as we walked today.

I uttered a great hullabaloo.

This awoke at least 24 octogenarian neighbours.

It deterred the gander.

And my dear dog Penne got all confused as she thought that I was hullabalooing at her!

VERY GOOD

1. Kate E comes to clean my house once a month. She was here today, and as always she did a terrific job. When she leaves, my home is cleaner than clean.  I am grateful that I have such a good person to clear up my mess. And she does so with a cheerful spirit.

2. Graham is a lanky kid who works at my local “Sweetbay Supermarket”. He is unfailingly cheerful, utterly enthusiastic, and extremely efficient.

Yesterday I made it my business to tell the Sweetbay manager that Graham is a fabulous employee, and that he is a “keeper”.

The Manager agreed with me, and he promised to pass on my words of gratitude to Graham.

3. I had a problem with my e-mail today. It was clear that one particular e-mail was problematic, and that it was blocking my access to all other e-mails.

So I called my ISP (Comcast) expecting to get the “runaround”.

 Instead I chatted with a fabulous Comcast worker named “Trista”. She immediately recognised my problem, and corrected it within no more than 15 minutes.

Of course I then e-mailed Comcast to commend their service, and to praise their employee Trista.  I hope that Comcast will give her a pat on the back  - and increase her salary.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Triscuit (weave some wonder) crackers and a new cardigan.

I rarely buy “Triscuit” crackers.

I have often thought that they are assembled from leftover “Shredded Wheat” breakfast cereal: - and that they need to be loaded with cheese, or hummus, or tabouli in order to make them moderately palatable.

Nonetheless I bought a 9.5 oz (what an odd weight) box of “Triscuit -  Hint of Salt” crackers a week or two ago.

I ate them all.

Then I collapsed the box before placing it in my recycling bin.

’Twas then and only then that I read the purple prose on a side panel.

 Here’s what I read (with no changes in grammar or capitalisation)

“At Triscuit, we believe less is more. That’s why we bake our crackers with quality ingredient like Soft White Winter Wheat.

Soft White Winter Wheat is grown in places like the Great Lakes region of North America by farmers who are skilled in harvesting this crop.

We like to think of Soft White Winter Wheat as a kind of cashmere of wheat because of its soft texture and delicious taste. It’s what gives Triscuit its golden color, distinctive crunch and 24 grams of delicious whole grain goodness per serving.”

Goodness gracious.

 If I had but read that side panel in the supermarket -  I would have bought a dozen or more boxes of this “cashmere of wheat”, and  used the contents to knit a scarf or a cardigan.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Canadian made me cry

If you read my blog yesterday you will have read about my tears as Bishop Jeffrey Lee preached at the funeral of Mary Ellen Smith, the wife of my local; Bishop here in South West Florida.

I got all teary again today.  I was at the season finale concert of the Sarasota Symphony Orchestra.

In the first part of the concert we heard a modern piece, the “Too Hot Toccata” composed in 1996 by Aaron Jay Kernis (b 1960).  This bit of music had not even a wee bit of memorable melody.   Indeed it was an exciting six minute cacophony which had me on the edge of my seat. When it ended I was one of many at Sarasota’s Van Wezel Concert Hall who exclaimed “Wow”.

Next was a symphony by Mozart  - his #25 in G  minor. I am usually a great Mozart fan, but this symphony seemed dull and pedestrian after the exciting Kernis piece,

-Then came the intermission-

After which we heard the incredibly beautiful Violin Concerto in D major by Beethoven.  I know this piece well, but only from recordings and from the radio.

I became teary eyed in this live performance.  The soloist was the 36 year old Canadian violinist James Ehnes from Brandon, Manitoba.

His playing was superb, yes indeed first class -  I would say exquisite.


And yes indeed, I got all teary eyed not just at the loveliness of Beethoven’s music, but more because of the gorgeous way in which James Ehnes played.

His skill was supported by the fabulous Sarasota Orchestra, and especially by the guest conductor Mei-Ann Chen.

She hails from Taiwan and now lives in Chicago.

She is a conductor for the future.

And I am an aging man who shed tears at a funeral (yesterday), and at today’s concert.

This lachrymose old man needs tissues!  (But he is grateful for the ability to cry)