Saturday, 7 July 2012


Back in 1976 when I came to live in the United States all my ‘phone calls to England were via the operator.

Indeed, I had to “book” operator calls at Christmastide.

 I would call ATT&T a few weeks before Christmas Day, and ATT&T would assign me a time and day for my Christmas ‘phone call to my family.

Then came direct dialing, which , in its day, was a huge and welcome technological advance.

But “direct dialling” was nothing in comparison with today’s links.

Thanks to Skype I have had three recent and inexpensive conversations:  with my friends Joe and Deanne R in Granby, MA; with my friend Joe S in London, and with my good sister Maureen on her birthday.  Oh such joy when these connections are so simple.

Skype also enables me to have frequent conversations with my youngest and favourite brother Martyn.

And thanks to Facebook I am in touch with three of my cousins (Janet, Chris, and Kippy), and with a handful of my nieces and nephews.

Indeed, I am more connected with these good nieces and nephews than I ever could have imagined.
(I have eight siblings, and nineteen nieces/nephews.)

These connections are more than important. They are VITAL
I suppose that this is why I long for heaven – a state of being in which all of these connections find their perfection.

I am not so sure about the reality of heaven, (maybe yes, maybe no).

But whether or not there is a heaven I am grateful for this deep ninstinct to connect.

It's what makes us human.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Easter Island revisited

Via my Staten Island "cousin, Kippy Altini.

"Digging down" reveals all!  This is stupendous.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

"A promise to Astrid" A book to buy.

Astrid Nicosia was a parishioner when I was the Vicar at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Chicopee, MA. (1980-1984). She, born in Norway, was a delightful, sweet, gracious and deeply intuitive woman.

Her husband Dominic Nicosia was born in Sicily.  He was a bit gruff. But he had a nice and wry sense of humour.

The Lord alone knows how and when a Norwegian woman would marry a Sicilian man!

My beloved mother met Astrid on one of Mum’s visits from the U.K. to the U.S.A. These two fabulous women “hit it off” immediately.

Michael and Cindy Tourville also attended St. Christopher’s. They were then a young and fairly newlywed couple, with two young sons.  

As it happens, they lived right next door to Dominic and Astrid.

Twenty eight years later, Michael Tourville has written an affectionate and moving account of his (and Cindy’s), mysterious and grace-filled encounters with Astrid.

It’s a fabulous tale, one that gives me Goosebumps as I remember the fabulous Astrid.

Here is the publishers “blurb” re Michael Tourville’s book:

A Promise to Astrid

By Michael K. Tourville

A true story of a woman with an extraordinary gift, and a greater purpose that’s not immediately evident. A car accident leaves a family in a predicament, and triggers a series of remarkable events. When their elderly neighbor Astrid comes into the picture, everything changes. It’s the least of the family’s expectations that her involvement will impact the rest of their lives. Astrid seems to have all the answers and promptly sets her plan into action. With wisdom, intuition, and maybe a little bit of help from above, she makes everything turn out just right. But that was only the beginning…. 

A very engaging narrative, this surely is one of those inspirational stories that shouldn’t be missed. Emotional, humorous, and a little bit mysterious, it’s a short story well worth reading. Some things you just can’t explain. There are bigger things at work, beyond our understanding. Accept them with trust, and be grateful. And have faith that good things will happen.

The book is self published via

(Go to Bookstore and then enter Tourville in the Search feature).

It’s just the book to purchase as a gift to that person in your life who has everything, yet needs something more.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

4th July posting from a Peruvian born friend

German Antonio Rodriguez writes this on Facebook.. 

"Happy 4th of July! My first Independence Day as an American Citizen!"

German  ( pronounced  Herman) is a fabulous Peruvian born guy who became my friend when he lived in SRQ.

He now lives in Los Angeles,  CA.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Gorgeous dog (and it's not Penne)

I have been visiting St. Boniface Parishioner Fred Costin who is recuperating at the home of another parishioner, Reg Irvine, as Fred recovers from surgery.

Reg has a long haired Dachshund  named "Skipper".

Skipper is a sweetheart of a dog.  If I had not already fallen  in love with my Penne I would have been tempted to kidnap Skipper.

Monday, 2 July 2012

A quotation for the day.

 "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot."

(this comes via an episcopal priest who was my colleague in the greater Boston area.)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sunshine Skyway Bridge, FLY,Fabulous government workers

I drove across our beautiful Sunshine Skyway Bridge to St. Petersburg, FL this morning, and then home again this afternoon.

The bridge, across Tampa Bay, links the SW Florida Counties of Manatee and Pinellas.

To my utter horror (tongue in cheek) the toll has been increased from a dollar to$1.25.each way.

Jesting apart, I am more than happy to pay the new toll.

Dollars apart, the toll collectors on the bridge are the most polite and cheerful public employees. It is a joy to encounter them.

I am happy to pay the Sunshine Skyway Bridge tolls (they are a bargain).

And I am tickled pink to encounter and be grateful for these  happy, polite and gracious toll collectors.