Showing posts from December 21, 2014

"Mr. Be Of Good Cheer"

I have been visiting Bill D at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Bill (86) is a former U.S. Navy Captain, and a current parishioner at St. Boniface Church here in SRQ.

He had a fall a couple of weeks ago as a result of which he is in the hospital, because that fall resulted in a broken hip.

Despite this  Bill D is unfailingly cheerful. The word "whine" is not in his vocabulary.

I saw him today (with his utterly fabulous wife Emily D.)  

I told them that I have re-named Bill.

Henceforth I will refer to him as "Mr. Be Of Good Cheer".

Such a powerful example.

Good food (Christmas Day) AND SOME SILLINESS!

CHRISTMAS DAY After eating nothing but toast for seven consecutive meals  (I'd been under the weather and had lost my appetite), I was ready for a good Christmas Feast. My good friends Fred and Diana Emrich invited me to join them for a buffet in the Country Club Ballroom at the Longboat Key Club.  I was careful not to over-eat, but "darn it all", the food was good. I began with oysters on a half-shell, poached salmon, some shrimp, and a token salad. This was followed by small portions of delicious braised chicken,  slices of baked ham and roasted turkey, and a small slice of the best prime rib you could hope to meet.  I was good - so I also had a generous helping of green beans - cooked to perfection. I resisted the rich variety of desserts in favour of some good cheeses and sliced cantaloupe. Fred and Diana had three other guests. Two of them had been stewardesses (as they were then called), and had worked with Diana for Pan Am, and then Delta. It all made for delight…

You have been warned, or just in case you have been wondering.

A 2014 Christmas gift from my friend Ben

Christmas Eve 2014: such a pleasant day

We're busy doin' nothin' Workin' the whole day through Tryin' to find lots of things not to do We're busy goin' nowhere Isn't it just a crime We'd like to be unhappy, but We never do have the time (Sung by Bing Cosby and others in the film "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court) Well, not quite busy doing nothing, but I could not be unhappy, for I never did have the time. I cleared the furniture from one half of my 29' long  Lanai (really a screened in porch) so that I could vacuum clean and wet mop the tiles in that area.  I intended to "do" the other half later in the morning. That was not smart, since on this very humid day the tiles had not dried seven hours after my labours.  I'll take care of the other half on Boxing day. In the meantime the "other half" of the Lanai is filled with furniture, much to the confusion of my pets. Penne and I had some good walks. Taking advantage of inexpensive calls via Sk…

The irrational season

My trusted and beloved colleague, the Revd. Andrea S (Andi) Taylor preached a superb sermon last Sunday (Dec 21st 2014) at St. Boniface Church, Sarasota FL As she preached I wondered "does she know the Madeline L'Engle irrational season quote?" Not only did Andi know it,  within a few moments of my wondering she quoted it. "This is the irrational season, when love blooms bright and wild! Had Mary been filled with reason, there’d have been no room for the child"     (Madeline L'Engle).

French Carol - Abolitionist anthem

I post the following just about every year in December.  I am not the author of the following ( jmp)

Stories Behind the Music: "O Holy Night"

"O Holy Night" remains one of the world's most beloved Christmas carols, with uplifting lyrics and melody.

The lyrics were written by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), a resident of Roquemaure, France (located a few miles north of the historic city of Avignon). Cappeau was a wine merchant and mayor of the town, as well as an occasional writer of poetry.

 Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Cappeau when his parish priest, shortly before Cappeau embarked on a business trip, asked him to pen a poem for Christmas mass.

In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France's capital city, Cappeau considered the priest's request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present on the blessed night inspired him.…

Catalan Carol yesterday. French carol today

Back in the day when John Cheney was the music director at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, he chose the French carol " Ilestné le petit enfant"  as one of the songs for the choir at "Midnight Mass".  John was wise enough to have it sung in French. It so happened that a young Frenchman (an exchange student) was in the congregation with his host family.  He had never before been in an Episcopal Church. Can you begin to imagine how much he felt "at home" when he heard a French carol sung in his native tongue in an American congregation.   (He said after the service that the pronunciation had been perfect). " Ilestné " has had a warm place in my heart ever since that Christmas. Here are two versions, each lovely in different ways. And here are the lyrics in French and in English. ,Ilestné le divin Enfant Words: Traditional French Lyrics Music: Traditional French Chorus:Il e…