Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bert and Polly

Bert and Polly

They live five doors away from my home.

They are the sweetest and most gentle couple.

Bert is aged 91.  Polly is 94. 

Bert has slowed down physically.

Polly is a bit "vague around the edges". She repeats the same stories over and over again.

They left yesterday  (17th April)  to spend the spring and summer with their son (and his wife), and their daughter (and her husband) in Indianapolis.

Every time they leave SRQ for their sojourn in Indiana, I wonder if I will ever see them again.

This makes me so sad.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


Hi Pals

I had minor elective surgery yesterday.  'Twas nothing life threatening.  Rather it was a wee bit of surgery to make me more comfortable.

Ted Copland (my former Rector at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key FL, and current friend and mentor) drove me to the clinic for the day surgery, hung around for much longer than we had bargained, then drove me home via the Pharmacy, where we left a couple of post-op prescriptions.

Thanks so much Ted.

This morning I got calls from three of my clerical colleagues, (Andi Taylor, Wes Wasdyke, and the aforementioned Ted)  just to make sure that I was alright.

This morning my dear friends Ron and Char Thompson  stopped by with a care package (including Char's famous 'healing chicken soup',  and a can of sardines)  - they know how much I like these little fish!.

All this care after a non-invasive, non-life threatening, and "snippy" bit of surgery.

 I should be so lucky. 

Why am I so blessed with such good friends?

I can only respond with gratitude.  


The staff at Sarasota's Coastal Medical Center could not have been more gracious and professional. Kudos to them.


(1) There was a bit of confusion when they wondered if I was John Povey, or Michael Povey.

I explained that I am John M Povey for Social Security/Medicare  protocols, but that I prefer to be called Michael.

I said to the nurse  "sometimes I am John, and sometimes I am Michael".

She responded (with a twinkle in her eyes):  "Is that what the voices in your head tell you?"

I replied, with a grin: "Oh no, the voices in my head tell me that I am Rosamund".

She, I, and the other staff within hearing distance broke into silly laughter.

(2) At first  it was not so funny when the Surgeon and Anaesthetist at Coastal realised that they were running short of oxygen,  meaning that another patient and I were left hanging.

(From what I understand, the supplier of tanked oxygen had failed to make a delivery the day before).

So the other patient and I waited patiently (?), pending the arrival of emergency oxygen

After about 45 minutes I began to see the humour.

One by one, or  two by two,  the Surgeon, the Anaesthetist, and all other staff members would look out of  the window, willing (so to speak) that by looking out of the window the oxygen truck would arrive sooner rather than later.

The surgeon passed my bed,  I said  "I find this to be very amusing" .  He replied "is it funny?" 

"Yes" I said. 

He got it, and responded "well I guess that it is funny in a Seinfeldian way".

Whoop-de-doo  what was happening was worthy of a Seinfeld episode.


In the end I had my surgery, delayed as it was,  Ted C drove me home,  I slept well, I have no pain, and I am en route to recovery with minimal discomfort.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Goosey, goosey, gander

In  the spring of 2014 a goose and a gander set up home near where I live.

The goose conceived and bore an egg.  A nest was made.

The gander, with his puffed up chest, was utterly aggressive when humans were anywhere near the nest.

Off they went, (goose, gander and fledgling)   (to Canada?) in the summer of 2014, only to return in the fall.

That old gander was still utterly protective of his spouse. and of their offspring.

The threesome left our neighbourhood  when winter began in December 2014.

Back they came about three weeks ago, the gander ever alert when humans were anywhere near his spouse and their child.

This  morning I saw mother goose and father gander circling around in the air, whilst their grown off-spring stayed on terra firma, all the while uttering plaintive honks.

The parents have now disappeared.  The child is still nearby, but she/he is all alone,  and still honking.

My guess is that Mr. Gander and Mrs. Goose have decided this: "Kid, you are now on your own. It is time for you to find a partner, to breed, and to continue the heritage of Canada Geese.  But we cannot help you any more". 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Clerical Capers and Connections

Last Sunday, immediately after the 9:00 a.m. liturgy at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, Sarasota, I had breakfast at the Oasis CafĂ© on South Osprey St, Sarasota.  The Oasis is the place to go for breakfast or lunch, all made from scratch.

I was there with the Revd. Barbara King, (she serves an Episcopal Church in Simsbury, CT), with her spouse, the Revd. Paul Briggs (who serves a parish in Manchester, CT), with their son Caleb, and with Barbara's mother Katharine  (who has homes in West Falmouth, MA Cape Cod) and on Siesta Key.

Barbara King, Paul Briggs and I have known each other for many years, dating back to when we each served in the Episcopal Churches "Diocese of Western Massachusetts".

I first met Caleb when he was a babe in arms, now he is wonderfully self assured lad aged about eleven or twelve.

'Twas a lovely visit.  Connections are important.


Sunday afternoon saw me at the home of Marilyn Hill and her husband, the Revd. Jonathan Percival for "English style" afternoon tea.

Jonathan is one of the retired clerics who hangs his hat at St. Boniface Church. Marilyn and he had invited other retirees and spouses for a lovely gathering.

Wes was there with Cindy; David with Nancy;  Denise with Fred;   Ernie;  Michael T;  Bob with Maria; and me. (Andi T, though not retired, also joined us -  we  all love and respect her).

The food for afternoon tea was splendid.  The conversations were delightful.  Marilyn and Jonathan were god hosts.

As I was leaving I said to Marilyn  "this was wonderful  -  such a great opportunity to relax and to enjoy the company  of dear colleagues".

Thank you Jonathan and Marilyn. Connections are important.


This morning (Tuesday 14th April)  I drove some ninety miles south of SRQ to an area called Estero.

There I had lunch with my dearly beloved (The Revd,) Gwen W Sears. 

Gwen and I have known each other since 1975.  From 1984 - 2000  she and I served together  when I was the Rector at St. Stephen's Parish, Pittsfield MA  and she was the Deacon.

She is a Deacon par Excellence, and a woman of God beyond reproach.

Gwen is in Estero to visit with her son Charlie, her grandsons, and her great grandchildren.

She and I had lunch today at the "Olive Garden", (food mediocre, but companionship sans pareil ).

What a blessing to be with this utterly fabulous sister in Christ (who is also highly regarded by my family members from England who have met her: my sisters Maureen and Elizabeth, and my brother Martyn).

Connections are important.

Gwen after lunch today.

Monday, 13 April 2015

In with the new

My new "tag". 

Looking for a mnemonic to help me remember it.  AHR " A happy rascal" -  suggestions please for 117
A new vacuum cleaner

So what's so great about getting a new vacuum cleaner.  This is a fairly standard "Hoover" bag less upright. BUT (a)  the dirt collection cylinder is so easy to remove and empty. (b) it has very powerful suction, and a strong "headlight". (c)  It has a swivel-head. (d) the revolving brush can be turned on with the flick of a switch  (for rugs and carpets. or off (for hard floors). 
 WAIT, WAIT THERE IS MORE.   It is CORDLESS.  This Hoover brand vac. comes with two rechargeable lithium batteries  (one for use, the other for back-up).  Each battery takes three hours to charge, but once charged, it is good to go for 50 minutes of vacuum cleaning.
No more un-plugging, lugging, and re-plugging from room to room. No more trailing and tangled cords.    Perfect for folks such as I who need to vacuum clean each day in this pet-hair shedding season.

New flooring 1

New flooring 2

New flooring 3

The two young men who are sub-contractors for Bob's Carpet Mart arrived at 11:00 a.m. this morning to tear out the rancid old carpet in my bedroom and walk-in closet, and replace it with "cherry" wood laminate.  They finished their work at 2:30 p.m.  That was fast!
I think that it looks good.
The poor cats had to be banished to my screened in porch for the duration, or else, with the workers frequently going in and out of the front door, the cats would have bolted and gone-a-hunting.  I also exile Penne to the porch for an hour (much to her chagrin) when I left my home to share Holy Communion with a St. Boniface parishioner  ( C.H.-K.)  who is in a rehab facility.
The young men who did the work were maybe aged 23 -25.   During the hours that I was at home I could listen in on their conversations, and I noted that they worked well together, and shared some good humour.
Their clean-up at the end was a bit less than stellar  (not terrible, but not great).
Nevertheless, grateful as I was for their speedy work, I "tipped" each one with a $20.
Tipping in this context  probably seems to be a bit odd to my U.K. friends.  But it seems to be the norm in these United States  where workers (such as the ones in my home today), are not well paid, and most certainly do not have benefits which should be the norm ( e.g. paid vacation times, health insurance, pension schemes).

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Out with the old (2)

The carpet in my bedroom is so old, so dirty, so un-redeemable that it has to go.  It's way past being cleanable, and I am sure that it is a deep and safe haven for pet dander and dog hairs

It will go on Monday 13th, to be replaced by wood laminate  (easier to keep clean when you have animals which shed).

I've had to clear all my "stuff" from the bedroom and closet, so that the contractors can move the larger items of furniture before they rip out the carpet, and install the laminate.

Even though I de-stuffed when I moved from Cambridge, MA to Sarasota FL (2006) I still have too much clutter. Why, for instance have I been saving a baggy with various computer connectors, for a computer which I haven't owned in at least eight years?

And. oh the dust and cobwebs I found as I cleared shelves, and moved furniture!

Dirty Carpet

Even dirtier carpet

(Almost) cleared shelves

Empty desk  I bought it about thirty three years ago at J.C.Penney (some assembly required) 
Stuff on a table in the sitting room

Stuff in the guest bedroom (1)

Stuff in the guest bedroom (2)