Showing posts from April 22, 2018

There's a dog in this blog, but the blog is not about a dog.

The dog is called Hershey.  He lives in Wivenhoe, Essex (near Colchester) with my friends Rosalind and Nancy.

Nice dog  but it was the Bluebells which caught this Englishman's eye, and gave him much joy.

Ah Bluebells, bringing so much beauty to U.K. woodlands (such as still exist) in Spring-time.

An utterly gorgeous carpet.

It was forbidden to pick them at least fifty years ago.  That is good, for picked and placed in a vase did them a severe injustice. It is now illegal to dig them for sale in garden centres.

They are a gift to be enjoyed in the woodlands for just a week or two each spring.

Be grateful for them, and hope for a new spring next year.

The unexpected in Sarasota

Photo essay from the "New Yorker"

Please enjoy this.    Those of us who live in Sarasota  (SRQ)  are grateful that Amish/Mennonite  friends remind us of a simpler and wiser way of living.

Stop RIGHT NOW! (and a gracious encounter)


Four way stop signs are common in the U.S.A.  (and maybe in other lands)  They are a very efficient means of traffic control at the intersections of two lane urban streets.

The simple rule is "First Come, First Served".

The rule works well, and it is usually observed by most  drivers, even those who are in a tearing hurry.


The rule works well  unless you are J. M. Povey who is driving north on Shade Ave, SRQ  and A.N.Other who is driving east on Floyd St.

JMP completely ignored his stop sign.

A.N. Other ignored his too.


Not a bit of it.  Just in time JMP slammed on his brakes and veered right.  And A.N Other slammed on his brakes are veered left.


Two distracted drivers

A near accident.

No collision, no damage, no injuries.


JMP and A.N Other did better than to get angry and to play the blame game.

We looked at each other as we realized were both at faul…

Amanda Card Ray ( see my blog from yesterday)

Below is the published obit for Amanda.

I will not be able to attend the services. It's all too complicated to book (very expensive) air flights at short notice, and to arrange dog care etc.

But of course I will get up to Atlanta to see my dear and good friend  Steve Card and his partner Rick as soon as it is feasible.

I knew Amanda's great grandmother Annie Speed; her grandmother Ruth Card; and her mother and father Steve and Susan.

When I first met Steve and his family when they were visiting Fitchburg, MA  (1977?) I quietly wondered "why is he married?"  

My gaydar was accurate!

But the times they are a changing. In due course Steve and Susan were divorced. 

Then Steve met Rick.  When the law was changed they were able to marry. 

I think that it is bloody marvelous that Rick was identified in the obit. as Amanda's step-father. Such utter graciousness in the face of grief.

Shared grief eh?   Steve, Susan, Rick, Kasey, Emma, Sophie, Lola, Matthew Card  et al are smitten …

Grief unspeakable and full of misery

In the New Testament letter called  1 Peter the writer speaks thus: "you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"

That may have its place, but there is also grief unspeakable and full of misery.

When I came to Fitchburg, MA in 1976 to be the pastor of a congregation there, one of the great matriarchs of the parish Annie S urged me to pray for her great granddaughter, a wee babe born prematurely and called  Mandy.  Annie's daughter Ruth C, (Mandy's grandmother) also urged our prayers.  

Mandy was in special care at Mass General Hospital.

She not only survived, ( with one leg always affected by cerebral palsy)  but she blossomed to become a dear wife, a mother of three daughters, and an exceptional teacher.

Over the years I have stayed in touch with Steve C (Mandy's Dad), and Susan C (her mother).

Steve and Susan divorced in due course (but remained good friends).  

Steve was  re-married to the wonderful Rick F.  

I last met Mandy (Amanda) some three or four years …

This Robot's not got.......

This robot's not got ........... what it takes.

At first I planned to give this blog the title  "Robot No Go". Then I remembered that "Rowbow"  used to be  (and maybe still is) an eccentric British way of pronouncing "Robot", but it would be a mystery to Americans.

Setting that aside I repeat "This robot's not got....what it takes".

The ever gorgeous Zion sheds so much.  A friend suggested that a robotic vacuum cleaner would be great for scooping up dog hair.

I did some internet research which indicated that a Neato brand machine would be great for dog hair.

So I bought one on Saturday at (of all places) "Bed, Bath and Beyond".  I carefully assembled it, and let it charge overnight.

I set it free this morning and watched with a level of wonder as it trundled around my Lanai. I had removed all possible obstacles.

Then it stopped.  The display said "please clear my path".

I cleared the path, but my non-Neato stopped again six t…