Showing posts from December 1, 2019

Why do I keep this stuff?

When I moved from the U.K. to the U.S.A. in 1976 I packed a large wooden crate with all manner of items I thought I'd like to have in my new home.

The crate was shipped and in due course I picked it up in Boston Harbour.  It just about fit into the back of a large station wagon I'd borrowed for the purpose.

Lord knows why, but I included files with every essay I had written in my four year seminary stint.   I never re-read them.  They joined Pittsfield's paper recycling programme in 2000, together with every Christmas and birthday card I had received between 1976 and 2000.   

(I had thought that I would revisit the cards  in my dotage, but after looking at a few signed (for instance)  "blessings Harry" or "love Helen" it occurred to me that I hadn't the faintest idea about  which Helen or which Harry had sent me the card!)  Out the cards went.

And there was a cross I had bought in Obersdorf,  Germany in about 1971  (I still have it); some items I bought…

Zion the Star at New College of Florida

6th December 2019

It's finals week at the New College of Florida here in Sarasota.

During Finals Week the College invites Canine Therapy teams to spend an hour in the Jane Cook Bancroft Library, there to provide a measure of stress relief to students.

There were three teams at the College today. We were one of them.

Here is Zion in all his glory!

I very much like this photo' of my smiling dog. Oh my - he is so gorgeous to look at, and his temperament matches his looks.  
I am grateful every day for his presence in my life, and for the joy he brings to so many people.
Everybody loves Zion!
As the session ended the staff photographer Jim DeLa  (pronounced DeLay) and I remembered that we knew each other.  He at one time worked for the Episcopal Diocese of South West Florida. He and I had a few minutes of happy "catch up time". It's by his courtesy that I have three of the photo's which he took.

Making me smile, giggle, or laugh out loud.

Surely it has not escaped your attention that I have a silly sense of humour.


1.  My smart 'phone has a voice mail to text feature which is not always smart.   I got a message yesterday from the office of my dermatologist Dr, Stroble.

Voice mail to text insisted that her name is Dr. Struggle.

'Twould be a good name for an orthodontist who specialised  in the extraction of stubborn wisdom teeth.


2.  Years ago I listened to an English evangelist, one David Hislop. He would pitch his preaching  tent in a field near a small village or town, or on some waste land in a City.   Then he and his supporters would canvass the neighbourhood to invite folks to come to his "tent campaign" and hear the Gospel.

One time I heard him say this in a sermon.  "God has promised to cast all our sins into the depths of the sea, and then God puts up a sign saying "no fishing&quo…

Keep Christ in Christmas? Another point of view

Keep Christ in Christmas? 
All well and good I suppose, but I have a greater concern.

Keep Parson Brown OUT of Christmas.

There he stands, his icy glare marring  the beauty of the snow covered meadow.
There he stands, demanding a monopoly on December weddings. 

Keep Parson Brown OUT of Christmas.
May he melt away into the bogs of human history, never to be remembered.

Tee hee!

The best things in life are free.

One of the gifts of life which I accept with gratitude is our  early morning walk at Sarasota's Bayfront Park. There is so much loveliness as we hear the rocking of the yachts; feel the lovely breeze coming off the bay; and listen to the sometimes gentle, sometimes a wee bit choppy sound of the sea and of the tides; and watch the flights and dives of the pelicans.

'Tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free.

Zion and I were there this morning at 6:30.  'Twas a wee bit chilly by south west Florida standards (50 degrees F today), but that was all to the good, given that we moan when it is 90 degrees and humid in the summer months.

With gratitude.

The Bland and the Beautiful.

I was a guest of the Chrisman family for last week's Thanksgiving Feast.

We were Donna Chrisman, her sister Barbara, Donna's daughter Ashley,  and Jack Chrisman's second cousin Mary Evelyn.  Jack was unable to join us.

We ate at the Peridia Country Club in Bradenton, FL,

which was very nice except that when you eat out on Thanksgiving there are no leftovers -  the best part of the feast.

With that in mind I bought a small ready cooked Thanksgiving meal from the so-named "upscale"  F...h M....t at the the Sarasota/Bradenton University Town Abomination  (U.T.C.).

All set to share with my neighbours, and for leftovers for me:  thinking in particular about a turkey breast and cranberry relish sandwich.

But what a disappointment.  I encountered bland. The turkey breast was tough and dry -  made palatable only with a lashing of cranberry/orange relish (from Trader Joe's).  Even more awful was  the dressing ( I called it flavoured bread cubes); and the mashed potatoes whi…

Your Tax Dollars at work!

It was in the late 1980's or early 1900's that I was asked to give the invocation and benediction at the G.E.  Naval Ordinance works in Pittsfield MA., on the occasion of a change in U.S. Navy Command.  The departing Navy Commander, a parishioner at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield MA.,  had asked me to do so.

The change in command ceremonies are impressive.  There is always an Officer in Command. Always.

What I did not expect is that there would be a fine aluminum sign made to reserve my parking space.

Made for my convenience, but used in all its glory for only two hours.

I was asked to take it home as a souvenir, and it is still in my possession.  It has no practical use, but maybe you might have a suggestion for its use - polite or saucy!


1.  If I have my facts straight, G.E.  sold this unit to the Martin Marietta  Company, which soon after merged with Lockheed to become Lockheed Martin.  The employees in Pittsfield did what they had always done, but within the space of…