Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back to Blogging

Allergies have been keeping me feeling unwell and it seems that when my head is stuffy I don't write much. The time has gotten away from me.

Today is Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit filled the Apostles and they went out and began their preaching ministry. It is a good day to reflect on the Spirit and on new beginnings. A new season is underway, too with summer almost upon us.

Pentecost can be a hot, hot day. I remember melting in the heat and singing the Mass in Polyphony, grateful for the cool chapel and the even cooler Adobe house with its tile roof that was then the Newman Center for Stanford University where the choir sang. In particular, I remember slaving through a heat wave to make a duck pate and a cake and other goodies for the baptism of one of my god-children, now a young man in his twenties. Time has flown far too quickly.

As I wrote about the Apostles beginning their preaching ministries, I wondered what they would make of our new technologies? Babelfish and Google translator, would be the modern day tools to get the word out in multi-languages and Facebook and Twitter would carry the message to the whole world. They would use them all, I am sure.

A Blessed Pentecost. I am grateful for the Spirit even though at this point in my life I am weary, too and even my faith is weary. Renewal is a necessity!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back to Bay Area "Air Conditioning"

I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the better part of my life. One of the things that spoils us who live in the area is the "natural air-conditioning" of sea breezes and fog coming off the ocean and down the bay. Every so often the winds, shift, we swelter and some succumb to installing air-conditioning, which puts a greater load on the power grid that we all depend upon. So far, budet constraints have kept me from meeting the temptation head on and giving in to modernity in this technological form.

Last weekend was such a heat wave and I did not come to the computer very much. Without the computer, I have a harder time keeping myself occupied. Fortunately, friends came to my aid by bringing meals and fellowship so that the time went by quickly.

Sears also delivered a fan that I ordered on Wednesday on Friday. This is the fastest service that I think I have ever had for anything purchased on-line. The fan is an 18" pedestal fan and it means business. Industrial strength, it moves air. I have dubbed it the "wind turbine'. Wonderful!

While I was cowering inside, escaping the heat, one of my Amaryllis bulbs bloomed. Here it is.

It is so delicate, almost ethereal, that it was hard to believe it bloomed in the heat. It took my mind off the heat with its cool beauty.

The big Cecil Brunner rose bush in the far corner of my backyard is also blooming beautifully. It has a cool look to it as well, even in the heat.

I am grateful for these flowers. Looking at the Amaryllis this morning in its beauty reminded me of the beauty of God and that I ought to take time to think about that beauty more frequently.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Wishing all the moms I know a happy Mother's Day and remembering my own mother.

Her middle name was Rose and she loved roses so. I look out as I write this on a half-century old rose bush in the far corner of the back yard. Identified a few years ago by my friend G. (a mother herself) as Cecil Brunner, it is coverd in pale pink blossoms and buds.

In the far corner of the front yard is the "cornflake" rose, the one that Mama planted. We ate whatever cereal it was that had the offer. Three boxtops were sent in and the bare-roots plant arrived. Papa planted it in the far corner. At one time, it filled that corner with a huge bush. The bush is struggling to survive against the poisonous oleander planted on the other side of the fence. Sigh.

I would love to identify this rose so that I could find another. At one time it was so fragrant that all I had to do was open the front door and the fragrance filled the house. Over the years, it has lost its fragrance.

When we lived in Toledo, Mama also grew beefsteak tomatoes in the summer. Very best tomatoes I ever ate. My memories of her are of a woman always busy with her hands. Laundry, cooking, washing dishes, ironing and finally at the end of the day a few minutes to herself to play her beloved piano.

Sometimes, looking back, I wish my parents could have home schooled us. Music and literature, French and cooking, history and domestic science could have come from Mama. Math and science from Papa. It would have been much more fun than school. Of course, it wasn't done then and I am sure she never thought of herself as a teacher. When we came to California, she became one, teaching in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine program at St. Athanasius, our local parish church. She would have been a wonderful piano teacher too.

Sunday mornings bring back memories of Mass, followed by brunch. Ah the smells of bacon and eggs and cinnamon toast! The Sunday comics were followed by homework in the afternoon and more cooking for Sunday dinner. Bike rides around the neighborhood on Sunday afternoons, especially in the Fall, finished with coming home to those good food smells. Finally, in the evening we would all watch Maverick.

Mama loved life and her laughter, love and music filled our lives. We were so blessed and are so grateful.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Where Did Spring Go?

The roses are blooming along with the calendula. The lavender is in bud and will soon be blooming. The rosemary is flowering and doing it's usual thing of trying to grow enough to take over the county or at least the yard. The cold weather has returned.

The sky is grey and darkly overcast. Drizzle is trying to turn into rain and I wish it would pour. On the other hand, I can be grateful that it isn't thundering and lightning. This house was not built for those kinds of storms, the real flash bang boom storms of the mid-West. I would not be sitting at the computer in that kind of storm. (I would probably be cowering over my knitting or trying to read a book.)

The roses like cooler weather. I have noticed over the years that the colors are always deeper and the flowers last longer on the bush when it is cold to cool. So loving the roses as I do, I will try not to complain. Just hunker under polar fleece in front of the electric heater and give thanks for my technological and electronic blessings. (Even the polarfleece is hi-tech, made, as it is from recycled plastic bottles! I have always thought this is a real hoot.)

It is a good day for domesticity, since the laundry needs doing and for "zazzling"--learning my way around Zazzle and figuring out how to do things there. I've been there for two years, just never developed it and I know that the items are lovely and they do a good job of printing. I just am overwhelmed by the amount of time it will take to develop this and not very good at self-promotion. Oh to have wings and to fly. (Or even just be as mobile as I was a while ago and get out of my house more.)

Cabin fever is showing in this post, so I will be grateful that at least I have not needed to contend with snow and have been outside in the fresh air from time to time. I wish everyone a lovely Sunday in the Easter season that is all too quickly going away. Soon it will be back to "ordinary time". Is there such a thing, really?