By Advent of last year, Bernadette had reached that point of piano proficiency at which playing becomes pleasurable. I handed her My First Book of Christmas Carols and told her, “This is your piano lesson book for the Advent and Christmas seasons.” She played both dutifully and joyfully, and sang along. Which was great, because she and others of our kids have trouble carrying a tune, but with all the singing practice over Advent they could actually sing Christmas songs by the time Christmas rolled around.
Everyone down through Tina sings Christmas songs now. Their favorite was “Deck the Halls.” I got a giggle today when I heard Regina’s rendering of “See the blazing Yule before us!”
Her version: “See the blazing Yuletide forest!” Brings up a rather fantastic image.
I was out on an errand with Bernadette today and stopped at the grocery store to get a couple of doughnuts. She and I occasionally go out for doughnuts just for a few quiet moments to talk over how things are going. I picked out three doughnuts, bought them, and we settled ourselves at a table.
Just then the cashier sprinted up and interrupted: “I gave you two nickels instead of two quarters!” he said. And by golly, he had; somehow I hadn’t noticed.
The story of how that came to be was kind of funny. A woman had given him five nickels to make up a quarter, and he had unthinkingly dropped them into his quarter slot. Then when he needed two quarters for me, he mindlessly handed me two coins from the quarter slot–and I just as mindlessly pocketed them and walked on!
It would only have been a forty-cent loss, but I still appreciate the honest folks in Lander.
So I didn’t really know what to write for FTT #18, since nothing very funny happened today, but I decided I should log in, start writing, and see what came of it. But then Mozilla wanted to install an update, which I did. And then Mozilla would not open.
I restarted the computer (which is supposed to fix all computer problems), but Mozilla still would not open.
That was when I saw the message popping up inviting me to solve a computer problem. Sounds like what I have, I thought, so I clicked it. The window that appeared told me that Mozilla was not working. And to fix the problem, I had only to “click here” and read an online article–which would have been great, if my default browser, Mozilla, were working.
And that, I guess, is as close as I can get to FTT #18 (written from Windows Explorer).
Teresa: “Is there a Saint Teresa?”
Mama: “Yes, you know that!”
Tina: “Is there a Saint Tina?”
Tina: “Is there a Saint Mama?”
Papa [silently to self]: “There will be before this is over!”
David the ten-year-old is, by the mercy of God, in confirmation classes. The bishop made an exception for a youngster in the community, then a bunch of others joined the class hoping to piggy-back on that exception, and the bishop has apparently let it ride.
His teacher is Emily Tonkowich, again by the mercy of God. She’s really good. And our parish priest, Fr. David Erickson, comes in to teach a session now and again. He’s a great, conservative priest with traditional morals. Why, just last week Fr. Dave gave a talk about the seven deadly sins for this the youngest confirmation class in recent parish history.
During the course of the talk, he apparently referred to Gilligan’s Island and got the kiddos all excited. In the heat of the moment, he volunteered, “Mrs. Tonkowich will play an episode of Gilligan’s Island for you next time!” Which left Mrs. Tonkowich wondering (a) where one finds an episode of Gilligan’s Island and (b) what will the parents think?
So as I picked up David from class this evening, my first question was: “So what were you supposed to learn from Gilligan’s Island? What was the lesson?”
David responded, “It was about the seven deadly sins. Each character represented one of the sins.”
Ah-hem. As a parent, I’m not thinking of Pride, Envy, Anger, Gluttony, Sloth, or Avarice, but I can’t ask it directly…. “So who did Gilligan represent?” “Gluttony, I think.” Ah-hem.
Think I’ll ask Fr. Erickson about this one.
If you are not a parent, or if you find the word “potty” offensive, you might want to look away. This a story about Tina the three-year-old, and three-year-olds have no such inhibitions.
So Tina has two potties, a white one and a red one, but at some point she decided that the red one belongs to her doll, Polly. Today Jacinta took Tina to the potty and the red one happened to be available. “This is Polly’s potty!” Tina remarked.
“Yes, but you can go in it, it’s OK,” Jacinta reassured her.
“Yes, Polly can’t use her potty,” Tina agreed.
Well, what do you know, thought Jacinta: this whole thing with dolls and imaginary friends is all a game after all. She knows that Polly’s just a doll, even though she talks about “Polly’s potty”–she’s actually in tune with reality! I wouldn’t have–
At which point Tina continued, “Polly is too young to pee in her potty.”
At Mass this morning, the lector was a little old lady who has to stand on a stool to see the lectionary. She always has trouble with the complicated Old Testament names, and today’s was a doozy:
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, Elkanah by name, a Zuphite from the hilly country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah.
And on it went, with still more names–I really felt bad for her. After Mass she walked past my pew to whisper, “YOU should have done the reading today!”
The kicker? I looked it up when I got home, and she did the wrong reading: that was the cycle for 2012, not for 2013. The actual reading for today was much more straightforward!
[Blogging question: Should I refer to a female lector as a lectrix?]
Jacinta [hushing a child during Mass]: “That’s good enough.”
Tina the three-year-old: “No, it’s a bad ’nuff!”
On the way down to Denver a few days ago, Scott and I hit a snow patch on Highway 20 and went into a spin. We veered sideways towards oncoming traffic, then slid backwards across our lane towards a cow pasture and a barbed-wire fence, and then came to a stop on the side of the road pointing back toward the direction we had come from.
When I got home, I told Jacinta about the event. While it was way too much excitement to cram into seven seconds, I think it brought Scott and me closer together. “When you nearly die with someone,” I explained to Jacinta, “it makes you friends.”
Jacinta didn’t have to think even a moment about that one: “You have enough friends!”
I’m in Denver for a meeting of the Board of Directors of WCC. On the way in I saw a billboard off the highway that proclaimed, in large letters,
RAISED WITH COMPASSION AND WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
And then in smaller letters below that:
CHICKENS RAISED WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS
And then below that, a picture of a burrito filled with chicken bits. I don’t know what it means about our culture, but it made me laugh.