He is Risen Indeed… one of many ways we have learned to share the message of Jesus’s triumph over death through complete and total trust of God, something that I sincerely hope that we all have and share. It was great to see so many people in our parish yesterday – it seems that visitors and guests (the difference being??) outnumbered ‘the regulars’ by about 3:1. Some people who are at Mass every week tend to grump a bit about “the C&E’s – Christmas & Easter attendees”… I’m happy that they are there, period. Better that they come once or twice, and perhaps catch on that this isn’t such a bad thing, than to not come at all… so, thanks for coming, y’all!! Thankfully, there weren’t too many ladies sporting these ginormous Easter Hats – you know – the ones that have a circumference that would qualify as a sunshade for the average back porch, nor did I see many power suits in electric blue or neon purple… but then again, I didn’t visit the local Golden Corral Restaurant™ to verify if they remain ‘in season’ yesterday. I did sight one guy wearing a blue seersucker suit – straight out of the JC Penny catalog on Page 387438. It sure seemed that way ‘back in the day’ when Sears™, JC Penny’s™, and Montgomery Wards™ all had these catalogs that were larger than the combined Yellow Pages for New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and London. You could order an entire house inside and out including the garage, front, back, and side yards from these suckers. About the only thing you couldn’t order was groceries. For that, you had to rely on one of two methods – pluck whatever it was you had growing in the backyard, or go to the grocery store (do they still call them that anymore?) Nowadays, it seems that ‘newer’ department stores are also masquerading as grocery stores – no offense to the good folks at WalMart™ or Target™… where else but at WalMart™ can you go grocery shopping at 3am and get just about anything you need, except for save deli and perhaps seafood? Personally, I tend to favor my local FarmFresh™ down the street where after 15+ years of shopping there, I can name just about everyone who works in the deli and bakery. Three of my kids ‘grew up’ through that store – every Sunday after Mass, I would stop by to get a few things. They would make a beeline for the bakery where Ruth and Marie (they started the store 17+ years ago) would ask if they had been ‘good’. At that time, they would peer up through the display cases, eyes full of wonder at the variety of cakes and pies, not to mention fresh bread that they had been baking so that clueless slugs (like yours truly) could bring home something neat-looking for them without having previously destroyed the kitchen in the process. Attempting this on my own without properly qualified adult supervision would have had dire consequences that were best left untested. At the time, I was a single Dad and knew that among my many shortcomings and limitations, baking a cake was definitely in the top five. Fixing bicycles, no worries. Baking a cake, worry. Anyhoot, with a confirming look towards me, they would offer them a still-warm cookie. This weekly tradition continued throughout their childhood. Recently, my tallest son (6’5”) went in with me – he still remembers (sheepishly as only an early-20s guy will) and saw “Miss Ruth”. Without batting an eyelash, she asked him if he had been good. He said yes, and true to form, a confirmation look towards me with the appropriate nod and smile resulted in a still warm cookie being offered. This is one of those last vestiges of small-town living (even in Vah Beach) that I hope will still carry on for our succeeding generations. Now, my grandson continues that tradition with his mother – although I don’t know how much longer “Miss Ruth” will be there – she needs a rest. Oh yeah, my baking skills? That was resolved when I quite happily remarried more than a few years to someone who is VERY capable at baking.
I’m still looking forward to reactivating my bicycle repairing skills when my grandson reaches that age – along with teaching him to surf – something he will inherit from his mother and uncle who both have the love of the ocean and surfing gene passed down from me – one of my few good traits J...
Please have a great week!!
Spring Time Blooms at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Norfolk, Virginia. © John Cadell Photography