Monday, January 12, 2009

Men in Black Hats (are not always bad guys)

My pastor rocks.

I've said it here and elsewhere that this man is a holy man--the real deal. In another life he would have been a family man, but as it happens, we've adopted one another. And as such, I'm rather protective of him and have caught myself running interference for him at each and every possibility I've gotten. He's done the same for me.

It's not gone unnoticed. But it's not what it looks like. He's of my parents' generation, graduated two years behind my dad from the same high school, grew up in the same neighborhood as my mom, and like me, delivered the now-extinct Philadelphia Bulletin as a kid and, like me, comes from a big Irish Catholic family that did not have a lot of money.

More than that, we share a common emotional language; it's possible for us to get more into a 5-minute conversation than most people can accomplish in an hour. Which works to our advantage, because 5 minutes is usually all we get.

Not everyone gets the shorthand.

Anyway, it was still dark when I walked over to church to lector mass yesterday morning. I see a figure in a long black coat and a black fedora--looks like putting out rock salt out on the landing near the door? Yep, it's Fr. M., who greets me with a big smile. And I can't remember what he said, but I laughed out loud going into church and people looked. I do have a honking laugh. I'd change it if I could. But anyway.

So I take a look at the readings, and they are LONG. I'm up at the ambo longer than I plan to, making sure there isn't anything I'm going to trip over. Fr. M has petitions this week, so I don't have to make those up on the fly like I did LAST week. Okay, doable. Back to the sacristy.

So I wander back into the sacristy and Fr. M asks me how I got to church this morning. I told him I walked (and yes, it was kind of slick and I did nearly do a header at one point, but I am a clutz and we need to figure on that).

"I can't have that, I'll get you a ride home," he said.

"Oh, don't bother," I laugh.

But as we're processing out at the beginning of mass, doesn't he approach one of the guys enroute to the altar and ask him to give me a lift home?

Yes, he did. And I did get a lift. The guy who was asked was just as surprised at the how as I was.

You know, stuff as minor as that is enough to make me smile for days.

Getting back to normal here. We finally got a replacement trampoline for the boys yesterday, so I am going to set that up this afternoon. Finish taking Christmas decorations up to the attic. Did a whopping four loads of laundry yesterday--one more will catch us up.

And work--finishing up the engineering book at long last, and I've queued up two more projects, and I am beating the bushes for more.

The kids are happy to have me back. We went to see the local model railroad display yesterday, and we were there a good two hours. G was happy to stand on a step ladder, his little arm wrapped around my shoulders and look at the broken bridge with the destroyed coal car. N (who said he didn't want to go) delighted in the little town with the parade, factories with elevators, and the spelunkers in the cave.

G is the reason I don't need blood pressure medication. Just being in the same room with him is soothing.

New week ahead. Much to do.

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