1 With Friar Gabriel
Young Friar Gabriel shared my enthusiasm for my upcoming five-day retreat. “Excellent preparation for your first Easter as a Catholic,” he said. When I told him that I looked forward to future three-day and five-day silent retreats, and maybe even a thirty-day silent retreat, he asked, “Did you miss your call to become a monk?”
My neighbor’s Bradford pear tree was badly damaged during the ice storm. Its branches line the curb at her yard and at mine, chest high. Still, there are the white blossoms that have just started blooming this week on the branches left intact and yet to be trimmed.
3 “The People, Yes”
Overheard at a restaurant: “With this bitter cold and wet and icy winter, I don’t see how anybody could believe in global warming!”
4 At Grandpa’s Kitchen, Littleton, NC, March 21
Who would have thought that black-eyed peas could taste so good!
A friend saw sunset reflected in my glasses as we talked. I almost asked her to change places and to put on glasses so that I could see.
6 A Propos
Driving in rural Virginia, I see vultures circling near a large brick building. As I pass by, I notice that the building is a funeral home.
A truck with John Deere decals is pulling an old Oliver tractor. It would be fun to learn about tractors, their history, their uses, their models.
On March 12 I noticed that the grackles had returned. Now to enjoy several months of their squawking, their fussiness, their imperious strutting around, and their raucous roosting at the end of the day. They are among my favorites of the comic creation.
9 Audrey, the Puppy
She is fawn colored with a black muzzle, a mixture of German shepherd and boxer. She is teething and enjoys chewing the zipper of my jacket when I hold her. She explores around cautiously and bounces when she plays. She sleeps contentedly in her crate and when she is awakened, she gives an expression of “What has happened?” “Where am I?” She is a lucky puppy. Her owners have taken out a health insurance policy for her. They are training her to be a good dog.
On the two-lane highway, the corvette positions itself behind me at a safe distance. I can sense its plan to pass. It does not need to get any closer to pass safely. It waits. When it passes, I see a fast flash of yellow and feel the brush of air marking its speed and power.
11 The People, Yes
Two lines from the 1936 poem by Carl Sandburg that provoked smiles and comments from a friend and me: “‘Wreck a bank from the outside and you get twenty years, wreck it from the inside and all you have to do is start another bank.'”
12 Buckroe Beach, Hampton, Virginia
It’s a public beach of clean sand. There are a fishing pier and two other piers with pavilions. A large parking area surrounds a park, once an amusement park. Now there are a kiddy park, a bandstand, and covered picnic areas. Several people promenade. Some are playing volleyball. There are no shops for beachwear, souvenirs, or food. The waters of the Chesapeake Bay are calm and inviting.
13 Litany at an Insurance Agency in a Small Town in Northeastern NC
“I understand that you have put right much money into it. I can’t give you a lower price. It’s a low deductible. It’s good value for what you have insured. If you decide to renew, I have to mail the payment next week.” This is what the kind and patient agent says to his client, repeating one of the five sentences after repeated polite complaints from the customer. The conclusion of the litany: “If I decide to renew I’ll bring the money in the first of the week.” “That will be the thing to do.”
14 A Memory of Granny Matt
As she served breakfast, she said, “It ain’t French, and it ain’t toast, but there it is.”
Thank you for reading. I hope your week will be good.