dual personalities

I’m talkin’ baseball

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So the Cardinals are doing quite well–despite all the nay-sayers. I am not surprised. The Cardinals always pump up their mojo during the end of the season. We are hitting away and without one big star hitter in particular leading the way.

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I am not worried about that wild card spot.

And, please, all you Matheny-haters, take a chill pill!

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(Okay, we lost last night, but we scored 6 runs and gave them a run for their money.)

Go, Cards!

*Photo via Parade Magazine

“My life is a reading list.” *

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“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

–C.S. Lewis

I am reading A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter, about whom I wrote last week. I found it on daughter #1’s bookshelf in her old room here at home. I am finding it quite engaging and not all that dated/old-fashioned. Girls were still girls back in 1909–concerned with what the cool ones were wearing and all that.

What are you reading?

*John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

“Silk suit, black tie, I don’t need a reason why”*

This is fun.

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A good list, especially #38 and #52.

But when you’re talking about the 75 Best Dressed Men of all time, I might add this guy**:

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and maybe this guy**:

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And certainly this guy** had personal style:

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But I won’t quibble. It’s a good list and a nice distraction during a busy week.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

*ZZ Top

**Napoleon Bonaparte, Buffalo Bill Cody, Sitting Bull

We amuse ourselves

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I had this advantage, at least, in my mode of life, over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre, that my life itself was become my amusement and never ceased to be novel. It was a drama of many scenes and without an end. If we were always, indeed, getting our living, and regulating our lives according to the last and best mode we had learned, we should never be troubled with ennui. Follow your genius closely enough, and it will not fail to show you a fresh prospect every hour. Housework was a pleasant pastime. When my floor was dirty, I rose early, and, setting all my furniture out of doors on the grass, bed and bedstead making but one budget, dashed water on the floor, and sprinkled white sand from the pond on it, and then with a broom scrubbed it clean and white; and by the time the villagers had broken their fast the morning sun had dried my house sufficiently to allow me to move in again, and my meditations were almost uninterrupted. It was pleasant to see my whole household effects out on the grass, making a little pile like a gypsy’s pack, and my three-legged table, from which I did not remove the books and pen and ink, standing amid the pines and hickories. They seemed glad to get out themselves, and as if unwilling to be brought in. I was sometimes tempted to stretch an awning over them and take my seat there. It was worth the while to see the sun shine on these things, and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house. A bird sits on the next bough, life-everlasting grows under the table, and blackberry vines run round its legs; pine cones, chestnut burs, and strawberry leaves are strewn about. It looked as if this was the way these forms came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs, and bedsteads- because they once stood in their midst.

Walden, chapter four, Henry David Thoreau

I don’t know about you, but  old HDT always cheers me up.

The painting is by Thomas Hart Benton.

Trampling the sabbath*

I had never heard/read/run across this phrase–“trampling the sabbath”–but I like it. It was from the first reading on Sunday, from Isaiah.

“If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs…” (NRSV)

Don’t you think this is much better than the NIV (also the New English Bible and the KJV):

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words…”

“Trampling the sabbath” is so much more descriptive than “keeping your feet from breaking”…I mean really!

Anyway, I went to church. (Two weeks in a row!) We were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ordination of one of our former rectors. There were a lot of people at church and cake and I got to sit behind my friend Carla’s granddaughter.

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She let me hold her and didn’t even fuss about it. Quelle baby!

When I went home I got the OM to help me do some yard work. It was a glorious day–80-degrees and low humidity. Having filled up a couple of lawn and leaf bags, I sat outside for awhile and enjoyed the afternoon–unheard of in August in flyover country!

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In other news this weekend, I read The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith, who wrote I Capture the Castle. I enjoyed it. I had lunch with my friends and caught up on the phone with my dual personality and my two dear daughters. I re-charged for the week at work. What did you do?

*Isaiah 58:13

Up with the sun, gone with the wind*

On Monday we moved son #2 and his lovely girlfriend to Syracuse, NY. My DH got to use his Tetris skills to pack everything into a 10 ft. Uhaul.

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When he finished, the entire truck was completely full from back to front and floor to ceiling. Fortunately, we had our two cars for the overflow. Syracuse is about 2.5 hours south of us, so we didn’t get there until about noon. Then the four of us got to work, and by 2:00, voila,

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a furniture and box strewn apartment!

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Exhausted and hungry, we walked (uphill) to the nearest eatery for pizza and beer.

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Nothing fancy — plastic utensils and cups, and paper plates that disintegrated on contact with food. Still, the beer was cold (don’t worry, that empty pitcher was full of water) and the pizza cheesy and hot.

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Soon after, we left the younguns to unpack, bid them adieu and hit the road. We were home in time for Tai Chi (btw, in the photo I’m wearing my official Tai Chi shirt) but we were too tired to go.  Maybe we’re getting too old for this kind of adventure.

Have a spectacular weekend, and remember, when you pick up a box, lift with your knees!

*Bob Seger, “Travelin’ Man”

 

 

 

I have it on good authority

Friday already, you say! This sure has been a busy week at work and it flew by. And that is okay.

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Abracadabra, thus we learn,
The more you create, the less you earn.
The less you earn, the more you’re given,
The less you lead, the more you’re driven,
The more destroyed, the more they feed,
The more you pay, the more they need
The more you earn, the less you keep,
And now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul should take
If the tax collector hasn’t got it before I wake.

Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) wrote that and his birthday is today. Tonight I will toast Ogden Nash and also Blaise Pascal who died on this day in 1662. You remember, he had a religious experience on November 23, 1654, a “definitive conversion” during a vision of the crucifixion:

“From about half-past ten in the evening until about half-past twelve … FIRE … God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, and not of the philosophers and savants. Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.”

He recorded the experience on a piece of parchment, which he carried with him the rest of his life, sewn inside his coat.

Awesome.

Nowadays people make lists like this.

Have a good weekend. I have no plans.

*the illustration is by Miroslav Sasek

“My comfort and salvation, Lord, shall surely come from Thee.”*

Today on the Episcopal Church calendar we remember with a lesser feast the life of William Porcher Dubose (April 11, 1836 – August 18, 1918) .

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Dubose served as a Confederate soldier and chaplain in Virginia and was captured and imprisoned at Fort Delaware. During Reconstruction he was an Episcopal minister in Abbeville and Winnsboro, S.C., and became a theologian at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1871. Indeed, according to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, he was “probably the most original and creative thinker the American Episcopal Church has ever produced…He was not widely traveled, and not widely known, until, at the age of 56, he published the first of several books on theology that made him respected, not only in his own country, but also in England and France.”

You can read more about him here. Read the comments section for a long-winded, back-and-forth argument about whether Dubose should be disqualified from the Calendar because of his Confederate ties and his “support” of the KKK during Reconstruction and on and on. Or don’t bother. Whatever.

Here is a quote from a letter written by Dubose to his first wife Annie toward the end of the Civil War where he admits his imperfections:

“I have just commenced today our reading of the Old Testament.  I will have to skip all the intervening chapters and begin afresh at the lesson for the day.  You must read by the lessons and also keep in mind during the week the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel. It will be sweet to know that we are reading and thinking together.  My traveling etc. threw me a little off my balance and I am just recovering again.  How is it that we will so often stray away from God when it is so sweet to be near Him and so full of discomfort and wretchedness to be far from Him?  If our hope rested on our own faithfulness how miserable we’d be!  But blessed be God, it rests upon His faithfulness and not ours.  Is not God’s patience and forbearance a mystery!  I am almost tempted sometimes to feel that it is useless to try Him again.  I have been so often faithless to my most sacred vows.  Then I feel I cannot live without Him and I always find Him more ready to receive me.  Oh how I wish I could be more consistent and steadfast.  The hymn beginning ‘Jesus my strength, my hope’ is a very sweet one to me.”  

I have no doubt that God is patient with and forebears even self-righteous comment-writers of the 21st century.

*Jesus, my Strength, my Hope, Charles Wesley, 1742

“On the banks of the Wabash, far away”*

“That month he developed the habit every night of picking up the Bible the last thing before he went to bed and reading a few verses, and from thinking a prayer and from thinking thanksgiving, he advanced to the place where he boldly, in the silence and serenity of the little room, got down on his knees and prayed the prayer of thanksgiving. Then he followed it by the prayer of asking. He found himself asking God to take care of all the world, to help everyone who needed help; to put the spirit and courage into every heart to fare forth and to attempt the Great Adventure on its own behalf… Then he arose, in some way fortified, a trifle bigger, slightly prouder, more capable, more of a man than he had been the day before. He had asked for help and he knew that he was receiving help, and he knew that never again would he be ashamed to face any man, or any body of men, and tell them that he had asked for help and that help had been forthcoming, and that the same experience lay in the reach of every man if he would only take the Lord at His word; if he would only do what all men are so earnestly urged to do–believe.”

― Gene Stratton-Porter, The Keeper of Bees 

Today is the birthday of Gene Stratton-Porter (August 17, 1863 – December 6, 1924) who was an American author, naturalist, and nature photographer.

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She wrote several best-selling novels–Freckles, A Girl of the Limberlost, and The Harvester–which are set in the wooded wetlands and swamps of the disappearing central Indiana ecosystems. She knew and loved these, and documented them extensively.  Her works were translated into several languages, including Braille, and she was estimated to have had 50 million readers around the world. Many of her books are still in print.

I have to admit I have never read any of her books, but I have always heard of them–especially The Girl of the Limberlost, which has to be one of the all-time best titles ever. Indeed, Stratton-Porter is one of Indiana’s best known authors and she really put Geneva, Indiana on the map by writing about the Limberlost swamp. Besides writing best-selling novels, she was an amateur naturalist who studied the bird life of the upper Wabash and recorded her observations. She was also a pioneer photographer, taking pictures of the birds she studied and loved.

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Stratton-Porter’s two Indiana residences, “Limberlost Cabin” in Geneva, Indiana

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and the “Cabin at Wildflower Woods” in Rome City, Indiana

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were both designated Indiana State Historic Sites in 1946 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They are operated by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Corporation as house museums.

She also had a honkin’ big house in Bel Air, California (she was in the movie business too), but I’m going to limit myself to exploring more of the Hoosier State. Road trip, anyone?

*Indiana state song by Paul Dresser

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”*

Well, gee whiz.  Heavy rain, causing power outages, road closures and water rescues, has wrecked havoc once again in our flyover bi-state area.

It took me a long time to get into work yesterday, but I had no problems except that my tire light came on and I had to deal with resetting it. Modern Problems.

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They say it may clear (partially) tomorrow. Awesome.

*Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It 

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