dual personalities

Tag: quotes

Hi-diddly-ho

Today in the Episcopal Church we honor William Hobart Hare (May 17, 1838 – October 23, 1909) who was an American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, back when that’s what it was called.

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One of the leading missionaries in America, Hare earned the title “the Apostle of the West” for his dedicated work in the rural Dakotas among pioneers and Native Americans. He was also known as the “Apostle to the Sioux.”

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Bishop William Hobart Hare and traveling equipment(

The house of bishops elected him bishop in 1872 and his territory originally included everything north of the Niobrara River in Nebraska and west of the Missouri River as far as the Rocky Mountains. It was not an easy assignment.

He wrote from Cheyenne Reserve to his sister: “I have been on a trip now for ten days or more, a fairly comfortable one, though a heavy storm of wind and rain blew my tent down over my head last Tuesday night and gave me hours of work and much wretchedness, and my horse balked in the middle of the Cheyenne River on Friday last as I was fording it, broke the single-tree loose and left me in the middle of the rapidly running stream with the water running into my wagon-box. But such ills are the concomitants of travel out here, and I am used to them.” (You can read more about his experiences here.)

The wilderness assigned to the young bishop seemed an almost unmanageable field, but he betook himself to tent life and traveled over the wild country and, having thus made himself familiar with it, he gradually divided it into ten departments and placed a clergyman of ability and fidelity in charge of each of these departments and the missionary work soon fell into shape and was carried on with comparative ease.

The development of South Dakota and its final admission to statehood led to a slight change in the territory assigned to his jurisdiction, and in 1883 his title was changed to missionary bishop of South Dakota, and he chose Sioux Falls as the see city of his missionary diocese. He has labored with all of zeal and earnestness and has infused vitality into all departments of church work in his diocese, while he has been aided and encouraged by the hearty and faithful co-operation of his clergy and his people. It has been his to watch the progress of the church in South Dakota from its inception, ever keeping pace with the onward march of the years as they have fallen into the abyss of time. He has guided the destinies of his church with a hand made strong by power from on high, and with the power which came to steady the hand has also come the divine light to illume the way… He has witnessed the rise of the state, where he has served as bishop for thirty-two years, is loyal to it and its people and has the sincere respect and affectionate regard of all with whom he has come in contact as a church man and as a citizen. (Doane Robinson 1904)

The Calvary Church was the first church built in Sioux Falls.

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 11.43.56 AM.pngAs Hare’s congregation grew, he saw the need for a building, “as solid and unmoving as his faith, to stand as the cornerstone for his congregation in the area’s biggest city.” Hobart enlisted the aid of John Jacob Astor III to help raise money for a cathedral. Astor’s contributions were in memory of his late wife, Charlotte Augusta Astor — a patron of Hare’s missions and of All Saint’s School, another Hare creation. Astor’s contributions came to $20,000. The cornerstone was laid Dec. 5, 1888, and Hare’s cathedral was finished a year later. The building itself was constructed of Sioux quartzite.

Bishop Hare, although he died in New Jersey, was buried in Sioux City next to the church under the large cross (below).

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Holy God, you called your servant William Hobart Hare to proclaim the means of grace and the hope of glory to the peoples of the Great Plains: We give you thanks for the devotion of those who received the Good News gladly, and for the faithfulness of the generations who have succeeded them. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit, that we may walk in their footsteps and lead many to faith in Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Oh and by the way, today is also Bob Saget’s birthday.

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Have a good day. Tomorrow is Friday!

Carpe Diem

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Today is Erma Bombeck’s (1927 – 1996) birthday.  Bombeck, you may recall, was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column describing suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. She also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers. From 1965 to 1996, Erma Bombeck wrote over 4,000 newspaper columns, chronicling the ordinary life of a midwestern suburban housewife. By the 1970s, her columns were read twice-weekly by 30 million readers of the 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Wow!

I suppose no one remembers Erma these days. She was unabashedly middle class and unsophisticated. People could relate to her. She was never “cool” like Nora Ephron, although really they wrote about similar things. Well, here are some wise words from this wise lady to think about today.

Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten popcorn in the “good” living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television … and more while watching real life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.

I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn’t show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more I love yous … more I’m sorrys … more I’m listenings … but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it … look at it and really see it … try it on … live it … exhaust it … and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”
― Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck

Still as true today as it was 50 years ago! Let’s have some ice cream!

Have a nice weekend

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Since I will no doubt be stuck at home this weekend due to inclement weather–and today is a snow day–I think I will round up all the Richard Scarry books I have and see if the boy wants to take his copies home to the nursery.

The little, tiny babies won’t be home for awhile…

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…but they’ll be needing books soon, right? Yeah, they will.

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Meanwhile, I am going to try to enjoy staying inside and catching up on all the things that need catching up.

You know, re-organizing my office.

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Putting away the Christmas stained glass which I forgot to do last weekend. Checking to see what other Christmas decorations I missed.

And tonight I’ll toast James Joyce who died on this day in 1941. It was he who said: “I confess that I do not see what good it does to fulminate against the English tyranny while the Roman tyranny occupies the palace of the soul.” [“Ireland, Island of Saints and Sages,” lecture, Università Popolare, Trieste (27 April 1907), printed in James Joyce: Occasional, Critical and Political Writing (2002)]

Good point.

Have a good weekend…It’s a long one too!

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second”

“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man’s pride.”

–William James

Today is the birthday of William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) who was an American philosopher and psychologist and a teacher (among his students at Harvard were Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Gertrude Stein, and George Santayana). He was also the brother of Henry James. His godfather was Ralph Waldo Emerson! He went in the spring of 1865 on a scientific expedition up the Amazon River with Louis Agassiz! He is considered to be one of the major figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism,  and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology.

Although I cannot say I have read widely in his work or am an expert on William James, I aways liked him.

“Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. So with the man who has daily inured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.”

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What a good face.

He always seemed to have a lot of common sense. And he understood the importance of just being kind.

So I will toast William James tonight. Join me, right?

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The humble James plot in Cambridge Cemetery

An honor just to have them on your shelves

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Books are to read, but that is by no means the end of it.

The way they are bound, the paper they are printed on, the smell of them (especially if they are either very new or very old), the way the words are fitted to the page, the look of them in the bookcase — sometimes lined up straight as West Point cadets, sometimes leaning against each other for support or lying flat so you have to tip your head sideways to see them properly. Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, the Pleiade edition of Saint Simon, Chesterfield’s letters, the Qur’an. Even though you suspect you will probably never get around to them, it is an honor just to have them on your shelves.

Something of what they contains gets into the air you breathe. They are like money in the bank, which is a comfort even though you never spend it. They are prepared to give you all they’ve got at a moment’s notice, but are in no special hurry about it. In the meanwhile they are holding their tongues, even the most loquacious of them, even the most passionate.

They are giving you their eloquent and inexhaustible silence. They are giving you time to find your way to them. Maybe they are giving you time, with or without them, just to find your way.

–Frederick Buechner

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And isn’t Dolly wonderful?

Look toward the east, O Jerusalem*

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Call him a stick-in-the-mud, a dinosaur, a fusty throwback, but indeed, jumping into the fray the day after Halloween was akin to hitting, and holding, high C for a couple of months, while a bit of patience saved Christmas for Christmas morning and kept the holy day fresh and new.

I re-read Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon over the weekend and enjoyed it thoroughly. Although I agree with Father Tim about getting ahead of ourselves in regards to the Christmas season, we did go ahead as usual and buy our trees. They’re not up yet–they’re in the garage for now. I’ll try to get the little one up in the dining room this week, but I’m not going to stress about it. At least I don’t have a bad cat to deal with like the boy does.

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In between getting organized for Christmas, doing laundry and sundry household tasks, and going to a baby shower for daughter #3,

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I watched Donovan’s Reef (1963)–a film which the New York Times described at the time as “sheer contrivance effected in hearty, fun-loving, truly infectious style.” I would agree with that assessment whole-heartedly.

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It takes place at Christmas and includes an amusing Polynesian Christmas pageant, so I count it as a Christmas movie.

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Directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Lee Marvin, it is heavy-handed in the Irish humor department, but if you’re in the right mood, it can really hit the spot. (Shot in Hawaii, the scenery is beautiful as well.) I was in the mood.

I also went to our Advent Service of Lessons and Carols on Sunday night at church. I read lesson five, from Baruch:

Look toward the east, O Jerusalem, and see the joy that is coming to you from God…

We sang quite a few of my favorite Advent hymns and the choir sang and the bell choir played. Then I went home and ate chili, which the OM had made, and we watched Gregory Peck as King David in the technicolor extravaganza David and Bathsheba (1951).

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Despite GP’s awesome presence, it was pretty bad and not surprisingly, as it is based on one of the Bible’s more sordid stories.

So back to Christmas movies already.

*Baruch 4:36

Father of minutes, Father of days*

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Well, the weekend is upon us. Sigh. I intend to check out our Grace Church Holiday Sale, go to a baby shower for daughter #3, and attend our Advent Lessons and Carols service. Maybe I will convince the OM to go with me to buy our Christmas trees…

In between the aforementioned fun activities, I plan to start watching Christmas movies. You know:

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

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The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

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or maybe Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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There are so many to choose from! Meanwhile, maybe I’ll get started on those Christmas cards!

BTW, don’t forget to set your DVR this month, because TCM is, of course, showing a lot of Christmas classics! Here’s the schedule.

And this Instagram made me laugh:

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Enjoy your weekend!

Lighten up

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“I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness.”

–Julia Peterkin, “A Plantation Christmas,” 1934

Today is the first day of  December. Let’s try not to get all stressed out.

Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season–not some unattainable perfection of decorating or entertaining. Relax. Pay attention. Have fun.

And listen to this:

I feel better. Don’t you?

Faithful soldiers and servants

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Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.

–Brooke Foss Westcott, British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death in 1901

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These woodcuts are by Frances Hammell Gearhart (b. 1869-1958), California artist known for her color woodcuts of the Sierras, the Pacific Coast, and the area around Big Bear Lake. Aren’t they wonderful?

“Not having any potatoes to give you, I am now going to stake you to some very valuable advice…”*

I had a long week at work and a very busy Friday and Friday night, so I took it easy this weekend.

I read broadly from this collection of Damon Runyon stories,

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and enjoyed it very much if I do not say so myself. Old Runyon has a voice like no other, and the stories, which sometimes involve murder and revenge and heartbreak, are always diverting and stress-reducing in their politically-incorrect way.

I recommend it highly.

Otherwise, I puttered around the house, cleaning and straightening.

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And the Christmas cactus is blooming!

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All will be well.

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

–Colossians 1:11

And by the way, next Sunday is Advent I! Can you believe it? Enjoy the short work week!

*The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown by Damon Runyon