The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the road again...

I've been away...and still am, so the blog has suffered.

Diane and I left Florida last Monday and drove first to a tiny wide-spot-in-the-road called Ocoee, Tennessee where we visited our good friends, Nancy and Joe Hathaway. Taking full advantage of their hospitality (i.e., we sponged), we spent a pleasant day and two restful nights in their lovely new home that overlooks a line of green, Tennessee mountains. During our visit I waited patiently on the Hathaway's deck, camera in hand, for the appearance of bears and coyotes and other local fauna that I was told regularly trespass on the property. I saw absolutely nothing...with the exception of two neighbors who drove golf balls through the Hathaway's expansive backyard.

Ah, well, I was once chased by a bear in Yosemite so I probably shouldn't tempt fate again. As you can see by the photo below, the view from the deck really doesn't need to be enhanced by large predators.
The Hathaway's backyard in Ocoee, TN (BTW, their home is for sale!)

Indeed, the only wild animal I saw was a stuffed, but really quite lifelike, fox displayed in a gift shop near a whitewater rafting site. I managed to get a photo of Joe cuddling up to this once fierce carnivore.
Although none of us decided to cheat death on a raft plunging down a raging river, I did purchase a tee-shirt in the gift shop. And so, now, whenever I wear it, others will think I'm one of those manly wilderness types.

Leaving Tennessee en route to Massachusetts, we actually did cheat death for two days as we made our way through the insanity that the locals euphemistically call "traffic". Born and raised in the Northeast, I've obviously lost my edge since moving to central Florida. Either that or the drivers are much worse than they once were. I suspect a bit of both.

We made one stop along the way, at the town where I grew up, Larchmont, NY. Diane and I spent maybe a half-hour driving through town as I boringly pointed out all the changes since our last equally brief visit. We then stopped at one of my favorite places, Walter's hot dog stand on Palmer Avenue in Mamaroneck. I last savored one of Walter's famous dogs in June 1962, a few days after graduating from Archbishop Stepinac High School. They're still pretty good, but somehow not quite the same. Nothing ever is. I neglected to take a photo of Walter's. I must remedy that on our return trip

On Thursday we arrived at our daughter's home in Hyannis on Cape Cod, hugged all the grandkids, dropped off the carload of stuff we brought for them, then drove to Harwich where we once again sponged off of old friends, this time Joann and Bob Green whom we've known for well over 30 years.

And then, yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending the event that was the primary reason for the trip. Our grandson, Pedro, celebrated his First Holy Communion at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis. The below photo shows Pedro surrounded by his immediate family, his grandparents (Diane and me), two uncles, an aunt, and two cousins -- a nice bunch of folks who came to celebrate with Pedro his reception of this wondrous gift from God. It was a wonderful day.So far a nice trip, even though the weather has been typical Cape Cod spring weather: cold and rainy.

And here's an FYI, a relatively new (to me, at least) Catholic website: http://www.


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