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!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Solitary Life

A little personal note today.

This morning my dear Diane departed on a five-day cruise along with about 30 of her "girl friends." They euphemistically call themselves "Girls on a Cruise", a phrase emblazoned on the attractive custom-designed t-shirts they all wore on departure. It's also a phrase about which I will say no more.

I certainly don't begrudge her going on this cruise. The poor woman has had to battle a number of health issues in recent months (thankfully now all behind her) and deserved and needed to get away for a few days. But neither do I like being alone here in the house, especially with no Monday or Thursday night football.

I also dislike all that's involved in the care and feeding of yours truly -- washing and drying clothes, cooking meals, keeping the house reasonably clean and uncluttered. I suppose two things will come out of this week as a bachelor pro tempore: I will appreciate Diane and the quiet, selfless way that she takes care of me; and I will likely lose a few pounds. Here it is, almost 5 p.m., and  I just realized all I have had to eat today is a small carton of yogurt and three cups of coffee.

I also expect to get a lot of work done. Already today I spent five or six hours preparing a new study guide for use in our parish Bible Study sessions. And, of course, there are other, less attractive jobs awaiting cleaning out the garage and the attic which over the past year have become cluttered with all sorts of junk and near junk. That will have to be tackled tomorrow, assuming I have the discipline to avoid answering the phone and checking email.

That's the interesting thing about retirement, at least for a deacon. I probably devote 25 hours each week to my ministries in the parish, another 10 hours to the Soup Kitchen, and then perhaps an additional 10 or more hours to other ad hoc things that demand my time either at home or elsewhere. Basically, it's become a full-time job. Unlike 90% of the folks who live here in The Villages, I'm not a golfer, so I can't use tee-times as an excuse. Perhaps one of these days I'll learn to say, "No," or even, "Maybe."

In the meantime, I can keep track of Diane's cruise ship through a remarkable iPhone app called, Ship Finder which uses the Automatic Identification System feeds provided by large ships as they move about the world's oceans. It's really quite neat. In fact I just checked it out and discovered that her vessel has left the pier in Tampa right on time and is steaming toward the entrance of Tampa Bay. Ain't technology something? Of course, it does make one wonder if the bad guys of the world could use this ship-finding technology for nefarious purposes.

Ah, well, time to eat. Campbell's soup sounds like a winner.

God's peace...

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