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!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back Home Again

We're back...Actually, we've been back for several days but have been so busy I've been unable to post anything.

Diane and I enjoyed a delightful long weekend in historic Charleston with our dear, long-time friends, Nancy and Dave. We did all the proper tourist things.We took the bus tour of the historic section of town, oohing and aahing at all the beautiful old homes. We roamed through the famous marketplace and purchased more than our share of items that we'll likely never use (except for the t-shirt I bought). And we ate at a series of fancy and not-so-fancy restaurants. Encouraged by the ladies,we visited the only tea plantation in North America where I learned far more than I wanted to know about tea. Actually, it was an interesting experience and of course included another gift shop where we once again obligingly supported the local economy.

The highlight of our trip -- at least, for me -- was attending Mass Sunday morning at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Charleston. A beautiful old church, St. Mary's was the first Catholic church in the Carolinas and Georgia. It is apparently affiliated with the nearby cathedral and the parish administrator is Father Gregory Wilson. Well, what a surprise this Mass turned out to be! It was absolutely wonderful! I don't think I have ever seen the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated as reverently and as beautifully. Fr. Wilson celebrated Mass as it should be celebrated and was ably assisted by Deacon Jerry Remkiewitz. The music, too, was beautiful and Fr. Wilson's homily was inspiring. Disappointingly, we were unable to meet Fr. Wilson at their social hour after Mass because of a Sunday brunch reservation...perhaps on our next visit.

The only downside to the trip was the fatal malfunction of my Canon Digital Rebel Xsi. And of course this happened during the first hours of our visit so I was effectively cameraless throughout our stay. For me, who always has a camera slung over his shoulder, this was more than a disaster, and threw me into a deep funk for much of the weekend. I tried, with only moderate success, to put on a happy face. It was especially disappointing because, as you might recall from a previous post, I had just purchased a new lens and planned to "test drive" it in Charleston. The fatal problem, enigmatically labeled, "Error 99", on the camera's LCD screen, resisted every effort to solve it. When I returned home I called Canon and was instructed to send the camera to their factory repair facility in Virginia. This I did. The silver lining is that the warranty didn't expire for another two weeks. I have owned three different versions of the Canon Digital Rebel and never had a problem. Indeed, I will continue to recommend it...assuming, of course, that Canon makes the necessary repairs.

All in all, though, it was a wonderful trip. If you've never been to Charleston, it's well worth a visit.

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