August 09, 20/20


Again, Welcome Home Mother Milly!

I had awakened at 6:45, this morning, and after doing my morning ablution, I got dressed and went into the living room to read a bit before the YouTube'd church service from our church. At 8:08am, it felt as though someone was behind my chair and forceably shoving it forward toward the television. It took me a second to realize that it was an earthquake, the third we've experienced since moving to Asheville. The jolting continued only two or three seconds, though others felt it for over half a minute. When it was over, I got up, switched on my computer and while I was waiting for it to boot up, I asked Becky, who had been taking a shower when it struck, if she had felt the earthquake, and she said, "No. When was it?" Apparently our shower was installed on shock-mounts so as not to be shaken by such things. I got onto Facebook, and my "Friends" were all chatting about the earthquake, who had felt it, who had not, and so forth. Our friend, Suzanne, who lives closer to the epicenter (Sparta NC, near the VA border) thought her ceiling was going to fall in. Becky's brother in Columbia SC said that he had felt the quake. Excitement!

At ten thirty, then, our church service started. There were four priests present, three of them were past Rectors, and then, of course, our new Rector, Mother Milly. The service went quite well. Milly pulled out all the stops, showing her strengths in Children's Time, fully engaging them (limited to two, the usual ones, Nate and William) in dialog, and telling them the Gospel story in a way they could understand it. She continued to show her strengths in the sermon, which again told the Gospel story in terms that us older kids could understand it. Fr. Gary, our Interim Rector, now retired, and one of the three priests present, served as Deacon during the Eucharist. During the Passing of the Peace, where usually, during this Great Isolation, the celebrant (priest) would pronounce the Peace and those in attendance would respond, this time, there were several people who responded in the YouTube stream to add their blessings of peace to her.

I don't usualy get emotional during church services, unless its a funeral of a friend of mine (happening more frequently, now that I'm 73 - or so), but today I found myself wiping my eyes more frequently as the service progressed. I am very pleased with the Search Committee and Vestry having called Mother Milly, as well as her acceptance of that call.

August 08, 20/20

We had an interesting experience for Compline this evening. The sound in my computer was not turned off, but I couldn't hear anything the Officiant was saying. Nevertheless, we read along with him, ending just about the time he started the Prayers of the People. It was probably my computer "gang aft aglay," as they say. My laptop is in need of a punishment of some sort, I'm sure of it.

August 07, 20/20

I decided against mowing the back yard today to let my back muscles recover from mowing the front slopes. There aren't as many slopes in the back, but there are enough that I wanted to face them with rested muscles.

So instead of mowing the lawn, I decided, at Becky's request, to transcribe a hymn, Salamu Maria (Hail Mary) onto the computer so we could listen to it frequently and drive the rhythm into our heads. It's an African Tune, and the words are in Swahili. Oddly enough, when we tried to look it up on the internet, 99% of the videos we cound were a different tune. The one we did find with the right tune had no rhythmic accompaniment, leaving the articulation to the vocalists while an organ droned on in the background. No Help there. Also, I could not understand the words. So now we have it on the computer so we can play it back and learn the rhythm, and we have the words so we can learn them.

What prompted our relearning of Salamu Maria was that the Officiant of Compline, today, played an African hymn as a meditation. Becky suggested that we could sing one, since we had sung it once before. It may take a while for us to get the words back into our mouths, since it was 20 years ago when we had taught it to the choir and sung it in church, much to the delight of the Priest. It was a black congregation, and the choir had said they wanted to learn some black anthems. I don't think they were expecting us to teach them Swahili, but that's what we did. The choir loved it, and the priest liked it so much he had us sing it again. "What was that? Sing it again!"

August 06, 20/20

I had my head examined this morning. I went to the dentist for a cleaning. I didn't learn anything new. My partial (one-tooth-bridge) is loose and uncomfortable to use, and there's a problem with the crown above it. Oh, and I have a geographic tongue, which I have known about for about 50 years, now. I think they're upset about the continent down under.

I went shopping, today, and for a change I found everything on the list, and I remembered a few essentials that were not on the list. I am (easily) impressed!

August 05, 20/20

When I awoke at 8am, there was fog obscuring the sky and moisture on the grass, therefore I could not plan to mow the grass today. The same conditions prevailed at 9am and 10am. At 11:30, though, the sky was visible again, and there was even some sunshine visible on the grass - at least on the slopes. The temperature was still below 80 degrees, at least by the television weather-guesser, so I dressed for the task and spent the next hour mowing the front lawn When finished, I took a shower, sat on the recliner and continued to sweat. 

I spent the afternoon watching reruns of Forged in Fire, occasionally awakening myself by snoring.

At five minutes before 8pm, Mother Milly, new Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, started the Facebook Live presentation of Compline. She was decked out in her clerical finery and seated on the steps of the sanctuary, and started leading those of us early tuners-in through some relaxing meditations, starting the Order of Compline at the prescribed time of 8pm. She put a very different feeling into it, quite unlike any of the Lay Leaders has thus far dared to do, and of course, being a priest, she put an emphasis that lent itself more to a regular church service. I appreciated the difference, and I wonder if any of the Lay Leaders would follow her lead. I'm fairly sure I will not, sticking closer to the Order of Compline as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer.

August 04, 20/20

Becky and I went to Allergy Partners for her shots, this morning, and on the way home we stopped at Starbucks for a consolation cup of coffee. I learned that the coffee I had bought yesterday had not been charged against my account. Well, I couldn't prove it, so what's to be done but ignore it. Today's coffee was charged, I'm pretty sure.

I didn't mow the lawn, today, because there was a 60% possibility of precipitation predicted. It didn't rain, today.

Not only that, but the Compline reading didn't happen. The Officiant logged in at 8 minutes before the hour, stayed online for four minutes and eight seconds, then signed off - and never came back. So at five minutes after the hour, Becky and I read Compline, ourselves. Somehow, it wasn't the same.

August 03, 20/20

Today was the first day that the Rev. Milly Morrow can officially be known as the new Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville. To mark the occasion, not only did she attend the morning Bible Study (on Zoom), but so did we. I react the same way to Bible Studies as I do to Book Club meetings. 1) I seldom have anything to add to the discussion, and 2) when I do have something to say, I cannot get a word in edgewise, and the only other things is that someone else has the same thought and gets the chance to express it to the group. Alternatively, if someone dares to ask me what I think, I never have anything to say. I become an observer, only.

This evening, though, since Becky and I were going to Officiate Compline again, I decided to read through the Order and see what I was going to read, there being many readings from which to choose. I thought I would read Psalm 4, but I had some questions about it, so I got my New Jerusalem Bible out and looked at it there. I was amazed at the differencce between the two translations. It made much more sense to me in the NJB, so I opted to read that translation during the Order. I received one comment about my choice of reading, and thankfully it was favorable.

August 02, 20/20

Welcome Mother Milly!

After church, this morning, we tuned into the Virtual Coffee Hour, and I heard someone announce our arrival, which usually doesn't happen. The reason for the announcement was because our new Rector, Mother Milly Morrow, was logged into it, and she was being told who was coming into the Zoom-Room. We had a delightful hour's conversation with her and the others, and I was delighted, as I am sure Becky is, also.

Welcome Home Dragon!

This afternoon we witnessed the splash-down and retrieval of the Space-X capsule, Crew Dragon. After the splash-down, they wasted no time approaching on boats to monitor for fuel presence on the exterior of the capsule, and after attaching the lift rig, it was lifted very quickly onto the recovery boat. Then everything proceeded at a snail's pace. Naturally, things move so painfully slowly with these experimental evolutions. When the hatch was finally opened, the Flight Surgeon went in to check the astronaut's health and well-being, then they were extracted one at a time, placed on a gurney and wheeled into the on-board medical facility. That's the most excitement I've experienced since watching the Lunar Landing in 1969.

August 01, 20/20

Happy August Fools Day!

First thing, this morning, I un-alarmed the house, opened the door and saw a little brown bunny munching on our weeds. I slipped outside and the bunny didn't move, so I said a quiet hello to it. Then I saw, at the corner of the house, a mottled-brown cat, standing stock-still, eyes fixed on the rabbit. As I watched, a small calico cat crept in from the other corner of the house, also staring at the rabbit. That's when the rabbit decided he'd better run. As he started to hop away, I said, "Run for your life, Bunny!" The brown cat then turned his reproachful eyes toward me as if to accuse me of ruining his hunt. I told him that the bunny was already leaving when I spoke to it, so it wasn't really my fault. The cat slunk back into the bushes. The calico, then, decided that the excitement was over for the moment, and walked away down the driveway.