Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The word of the day for July 30, 2014 is: surrender

 verb \sə-ˈren-dər\
: to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc., because you know that you will not win or succeed
: to give the control or use of (something) to someone else
: to allow something (such as a habit or desire) to influence or control you

Today’s musing is not cheerful.

A week ago Monday, a man approached me in the parking lot after Mass to ask me directions to a breakfast restaurant.  He and his family are from out of town, and they did not particularly want to go to the IHOP twice in as many days.

As I was flogging my brain’s recalcitrant geography-vs-restaurant matrix, he mentioned that he and his companions were in town to be with his grandson, who had multiple brain tumors, while the boy “surrendered to the Lord.”

The boy, Frankie Eason, died yesterday (Tuesday, July 29, 2014).  He was eleven years old.

It’s a hard thing to lose someone we love to death.  It’s doubly hard to lose a child.  All the hackneyed phrases don’t cover our pain—barely fog the surface of the hurt. Yet, it is true, as it is when we lose a spouse, that only when the loved one’s suffering is over can we begin the process of healing ourselves.


Shortly before I heard of Frankie's death this morning, I caught this bit of a rainbow in the sky.  (Yes, I know my finger's in the frame, and you have to look really hard to see the rainbow just above the left side of the building ahead.)  So, because human minds try to connect things to make sense of them, I'm trying to come up with some analogy, but I can't think of anything apt.

Pray for Frankie’s family as they grieve their loss.

Our quote for the day is from Thomas Chandler Haliburton, The Clockmaker:

We can do without any article of luxury we have never had; but when once obtained, it is not in human natur’ to surrender it voluntarily.


Sunday, June 16, 2013


The word of the day for June 16, 2013 is:  ambulatory


adjective \ˈam-byə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\

1:  of, relating to, or adapted to walking; also : occurring during a walk

2:  moving from place to place : itinerant

3:  capable of being altered [a will is ambulatory until the testator's death]

4a:  able to walk about and not bedridden [ambulatory patients]
  b:  performed on or involving an ambulatory patient or an outpatient [ambulatory medical care] [an ambulatory electrocardiogram]
[ambulatory theatrical companies that brought live theater to small towns across America]

First Known Use:  1598

16th Green and 17th Tee & Green, Painted Hills Golf Course
Painted Hills Golf Course is open now.  I have been spending the afternoon watching the members pursuing the sport.  As I can see the course best from my Wii and they are mostly using carts, I believe I have been getting more exercise than the golfers.

One group, two men and a boy of about seven, rolled up to the tee area closest to my window in two carts fairly early.  Each of them teed-up two balls.  The adults’ shots both reach the green; the boy’s shots barely reached the “ladies” tee area.  Since I am only able to see three holes (the rest being on the other side of the rise to me) I am wondering if they are going to allow the boy any putting practice.

He reached another of those ambulatory bundles and examined it. It was a cripple with only one leg and one arm, but so legless and so armless that the complicated system of crutches and wooden legs on which he was supported gave him all the appearance of a scaffolding in motion. Grainier, who dearly loved noble and classical similes, compared him in his own mind to the living tripod of Vulcan.


Saturday, June 15, 2013


The word of the day for June 15, 2013 is:  opulent


adjective \-lənt\

:  exhibiting or characterized by wealth, affluence : abundance, profusion :  as (a) : having a large estate or property :  wealthy [hoping to marry an opulent widow] (b) :  amply or plentifully provided or fashioned often to the point of ostentation [living in opulent comfort]

[an opulent upper crust that liked to show off its possessions]
[an opulent mansion filled with priceless art and antiques]

From:  Latin opulentus, from ops power, help; akin to Latin opus work

First Known Use:  1523

The Great Gatsby (2013) Poster
The cinematography of this year’s remake of The Great Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, is certainly evocative of the Jazz Age as the United States of America sees itself.  The image contrast of the wealthy and the poor is quite striking.  Both Vicki and I were a bit disconcerted by the occasional use of contemporary music, although it did seem to point out the similarities of the 1920s with the 2010s.

**Spoiler Alert**  I must have read Gatsby in High School, but I’ve slept since then.  The story seemed familiar and new at the same time.  Several of the characters needed—as my mother would put it—to be put in a sack and shaken.  I did remember that the story ended badly for everyone, including the narrator.

It’s nice to see Leonardo di Caprio as an adult.  In my opinion, he’s beginning to look a bit like Orson Welles and Marlon Brando as they matured:  still handsome yet without the wet-behind-the-ears look of extreme youth.

Lear—  To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferr’d on Goneril. Now, our joy,
Although our last and least, to whose young
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess’d, what can you say to draw

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.