Monday, August 25, 2008

How lovely to see you

After church, in the long line leading into the narthex, this is what I see: the Blurry People of God. While this isn't true of everyone, at least half the congregation gets so close to my face that I need to back away (gracefully, I hope) or else I'm looking at blurred facial expressions to which I really should pay attention.

So, I've taken to doing church without my bifocals, which then allows me to cope with those who get "in my face" and for whom it's important to touch or squeeze (ouch!) my arm when expressing an opinion or telling a story.

Thus far, the only problem with going without glasses is not reading any fine print in the bulletin, or some verses of hymns.

Yesterday, the last newcomer to get "in my face" had extraordinarily delicate, pretty eyeglass frames, which I noticed only because I'd taken mine off. I kept noticing her eyes. Then she said that she's an ophthamologist. Maybe I should consult her about the blurry people problem.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Meet my grandmother

Her name was Evelyn, she lived to be 95, and she was one of the most feisty and outrageous women we ever knew. She also swore often and loudly.

Today, trying for an hour to resolve a problem with my new student loan company, I came close to losing my cool. Finally I logged into their new website and was asked for a password. The first word that came to mind began with "f" and since I try not to use that word much, I substituted the alternate "f" word (coined by a fellow seminarian several years ago): "filioque." So I typed in "filioque" and went on to the "secret" security questions.

The first question asked for my maternal grandmother's first name. I thought I'd typed in "Evelyn," but her name came out later on the approved personal page as "Filioque."

Now, every time I wish to access my information, I'll have to say my grandmother's name is Filioque. Oh, dear. I hope she's laughing right now.

Actually, for all her years of heavy swearing, the last words she spoke to me were, "God bless you."

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Now that it's August, and we're home from a 2300 mile drive to and from Connecticut, it's time that I honor my resolution to get out my viola once more, so that I'm ready to audition for the Iowa City community orchestra in September. I haven't played with a group since 2000. I've had this instrument since I was a teenager, back when everyone thought my future held a career as a professional violist. Hah --what did they know?

The strings are tuned, the bow tightened, and the concerto manuscripts look back at me. But the notes are not as frightened of me as I am of them.