Monday, February 14, 2011

Paying attention in church

Yesterday after our third Eucharist of the morning, an earnest young man shook my hand and said, "Thank you for the sermon, Reverend. I really enjoyed it." The problem? I wasn't the preacher! My colleague (male, half a foot taller, and with a speaking voice greatly different) preached, and was ahead of me in the greeting line. Still, he didn't get thanked for the sermon.

Normally, when someone tells me they really liked the sermon, I'll ask what in particular they liked. This time, I thought it best just to say thank you and not embarrass the poor guy.

Monday, February 07, 2011


While reading the biography mentioned in my previous post, I noted that in letters exchanged between Franklin and Eleanor, each writer used ampersands in place of the word "and." A few days ago, a friend who'd just read a different biography remarked that in earlier decades, writers abbreviated & misspelled often, & no one thought much about it.

I might have done better in those times, given how judgmental I am about grammar, punctuation, & writing in general. It would be much easier not to care, especially when reading newspapers.

Still, I grin every time I see an ampersand. When our son was about to turn 4, he was looking at the journal House & Garden at his Godmother's house. A neighbor who was visiting remarked doubtfully upon N's actually being able to read already. So, the wise Godmother (who knew better) said, "N, can you spell that magazine title?"

N read aloud, "H - O - U - S - E - Ampersand - G - A - R - D - E - N." Maybe you had to be there, but it was a really fun moment & that was because of the matter-of-fact reading by a small boy, who had no idea why the neighbor then clapped her hands.