Here, summer vacation is breathing its last. I start school in 5 days - next Monday. I spent 2 good hours today sitting for a deposition in a lawyer's office wreaking of stale cigarette smoke, regarding a lawsuit involving one of my students. They said I get to go with them to court next week. Can you sense the excitement??
We had our annual altar server appreciation pizza lunch a few weekends ago. I love that our pastor comes and eats with us. I love that he brings the credit card and is more generous towards those who tag along with the altar servers than any one should expect. I love that he was willing to [patiently] answer follow up questions from our conversation earlier in the week. He does a nice job of imitating Jesus, who ate with sinners, invites us to the table, paid our debts, showed us the way, and was much more generous than any of us deserve.
We didn't take our annual group picture this year. The lone picture of my 15 year old tuning the toy guitar that he selected with all of the tickets that he won from the games. He was so proud. And so funny.
Last week was the feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus. My sister-in-law invited me to a St. Ann Novena that a church near her was having. I went one morning. Being there at 6:15 a.m. was a little difficult. It was the first I had heard of a St. Ann Novena.
They prayed a shortened Rosary - a St. Ann chaplet or rosary?? One group of Hail Marys was prayed in French. There is a strong French heritage in the area, as you can see in the inscription on the statue. Good St. Ann(e), pray for us!
My 17 year old and I went to the local art museum one rainy afternoon last week. They had an exhibit featuring artifacts from local Catholic churches, and that was what I wanted to see. I think I enjoyed the photography exhibit from some local artists more, however.
The Catholic church has many breath-taking works of art, vestments, vessels, etc, but I found little at this one that inspired too much awe. The Bicentennial vestments were just a bit over the top, I thought. Our local pastors have chalices that are more exquisite than the ones featured in the exhibit, and if you ask, they (local priests) are usually more than happy to let you see it close up and tell you some of the history. Our previous pastor's chalice had incorporated his mother's antique engagement ring in the design.
Anyway, here is the picture that I was allowed to take to document this event.
The big event of the past week was my 30th reunion. My favorite part was the tour of the renovated school....$50 million + in renovations. We were quite disappointed when we got there too late for the official tour and found the doors locked. Our little group on the front steps....I am on the left.
But not to worry....we found an open door - workmen are there frantically trying to finish the renovation before school starts in a week or so...and we gave ourselves our own tour. It was a mixture of nostalgia walking the halls and reliving memories from 30 years past and awe at the beautiful additions and improvements. The school "specializes" in academics and performing arts. The library was amazing. There are new radio and TV studios. Several stages of varying sizes. There was quite a bit of excitement over the two "black box theaters". An outdoor amphitheater in the new courtyard. My classmates remembered using a loading dock as a stage.
Much of the old beautiful detail in the main building had been restored. The doors in the foyer.
The intricate work on the outside of the building and in the auditorium. Windows that had long been covered over were found in the auditorium, and the natural lighting they provided was stunning.
They just don't make things like this any more! It seems like just about everyone in the class had at least one tale that involved jumping out of windows in the course of their schooling. I can remember doing so a couple of times. In the back of the building, covered walk-ways provided a great exit point for the second floor windows. Not sure the new windows will open as easily as the ones in our day.
The grand finale event was held in a ballroom overlooking the Mississippi River. We remembered our deceased classmates...12 that we know of....
I am a small group kind of person, so those big extravaganzas are really not my thing, but it wasn't too bad! I reconnected with a few people and enjoyed catching up with those who were close friends back in the day.
And so here we are today. School starting soon. I saw my classroom yesterday. They painted it last week, and it is a wreck! I have an idea of the schedule I will have! First time I can ever remember that happening before school starts. We are off to a school board meeting in a few minutes - my offspring and I - to try to knock out a requirement for their Eagle rank.
And maybe - since today is Chick Fil A Appreciation day - we will stop there and show a little love. Love that they are true to their founding principles. Too bad our country can't say the same.
Edited to add: We endured the School Board meeting. Oh my. Upon leaving, my older offspring remarked, "That's what's wrong with the schools...." We did go to Chick Fil A. The picture below shows the line of cars at 7:45 pm waiting to turn in to the parking lot. We parked and went inside. Took about 15 or 20 minutes to get our food. At that point in the day, they were out of chicken strips, grilled chicken and some salads. We saw several people we knew. One family had matching One Nation Under God t-shirts. Another was taking pictures at the table.
Till next time....