Fill Up the Space and There’s No Room for Dysfunction

Getting together with the family yesterday was a shot in the arm (no, not a vaccine) for me.  Great food, Easter-chocolate-fueled kids, friendly family, boisterous activity, a few sprinkles of hail and snow, sunshine, a passel of tail-wagging dogs and no television or electronic devices at all.

The time passed so quickly and no one was bored.  I’ve arranged to see the new Batman movie with the two older boys tomorrow.  I opined that this new Batman will be lame because he’s being played by some emo-actor named Robert Pattinson who apparently is best known for playing some lame vampire that girls loved.  The boys agreed that the Dark Knight is still the gold standard for Batman movies but feel we should give this one a try.  I told them we should rent the Michael Keaton Batman from the 1980’s.  Anyway, we’ll buy some greasy popcorn and watch this ridiculous movie and we’ll spend the two hours back and forth talking about everything and nothing.

One of my sons-in-law is starting a small business of his own so we swapped information on LLC’s and sole proprietorships and I told him I’d let him know what I found out from the town hall about paperwork.  And then we discussed his recent foray into welding and metalworking.  I have some projects that would benefit from custom hardware and I told him I’d see if he had any time to cost out some items.  As if he isn’t busy enough running a small factory and large family.  But it was good to have someone who’s trying to build something too, to talk to.

And Camera Girl was in her element with the kids to play with and her daughters to compare notes with on managing homes, kids and dogs.  And there was talk between them about flowers and vegetables and kids’ activities coming up and a summer trip up to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and on and on and on.

It seemed like everyone there was suffering from allergies.  Kids and adults.  And there was sneezing and runny noses and coughing and no one was wearing any stupid masks or apologizing for sneezing germs on each other.  That nonsense seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

And I had a long discussion on dinosaurs with my youngest grandson.  But yesterday the new fascination was Pokémon.  He inherited a book of the cards from one of his older brothers and he regaled me with detailed information about the names, powers and relative value of this album of meaningless monsters.  But showing my attention to this ritual of pre-adolescent consumer culture gained me all kinds of street cred with this miniature descendant of mine.

All in all, it was a roaring success.  Good feelings reigned supreme and the winter was officially laid to rest and the outdoor season was christened with the kids tracking mud into the kitchen and all over their Easter clothes.  And not a single word was spoken about Biden or inflation or transgender anything.  We talked about the kids’ schools and sports and the plans for the next get togethers.  Life and family and friends fill up the spaces in your life if you take the time and trouble to involve yourself with life.  It’s good reminder for me.

17APR2022 – Quote of the Day (Easter Sunday)

(A Quote for the Faithful)

 

John Chapter 20

1 The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, [and looked] into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.

Saint John

15APR2022 – OCF Update – Good Friday All Around

Life is good today.  It rained hard last night and now it’s a bright sunny day.  Now that’s the way to arrange the weather!  My thanks to the Man Upstairs for this indulgence.

A beautiful day for a walk in the woods.  A good telecon with a business consultant.  Useful actionable advice.  Progress on all fronts of the business effort.  No new roadblocks appearing.  Domestic tranquility continues.  Plans for the summer Yellowstone trip coalescing nicely  Some books and movies to finish up for reviews. Projects around the house and yard coming along fine.  What can I say?  Life is good today.

Of course, in the larger world, that sleazy dopey wrecker in the White House continues to dismantle the United States of America with alarming speed.  The economy continues to shake itself to pieces with costs soaring into the stratosphere and staple supplies disappearing from store shelves on a random basis.  Disorder stalks the metropolitan areas and international relations are becoming strained even among supposed allies.

But today is Good Friday.  For Christians a time to reflect on the things that are most important in life.  Most fundamentally, on our families and friends.  Jesus spoke mostly of love.  Right now it is paramount that we love and protect those we care about.  Protect them from the coming storms.

But right at this moment we can also share some happy moments with them.  Sunday we’re getting together at the house of one of my daughters.  All of my grandchildren will be there and all but one of my children.  We’ll eat way too much fattening food and I hope we’ll have a chance to throw a baseball around.  But the forecast isn’t promising.  Cold and wet is the forecast.

But that matters not at all.  We’ll talk about what the kids are up to and applaud their sports victories and condole the losses.  We’ll talk about upcoming college admission.  We’ll talk about vacation plans and trips on the new boat that’s in the driveway.  and there will be talk about dinosaurs with my youngest grandson who is a connoisseur of all things saurian.

And I know Camera Girl is going to bake a ricotta cheesecake for the holiday and that is one of my favorites.  And even though I’ve switched from coffee to tea this year I will indulge in some good coffee for the occasion.  And I intend to revel in the chaos of five grandchildren playing (and fighting) all around me.  And I intend to participate in the games of whatever variety they choose.  Last time we got together they had me try out an virtual reality contraption called an Occulus.  I bought this for them a couple of years ago and I was surprised at just how realistic the illusion it produces is.

It’s funny how these holidays provide so much continuity in our lives.  It’s comforting to have these rituals to ground us and those we love in a familiar pattern.  And for me Easter is a pivotal point in the year.  Long New England winters finally release the landscape around Easter and people can go outside and breath a little fresh air.  It’s the beginning of outdoor life.

Everyone enjoy the day especially those who are religious.  And get a little air and sun if it’s around.

Over the River and through the Woods, to Grandma’s House We Go

Finally, life is returning to normal.  But today I’ll skip the rants about why it isn’t.  I’ll celebrate life instead.  Camera Girl is cooking a spoon roast and humming and even singing slightly as she goes through the rituals that precede the magical food that will appear on time on the dining room table today.  There are potatoes and asparagus and corn and mushrooms and gravy and buttered rolls and of course the roast.  And pies and cakes have been baked and I know there will be ice cream to go along with that pie.  And of course there will be chocolate for the little girl who will be old enough this year to really know what’s going on.

And today is sunny and it will be warm enough to go outside and walk around and look for bugs and flowers and birds and look at the trees and the sky and play catch with a ball and pet the rabbit (alias bunny-hop-hop or Petey).  And we can sit around and talk about the barbecue that will be happening in May once it’s warm enough for the tables to be outside and the pool will be opened and we can have the rest of the family with us too.  That will be another milestone.

But today is for enjoying today.  New England forgot to provide one last, end of March, nor’easter snowstorm so the ground is pretty dry now and fit for walking and running and having a catch so today is a wonderful opportunity to declare the world is open for living again.

And as Kazantzakis said through his character Zorba this Easter dinner can’t be wasted,

“We ate and drank for some time in silence. The wind carried up to us, like the droning of bees, the distant, passionate notes of the lyre. Christ was being reborn again on the village terraces. The paschal lamb and the Easter cakes were being transformed into love-songs.

When Zorba had eaten and drunk quite copiously, he put his hand to his big hairy ear. “The lyre … ‘he murmured. “They’re dancing in the village.’ He stood up suddenly. The wine had gone to his head.

‘What ever are we doing here, all alone, like a pair of cuckoos? Let’s go and dance! Aren’t you sorry for the lamb we’ve been eating? Are you going to let it fizzle out into nothing, like that? Come on! Turn it into song and dance! Zorba is reborn!’ ‘Wait a minute, Zorba, you idiot, are you crazy?’

‘Honestly, boss, I don’t care! But I’m sorry for the lamb, and I’m sorry for the red eggs, the Easter cakes and the cream cheese! If I’d just scoffed a few bits of bread and some olives, I’d say: “Oh, let’s go to sleep; I don’t need to go celebrating!” Olives and bread are nothing, are they? What can you expect from them? But, let me tell you, it’s a sin to waste food like that! Come on, let’s celebrate the Resurrection, boss!’ ‘I don’t feel like it today. You go – you can dance for me as well.’ Zorba took my arm and pulled me up.

‘Christ is reborn, my friend! Ah! if only I was as young as you! I’d throw myself headlong into everything! Headlong into work, wine, love – everything, and I’d fear neither God nor devil! That’s youth for you!’

‘It’s the lamb talking, Zorba! It’s turned wild inside you, changed into a wolf!’

“The lamb’s changed into Zorba, that’s all, and Zorba’s talking to you!”

 

So I’ll take Zorba’s advice and put the Easter feast to good use.  I’ll celebrate the Resurrection and spring and new life and old life and I’ll put off Biden and woke ignoramuses and even the dissident right for another day.

Happy Easter.

04APR2021 – Easter Sunday – Doubting Thomas

John 20 / 24-29

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Happy Easter Christians.  Find some joy today.  The madness is just static.  Ignore it for the sake of the day.

02APR2021 – OCF Update – Good Friday

John Chapter 19

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put [it] on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, [and] Greek, [and] Latin.

21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

 

I hope everyone has a happy Easter Sunday.  I’m having over family and that is as good as it gets.  Posting may be a bit spotty because of the festivities but I’ll do the best I can.

Enjoy.

12APR2020 – OCF Update – Happy Easter

Good Morning to everyone out there.  It’s a bright sunny day and the wind has died down, although not completely so some of my focus stack pictures I took today of some flowers are probably a mess.  There was frost on the flowers this morning which is to be expected in this weird little stretch of the world I live in.

Camera Girl and I are going to have a video family gathering later and that should somewhat assuage the isolation and she’s making a few treats to make up for the ham or lamb or turkey that could have been.

I hope all of you will have a good day and enjoy whatever company, real or virtual you may have.  And for the Christians have a very Happy Easter.

A Reading for Easter

A quote for the Faithful Few

 

John Chapter 20

1 The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, [and looked] into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.

 

 

Easter 2019 – OCF Update

Good Morning to all of you out there.  Today is a day for family here, as it always has been for me.  We’ll have a meal with the kids and grandkids, some in-laws and even some family coming up from New York.  It should be nice.  The weather has been rainy the last few days but the forecast says it will stop and the sun may even appear.  The first daffodils have bloomed in the yard (we’re always about two weeks behind the rest of the world here in the “Land of the Lost”).  Turkeys have been walking around in the woods and even stopping by Camera Girl’s bird feeders.  The Mallards have retuned from Capistrano (or wherever they go) and are eating whatever goo they find in the puddle.  Still no sign of the beaver yet (smart money is that the coyotes got him).  To quote from that memorable philosopher George Costanza, “Spring. Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Everything’s Blooming. All That Crap.”

For photos I’ve got to get some new stuff together.  Even I’m butterflied out (or is it butterflown?).  I have some flower stuff that is appropriate but I’ll need to do some shooting soon.  Maybe I’ll look for something old that will be interesting.

On the politics side things are definitely looking interesting.  Now is the time for the President to strike while the iron is hot as they say.  A two-pronged strategy to set the Justice Department on the perpetrators of the Russia hoax and at the same time advancing his immigration policy would be the best idea from my point of view.  The important thing is to be seen to make progress.  That rallies the troops and frightens the bad guys.

With respect to reviews, I’ve enjoyed the Twilight Zone project and have decided that after it’s done, I’m going to embark on a review of the original Star Trek series.  Mocking Bill Shatner will be a labor of love for me and certain to raise the spirits of all readers.  I’ve got a review of the movie, “The Natural,” coming up tomorrow morning and I’d like to pick out some other older films to highlight that people still have a choice of watching something entertaining even while Hollywood is still dominated by the insane death cult ensconced there.

To all Christians out there Happy Easter.  To all Jewish readers have a Happy Passover.  To everyone else, enjoy the chocolate eggs.