Thursday, February 09, 2006
For Christmas, I received from various family members some liturgical vestments I'd be needing for Field Ed and future ministry - specifically an alb, an amice, and a cincture. The alb took a little longer to make as it had to be special ordered and so had not arrived in time for Christmas morning. Therefore, my mother brought it to me when she came this past weekend. I had previously asked my field ed supervisor if she would bless them once they all arrived and then I could begin using them. She responded, as I knew she would, "That's one view. Another view is that the vestments become blessed in the course of sacred use." I said, "Well, yes. Will you bless them anyway?" She laughed and agreed. So today, at the 10am Eucharist, she made some very kind introductory remarks after the Peace about how St. Luke's is helping to prepare me for ministry and that this morning they have the unique opportunity to bless my new vestments which "would clothe [me] in ministry for many years to come." (Before the service, as I laid them out on a spare credence table, the Altar Guild lady smiled knowlingly and said, "Blessing your new vestments today?" God bless Altar Guild members! They know everything!) So, it was a very nice little blessing ceremony, adapted out of the Manual for Priests.
Towards evening, I had a chance to relax a bit and spend some time in a book my mother left for me as a surprise when she visited. She hid it actually, (some what of a family custom - hiding gifts or notes upon departure) under my pillow where I did not discover it until two days after she was gone! It was a book I had been going on and on about once I saw it in a Hallmark store in Fort Myers over winter break. I am a fan of such books of local history and this one was a real gem: Fort Myers in Vintage Postcards. A majority of the scenes from the book are places I have been to, but from such a different time, it is a real treat for this history nut to see them. Some of them are of old hangout spots of mine and my friends: Hendry Street, Punta Rassa (from which many a fishing expedition was launched), and of course, McGregor Blvd. over the ages. Dad has a book of similar pictoral significance all about Lee County which is really neat to look at, especially since one of the founding families featured in the books photos are the relatives of one of his business partners!
As I was enjoying this book, I realized I was still hungry after dinner, and rather than snack on cookies or the like I figured I'd dive into another treat my mother brought up to me: tangerines from my uncle's house! Now, I grew up eating these particular tangerines off this particular tree from when my grandmother still lived in the Coronado house and have fond memories of many an afternoon snack after a game of hide and go seek in the nearby forest. Given my nostalgic mood, I would almost say that what I am about to write can be chalked up to that. Almost. Tangerines from my grandmother's, now uncle's, tree taste better. They taste sweeter, juicier, and have a slightly different texture than any others I've ever had, store bought or hand picked alike. I don't know what it is about them, but they are just delicious. I actually had two tonight, but I must do a better job of conserving them! So, here's a loud shout out of thank you to Uncle Al for sending them and Cousin Sarah for picking them!
And now for the good news. Several years ago, when I was a senior in college, I sat with one of my fraternity brothers in the "final interview" room during fraternity rush week. Brotherhood interviews were not the most fun, but by far the most important rush week event. A young man entered who looked somewhat less timid than others I'd seen that day. As Rob sat down he seemed very comfortable. After a few questions, either David or I asked, "So, Rob, what do you hope to do after graduation?" It's always good to get a feel for a person's ambitions and hopes. Rob said, "I am considering the Episcopal priesthood." David shot me a glance and an almost hidden smile. I did my best not to smile myself and said to this young man, "Thank you. I don;t have anything else I need to ask." Well, several years later now Rob is graduating after a distinguished and honorable career in the fraternity. He wrote to me today to give me the good news that Bishop Curry this afternoon accepted him for Postulancy in the Diocese of North Carolina and that he is indeed going to seminary! Congratulations to you, Rob. Many blessings!
When my family lived in New Suburb Beautiful, between Hyde Park and Palma Ceia in Tampa, we had two huge grapefruit trees. They produced the best grapefruit I have ever had. The people who bought the house a few years ago promptly cut down the trees. I don't know why. My Greek cousin-in-law had taken a branch of one, stuck it in her back yard, and it actually took root and grew! So now there is a wonderful grapefruit tree from Tampa growing in Ft Myers if it survived the last round of hurricanes.
BTW, if you like local Florida history, have you read any of Canter Brown's works on the Peace River and Fort Meade?