14 August 2015

Seven Quick Takes

"Okay guys, the first words out of your mouths when Mom and Dad get home are not going to be 'Rose caught her oven on fire!', right?"

I don't even know what happened. I baked cookies yesterday afternoon, and the oven was fine; I preheated the oven to bake biscuits at supper time, and something started burning off the oven floor. My parents had gone out for dinner but a bunch of my siblings were home, so while Matt stayed home with Little Bear, Kit and I drove over to bake the biscuits in my mom's oven. (After turning off our oven and throwing baking soda on the [small] flames, obviously.) New criteria to add to the house-hunting matrix: close enough to use Mom's kitchen if the need arises.

First thing on my to-do list this morning? Cleaning the oven. On my way home from dropping Matt off, I picked up one of my sisters; she watched Kit and helped Little Bear clean his room to keep both kids away from the kitchen while I took care of the oven. By the time Kit needed me I'd also managed to empty the dishwasher and wipe down most of the kitchen, and while I fed the baby, my sister somehow managed to get Little Bear to help her pick up the living room and fold laundry. She's amazing. With her help, pretty much the whole house was clean by the time we left for noon Mass.

Happy feast of St Maximilian Kolbe! Matt has a devotion to Kolbe, and a priest friend actually gave us a second class relic of him shortly after we were married. I intended to do something special to celebrate the feast day, but... lots of craziness this afternoon. At least I read Little Bear the paragraph in his "golden book of saints" about him. Oh, and Mass! We made it to Mass for his feast day. Today there was a funeral at the noon Mass, and there was hardly anyone there specifically for the funeral, so I was so glad that we were there; after Mass a number of the regulars stayed to pray a divine mercy chaplet for the deceased, and a few of his family members and friends joined us. If you have a moment, say a quick prayer for the repose of Charles Sullivan? Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and perpetual light shine upon him, and may he rest in peace. Amen.

I was about to say that that was the first funeral Little Bear has been to, but of course it's not: he was at Alex's funeral, last spring. And now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that I brought him to a family friend's funeral when he was just a few months old, but of course he doesn't remember that. I think it's wonderful when the family has a simple funeral within the context of daily Mass: now there are many more people than would otherwise have known about and attended the funeral praying for his soul, even though we never met him. And it's good, I think, for our kids to participate in our communal prayer for the deceased, so that they can learn in a more experiential way about the communion of saints and the importance of praying for the dead. Today we saw all three aspects of the communion of saints: the Chirch Triumphant, as we asked the intercession of St Maximilian Kolbe, the Church Suffering, as we prayed for the repose of Mr Sullivan, and the Church Millitant, we members of the Church still on earth looking to the saints for inspiration and intercession, and ourselves interceding on behalf of the souls in purgatory.

As we're rapidly running out of summer here, I kind of feel like I have to scramble to fit everything in quickly. Yesterday was canned food day at the fair, so I took the kids—never ever budget less than an hour to take two young kids to the fair, including parking, figuring out the stroller you haven't used in at least a year, walking aaaaall the way from the far side of the parking lot, etc. At least I had the sense to bring the stroller! We went through two barns, one exhibit hall, talked very briefly with a nice lady at the FEMA table, and briefly contemplated buying "fair food" until I realized that honestly, nothing sounded like food except the place with spinach cheese bread, and I could make my own just as easily. As we hurried back toward the gate to go pick Matt up from work, though, we passed the Russian bakery's booth, and I couldn't resist bringing home a couple of her cream-filled pizzells for dessert and a slice of almond cake for us all to share for breakfast.

Today's adventure was something Little Bear had particularly been looking forward to. As a reward for participating, each child who completes the public library's summer reading program receives a pass for a ride on a train around a local park. The temperature was up in the 60s this afternoon for the first time in at least a week, so we took advantage of a sunny spell to take our ride. Kit slept through the whole thing, but Little Bear had fun watching as we went past the gold rush town, ducks in a replica dredge pond, sod-roofed Native village, and the playgrounds.

The original Engine 1 of the Tanana Valley Railroad, of which our engine today was a replica.

It's almost tomorrow, and I'm too tired to think of anything else... Here's a quote that I've been thinking about all week from the book I've been reading, Close to Home by Molly Sabourin:

"The question I need to ask myself is not, 'What, in addition to the blessings right before me, would make me happier?' It is rather, 'What do I need to rid myself of in order not to get sidetracked from my first and foremost goal of achieving salvation?'"

I bought the Kindle edition, and I think that was not the best decision... This is a book that I want to have a highlighter and a pencil at hand, and be folding down pages and making notes in the margins. Some day, I'm going to have to find myself a hard copy.

Have a good weekend! Stop by This Ain't The Lyceum for more quick takes.

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