My heart to yours.

Light-hearted, affairs of the heart. your hearts content.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but the presence make the heart grow stronger.

A man/woman after my own heart.

Bleeding heart Liberal ( A personal favorite) Broken-hearted, hard-hearted, heavy-hearted.

It has taken me a couple of days to actually get back to this writing. Originally, I was very heavy of heart, dealing with economic slowdown repercussions.

However, that moved aside and, I am in the midst of grief over the death of my predecessor and friend.

Peggy Ann died on Saturday after a long battle with cancer. The end was a blessing, she was in tremendous pain.

Peggy Ann was a staunch support of my mission to Sudan. She was so excited for me. When our Diocese had its companion relationship with South Africa, Peggy Ann traveled there.

She was a daily reader of my blog and when I returned home, we shared many stories comparing our trips.

She was my surrogate mother, though I never told her so. My own mom died in 1995. I did tell her I loved her, often. The last time, was Holy Tuesday, the day the Presiding Bishop visited. She sat with the Bishop's staff, resolutely, while in pain.

When she retired as Business Manager, she did not retire. Peggy Ann served on the Board and Treasurer of The Seaman's Center in Wilmington. She was a long-time deputy to General Convention, the last time in 2006. She served as a Trustee, a member of the Investment Committee and the Insurance Committee. Through her I was introduced to the Diocese and it's people.

The love the Diocese felt for her was transferred to me. I was blessed by knowing her.

I used to tell her that I would not use her as an example of retirement. That I would not want to serve on all the Committee's she served on. I would move away, no one would know me.

I lied.

I know now, I want to be just like her.

That is Peggy Ann in the light blue suit and dark blouse talking to her friend and former colleague Judy as the Bishop's staff awaits the arrival of the Presiding Bishop.

May the Peace of the Lord be with her always.


Batter Up

Jealousy has reared its ugly head, and I must own it.

There is something to be said for having a job that feeds your passions. And, if your passions are the outside and baseball and New York City, then I have a confession.

I really am jealous of Keith Olbermann.

Here is a guy that combines his love of the Yankees, with sports casting, journalism, writing, and being the the host of his own prime time Cable show Countdown.

As I am penning this entry, the Yankees are playing the Athletics and it is in the top the 14th inning the score tied at 7 all.

And, since Keith has not been hosting his show this week, it is a fairly good bet that he is sitting in his season ticket holder seat, routing the home team on toward victory.

Speaking of season ticket holders.

Knowing that this is the first season in the Yankees new stadium, I casually looked at pricing season tickets. What I found was that the tickets were very reasonable, if I wanted to get back the funds I spent sending my daughter to Penn State.

$28,000. For a great chair, behind home plate. My mouth was drooling. I thought of selling my home. I could get season tickets for several years. More, if I did not factor in a place to live and food to eat.

My initial thought was to find someone who wanted to adopt an older child. OK, much older child.

Then, I thought maybe someone who needed an older sister, or aunt.

Then, I thought of Keith. OK, so he has a girlfriend. What difference should that make.

I want a seat, and I am willing to beg.

I would fetch drinks, food, be his driver, which would involve the used of my car, since he does not own one.

Actually, it would involve a rental car. Keith would not fit into a Chevy Aveo, hatch back or not.

I would wash his clothes, clean his house, quit my job.

Forget going back to Sudan. We are talking Yankees here.

Now, some of you might be thinking about what $28,000 could actually buy, other than season tickets to watch the Yankees. And you would be right.

However, this is a fantasy.

A fantasy exists to give pleasure, to provide entertainment, a respite from the real world. They very rarely come true.

I, however, am willing to test this theory.

So, who has Keith's cell phone number?


God as Cat

This is my current screen saver. I found the picture of this cat when I was looking for additional pictures of Derek Jeter, my favorite baseball player.

Go Yankees. Whoo Yoo. Boo Boston.

This cat reminds me of the Old Testament God, the one who can get really mad.

This past Sunday, our Adult Forum was discussing faith and what it means to be a Christian. This followed the visit of our Presiding Bishop on Holy Tuesday.

In response to one question, she urged us all to re-examine what being a Christian means. Then to enter dialogs with other faiths, Muslim and Jew, to get better understanding of each other. Her entire visit to the Diocese of Delaware can be found at www.dioceseofdelaware.net.

We were discussing how you can come to a point when you think you understand who you are in relation to God, where you are going, and that is the time when you realize that you do not understand it at all.

However, God does not abandon you. God keeps urging us forward, putting goals in front us, we keep moving toward the goal.

That illustration made me think of me as mouse, the goal as cheese, and God, the cat, moving the cheese forward.

Then, the image from above popped into my head. Not the image of God I usually imagine.

Me as mouse.

Sudan as cheese.

God as cat. Faithful, watching out for your arrival. Keeping the bed warm.



Every morning on my way to work I pass by one of Delaware's men's prisons, zooming by in my yellow bird. I say a prayer to keep everyone safe that day.

Rain or shine individuals walk with heads down towards the entrance, where guards allow some in to work, others in to wait.

Separating people into groups. a process that starts when we are young.

Who plays on which team? Who is the last standing, unpicked?

Who is invited to birthday parties, who is left out?

Who has a date for the prom, who doesn't?

Who gets married, the job, the house, the kids, who not?

Separation is the thought that stays with me for most of the day, and brings me back to the time when I used to visit a young man sentenced to serve his jail time at that prison.

This is the only prison in Delaware that does not allow for actual physical touching between the inmate and the visitor. Instead, plexi glass separates the inmate from the visitor.

Would any of us return to the outside "normal" after being deprived of an affectionate touch? Not me. I love passing the "peace" in church.

In life, there is more that separates us than plexi glass.

Angry words or actions, miles of ocean, misunderstandings, time and place.

Sometimes we deliberately separate ourselves from family, friends or co-workers, withdrawing from that which upsets or angers or embarrasses us. Giving these feelings over to the darkness where they fester, taking on a greater importance than were originally meant. How easy that is.

How difficult to expose them to the light, to our family and friends.

I spent years separating myself from my high school friends. Too heavy, too embarrassed. The years I wasted not knowing them and being part of their lives. Dreading visiting my family in Florida. Bathing suits and beaches, two things I hated to have come together.


It took me traveling to Sudan, leaving behind mirrors, and finding non-judgmental love and acceptance, that I truly understood what it meant to be God's beloved, in whom he was well pleased.

I had separated myself from others. I had believed myself to be not worthy.

I did this. I alone.

In the darkness.


Life's comings and goings

This little boy came home from Sunday School and was telling his parents about what he had learned.

The lesson was from Genesis 3:19 where the Lord said from dust you came and to dust you will return.

Later that week, his father asked him to go clean up his room. Shortly after, the little boy came out and told his father that someone under his bed was either coming or going.

Get it, coming or going.. or coming or going.

I believe that life is really a circle. Or at least mine is.

I keep going around and around, like a Merry-Go-Round ride.

On the ride you know when you have made a complete circle because you keep track of the place you started and you see in again and again until the ride stops.

But, what if you forget the place you started?

What if you only remember you have been there once you realize, whoa, I remember being there, doing that before.

Of course, when you keep doing that enough, most likely you wish you were off the ride.

What is better coming and going or round and around?

The past several weeks I thought that I was on a new ride. One more adventurous, surroundings that I had not seen before.

Similar to going to the Safari Park rather than the Amusement Park.

That which had made life hectic was gradually disappearing. Time was available for reflection.

Fervor reappeared along with the spring flowers.Cliche after cliche also appeared.

Hope springs eternal.

Every cloud has s silver lining.

April showers bring May flowers.

Which reminds me of a scene in the TV show NCIS.

One character was routing through his desk, throwing things away, cleaning this out, generally making a nuisance of himself. Another character, from Israel, asking him what he was doing.

Spring cleaning was his reply. Don't you have spring cleaning in Israel?

Israel is in the desert, there is no spring.

This Easter morning will find Delaware sunny and full of flowers. Sorrowful Friday is gone.

I wish every Easter came around at the same time each year. Quit moving around the calendar. Pick a date stick with it.

That said, I am glad that today is about resurrection.

I am glad that this day of remembrance comes around and around each and every year.

To those of you who are in my thoughts and heart, Happy Easter wherever you are.

My daughter, family and friends up and down the east coast.

My adopted daughter in Africa.

My adopted family and friends in Sudan and Liberia.

May all of you have a Blessed (Safe) Easter Day.

The Lord is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia.


What is in a Name?

Good Friday?

Not in my mind. It should be Bad, Bad, Bad Friday.

What in the world is so Good about this day?

What made the original church leaders call it Good?

Researching this, I turned to Wikipedia.

Good Friday also goes by the names of Holy Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday.

So, why did the Anglican Church/ECUSA settle on Good Friday?

And why do we continue today?

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, found online at www.newadvent.org, it says that:

Good Friday, called Feria VI in Parasceve (the name for Friday) in the Roman Missal, he hagia kai megale paraskeue (the Holy and Great Friday) in the Greek Liturgy, Holy Friday in Romance Languages, Charfreitag (Sorrowful Friday) in German, is the English designation of Friday in Holy Week, the Friday when we keep the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

(If Jim were still alive, he would be smiling at my leaving in the Latin and Greek wording and would begin to debate their translation.)

For me I prefer Sorrowful Friday. At the noontime service today, there was nothing good, or great. It was sorrowful.

The readings from Isaiah and Hebrews. ( I read Isaiah).

The music?

Jesus suffering, sorrowful, lonely.

Mary and the women of Jerusalem suffering, weeping, sorrowful, mourning.

Disciples in hiding, mourning, sorrowful, scared.

During Holy Week we are supposed to imagine walking with Jesus. To be with him on this journey. If we truly accomplish this, then we have no idea what will follow on Saturday or Sunday.

This is not a good day.

Is it possible that it is the results of this day for remembering that are good?

I look forward to Semi-sorrowful Saturday.


Rare Delights

Today was one of those days that pretty much was perfect.

Beautiful weather, though a little chilly for April.

Bright sunshine, bouncing off of rain puddles.

Spring flowers and flowering trees are blooming and budding. There is color everywhere, yellow, purple, pink. The grass has gone from brown to green.

Mowing time approaches.

Each Tuesday of Holy Week the Diocesan clergy renew their vows. This year the Cathedral was packed, standing room only.

We had one extra cleric visiting.

The Presiding Bishop, our Primate, The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts-Schori.

Being in her presence was truly wonderful, peaceful, challenging, relating.

This woman appears to be truly at home with herself. She appears to be present in each moment, listening, walking, chatting, answering questions. A true gift to not only us today, but to The Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Wright arranged for the Bishop's staff to have our picture taken with the Presiding Bishop, and regardless of how I look, it will be something I will cherish.

After meditating for about four minutes on "You are my beloved and in you I am well pleased," she drew out our experiences. Then moved on to taking questions for about an hour before breaking and celebrating Eucharist. In response to a question I asked, she told the story about being in Nebraska this past week. where three separate congregations (Muslim, Jew, Christian) have purchased property together to build a facility where all three will worship together yet in separately dedicated space. The learning about each other.

To see the Beloved in the Other. To remember that God is well pleased with the Other.

This is what I experienced in Sudan and what I continue to experience today. Sudan, the gift that keeps on giving.

I must be honest. I find the notion that God being well pleased with some of the individuals that walk the earth each day difficult to accept.

However, I have to remember that God's pleasure is not mine.

I cannot begin to define the word pleasure or well pleased in godly terms. I only have the language that I have been taught. Does God even have a language?

Does he/she need one?

Sign language?

A good rainfall not resulting in floods, but providing sustenance to those who are thirsty.

Sunshine aplenty that does not scorch the earth, but brings forth food to feed those who are hungry.

Forests that shelter animals but also provide materials for homes for the homeless.

Families and communities that nurture individualism but responsibility to all.

Peace, Shalom, Salam.


Ramblings of a track traveler

Best laid plans sometimes go awry. I spent the day in New York City today, combining business with personal business. Got everything accomplished but the one task that I really wanted to.

Diana’s boss who is in the City at the UN never returned my phone calls so I could not hand off her computer, camera and $$.

In fact, I am typing on the computer that I planned to have left in NYC. Didn’t happen.

Now, it looks like I will have to ship it to her, unless he calls back and I send it overnight back to him in NYC.

Where does carrying goods back to Diana rank in the grander scheme of working in Darfur?

Cannot answer that from my perspective.

From Diana’s perspective it will be huge and I am sorry. Possibly he thought that I was spending more time there than one day. In Sudan, you never travel anywhere for just a day.

The weather in the City was wonderful. 60 degrees at 3 PM. Tonight will usher in rain for the next few days, including opening day at Yankee Stadium.

Why did they set up this rail car to ride backwards? Good thing that it does not make me feel ill.

Another observation, the roads and trains are less crowded. I understand from a friend that works at The Church Pension Fund, that the train stations in CT heading to the City are empty most mornings. Most worked on Wall St. and in banking.

That has had the ripple effect towards cabbies and restaurants. The City seemed less crowded as well.

We are passing along the small streams by the tracks where telephone poles are laying in the water. Some leaning halfway as if they were taking a drink, others as if they are bathing. Since their wires, like untied shoelaces, dangle in the water, I assume that they have been tossed aside for newer poles.

We are pulling into Newark NJ and people are debarking and heading home. The next stop will be the Newark Airport.

I have often thought of taking the train down to the Baltimore-Washington Airport rather than look for a ride or spend $$ on parking. I have never compared the cost, but should do so, considering the price of gas. That said, I would need a place to fly to.

Oh, as I sit on the train wanting to connect to the internet, I bemoan the fact that the US is not wireless.

Twice I called Diana in Sudan today, much to the amazement of the people at The Medical Trust. Cell phones are a wonderful thing. When I call her, it costs her nothing. So, I am trying to call her every other day around 2 PM. That is around 9 PM her time.

Dusk is falling as we travel south. Lights are coming on in homes and on the streets. The sunset in the west is still visible even at 7: 25 PM. Muted pinks, oranges and blues slowly giving way to dark blue and black, as I look toward the east. White smoke trails from planes zigzag throughout.

Dropping my eyes to ground level, what I see, without judging, is “tagging” in place of industry.

Some of the messages are so beautiful and done so well that I am tempted to forget that it is graffiti. Others, there is no need to be reminded. The tag tells of places to score drugs or sex, where you can sleep and not be disturbed, which areas are easy to rob.

But, I am also seeing rejuvenated homes. I hope those that did the work are able to stay in them.

Traveling by train is such a treat.

There are places to plug in your laptop and your cell phone, and use them both while they recharge. I can write this little ditty or play solitaire.

You can eat, or drink, depending upon your taste and depth of pocket book and ride home.

You can talk to friends or sit in the quiet car and relax to the sounds of snoring.

You can even sit in the cafĂ© car, my sister’s favorite, and talk and eat and travel.

Or, you can be like me, and use the quiet to refresh. Who knows what is waiting back home?

We have pulled into Trenton New Jersey, the state capital. A Septa train pulls in along side us on the other track. Empty cars, commuters all home by now. It is now 8 PM and 22 minutes to Philadelphia, PA.

When I was growing up, most fathers traveled to work by train into the City. This feels so comfortable to me. And, they had someone waiting, waving hello.

That would really be nice. If cats could drive, I would make it so.

Well, my track ramblings are done. WE are pulling into Philly and I am packing up for the remaining 15 minute ride to Wilmington, DE.

It has been a nice trip.

I look forward to another soon.