Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Phew – this is such a busy time of year for my family and me. There are days that feel like they will never end. And I find myself yearning for those dark winter nights. Go figure!!

This will sound incredibly lazy, but every single day I relish putting on my pajamas, watching a little TV, and going to bed. If I can fit in a little stitching, well, then my night is really great. And in a perfect world, this all starts around 8PM. But in reality, it’s usually around 10 or 11PM. And woe to the child who comes to me at 11PM and asks for help with his/her homework. I will grouch at you like you’ve never been grouched at before. Because I know you’ve only just started it at 10:45.

Last week was kind of insane in my home. There were only 4 days of school, but between the two kids it included 6 track practices, 3 track meets, 2 soccer practices, a referee meeting, and the Freshman/Sophomore Dance. Oh – and a 40 hour workweek. I always forget about that. And my birthday was thrown in there, too, which was entirely uneventful. Well that’s not fair to say. We just delayed my birthday from Tuesday till Sunday. The great part was that I was able to heap on the guilt all week long so that by Sunday, I had them right where I wanted them. My mother didn’t raise any stupid children….

Soooo….Sunday was a day of my choosing. We went to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh to see the Spring Flower Show. It was lovely, lovely, lovely. Of course, there were tons of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. I think there’s nothing like the smell of hyacinths to make you think of Spring, (and we really needed that what with getting 6 inches of snow the night before).

I think the biggest hit with my family was the Bonsai tree display. They were very, very cool. I think the average age of each tree was somewhere around 25 years. I wonder if the trees are put in wills? I would guess that they’re valuable and could become part of an estate?

It seemed like the most popular room held the orchid display, but I thought it was rather ho-hum. A few years ago, I liked it more, but it now seems like orchids are everywhere. They’re very “in”.

Another neat thing we did was go to mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was our week off for altar serving at St. Joan’s, so we had a little more freedom as far as where and when we went to mass. And St. Paul’s is right around the corner from the Conservatory, so since we were right there…

When I lived in Pittsburgh (as a student and afterwards), I often went to St. Paul’s. Especially afterwards, when I was living in an apartment just a couple of blocks away. I always thought it was a beautiful church. But now, after living in Fayette County for over 20 years, and going to one of the smallest churches in that county, I can really appreciate the beauty of the cathedral. It’s awesome.

Well, it turned out that this was a special mass, celebrated by the Bishop. It commemorated the 25th anniversary of some kind of Anti-racism statement. To be sure, the Bishop spoke about the death of the Pope, but the focus remained on anti-racism. It was a wonderful lesson.

But the mass was long - over 90 minutes long, and I kept thinking that I’d never hear the end of this from my kids…and then the coolest thing happened. As we were leaving, DS turned around and took a picture of the altar. If you have teens, or if you’ve had teens, you know how they can be so blasé most of the time. Stuff that you think is astounding, they react to with boredom. I don’t know – this sounds nuts, but I thought, wow, he gets it! He gets the beauty of this church. And it made me happy.

OK, but back to my birthday (me, me, me): So it was mass at St. Paul’s, then visiting Phipps, then dinner at the Olive Garden. And then DH asked if he could go visit his flat-screen TV at Best Buy, so I let him say hello to it, and then we came home. Since we will NOT be buying a flat screen anytime in the near future, DH good-heartedly makes do with occasional visits. Who am I to deny him this pleasure?

Oh – and another thing, I received my latest order from Shakespeare’s Peddler on my birthday! Like a little gift to me, from me! I’ll tell you what I bought in my next post. This one is getting way, way too long…

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