I’ve been having a lot of disconnected things I’ve been thinking about, so I decided to throw them all into one post. After all, what’s the point of being eclectic if you can’t write about more than one topic.
I have a doctor’s appointment today – the gynecologist. How’s that for a great way to start the week?! Lucky for him, I’m not “shy and modest” like some women. I also don’t have much for him to do since he removed all the internal reproductive organs over 5 years ago. That hysterectomy was the best thing anyone ever did for my body – my digestive organs have been happier than they ever had been. Who knew that my retroverted (tipped backward) uterus was pressing on my intestines, causing lots of problems? Only this gyne, apparently. So when I go visit him now (only every 3 yrs), I am really going to hero worship. This man changed my life because he was thorough and used his brain. How many men can we say that about?
I’ve been working hard to keep my fibromyalgia “calm” since we got back from Hilton Head. But I can feel the stress in my jaws and shoulders sometimes. I keep closing my eyes to picture the view from that room while I breathe slowly. It helps.
It didn’t help that we had a visiting priest yesterday while our interim rector was out interviewing for his possible next gig – in Hawaii, no less. It was his “last minute” arrangement of a Baptism while he was away that surprised both the visiting priest and everyone else. We tried to “go with the flow.” It was a challenge to be the Lay Eucharistic Minister (chalice bearer) with both a new priest and a ceremony to contend with. Of course, I ended up doing some acolyte duties, too, because only one of them showed up out of the 3 scheduled. What ever happened to honoring your commitments? This guy (the priest) was a friend of our prior rector (the one who nearly ruined our parish) – which I found out when I mentioned that while the prior rector was here we were running a Baptism nearly every week. Oops – open mouth, insert foot. I did explain that most of these were “drive-by Baptisms” – folks who got their kid “done” and never came back. I mentioned the worst of those – when the Bishop was here for Confirmation and we had a Baptism, too. The whole crowd of family and friends of the baby being Baptised left the church building immediately after the Baptism – only half way through the Communion service. Left the church looking half empty! I sure that impressed the Bishop – it sure mortified the congregation!
But I digress – this visiting priest is more into ceremony than our interim. No problem. I brought the Bible down for the Gospel and held it for him to read. No problem – until he started to use his finger to follow along so he wouldn’t lose his place. No problem – except that he pressed down on the book, which meant I had to push up or the book would have been on the floor! That was a problem! My arms were shaky by the time we were done (long Gospel this week).
Okay, time to Baptise the kid. Can I pour the water out? Sure, no problem. We all gather around the font and he says to get ready to pour the water. Okay – I picked up the large silver pitcher filled with over a quart of water and held it chest high. “It’ll be a little while.” What!? Then why did I have to pick it up now? I can’t put it back down. My shaky arms got shakier. 5 minutes later, he told me I could pour now. In order to pour out the water, the pitcher has to be raised to face level and tipped. That’s my SFG (short, fat girl) face level. By the time the pitcher was empty, I was wondering if I’d be able to hold the chalice later.
Things went smoothly for the most part for the rest of the service. At least the Baptismal crew didn’t leave. Gotta look for the positive.
One thing I’m positive of is that this visiting priest was as gay as my cousin in Georgia. No – I really have a gay (married to a man) male cousin who lives in Georgia that I love. I don’t say it as a put-down, just an observation. If you didn’t get it before the Baptism, you surely did as he flitted down the center aisle (while I held the basin of water from the font for him) using his hand to “sprinkle” everyone with holy water. It was a sight!
After church, we went to Linens’N’Things to buy a digital kitchen scale. If having exact portions is something I’ll be doing for a long time, I want accuracy and easy reading. Then we went over to Red Robin for lunch. We sat at the bar instead of waiting for a table. Wise choice. It was packed.
Then it was home again and back to the family history research. It has struck me that some of the things we find in families today were true over the years as well. What? Glad you asked.
Families are interwoven. This happened more in the early days, when the population was smaller, though it still happens today. Siblings marry outside the main family line. Then their kids marry cousins – because there aren’t many none cousins around. Or it happens a couple of generations removed. Not as obvious, but still cousins.
Families move. In the “old days” families moved to get land or be adventurers. Sometimes it was a couple of brothers who went to live in a new place, then brought their families along. I have been surprised at the amount of movement in the early days. My husband’s family started out in Concord, MA. They moved away from the more settled area to Chelmsford, MA (tell folks in Chelmsford today that they are less “settled” and they’ll laugh in your face). On to Litchfield, NH, Manchester, NH, Nashua, NH, Newbury, NH, Newport, NH, Dorchester, NH — then Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Montana. It’s amazing! I want to figure out how to demonstrate on a map where each successive generation moved to. It will be a map that also shows how this country was settled and changed.
The census has been very helpful in finding not only people, but eventually their occupations (not listed in the earliest census listings). Again, you see the move within your own family from the farm to the mills; from little education to college; from caring for the disabled at home to sending them to state institutions. I have also noticed that the total population claimed by the census in any year can be wrong – overstated, generally. This is because during transitional times, persons were often listed as residing in more than one place. I’ve found this most often with young adults who were listed as living with the main family on the farm but also listed as residing in a boarding house in a mill town where they worked. It gets a little confusing until you realize what’s going on.
Well, I’d better go make myself “beautiful” for the gyne visit. Don’t want to be late for a triennial appointment!