Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rose's Christening

Back in the fall, I was teaching one course that was exclusively freshmen.  The syllabus is a combination of philosophy, theology, and literature, and one of the things I included on my syllabus was the Book of Mark.  The whole thing--it's actually not that long.  And it's actually pretty good.  I remembered most of the stories from CCD and random masses and stuff.  Do I "understand" most of them? No, not beyond whatever my limited education gives me access to, and luckily this was ok because nobody was supposed to be earning Theology credits here on their transcript--we could let the conversation go in whatever direction we wanted.  At one point, a lot of the more vocal students were saying, "You know these stories are nice ... but what are we supposed to do with them? And what are we supposed to do with the people who are like, 'really into Jesus' but are just like huge phonies and whatever?" and then they would all look at me as if I had it All Figured Out WHICH IS HILAAAAAAARIOUS.

So while I was staring at the floor trying to come up with an intelligent way of saying, "I don't know: what do YOU think?" Steve goes, "Are you gonna baptize your baby?" while staring a hole into the desk in front of him.

[heavy sigh] "Yup," I said.


"Because it's a nice tradition.  And I would rather guide--or offer to guide--her through the nuances of a horribly flawed religion while she's young rather than leave it up to some other potentially scary person years from now."

[without judgment] "hmm."

What I didn't say was that I was TRYING to get around to planning the christening that fall--at least get a date on the calendar and get it scheduled with the church.  Maybe for January? or February at the latest.

Yeah, right: Try May.

By the time the post-partum fog lifted and I didn't feel like a hopeless, leaking drifter inside my own life, the best date I could get with my family was May 14: Mother's Day.

It worked out perfectly.

My mom made a gorgeous blanket for the occasion.

This is the same V-stitch blanket I've made for a bunch of my friends.  My mom combined two different borders--the rosebuds and the scalloped lace shells--from two different patterns to finish it.

Not the priest--my uncle.

PERFECT WEATHER--unheard of in these parts.

That's my christening gown, pulled out of retirement after 33 years.

All decorated for Mother's Day

With my godparents

My skirt is from this post four years ago ...

Ron's best friend, Jeff, served as godfather.

Blue Moon Baby drew me a picture.

She lost a shoe and slept through the whole thing.

This is me trying my best NOT to grab the baby back from Ron while knocking him out of the way.  Do not ask me how/why I was NOT the parent holding her for this part. Still not sure how that happened.  But Ron looked really happy so I didn't interfere.

Of course, Leslie was godmother.  I'll spare you the story of how we managed to get the paperwork legitimizing her as Catholic.

And now ...

... the same photo ...

... over and over ...

... with all different people. (Gotcha, Owen!)

Swapped out my mom for Sam.

When I ordered the cake, the woman filling out the form said, "The roses on the cross are pink." I said, "Ok, can you do them white?" "But the whole CAKE is white." "Yeah: I want the roses white too."  [blank stare] "Whatever you say." Jesus, are you paying for the cake? NO. So gimme my white roses, ok?

Not a bad first Mother's Day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The fountains are back ...

If you live in this area, then you know that the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood has reopened after nearly three years of restoration.  (If you don't, then Congratulations! You officially live under a way more isolating rock than me!)  I remember that mom and I walked through the MFG the last Friday it was open in October 2014, and I thought I had posted pictures here--I definitely had my camera that day--but apparently I didn't. I tried to sort through my archives here to find a contrast of Before and After, but didn't have time to do too much digging. (You can try here if you want--you'd have to go all the way back to 2011-2014.)

I know this is terrible ... but I had to put this in B&W to make it feel the way it used to look.  It looks really fresh and clean now--which is great!--but ... I kinda can't wait for it to get another layer of patina ...

It's pretty amazing. I remember looking at this for the first time when I was 13.  The fountains hadn't worked in years, there was a chain link fence to keep people off of it, and it was gorgeously worn and crumbly.  I remember thinking, "Is this what Pompeii looks like?" Three years later, I would get to answer that question myself ("Nope": Pompeii is way more grey and crumbly), but I always thought those turquoise tiles were such a waste without water on top of them.  Seeing this is absurdly satisfying for me.

Love her.




Pomegranate (ooo la la! hahahaha!)

Grapes--look how cool the vines are.


Not sure ... lilies?



When the plants fill in and start to cover more of the surface areas, it'll be greener with more texture. Very flat right now.

Love those tiles

Mom: Grab your--

... sunglasses.

I might have to take a picture of her here every year.