Archive for January, 2011

An Apology

I’m in Maryland, visiting my family, so everything has been sorely neglected. I came up to give my husband a chance to get some studying done, and to participate in the March for Life. It’s been a good break, and my parents have even been willing to watch Philomena in the morning so I can get a little extra sleep. Bliss!

I want to do a great big post about this year’s march. It was astounding. Freezing cold, enormous turnout, and a very peaceful, penitent and joyful time. Philomena stayed at home, having been out until eleven the night before. My siblings and I walked with the Friars of the Renewal, who we met by chance on the mall. We listened to the (endless) political speeches, and then were happy to hear an Orthodox bishop pray and speak about the sanctification of the womb by the presence of God in the Virgin Mary.

So, I am sorry not to have more right now. Please stand by. I’ll churn something out soon.


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Seven Quick Takes

I’m alive! Really!

The last two weeks have been intense. I’m happy to report that we are very nearly fully moved in to our new digs. In honor of my family’s new, centrally heated house, I give you my Quick Takes: Moving Edition.


The best thing about only moving across town and having three weeks to go on your old lease is that you can move in stages. As a result, we have been able to do away almost completely with moving boxes. There is nothing more depressing after fleeing a building that is unfit for human habitation than looking at a sea of cardboard.


Our new house is cute! I was a little doubtful at first. It’s a shotgun railroad cottage, built in 1888, and should feel teeny tiny. Oddly enough, it doesn’t. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a better use of space, or just because it was immaculate when we moved in. There are two tiny porches, no yard at all, two bedrooms, a good sized bathroom, a galley kitchen and a living/dining room. Even the tiny kitchen has been no problem at all; everything is sensibly placed.


Three weeks ago, we were living in the ghetto. Honestly. We were across the street from a Nation of Islam bookshop. We were in the city, but unable to really take advantage of city living. Having crack fiends running through your backyard tends to make one a little wary of strolling the mile and change to the park. Now, we’re at the park daily. Which park?

This park. We are now four blocks from Forsyth Park, with its playgrounds, fountains, paths, trees, cafe, and seasonal farmer’s market. Happiness is a stay at home mother with a good park nearby.


Walk to daily mass, anyone? With a choice of two churches? One of which is literally a two minute stroll out my back door? The other of which is this:

A little extra grace never hurt anyone. More mass, coming up!


After being so full of stress and so pent up for so long, the physical reaction I’ve had to the move is bizarre. When I first heard that we were moving in a day or two, I felt physically lighter. Then came the goofiness of moving, the work of getting resettled, the lack of sleep. These things usually turn me into a not terribly pleasant companion. This time it was more an actual physical euphoria. It was such a relief, to be free to just go outside with my daughter to play, or, if I ran out of olive oil, to stroll down to the market. Freedom to do ordinary jobs is he  most amazing thing.


However, with freedom and a new house comes the realization that maybe I’ve gone a little crazy.  The day after we moved in, it was pretty cold outside, so I put on what was my usual, house with no heat cold weather ensemble: jeans (no tights underneath,which I had been doing in the old place), a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, my thermal zip up, and a scarf. I took Philomena to the grocery store and came home. When will came in to the living room he found me sitting on the couch wearing these layers, and my coat on top of everything. This was a good two hours after I’d returned home. He took one look at me and began laughing, asking if we should just start tacking up plastic in the windows. I suddenly realized I had, in a small way, lost my mind.  It hadn’t occurred to me that I could be warm. In fact, it hadn’t occurred to me that there was anything weird in sitting in full New England weather gear in Georgia in a heated house while my daughter was complaining about how hot she was. I’m better now.


When I was in college, a friend of mine introduced me to the concept of intensive urban agriculture. Basically, you grow stuff in containers and feel one with nature in the midst of the city. So, with our happy southern exposure, and a terra cotta planter on our new, sunny, front porch, we are going to give a little urban agriculture a try. I can’t explain how excited I am to grow stuff to eat – it makes me feel very Benedictine.

Thank you again to everyone who prayed, supported, and helped us out during our difficult time. We’re so very, very grateful. You have our love and prayers!

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