Category Archives: Essay

Say it now, or forever squirm when someone else does

microphone on a stageIn my last post I urged you to actually say or do something that you’ve thought about for awhile but just didn’t take the time to say or do. While this blog was on hiatus, I thought about an old project I had started years ago. There would always be time, I thought. There are more pressing matters that require my effort at the moment. Three months ago the time was right so I put the project on my Continue reading Say it now, or forever squirm when someone else does

What to do with Stale Bread

loaf of breadMy husband buys bread as though our six sons are still at home. Multi-grain. Rye. Hamburger buns. There’s only so much toast, so many sandwiches the two of us can eat in a week.  “The birds want their seeds back,” I told him, “so either make a weekly trip to the food pantry or stop buying more bread than we need.” But once again I see a partial loaf on the counter with a sign: for the birds.

I tell you this because Continue reading What to do with Stale Bread

A Fourth Grade Spelling Test

handwrittten spelling test of elementary school student

One baby boomer afternoon when my best friend and I were in fourth grade—she in the local public school and I in the parish Catholic school—she showed me her weekly spelling test. It had a shiny metallic-looking star and a great big 92% A written across the top. I too had scored a 92% on my spelling test that week, but I didn’t get a star because 92% was considered a B+ at my school. Only a 93% or higher received an A.  Continue reading A Fourth Grade Spelling Test

I Want My Big Toe… and other summer resolutions

sock: foot of skeletonDuring my childhood summers, there were a plethora of ghost stories floating around the neighborhood  waiting to be retold on  dark front porch steps after the street lights came on and when our parents let us stay outside a bit longer because it was so hot inside.  A perennial favorite was the tale of an old woman who went to her garden to dig up a root vegetable for her homemade soup, but mistakenly dug up someone’s big toe instead. That night as she lay in bed, while strips of clouds Continue reading I Want My Big Toe… and other summer resolutions

Ascension Thursday: Holy Day, Free Day

Artwork of Ascension from 14th centuryAscension Thursday is May 29th and my endorphins are already gearing up. They’re a throwback to my days at St. Peter in Chains Elementary School when we were off on Holy Days—All Saints, Immaculate Conception,  Christmas, Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God; and the Ascension. The Assumption on August 15th was never an issue because, back then, a new school year never began before Labor Day.   My publican friends (the neighborhood kids who attended public schools) complained Continue reading Ascension Thursday: Holy Day, Free Day

My First Communion Secret Society

Me at my First CommunionI almost asked  if you remember your First Communion. How silly of me. How could you not? I’m sure you recall your prayer book, your first rosary, and the class picture taken on the altar steps with the pastor of your parish.  If you’re female you probably still own your white Communion dress, Communion veil, and white gloves.  You may even have your white shoes and white anklet socks trimmed with lace. So the correct question isn’t if you remember. It’s: what do you remember about your First Communion Day?

October 1960 Communion Group PictureI remember the excitement I felt picking out my dress and veil, Continue reading My First Communion Secret Society

First Friday, First Saturday

Calendar showing FridaysDid you practice either the First Friday or the First Saturday devotion? I remember my mother telling us about them–or maybe it was the nuns. I don’t know if I actually completed one before I was twenty although I know I tried.

If I remember correctly, the First Friday devotion was started 1750 or so by St. Margaret Mary who had a vision with the following message: honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus by going to confession and receiving communion on the First Friday of the month for nine consecutive months and you’ll receive twelve promises of the Sacred Heart. The First Saturday devotion had something to do Continue reading First Friday, First Saturday