Wednesday, November 26, 2008

419. Thanksgiving; our 40,000th visitor; Time for a Holiday

Last night I attended a Thanksgiving Dinner Party hosted by Lisa Tanner and Lauren Ingram, two local Democratic Party activists. The party was mostly attended by folks younger than me, some much younger. Fortunately, Brooke Pardue and her husband, as well as Senator Perry Clark, also attended, so I wasn’t the oldest one there, which is often the case. For many years at Democratic Party events I was the youngest person present – back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Fortunately, that has all changed and younger Democrats are taking over the Party and that is a good thing for the future of the Commonwealth and the Republic. A long wave of conservatism, conceived in the 1950s and 60s, and brought to fruition in the 70s and 80s, has finally begun to subside. The political pendulum has begun a swing to our direction. Thanks Be To God.

A Thanksgiving blessing was offered at the dinner by Will Carle, a young Louisville Democrat working in the governor’s office in Frankfort. Will is one of my favorite people and has a long political future ahead of him. As an aside, Will’s father, Ed, and I work in side-by-side offices. In saying Grace, Will gave thanks for the gains we have all made in the last year, prayed for those less fortunate, and sought guidance for the future. It was an excellent prayer.

The food had been prepared by Lauren and Lisa and others. I was directed to bring a particular item, which I did. I also brought along my friend Keith. We ate and drank (ginger ale for me), listened to music, and told stories. It was a very good night and a very good beginning for the upcoming holiday season.

During the next several weeks, I will be moving six blocks north, from a nice townhouse which I love, to an older house that needs works and attention. I am regretting the leave from where I am but am also looking forward to the challenge of redoing the new house, one built in the 1890s in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood, north of E. Main Street, just over a mile east of the Jefferson County Court House. Preparing for the move, and then coming to live in the house, are appropriate activities at this time of year, known in the Liturgical Calendar as Advent, a word ultimately loosely defined as an arrival, derived from the Latin, venire, to come. It has come to mean in modern English a time of new beginning.

Lots of us go through times of reflection and change. Often these thoughts, observations, and recollections take place during these darker and shorter days, as we are experiencing now. We are in the season where the nights are longer than the days and will remain so until the longest night, a few days before Christmas, at which point begins a lengthening of the hours of daylight. It is an excellent time for reflection and decision.

This year was to be a year of decision for me on a very important topic, a decision I haven’t completely made but anticipate I will in the next few weeks. In 2003 I proposed to myself the idea of switching religions, although I did not know to which religion I would eventually go. I set as a deadline for this decision the end of this year giving me a period of a little over five years to make such a move. I have been a member of the Roman Catholic Church since May, 1979 when I was 18 years old. My father claims that I’ve always been Catholic since I was baptized as such on October 9, 1960, a few days after my birth. But I date my membership to that day in May when I was formally received, confirmed, and took my First Communion at Holy Family Catholic Church on Poplar Level Road, a place I have loved and worked hard for, at numerous events, picnics, bingos, and where I still lector at the 8:30 mass four months out of the year. It is likely that formal association will end in the next few weeks. I believe my move will be to the Episcopal faith, one that is very closely related to Roman Catholicism, but also one which is also very different. I haven’t completely decided, but I am very close. It has been and is a difficult decision for me. I’ve written about it several times during the life of the blog.

So I have this religious decision to make - and I am changing residences. I’ve also been offered a different job. The times they’re a’ changing. Change can be good, even when it is feared, whether the fear is founded in reality or not. Maybe it is middle-aged nerves giving way, knowing that when my birthday rolls around in the upcoming year, it will be my last before I hit 50. That startles me even now, twenty-two months ahead of the occasion.

Thus it is the blog is going on a needed respite, one I’ve been working toward for some time. To the 40,000th visitor, who arrived at 12:39 p.m. today all the way from somewhere in Germany, thank you for stopping by here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606. And to the 39,999 previous visitors, thank you too. I very much appreciate your visits.

Enjoy yourselves during the break. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Merry Christmas to those of you for whom, like me, that is important.

Here are some familiar words from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3.

All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.


Until the next entry, let this be a time of peace. See you around New Year’s.

-- Jeff

2 comments:

  1. Hi, nice blog!
    I love Thanksgiving day very much. I found a site with a lot of things about Thanksgiving. Maybe this will interest you: All about Thanskgiving Day!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Jeff, Your insight into all things is a needed addition to our world. I am not the most faithful and predictable visitor to your blog, but your views are those which need to be shared. So, take a break, if you must, as have I. But, please don't leave us. We need your perspective. And, I want to know from what perch you "watch" #44 inaugurated. XX O

    ReplyDelete

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Single, male, bald, overweight, early 50s, seeking . . . Oh wait, that's goes on the other website. How about this - never married, liberal Democrat, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.