Back Yard Oklahoma Fun Before There Were iPods

High Jump

Before there were iPods and iPads and computer games, there was the back yard tetherball pole and high jump pit.

Back in 1968, when I was 12 years old, I spent hours and hours and hours playing tetherball — trying to develop the perfect serve.

But the really serious athletic training involved the high jump.

That’s because I was inspired by Olympics high jumper Dick Fosbury and his Fosbury Flop.

That summer, I stood 4-ft-4 tall, on a stretch, and I was determined to jump that high.

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Do You HEAR Me Dripping Adrenaline?

Tasmanian Devil

It’s late.

I’m relaxing in the recliner.

Reading. Sort of. Zzzzzzzz.

Hearing aids are out.

Because I do not want to be disturbed.

Happy sigh.

But then I hear something disturbing.

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A Sad Thing Happened Today in New Zealand

It was crappy, cold, rainy weather.

Bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic on Blockhouse Bay Road, my thoroughfare going home.

All I could think about was taking some Panadol, and crashing out with a heating pad on my aching neck.

So much bloody traffic.

Then I saw him.

A really old man, broken down on the other side of the four-lane road.

I could see that his front left tire was flat; that one of those emergency Jap tires was up on the sidewalk.

And the really old man was trying to remove his flat “tyre”, as they say in New Zealand.

Judging by his flustered face and exhaustion, I figured he must have been hard at it for some time.

I thought to myself, “surely somebody is going to stop and help that old man.”

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Toad Strangler Oklahoma Rain

rain

I’ve lived in Singapore, and I don’t think monsoon rains come down as hard, or as sideways, as what poured down on me as a kid growing up on Nebraska Street.

When the skies opened up in Oklahoma, man, that was something to behold.

I remember water gushing out of the downspout so hard that it ripped up the grass and turned the yard into a mud bog.

The volume of water was so huge it would pour out over the sides of the gutter, and come down in absolute sheets.

If you ran underneath, it was like having a pitcher full of ice water poured right down your back.

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The Morning After The Night Before

blog church art

When I was young, the headline above referred to waking up with a monstrous hangover.

Today, it refers to being back in the world after a weekend of immersion in a spiritual retreat called the Eucharistic Convention.

I feel sort of like a sponge whose every pore had been filled with water, and then squeezed dryer than dry.

The hangover cure for me today is the same as way back when – hair of the dog that bit you.

But now, instead of that “hair” being booze, it was spending the morning with a wise, old priest.

I have a thing for wise, old priests. Priests who have suffered. Priests who are holy.

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We’re Still (Trying to Be) Holy in NZ; Funny Should Resume Next Week

Our Lady Undoer of Knots art

Our Lady Undoer of Knots

 

If you came expecting post-Easter humor, you’re a week too early.

This week, friends and neighbors, features the Eucharistic Convention, a major Catholic event that we’ve helped organize for years.

Before you flee in horror, check these people out.

Bob and Freda Narev – When Bob “Narewczewitz” was nine years old, “home” to him and his mother was the horrific Theresienstadt concentration camp in Poland. When they were liberated in 1945, Bob was one of only 150 children who made it out alive.  Freda, from an Orthodox Jewish family, spent the last years of the war hiding on a farm, “living as a Catholic” to escape the Nazis.  Bob and Freda somehow made it to New Zealand, met, raised a family and received the highest awards possible for service to the Jewish and general communities.

Roy Schoeman was born outside of New York City to Jewish parents who had survived the Holocaust.  Roy received his Jewish education and formation under some of the most prominent Rabbis in contemporary American Jewry.  He went to MIT and then Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA magna cum laude.  He joined the Harvard faculty and quickly became a ‘rock star’ professor of marketing.  He lost his faith, but then had several supernatural experiences (sort of falling into Heaven), and eventually converted to Catholicism.  His first book for Ignatius Press, Salvation is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History, was a surprise best-seller.

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Easter Sunday — He Is Risen

Risen

 

1 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre.

2 And suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it.

3 His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow.

4 The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they were like dead men.

5 But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, ‘There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay,

7 then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has risen from the dead and now he is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him.” Look! I have told you.’

8 Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.

9 And suddenly, coming to meet them, was Jesus. ‘Greetings,’ he said. And the women came up to him and, clasping his feet, they did him homage.

10 Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; there they will see me.’

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