Jesus’ Wine

And Jesus said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

I think wedding planners hate when this gospel is read, “Just stay with the good wine first, cheap wine after dinner.” Jesus, however, says and lives the opposite.

“Wine enters through the mouth, Love, the eyes. I raise the glass to my mouth, I look at you, I sigh.” ― William Butler Yeats

But that’s not our Christian faith as Jesus tells us, in spite of talking back to his mother. My mother would have had the soap out so fast…

“I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine.”
― William Shakespeare

Wine. It is the most special of all the spirits. If you think the Mass has a ritual just try sitting with a friend for dinner who considers himself a wine connoisseur. Big ritual. First the bottle is held in front of him, label up, as though it’s been a lost but now found treasure. The cork is popped and everyone’s delighted except the connoisseur who may wish to smell the cork, for whatever reason. A small portion is carefully poured into the connoisseur’s glass. Silence surrounds the table. Tensions mount. I’m just thirsty.

A swirl then occurs as the glass swirls measuring this one against other wines he’s enjoyed over the years. Finally, he takes a small sip. Swirling continues only now within his mouth. He swallows. And, without speaking, looks up at the waiter and smiles. We all give a huge sigh because we don’t need to go through a second or third attempt. The wine is then served, half full to us, patiently waiting, thirsting patrons.

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
― W.C. Fields

The gospel uses a wedding to illustrate our wedding – our union with God. Like man to woman is our Creator to the creature. To celebrate this union is, what else except, a glass of wine. Later to become his blood for our salvation.

Just like our human life, the lessor wine is served first. Interesting. Jesus does a magic trick with ordinary wine to show us the mystical giving of himself through his extraordinary death and resurrection.

Life has all its trials and successes, its doubts and its faithful beliefs – as best as we can be faithful to them. The end of life is the beginning of our complete life with God. Some people believe that this life is a test, testing whether we deserve that “good wine.” That’s a false belief. God’s kingdom on earth is the foretaste of life in heaven. (Get it? “Taste!) The song sings, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.” Taste and see and live and breathe God’s kingdom here and now, this very day, and then know that its fullness waits for us all.

“Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.”
― Louis Pasteur

Jesus transformed the first-served-cheap-wine into a new wine united with him. This occurs in both of our lives – the one here and now with him as our companion and guide, and along side of him in heaven.

Heaven’s wine-ritual isn’t that elaborate restaurant routine. Heaven’s wine is the tombstone inscription for Frank Sinatra, “The Best Is Yet To Come.”

God sings to each of us at the end of our lives, “The best is yet to come and won’t it be fine…the best it yet to come, come the day that you’re Mine.”

One more.

“Beer is made by men, wine by God.”
― Martin Luther


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Johnny & JC: Best Friends

We know them respectfully as John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. We honor them whenever the Mass calls for it.

But these two people were, indeed, people. Just like you and me. Their mysterious lives slowly unfold, just like ours. What was life like for these two cousins, one born of the Holy Spirit and the other born of who could have been his great-grandmother? Jesus and John.

Or, as they referred to each other as young boys, “Johnny and JC.” Johnny didn’t know what the “C” stood for, but it kinda sounded cool coupled with the letter “J.”

Wouldn’t Mary have yelled out, “Jesus, go see what your cousin is up to. You’ve been in the house reading all day.” “Oh, okay mom, just let me finish this chapter,” Jesus would reply. He’d see John (or now “Johnny”) by the seashore building a sand castle. Johnny called it “his kingdom” and Jesus (or now “JC”) would say, “But it’s only built of sand and won’t last the test of time. Let’s go for a run.” And the two of them, now being twelve or thirteen years old, would try to outrace each other from nowhere to whenever they lost their young steam. They’d both fall down laughing and wondering where to get a drink of desert water.

They didn’t live really close to each other but kept in touch as often as possible. Jesus’ parents allowed Jesus to spend the summers at John’s mother house (even though she looked more like his great-grandmother). They’d exchange books they both enjoyed and talk about their future lives, as teenagers do. JC wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as most boys during those times did. Johnny wasn’t sure what his father did for a living, but ever since his father got his voice back John thought that he also spoke well, and perhaps a public speaking future was in his job.

It may only be a coincidence but both admitted an itch inside themselves, but they couldn’t quite identify what it was. It was an itch that couldn’t be scratched. JC thought it was that he hadn’t traveled much. His mom told him about their trip to Egypt, but JC didn’t remember anything about it. Johnny loved to talk, sometimes too much, but he knew he needed a message; to talk about something important. JC told Johnny that he didn’t want to talk, he wanted to proclaim. JC thought about it and wondered if it was about a better life for humanity, a hopeful future not built on sand but by God. “Wow, JC” Johnny said, “You’ve been reading waaay too much.”

Since video games weren’t invented yet, JC and Johnny had plenty of time to enjoy nature, each other’s company instead of sitting on a couch staring at the television and holding the controls in your hands to kill everything that moved on the screen. One summer, Johnny taught JC how to swim, since Johnny was six months older. He almost lost JC a couple of times which would have changed our faith-filled history. After learning to swim, then JC’s walking on water would be a cinch years later. They both thought of each other as brothers more than cousins since both were the only child in their families. When Labor Day rolled around, JC return to rabbinical school and John, the same.

Around 27 or 28 years old, those childhood names changed to their real names as maturity set in. John knew that Jesus was right. His verb was not talking, it was proclaim. Jesus was beginning to have signals of his own that taking over his father’s business wasn’t the right father. It was the work of the capitol “F” father.

John looked at Jesus’ feet for over twenty years and knew Jesus needed to put his own sandals on, John couldn’t do it. John could only tell us, I mean, proclaim it about him. John welcomed many into a kingdom not made of sand, but he just had water. Jesus had the Holy Spirit.

But the Spirit was within John as well, beginning with his great-grandmother’s birth to losing his head over his best friend, his cousin, his brother. The destiny of Jesus is well known as well.

They’re both in heaven now because they did their job as we must do ours. But there’s also fun up there. Now, it’s back to “Johnny” and “JC” because that’s how they loved each other.


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“President Perfidy”

Donald “Scrooge” Trump (DST) coldly sits behind his desk and scolds Bob Crochet for putting another small coal on the fire when he wants mounds of coal on the fire to fire up the atomsphere.

Qualities include backstabbing, betrayal, business, disloyalty,
double cross, faithlessness, falseness, falsity, and infidelity.

“I suppose you want the whole day off tomorrow,” says DST. “If it’s not too much of bother, sir,” replies meek Bob with a son with a preexisting condition. “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” said DST, buttoning his great-coat to the chin.

Qualities include sellout, treachery, treason, two-timing and faithfulness.

The Ghost of Jacob Marley (Fred Trump),
“When I lived, my spirit, like yours, never walked beyond the narrow limits of our counting house.” “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob, I mean Fred,” says DST. Fred retorts, “Mankind should be our business, Ebenezer, I mean DST.”

DST is then visited by three ghosts:
The Ghost of Christmas Past – Roy Cohn
The Ghost of Christmas Present – James Comey, Michael Cohen, Jeff Sessions, John Roberts, Robert Mueller, John Kelly, and Stormy Daniels (I had to include her, such a cool name)
The Ghost of Christmas Future – U.S. citizens

Each ghost recreates or creates a picture of life beyond DST’s one-sided, selfish view of life and leads toward qualities like allegiance, devotion, faithfulness,
fidelity, loyalty, staunchness, and steadfastness.

The housekeeper says toward the end, “And in keeping with the situation, Merry Christmas and I’d highly recommend a heavy dose of therapy.”

Closing credits roll upwards as we roll downwards.


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The Vague & Nonspecific Catholic Confession

“Bless me Father for I’ve kinda sinned. My last confession was quite a while ago. Every so often, I miss Mass. Once in a while I curse at traffic. Now and then I tell a lie but nothing serious. Every now and then I get mad at my wife which I sometimes regret. Almost always I miss my morning and evening prayers.
Otherwise, I think I’m doing okay. Was I clear enough? Amen.”

My response: “For your penance, please learn to count. Amen.”


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The Christmas Surprise

thI wonder what happens to wonder as we age? How about the word anticipation? Or, how about that churchy word, awe. If I hear one more young person say, “It’s an awesome movie, you gotta see it” then I’ll lose it. Awesome is when the sun smashes into the earth, then she may rightly use that most awesome of words.

The Christmas season continues to be full of those exciting and inspiring words that are no longer mere words but feelings of something bigger. Always something larger than ourselves.

I will also lose it to those who say, “Been there, done that” as though boredom is now the order of their boring days. Or, equally vulgar is, “Same old, same old.” Said twice as though the first old just got older. And, the worst of all is, “It is what it is” as though resignation is their only recourse. Sad Christians, if they are even Christian anymore. Because Christianity is nothing and empty without those feelings of wonder, anticipation, and awe.

If you have children or grandchildren then you’re able to live those feelings through them. But what about your own excitement? Where do those three words continue to feel their way into your life? My spectacle is like a book with several chapters – all intended to capture the attention and devotion of a child.

Chapter One. Raised in the ’50s when the Iron Curtain was an imaginary and exaggerated fear, our home had its own iron curtain on Christmas Eve. Although only made of cotton, it still kept us from one place to the other. The “other,” in this case, was the decorated Christmas tree in our living room.

To this day, I have never decorated a Christmas tree. I’ve always had “people” to do it for me.  “People” in those days were my older brother and two sisters. Along with my parents, it was their job to prepare the tree while my younger sister and I were forced into Russia, aka grandmother’s house. (Sorry, grandma!) Those forever few hours tortured us wondering what would be under the Christmas tree and if it would shine and glimmer the way it did last year.

Chapter Two. The telephone call from the free world finally rings to Russia, and we are permitted to return to our homeland. Darkness and cold descend upon Manitowoc, Wisconsin. My grandmother has my little sister and I carry her wicker laundry basket full of gifts to the waiting car. The drive home finally arrives. (About ten minutes in real time but to a child, an infinity.)

When we arrive home we see the four separate letters my dad assembles and lights up each year on the front of our house. “Noel.” (He said he always wanted to spell “Leon” but thought the better of it.) Now this yearly dramatic ritual continues with even more suspense. Ritual, by the way, is the repetition of something to firmly fix within you something important. Repeated in real time, but recreated in aging minds ever since.
Chapter Three. We need to change into our pajamas but to do that, we need to get upstairs which is through the living room now blocked by the iron curtain. We promise to close our eyes while running through the living room upstairs. (What trust we placed in young people!) I only half-peeked once and have done self-imposed penance ever since. After changing, we need to return once more through this sacred and secretly decorated room. How much time has passed? Way too much for a youngster.

Chapter Four. The ritual continues. (If you thought Advent’s four weeks is long than you haven’t been to our home on Christmas Eve.) We kneel down (right next to the iron curtain) to pray the rosary. All five decades. All said supremely solemn as though to punish two young people all the more. The third decade brings the relief of something different. My younger sister gets to place the child Jesus in the manger crib. It was the gift of the youngest to do this. (I used to do it until she came along.)
The rosary is finally completed, and none too soon. With proud fanfare on all their faces, the iron/cotton curtain is removed, and the majestic Christmas tree lights up our dark living room. Smiles abound. Another Christmas ritual has been methodically and religiously carried out. Not a detail missed. Not a feeling ignored. The mounting momentum, a racing child’s pulse, the anticipation of another Christmas surprise that was really no different from the previous year is successfully carried out.

Chapter Five. The curtain separating us from wonder, anticipation, and awe has been removed and is now ours to savor and enjoy and carry us through the new year. Forever. Or at least, for another year. We attend midnight Mass when it was held at that hour. We return home. My dad eats some gelatin, artificial meat and for the rest, it’s ice cream.

It’s a memory that I hold dear to my life today. It’s those three words I said at the beginning that I pray none of you will ever forget. Feelings that define who we are Christians in our prayers and relationships.

Because of my age, I’m now considered a senior priest. So am I able to say along with Scrooge, “Humbug” because of the this’s or that’s in my life or the this’s or that’s of someone I like? Is that childhood Iron Curtain truly now made of iron instead of cotton? So am I now able to close with the antithesis and reverse of Advent, Christmas, and our beautiful Christian faith? “Been there, done that.” “It is what it is.”

Chapter Six…


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Advent’s “Perfection”

thWhat’s the word I’m looking for. Is it unparalleled or incomparable? Is it faultless or flawless? No, those are not the words I want. The word I want is “perfect.”

We look at someone in a wheelchair and thing to ourselves, “She’s perfect,” in other words, she’s doing her best under the circumstances. We soften words to show perfection. The “insane” are now mentally challenged, trying the best that they can. The term garbage men was dumped to become “sanitation engineers” and the title undertakers was buried to now be called “funeral directors.” Oh, and their hearse is now called a “coach.”

We attend Mass, this glorious amalgamation of our lives, and the word “perfection” is thrown out the window. Instead, feelings of being unworthy abound, feeling less then fills our hearts, and heaven becomes a game to win as though it’s a lottery ticket. Those thoughts often preoccupy and cloud our God-given souls. Feelings like that only hold us down when God’s intention is to always lift us up.

Can we rehear Zephaniah when he told those folks long ago and tells us during Advent,

“The Lord has removed the judgment against you he has turned away your enemies, the Lord, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. Fear not … be not discouraged! The Lord…is in your midst, he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.”

You may not agree with this but perhaps think and pray about it. You are perfect even in your imperfections. You are perfect in your goodness and in your hopes, both for yourself and for others. Sounds weird, but it’s really not.

You think that none of you are saints when all the saints were never, ever perfect in the dictionary meaning but truly perfect in their life’s efforts. That is our faith. I don’t want to be the one to tell you but you will continue to sin and you will always fall short. I do want to be the one to tell you that you will touch the lives of many people with grace-filled compassion, sympathy and selfless deeds.

I wonder at what age we finally own and embrace both our gifts and our sins. That’s the moment, I believe, that we truly become Catholic. That’s the pinnacle that, in faith, is called “perfection.”

Everybody was asking John the Baptist, “What do you want us to do?” It’s a question that we can only address in our personal lives, as did those holy saints. What are my strengths? Where do I continually fail? That’s uncovering perfection’s balance.

Now, back to Zephaniah. What song do you want God to sing at your heavenly festival? Which Paul Anka song? Is it that selfish preoccupation, “I Did It My Way,” or is it all the good we’ve done and continue to do, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder?”


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The Beauty of Aging

636042302610203500-903657500_agingWhat remains with the remains, when your future is far shorter than its past. Do you cue Peggy Lee’s, singing “Is That All There Is” or Frank singing to himself, “My Way?”

Aging. Most try to hide it as though it can be protected and others just let that Turkey neck take its course. All proudly displaying life’s earned wrinkles. Facial wrinkles? I thought of botox for myself until a dermatologist told me that as a priest, “No one would know what you’re feeling!” I didn’t have it done.

They are so proud of their many years when proudly saying, “I’m 86-and-a-half” as a youngster of soon-to-be-five says, “I’m 4-and-a-half.” Recall takes a few seconds (or longer). The person they met this morning at breakfast isn’t recalled but their friend of fifty years is instantly in sight, complete with memorable stories containing all its details. And talk about details! “Was that in 1941 or 42?” says the senior in the middle of an exciting remembrance. I think to myself that a year or two between friends doesn’t really matter, but I let the recalling pause pick a year. (That year may very well change at the conclusion of his/her story.)

They walk slower. It often takes three tries to get off the chair. Their appetite for food hasn’t changed (but watch your salt intake!) and for so many, their thirst for life, learning and spirituality has only been heightened. A 90-year-old came to my office and said that she’s Catholic but hasn’t practiced for many years. “What do I need to do?” I said, “You come to Mass.” She smiled at me as though some initiation was missing. I didn’t see her at Mass for years but subbing at Alexian Village now, I see her every Sunday. Silent but present in her 96th year.

They remember when wars were fought for a nation instead of presidents. They remember when a sports coat or dress were worn for religious services instead of looking like you’re going to a baseball game. With failing health amid pains, they gladly share that, “I’m fine, but thanks for asking.”

They hoard more they need or admit, they’re sad when that granddaughter’s promised call on their birthday was missed but only remark, ”She’s so busy.” The bottles of wine or whiskey are in a secret cabinet as well as those sleeping pills, “That my doctor told me to take.” Yeah, right.

They want three things, whereas a younger person wants only two of the three. Older adults want to be understood, appreciated and remembered. Young people are too young to care about of the last one.

Older adults want a piece of you, every single day. A part of your ear to hear about their bowel or bladder experience the previous day (I learned that eating with older adults includes this topic), a piece of your smile that tells them to continue living as best they can, a part of your nose that smells behind the spoken word about something going on in their lives that they’re not sharing, a small step to walk with them through lost best friends or the pet that seemed to mean more to them than their son or daughter, and a mouth that only speaks encouraging, thoughtful words along with a hint of humor to lighten up even the gravest of situations.

Older adults. You gotta love ‘em. They are showing us, as best they can, what it means to continue growing and how we may very well act and behave if we reach their lucky old age.


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Advent’s “Sidekick”

“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.”
John the Baptist

pictures-of-jesus-greg-olson-way-of-joyWe all tend to think that we’re important people…and we are, yet how many times in our lives do we need to step back and be the second banana, the sidekick.

Johnny Carson had his banana, second, of course. Ed would introduce Johnny and then sit on the couch and laugh at each passing remark, whether funny or not … for 30 years. Jack Benny had Don Wilson. “The Price is Right” had Johnny Olson. “Jeopardy” and “Saturday Night Live” had Don Pardow. Joey Bishop had Regis Philbin and Merv Griffin had Arthur Treacher.

They were the those guy’s sidekicks. They’re the ones who didn’t create shadows; it’s the star in whose shadow they stood. After their routine build-up of the star they were out of the picture.

And so enters and exits John the Baptist. I guess if you wore camel’s hair and ate locust with wild honey long enough you couldn’t be the star.  It’s “someone else,” John keeps telling us building up the suspense until the star arrives.

Who would be our sidekick in this wonderful journey of life? You’d might guess who I think it is.  The most significant is our parents and those who become parents. They are the ones who paved the way for children to enter this world, fed/clothed/admonished/counseled and tons of others duties to help enter each of life’s stages.

Advent is about anticipation. We kinda know what’s coming but we’re not sure how or when or most importantly, who we will be. No matter how many Christmases you’ve honored through your life, you don’t know what this Christmas will bring, will mean, or will prove out to be.

A Christmas for many of you may your first full-time or your last, a child’s first big gift under the Christmas tree, a resolve to do better at work or in your relationships, a hope that things go as well next year as they did for you this year or … or is it a wish that it has to get better after this awfully long year of whatever preoccupied your attention.
“Honey, did you put the quarter under her pillow, you know she lost a tooth this morning.” “I got it covered dear, it’s done.” Sidekick.

“Honey, you know that promised raise at work? Well, I got it.” Star.
Here’s an example when both husband and wife are star and sidekick. “I know you’re right,” says the lying husband.

To humanize John the Baptist a bit, I believe that his first thought must have been that he’s the star. After all, his mother was way beyond child bearing years and yet, here he is. His cousin, Mary is pregnant but he’s six months older so surely he must be the chosen one. I wonder if Ed ever hosted “The Tonight Show.” I doubt it. It took a “desert experience” for both John and Jesus to figure out their role in life. We need to have “desert experiences” as well.

People and situations can all be sidekicks and stars in our one performance called life.  They can introduce us to all sorts of circumstances – some welcomed, sometimes forced, other times tolerated.

I given us all both roles in this life’s journey. What if we are the sidekick to someone else. The husband says to himself holding his wife’s hand in hospice, “I was supposed to die first,.” You are then wearing the dreadful camel’s hair and eating locust with that obligatory wild honey. But you wouldn’t change it for anything. You were both star and sidekick to your own children – propelling them into a world that was foreign to you but trusting that they’d succeed – even counseling a grandchild with advice you’re not sure is heard. (Believe me, grandchildren listened. I’ve heard grandchildren tear up during your funeral eulogizing what an influence you’ve had on them.)

We can be and are both the sidekick and the star of our one life’s performance. Sometimes we get to sit behind the desk with the microphone … and other times we must … sit on the couch and laugh on cue. Both roles are necessary because, “The show must go on.”


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“The Book Is Better”

film-reelHow many times the comment is made when the movie ends, “I liked it, but the book is better.”

The book. Full of page after page of descriptive information and most especially nuances that film can never capture. “They left out a whole part of her life,” says the moviegoer. Condensed into two hours what took hundreds of pages to develop, explore and explain.

How often can we treat family and friends as though we’re watching a movie? We’ve condensed them into characters or isolated situations and freeze frame them. Sometimes, forever. Where’s that fuller context, those subtle feelings and unspoken words that only a book can contain instead of a film that feebly attempts to capture emotions through a glance, a smile, a frown or just walking away.

Reading a book first can wreck your moving watching experience. How about making your relationships like reading a book instead of segmented scenes that we seem to freeze into our minds and hearts. The complexity expressed in the written word stirs the imagination and drives us deeper into the life of the heroine or her villain. Films are linear when the read page brings to life the depth of anger, happiness or separation.book_PNG2115

Dad waves goodbye to his estranged young son in the film’s closing scene with his practiced tear. Credits roll, and you’re left with what you think he’s feeling. The book contains the same parting scene, but you’re able to smell and breathe the sensations he was feeling. (Yes, you can smell a book’s words!)

Relationships ought to rightly and justly be about reading instead of viewing. Our lives are about smells, scents, complexities, and wonders. A movie teases us just as our judgments do about someone or even about ourselves. The book of each of our lives is fully human – never to be viewed from a comfortable seat and eating popcorn from afar but front row seats seated next to those we love and care for.



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Every Thing Works, Except Me

Every thing is working now, except me.

My kitchen faucet said “Farewell” two weeks ago, and it took two weeks for the plumber to charge me $400.00. I couldn’t use the garbage disposal, so I’m hoping it still works. Washing dinner dishes in the bathroom was kinda fun, like being on a camping trip. The toaster still works as long as you’re willing to watch paint dry. My coffee machine stopped providing inviting morning caffeine scents, so the Mr. was replaced with a new Mr. Those wonderful scents resumed.

The wall mounted grandfather clock that I’ve had for over twenty years needed a tuneup. Sadly, I was without his quarterly sounds for a quarter of a year. “My repair man has a day job,” said the owner which ended that relationship. The clock is working again as long as I tuneup it up myself each week.

Relationship. We all love that word. It means connection, investment and a working partnership that becomes a comfortable, predictable routine. “Do your job, and we’ll be happy,” says me in my quiet apartment. Owen, my cat, wasn’t doing his job. He was working at being a happy cat until peeing became a problem. (For me, a $1,400.00 problem.) He approaches me one night and yells out what humans would translate as, “Do something!” I did, and now he’s proficient at the art of relieving himself.

Pens that stop working, I don’t mind. I’ve got lots of them. Setting light timers to work when I want them to has always been a hassle with tiny buttons that either go up or down to turn on or off. Very frustrating twice a year until the beauty of Wifi allowed me to buy Alexia controlled lights. All the lights now obey hers and my commands. (My stupid timers are now available on eBay for those who still watch black and white television.) Speaking of Wifi, I tried Apple TV hoping it would work but I tired of waiting and watching its pizza sign spin and spin right as the criminal was about to be killed.

Cable companies love me since they’ve all worked for me. Even satellite worked for me for a short time. I suspect I have an AT&T record – nine technicians in one month working for me. One of them softly told me just to cancel the service, “It’s just not gonna work for you.” With Spectrum’s strong Wifi, I have a good working relationship with Netflix, HBO, and Showtime for my evening enjoyment.

My fifteen-year-old desktop computer valiantly worked for me until turning it on now sounds like my stomach in the morning. (How do you grieve an excellent, reliable relationship with a machine?!) It still tries but can’t seem to achieve working capability. (Make it now a coffee table so it can continue working?)

I’m not a pessimist, but I swear my water heater will no longer be working, but it is. I wait for the cold to continue but it doesn’t. But I’m still not working. My days stay cold, sometimes lukewarm, but the heat eludes me.

My two cats are sound asleep now, so I guess they’re working in their own way. They wonder why I’m home so much since they’re accustomed to eight hours of freedom. I assure them that it’s okay yet I’m still not working, but the things around me seem to be working quite well.

My new book is “Chiseled Grace,” available at



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