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Scenes from my first Christmas

Yes, this is my First Christmas.....as a Deacon of course. Fr. Andrew reminded me and the entire congregation of that, along with the story ...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Canada, family, cheese,lector,and......

For several months now Terry and I have been planning and really looking forward to heading back to Canada after three years. We planned this way back promising to use our tax refund to get our passports. So yesterday was the big day. Three years of staying out of Canada because we didn't have a passport or a card. We left early with my Mom and my cousin. The trip there is about two and half hours. We arrived at the border across from Beecher Falls Vt. and we were met by a very friendly Canadian Border guard. He asked us the typical questions that we were expecting and he threw in one about pepper spray and mace being illegal in Canada and to declare it isn't a problem, but to not and they find out we had it certainly would be. No problem for us, as we have never had this. We asked a question that was on our mind, about whether or not passports were really necessary. His answer was "NO!" He said our media was supplying us with misinformation, probably to scare us our avoid us spending dollars in Canada. Anyways we arrived at the reunion about 10 am and had breakfast with some of our family members. People continued to arrive throughout the day and it was everything we had hoped for, family, beautiful weather and my Mom smiling all day long. The joy in her face was so priceless we stayed until about 8 pm. A trip to Canada wouldn't be complete without Canadian curd cheese, the kind that is used in making poutine (a french Canadian tradition). We were unsure because of the time whether or not the dairy would be open and sure enough it was. We traveled back home after a short break and arrived back late, and both of us were sleeping by 11:30 pm.

Today I was lector again for the third straight week. I replaced someone a couple of weeks ago and I was scheduled the last two weeks. Fr. Mark was the celebrant and again he didn't disappoint in his homily. I will need to ask him how he can do it so well with no notes. The man is simply amazing. He gets to the point and the message is so clear. Mass moved along quickly and at the end of Mass he made his final announcements and then looked at his watch and said " Mitch, we still have 15 minutes left, do I do another homily?" I said "Yes!" He said "No!" On the way out he reminded me the answer is always...."No!" We were all at the entrance of the Church and talking with everyone as they left and unlike times in the past, I get the sense that people wanted to talk, to share, and just say Hi! Maybe it was because of my reading for the past few weeks, maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend, and maybe it's because the Spirit is moving all of us in this direction.

After Mass as I was walking to my car I saw my best friend's uncle who is battling cancer. He nearly died a while back and I was shocked to see that he attended Mass. We talked, we shared, we laughed, and best of all we were together. I touched him on the shoulder and told him I would pray for him. Again, the Spirit is there and stirring something inside of all of us.

I went to see my folks after Mass and they asked me to go out to dinner with them. I told them I would be back after I changed and they said 12:30 would be great. I picked them up and they said "You pick Mitch!" I said let's go to Mr. Pizza in Gorham. We arrived and sat down, looked at our menu's and then a lady came over to hug my Mom. It was my cousin from Virginia. Coincidence, I think not! We had another little reunion sharing, breaking of bread, laughing, and being there with each other.

This has been my weekend so far, a little bit of everything, kinda like a smorgasbord of life. Looking back I couldn't help but think of what my friend Steve said at the funeral on Friday, "listen to that inner voice,.....and just do it, whatever the Spirit moves you to do!"

Bonjour et Adieu, mes Amis!


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