"We Don't Have a Baby in the House Anymore"

After Mother's Day "We don't have a baby in the house anymore," Maria had several times told me in a nostalgic tone. Our youngest grandchild is old enough to go to school. "Why, do you want to have a baby in the house at this stage of our lives? But why?" I asked. " I just love babies," she replied. "Sorry, but we can't have one anymore. You are past your child-bearing age. Unless we adopt one," I said jokingly. But that would not be your "apo" (grandchild). Months later, our son and daughter-in-law happily announced that they were going to have another baby. "There you have it. Your wish-come-true," I said to Maria. She was thrilled. Grandma Maria wakes up early whenever Baby Soleil is

"As Far As My Knee Can Bend"

A Mother's Day Tribute to Mom For over a year now, it has been no longer possible for me to make a single genuflection (bending a knee to touch the floor) as called for in some church practice and liturgies. My knee can go only halfway unless I make a laborious time-consuming effort that could end in a fall unless I hold on to a prop. The alternative is just to make a reverent bow or let my knee bend as far as it can go. As an altar server in my youth, I knew the proper way to make a genuflection. I knew its exact meaning and why we do it at certain times, like before entering a pew in church, or when passing across the tabernacle where the Eucharist is kept. Most priests genuflect after the

A Peace Offering

The other day, when my wife opened the front door, she saw a  plastic grocery bag containing a loaf of banana bread and a small piece of paper on which is written: "Peace Offering. I placed flowers on flower bed. OK. PS.   Hope we can always be brothers in Christ. I love you. John. Thank you for your kindness." John is the grass cutter whom I have written about in two previous blogs. He is a  former Catholic who does not share my belief about honoring our Blessed Mother the way we do. Mary's shrine occupies a prominent position on our front landscape. The previous day, when I handed him a check for his work that morning, I noticed an uncut swath of grass around one side of a flower bed. He s

"Behold the birds of the air . . ."

My wife and I have a new pastime or means of entertainment. It's bird-watching (and feeding) at home. We both enjoy waiting for birds to alight on our deck and observing them as they feed on bird seeds that we make sure are always there. So far, we have seen cardinals with their red wings and crest and black face and red beaks, and their female counterparts with soft brown and gray color bodies and wings. There are sparrows colored brown, purple and house finches, and bigger birds like Mourning Doves. We hope other bird species will eventually come, especially blue jays. It is enjoyable and relaxing to see the colorful birds walking on our deck picking up the seeds with their beaks and spitt

"It's All Covered!"

"It's all covered," the waitress serving my wife and me at a late lunch the other day in a Korean restaurant said when I asked for our check. "What do you mean?" I asked. "Your meal has been paid for," she answered. "By whom?" I was surprised. "It's been paid for. It's all covered." "But by whom? I'd like to know so I can thank him and also find out why we deserved this act of kindness," I insisted. "It's an African-American guy who was sitting across your table waiting for his take out food order. He is not here anymore," the waitress replied. Before we left, my wife approached her to ask for more details about our unexpected benefactor. The waitress said, "He did not give his name, but he

Two Trash Collectors

This morning I immediately jumped out of bed after my sleep was interrupted by what I thought was a single ring of our doorbell. When I opened the door, there was no one there, so I went back upstairs. Soon after, I heard the alarm of a car, and when it stopped, I thought it was one of my neighbor's cars. When I looked out the window, I saw two trash men beside their truck pointing to my door, but since I could not figure out what they were saying, I went down again and opened the door. They also pointed to the driveway. That was when I understood. They had seen my bunch of keys on my driveway and hung it on my door! It was they who pressed my car key to sound its alarm, rang my doorbell,