Friday, May 20, 2016

Getting into Spring?

It is hard to believe that we are in the midst of the spring season. It has been cooler than usual and now that it is May, we are getting the April showers. But alas, we don't have control of the weather.

Yesterday, I attended the gradation ceremonies of Bergen Community College held at the Meadowlands Met Life stadium in New Jersey. My sister (Dr. Jeanie Payne) was the Grand Marshal for the event. It was her last responsibility as professor of microbiology at the college...She is now officially retired. I can't help thinking that we have lived parallel professional lives in the academic world. We both retired as full professors and both worked at our respective institutions for 26 years. I continue to reflect on our parents who were very deliberate in stressing education and the professional life. Now we both can reflect on our working years.

I continue to reflect on the aging process. So many of my friends are having regular visits to the doctor. No, not doctor, but, doctors. There are so many specialists we have to see. I don't think the visits decrease as we get older. Our discussions always include the most recent doctor's appointment and the dosage of medication we are taking. We heard our grandparents talking that way.

Last Friday, 13 May 2016 was graduation from the seminary. What made it truly a great experience was the presence of Mbele Maipopo. He had received an STM degree from Gettysburg Seminary in 1994. He was a good student and his election to the office of Bishop in Tanzania is well deserved.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Catching up!

Please note - This post was written two days before Ash Wednesday

I can't believe that it is just a few days before Ash Wednesday and I haven't written since the Advent season. Christmas in Brooklyn was good even with the added diversion of dialysis. The beginning of the New Year was pleasant which included a New Year's day luncheon with friends in Arlington, Virginia and the following Sunday another luncheon with friends who had recently adopted their son from China.

I continue to reflect on the fragility of life. My graft for dialysis clogged and I had to have a temporary catheter inserted. I then had the graft flushed at York Hospital. So far it is working and I had the catheter removed on yesterday, 5 February.

I finished the second term of Difficulté du français at the Alliance Française. It is challenging and invigorating. Véronique is an excellent instructor. I also enjoy the people in the class who come from a variety of vocations. In addition to the class and students, I enjoy the eating lunch at Bistro du Coin, a French restaurant which is on my way to the Dupont Circle metro station. By the way, I am registered for the Spring term. I continue to be fascinated by the French language.

A year later

Yesterday, 24 February, marked one year since I had my heart attack and was hospitalized at York Hospital. I am feeling very thankful for all the support I had and continue to have following my by-pass surgery. Family and friends continue to give me support. Although dialysis keeps me on schedule for Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I am still able to get around...I just have to plan more carefully.

To change my Gettysburg routine, I enrolled again for a workshop at the Alliance Française (Difficulté du Français). Half of the class are from the winter term. The first session was today. It is enjoyable to be with other Francophiles.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent 2

Today is a mild November day. It is a great time to venture out but after church, I just feel like staying at home and catching up with my least that was the plan. A lot has happened since my last post a few months ago.

For the first time in over 26 years, I attended the Gettysburg College Christmas Concert on Saturday evening (December 7). It was great music. I heard Ralph Vaughn Williams', "Hodie" for the first time (in my memory). I am definitely going to purchase a recording of the work. I'm glad that Tom Jolin e-mailed and asked me to go along with him and his wife. Unfortunately, she was on call for several births and decided remain home. This afternoon I attended, for the first time, the Gettysburg Civic Chorus Christmas concert. It was a good concert, however, I could not help but look at the audience. Most of the people were senior citizens. Will there be music lovers in numbers to attend such concerts in this season or any other time of the year? While I enjoy the traditional carols, it was good to hear pieces composed in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Last weekend at this time I was on my way from New York. More precisely I was in Alexandria having lunch with Patricia Pasqual with whom I drove from NY. This has become a holiday travel tradition. I pick her up from her family home in Jamaica, Queens and we venture on I-95. This past trip was uneventful (we beat the traffic).

Last Saturday, November 28, was my birthday. With Jeanie, Robert, and Pat, my birthday treat was dinner at Caffè Taci, on E. 54th Street in Manhattan with the Opera Nights at Papillon Restaurant. There were great singers and arias for us diners. With dessert came the singing of "Happy Birthday." I remembered that I had my iPhone and recorded it. What a great 68th birthday!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A good weekend

It was a great weekend with installation of Bishop Matthew Riegel of the West Virginia/Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America a former student at Gettysburg Seminary. I left Friday afternoon with Dr. Crump and Pr. Herr (that is another story). That evening, Bill Ridenhour arranged the dinner at a local restaurant with great conversation and good food. At the installation, it was interesting to see so many former students participating....the years go by so quickly.
This morning's guest preacher at St. James (Gettysburg) was the Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann. Excellent as well as passionate sermon!...This evening was "A Dylan Thomas Evening" with the poet Tony Curtis of Wales. In addition, the Gettysburg College Camerata/the Sunderman Woodwind Quintet/Elizabeth Asmus performed. A marvelous cultural evening!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Musical Weekend

This was an interesting weekend. For the first time I attended the Gettysburg Brass Festival. While there were a number of events, I attended the following: Thursday - Adams County Community Band, Gettysburg Big Band; Friday - Antebellum Marine Band, Lancers Senior Drum and Bugle Corps; Saturday - Atlantic Brass Band and Athena Brass Band. The Athena Brass Band is an all female brass band composed of women from the military as well as various professions who come from around the country to produce great music.

While I am familiar with orchestral and choral music, the brass repertoire is new to me. Thanks to Tom Jolin, local folk musician and fellow St. James Lutheran Church member, who invited me to attend the festival. This event will certainly be on my agenda next year.

I have to admit that through my post-surgery recovery period I have come to appreciate the events that take place in Gettysburg during the summer months. One of the benefits of retiring in a college and seminary town is the availability of quality music and lecture events for free or minimal cost.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

This was a glorious Easter for me. One month ago (March 5) I had open-heart surgery.  On April 5, this Easter Sunday, I was worshipping at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, PA celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. While at worship I could not help but think that one month ago at the same time I was undergoing the surgery and in the hands of the medical personnel at York Hospital. Today, I was so thankful to be in the community of believers with my sister and brother-in-law singing, hearing, and reflecting on the audible and visible Word. Each day I feel better, different, and experience my body recovering. I am thankful for the prayers from family and friends.

Christ is risen....He is risen, indeed!