Friday, October 16, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday - My first edition

I grew up in a generic suburban community featuring homes that looked amazingly similar with an occasional strip plaza and several TrueValue hardware stores; street after street of three bedroom ranches as far as the eye could see.  One warm Saturday afternoon I rode my bike down the main road out toward the eastern horizon, and after an hour happened upon an old village lined with turn-of-the-century buildings, an old opera house, and neighborhoods filled with homes that looked as though they hopped right out of a victorian painting.  I wondered delightedly in the frantic heat of discovery whether anyone else knew this Shangri-La existed besides me, and when I returned home breathlessly to relate my experience to my slightly amused parents I realized there is a lot of world I don't know about...

Each time I delve into the blogosphere I feel much like that young boy on his bike, discovering new and exciting avenues to communicate and learn from a community that seems to have no bounds.  Today I rode into a village hosted by Jennifer, featuring a fun new endeavor: Seven Quick Takes.  By the list of participants, I need not wonder if anyone has discovered THIS Shagri-La; and so, trusting on the hospitality of our host I submit my first edition for your parousal.

My diocese is converting the school building of one of the few inner-city parishes to remain open into a museum of the "faith community that was", featuring artifacts from the Polish community that has long since moved out and from parishes that have been given the axe.  As I consider this move a tune comes to mind..."They took all the churches and put 'em in a church museum, and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em...Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got 'til its gone..."

RCIA season has kicked in high gear, and I am flyin' high that a young man I have invited is attending class.  Converts are so cool.  As a cradle Catholic I am always amazed and enthused by those discovering the faith for the first time.  It is a lot like the excitement I feel when I take my kids somewhere new and exciting - no matter how many times I have been there, seen that, bought the T-shirt, when someone gets THAT excited I can't help but be drawn in.  Props to the converts.

My "birthday retreat" is fast approaching!  I will be spending the weekend with the Cistercians at the Abbey of the Genesee for my annual retreat, and I can't wait.  Pure Silence...not even a sigh allowed.   As a father of nine, ER Nurse, and Missionary silence is a commodity more precious than silver or gold.  I adopt their schedule: bed by 7:30PM, up by 2:30AM for prayer.  Of course, while they go to work in their bakery, infirmary, or wherever they are assigned, I go back to my room and nap.  I love it there - the soft intonation of the psalms, the prayerful silence, the beauty of working the land, the simple rough-hewn pews; I've got to do this more often...

The Buffalo Sabres once again are cashing in on an enormously horrible Buffalo Bills team that can't seem to understand that it is a professional football organization.  The Sabres are playing some incredible hockey, and I couldn't be more thrilled - nor can this city of sports fans eager for effort from their teams.  As if things aren't bad enough at One Bills Drive, a group of knuckleheads are paying for a billboard calling for the dismissal of Dick Jauron, head coach of the Bills.  Why blue-collar workers in a town that knew recession before recession was cool would spend their hard-earned money on this idiocy is beyond me.

The frost is on the pumpkin...Buffalo has enjoyed some warm fall seasons the last few years, but don't count this one.  Global warming seems to have forgotten us as the evenings dip below freezing.  It's fireplace season, but our fireplace is sadly out of commission: the screen keeps falling off (a bummer during actual fires) and creosote build up is pretty bad.  I don't want to risk having those pesky firemen chopping my chimney down with their big ol' axes...the chimney guys can't come too soon.

I soooooo wanted to be in Rome for the canonization of Fr. Damian of Molokai, but it wasn't meant to be.  I lived it out vicariously, though, through a group of scouts from Hawaii who made the trip.  Check out their site.  I can only imagine the great joy of the people of Hawaii...Maybe I couldn't get to Rome because the Lord wants me to go to Molokai.  It would be a tough journey, but if God wants it...(toungue firmly in cheek).  Fr. Damian is my hero.  My entire nursing career is inspired by his love and service. 

And the slang terminology of many of my patients, "I got the swines".  H1N1, inevitable for ER nurses everywhere, hit the Marciniak household this week; my eldest son, my little rosebud Amelia, and I all experiencing fevers, sore throats, coughing spells, headaches, and the like.  Like most, our symptoms are manageable and we are doing well.  Join me in prayer for those who are suffering severe symptoms, including two young sons of co-workers presently in the ICU at Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and for all those children who have died, now over eighty in the last few weeks.  Thankfully, most of us just need a little ibuprofen for a few days and we're back on our way.


  1. +JMJ+

    I love the creative numbers! =D

    (I'm sorry that I don't have anything more worthwhile to say . . .)

  2. Thanks, and thanks for turning me on to the 7 Quick Takes - saw it on your site first!

  3. I have wanted to do the 7 Quick takes but by the time Friday rolls around, I am scratching my head!! Great post! I pray your retreat goes well!

  4. +JMJ+

    Colleen: It sometimes takes me two or more weeks to come up with seven! I write them as they come to me and then save the post as a draft until I have the right number. ;-)

  5. After this first "foray" into the Seven Quick Takes I have decided to set mine up according to what's important in my life: 1. Faith. 2. Marriage. 3. Children. 4. Ministry. 5. Work. 6. Sports. 7. Grab bag - whatever hits me as silly that week! Hopefully this will help, and as my week progresses I will fill in the blanks. I think this will be fun...

  6. Nice feature! Hope you and the family will recover soon. God Bless.

  7. Enbrethiliel & David, thank you both. They are both good ideas. I might try it. God bless!

  8. +JMJ+

    David's idea is great! I might try it next week. (Even if it helps me come up with enough Takes for this week, I have a Friday Night Movie scheduled!)


I am always interested and appreciative of your comments and thank you for taking the time. God bless you.