Monday, August 11, 2008


It was a lovely morning to go to church! I sang the service at St. Luke’s while Mick cleaned the house. Father Joe was away on vacation and I was in hopes that the visiting preacher would be less wordy than the good Father, but it was not to be. This fellow spent an inordinate amount of time explaining that God comforts us and that’s how we make it through everything. That is certainly true but he did not make me laugh with his stories, as Father Joe always does. All in all, I want Father Joe back!

We began our first film, Freedom Writers, starring Hillary Swank, with lunch. As soon as the titles finished rolling, I fell deeply asleep and when I awoke, the film was ending! So I cannot rate this film. However Mick said it was wonderful, heart-warming and based on a true story. It is a film that shows just how much difference one teacher can make in a young person’s life. People from Swank’s character’s real-life English class have often been the first in their family to go to college.

Our second film, Turn the River, was a slight but enjoyable film about a pool hustler, played with verve and against stereotype by Famke Janssen, who has lost custody of her son because of her rootless ways. Her son is unhappy and she determines to get enough money together to get her son out of town and across the border into Canada, so as to escape being brought into custody for the kidnapping. Rip Torn shines as a seedy pool hall owner with a heart of gold. The production values were good, but the ending left a lot to be desired.

During our break time, I heard from an old friend, Lee B, who called from California. Lee has been a friend since my college days, a gentle, kind and extremely thrifty man and a serious philosopher. Both his nature and his metaphysics tend towards the Buddhist, although he follows no doctrinal path. I am most fond of Lee and it was good to catch up with him.

I also delighted in writing Talitha, Rick and Bob R to thank them for their videos and photos, which I now have viewed! That to-do list is down to two items now, besides the two plant projects with which Mel is helping me – reading Papa’s Journals and catching up our scrapbook. I think I have just enough time to do those last two chores before August 15th, the deadline for Homecoming attendees to submit their topics for discussion/presentations. After that, I will put in my office hours collecting quotes for each person’s topic. It has been very comforting to me to get all these office details accomplished this summer!

Our third film, Blood Brothers, looked to be beautifully done during its first ten minutes, but Mick is allergic to subtitles, so we did not finish viewing it but rather turned to the Olympic Games on television.

They were showing swimming and women’s gymnastics tonight. It is stirring to watch the competition, and we cheered for Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak as they set a world record in the 4x100 men’s relays, finishing in 3:08.24. France was expected to win this event but had to settle for second place, with Australia coming in third. It was also nifty to see Phelps collect his second Gold Medal of the eight he hopes to win by the end of the Games.

Gary joined us for supper and the Gaia Meditation, at which Gary offered the closing prayer.