Monday, April 30, 2007

Honoring Nick Polizzotto

Cpl. Nick Polizzotto was killed in the line of duty last week. His funeral was this morning. The homeless shelter happened to be on the route of the funeral procession - as we were last year for Scott Severns, last year's fallen police officer - and we all stood on the sidewalk and waved small flags and watched 250 police cars go by, in addition to the hearse.

I don't think about police officers much. I ought to - I see Eldon, Ron and PJ at work all the time. They take turns doing the evening shift at the shelter and I often have them walk me to my car if I'm working late. Their work at the shelter is, for the most part, mercifully mundane. They monitor the north doors where people come in for the NA meeting, they help us out when we're calling an ambulance for a sick or injured guest, they have good sit-down talks with unruly teenage boys ... but I don't think much about what else they encounter in their job. Of course any one of us could encounter violence in our everyday lives ... but to put on that uniform and put on the responsibility for facing whatever might happen, for protecting ... me ...

thank you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

diary of a solo road trip

  • Departure. I am full of energy, my car is full of fuel. Lord, bless this trip.
  • I love the radio ... whip out my NPR Station List and find something good to listen to.
  • Rest stop. Mentally debating the pros and cons of automatic-flush toilets. Check out the turnpike map and figure out which rest stop will have the best lunch.
  • Drive drive drive.
  • Lunch break: good food, good book, pretend I am not on a road trip. No need to hurry!
  • Drive drive drive.
  • Food coma ... zzz ... not a good place to fall alseep.
  • Mmm .. Starbucks.
  • Starbucks-induced car dancing. Dance dance dance drive.
  • Scan through the same three radio stations in the boondocks, over and over. One plays novelty country songs.
  • Hold my breath all the way through the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel.
  • Veer slightly out of my lane because of a gorgeous view.
  • Drive drive drive. How many miles left?
  • Almost there. Lost. Praise God for cell phones.
  • Just a few more minutes ...
  • Arrival ... do my legs still work?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Recipe: Lentil Salad

Wednesday was a milestone for me as a cook! I came home and couldn't find the recipe for the Lentil Salad that I had planned to make for dinner. So ... I made it from memory. I was so proud of myself. Some of it was even from visual memory. I was just about to cook the lentils when I remembered some dusty-looking spice that floats on the top when I first put the water in before cooking. Looked in the spice cabinet - yes, thyme, that's it! OK, so I accidentally cooked the celery instead of putting it in raw at the end, and I put in too many lentils (OK, about twice the amount called for) but it still came out pretty good. This is just about my favorite recipe - quick, easy, inexpensive, tasty, good for lunch the next day, and it pleases friends who are vegetarian or even those who are allergic to lots of stuff. So anyway, without further ado ...

(one more thing - I got this from, my favorite recipe website. Check it out.)


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. In a saucepan combine lentils, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils are tender but not mushy.
  2. Drain lentils and vegetables and remove bay leaf. Add olive oil, lemon juice, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. Toss to mix and serve at room temperature.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Holy Cross Choir

True story from choir practice ... our pianist Amy was actually talking on her cell phone while playing piano (beautifully). Our other two instrumentalists wanted to try ... Jim's picture didn't come out too well, but it looks like with practice he might acquire Amy's phone/instrument skill. Donna, however, is out of luck, I don't think she can talk and play flute at the same time.

That same night, our director Carolyn had a very bouncy psalm to practice singing. Some silly people (me included) started swaying back and forth to the song, as we do more often than I'd like to admit. But that night, everyone was in a silly mood and soon the entire choir was circled around Carolyn and the piano, swaying in unison and joining in on the refrain.

It was hard to keep from swaying when she sang the psalm for Easter morning - but she said she would kill us if we did it again and made her laugh ;)

I love my choir :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

household rocks

So I'm having trouble with a tire that keeps going flat, and after getting home from Seder last night I was talking to Anne and mentioned I was a little anxious because I didn't know when I would have time to go get it fixed. So she said, "Why don't we trade cars tomorrow? Then I can take it in for you while you're at work."

So, I feel great this morning. Not just because I am relieved not to be worrying about my car, but because I am amazed at how loving Anne is and how well I am taken care of, by the Lord and by the people around me.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

the continuing victory of soccer

One of my favorite moments of the week is driving home from Sunday night soccer. I'm hot and sweaty, usually sore from those muscles I don't use much and from wherever the ball hit me (tonight I took only one blast to the shoulder, not bad at all). I'm exhausted and it's late and I need to get home and sleep before starting another emotionally grueling week at CFH. But-

My eyes are wide open and my head is clearer than it ever is otherwise. My whole body is alive and I feel stronger, more confident. The air is fresh and cool and I cruise along listening to the Back Porch and thinking how much I love these friends that I play with. When I get home and walk up to the front door, I can even feel how I am walking differently - maybe even a little swagger.

(The next day at work I make a big deal of how sore I am and especially any bruises I got. Oh yeah, played soccer last night, yeah, I play pretty hard. Check out this bruise ...)

I'm sure this is not unusual, I bet all of you sporty people out there have known this feeling your entire lives. But there's a whole lot of us out there who grew up not knowing it. For years, all that sports meant to me was being laughed at or, at best, being kindly tolerated by teammates who just wished I was not on their team. Sports always made me want to cry and sometimes I did cry.

When the opportunity came up last summer to play soccer with my friends once a week, I knew I had to do it. The Lord wants us to be free and even though I did not want to get out on that field, I knew the Lord wanted to free me. So I played. And I still wanted to cry, and I did cry at least once, but I kept going.

And now - well, actually, I scored my first goal tonight. And that was pretty awesome, but it hardly matters, because the victory for me is driving to the Center even when I'm tired and don't feel like playing ... getting out there and running around and making a lot of bad passes and letting goals go by and getting hit in the face sometimes and feeling sick to my stomach ... and using the healthy body the Lord gave me and sometimes making good passes and sometimes blocking the goal and always laughing.

I laugh when Muzati picks up the ball with his hands, when Peter makes some kind of hyena scream as he runs toward the goal, when Sarah collides with Kyle, when the ball rolls by me because I'm busy talking to Catherine. And then in my car, sore and tired and sweaty, I just smile the whole way home.