Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Potpourri (say it soft and it’s almost like praying)

Today is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the vernal equinox having occurred at 7:04 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time -- or does that happen tomorrow? Spring came on March 21st when I was young. Now it seems to arrive on March 20th. Life on earth can be so confusing. For example, it’s the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Tomorrow is the 138th anniversary of the birth of my maternal grandfather, Nathan Silberman. He was born in 1875 in Pennsylvania and died in 1970 in Pennsylvania. The farthest south he ever traveled was to Mount Vernon in Virginia. The farthest west he ever traveled was to Minnesota. When he and my grandmother were raising their four children, every summer he took them to Old Orchard Beach in Maine. He played the clarinet and the violin. Not at the same time, in case you were wondering. Happy 138th birthday, Grandpa!

I did something this morning I have never done before. Jethro got me up at 5:30 a.m., insisting that he be taken outside so he could perform his morning, er, performance. It was still dark, of course. I always put him on a leash and walk him because our yard is not fenced and occasionally he will not come back when called. He is a good boy except when he is not, much like many of us. Back in the house afterward, I emptied the dishwasher and put all the clean dishes and glasses and silverware and cups into the drawers and cabinets where they belonged. Then I turned the lights out in the kitchen and started walking in the dark back toward the bedroom where Mrs. RWP was still sleeping. These are all things I’ve done lots of times. What was different this time was that as I made my way along the pseudo-hallway between the living room and dining room, I slammed headlong into the side of the grandfather’s clock. There was such clanging and banging as you have never heard as the brass weights and the pendulum expressed their displeasure at being disturbed. I had to flip on the lights and calm them down (the clock parts, not the lights) with a laying on of hands, hoping all the while that Mrs. RWP would not be disturbed. She wasn’t. I was not hurt, though the earpiece on the right side of my glasses is a little out of whack. Maybe I knocked some sense into my head. I hope so.

Speaking of Potpourri/popery, I’m not Roman Catholic but I am liking the new Pope Francis I more and more. He seems to be a humble man, down-to-earth and filled with common sense.
Here is a portion of an interview from last year in which the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio said some interesting things to a South American rabbi. You should read it. It couldn’t hurt. It might even do you some good.

The very idea of a South American rabbi makes my brain turn cartwheels.

Here is Nathan Silberman with his youngest daughter, Ruth (my mother), around 1930:

Here he is in 1946, when he was 71:

Three days ago I turned 72.

Time flies when you’re having fun.

This is Abraham Skorka, the South American rabbi who is the new Pope’s friend:

Care to join me in a couple of cartwheels?

This is Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) in Virginia:

Nobody said a post had to be organized logically.

As A.A. Milne, or maybe it was Walt Disney, would say, Ta-Ta For Now.

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