Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

My Newest Friends

Welcome! Welcome!

We ordered the washer and dryer almost a month ago, but because of a huge energy star promotion, there was a backlog, and it took forever to get them.

In the meantime, our household goods from storage – 12 years of storage – arrived, and almost everything we are keeping needs to be cleaned.

We had two old featherbeds from the former East Germany that had a little mildew on them. I almost threw them away, but I thought since I am going to throw them away, I might as well see if they could be saved. I put them in (one at a time; they are each too big to be put in together) on a cycle called “sanitize” and then dried them on high and . . . they came out perfect! Wooo HOOOO!

As you can see, even though I have done many loads, I still have a ways to go:

No, not the brass pot; it is not going in the washer. It needs to have a handle put back on, so it is waiting there with other low-priority projects for me to get around to it. 🙂 Isn’t this a great laundry room?

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Building, Cultural, ExPat Life, Florida, Humor, Hygiene, Living Conditions | 5 Comments

Stamping Our Hunger

We are still getting used to a lot of things about living once again in our own country, but one thing we know we love is the open hearted spirit of giving in the USA. Every week people are raising funds to help those in need, or to raise awareness of a health issue, etc.

This week, on Saturday, the mail carriers sponsored a food drive for the local food pantry. Early in the week, they delivered flyers and a sack to each house on their route, asking us for donations of food to be placed on the doorsteps on Saturday. They even mentioned foods and items most needed, so it was easy.

What I cannot imagine is how they got all the donations into one mail truck. I can imagine it was enormously successful. When I worked in fund raising, the first thing I learned is that people will give generously if you make it easy for them – that’s why when you get a request for donations, you get a form, a self-addressed envelope, and sometimes it even has a stamp on it.

So how much easier does it get than having a bag provided and just filling it? Putting it outside your own door, knowing it will be collected? God bless the men and women who had to trundle all those sacks out to the trucks, and then from the trucks to the food pantry! God bless the work of their hands!

By the way, when you are asked to give, here are some things that people who use food pantries often need:

peanut butter
tuna fish
canned or powdered milk
disposable diapers
canned meats

And something most people don’t think of: dog food, cat food for the family pet

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Charity, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Florida, Food, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Values | 2 Comments

Rogation Days

AdventureMan and I love sleeping in a little on Tuesdays. This whole retirement thing is like being on vacation every day. No one says we HAVE to go to AquaAerobics, but it is such a great class, we want to go. This morning, however, it dawned grey and cloudy, not quite so cool . . . warmer, and more humid. I have my cup of coffee in my quilt room study, and AdventureMan is next door, in his office/study. It’s one reason we bought this house; we can have our own spaces and still be close enough to call back and forth.

As I am reading my morning devotions, I notice this is a “rogation” day. I have seen the term every now and then on the church calendar, but I haven’t a clue what it is, and today (!) I have the leisure to look it up. It is absolutely fascinating. This is from a website on church liturgies, traditions and prayers :

Rogation Days are an old religious custom which is now seldom observed in the Catholic Church, and many Catholics haven’t even heard of them. Episcopal parishes sometimes still observe them, and many people have them on a personal liturgical calendar.

Ok – so what are they?

The word “rogation” come from the Latin rogare, which means “to ask,” and the Rogation Days are four days set apart to bless the fields, and ask for God’s mercy on all of creation. April 25 (coincidentally the Feast of St. Mark) is called the Major Rogation; the three days preceding Ascension Thursday are called the Minor Rogations. On these days, the congregation used to march the boundaries of the parish, blessing every tree and stone, while chanting or reciting a Litany of Mercy, usually a Litany of the Saints. A few still do.

The Rogation Days were first instituted in the 5th Century by Mamertus, bishop of Vienne in France from 461 to 475. During his episcopate, France was in an almost continuous state of near-disaster. The Goths invaded Gaul. There was an enormous amount of disease; there were fires; there were earthquakes; there were attacks of wild animals. As a result, Mamertus spent a great deal of time in prayer, beseeching God to help the stricken community.

One night, when the village was overwhelmed with a fire, he conceived the idea of instituting a annual procession and litany in which the entire community would pray for God’s blessing and protection. He is reported to have said: “We shall pray to God that He will turn away the plagues from us, and preserve us from all ill, from hail and drought, fire and pestilence, and from the fury of our enemies; to give us favorable seasons, that our land may be fertile, good weather and good health, and that we may have peace and tranquility, and obtain pardon for our sins.”

Thus the custom of processing around the entire length of the parish while invoking a Litany of the Saints began. Over the centuries, it became the custom to also use the procession to “beat the bounds” – to mark and establish the boundaries of the parish – while also blessing the trees, stones and fields. In modern times, the actual purpose of “beating the bounds” – to impress the boundaries of the village on everyone’s mind – has ceased to be necessary due to modern surveying techniques, and the practice is largely ceremonial.

The standard practice in the Episcopal Church is to pray for fruitful seasons on Monday, commerce and industry on Tuesday, and stewardship of creation on Wednesday. When currently observed, the practice frequently has an environmental bent.

– Carl Fortunato

Don’t you love the idea of of “beating the bounds?” I think of the Emirs of Qatar and Kuwait, one day a year, followed by a procession of their countrymen and women, blessing every tree and stone and calling on God/Allah to protect their countries. I think how wonderful it would be in our own USA to have these four days a year (there is a major rogation in April to bless the crops, and then three days preceeding Ascension Day for “beating the bounds,” i.e. blessing the country. Imagine if we were all to pray blessings on our country at least three days a year. Uh Oh. Did I mention it is also a time of fasting?

May 11, 2010 Posted by | Interconnected, Kuwait, Qatar, Spiritual, Values | Leave a comment