Sitting here at my desk I’m enjoying an orange that I picked from a tree in our yard. Living in Southern California does have some pretty serious perks. Although now in the middle of winter we have many warm afternoons. Imagining what it would be like here, I thought we would be having hot weather all the time. That has not turned out to be true. It is often cold in the mornings and evenings these days. It is much too cold to use the swimming pool over at the parish. I hope that by late May or June I’ll be able to take a swim each day.
Talked to Pat Patten, the Spiritan missionary that operates the two plane flying medical service in Maasailand Tanzania. It was during our weekly Spiritan Zoom get together where current and former Spiritans meet weekly on line. He said that the throng of thousands of people that turned out at the Dar es Salaam airport to pay their respects to John Magufuli, our Tanzanian president who died last week, turned into a riot. Massive security barriers were demolished and many people were trampled and killed, including many children. Pat commented that our insurrection of February 6th was small in comparison to the mehem that took place in Tanzania. Amazing, during his four year tenure as president he was not generally well liked; in death he has become a saint.
There is a Spiritan cemetary here at the parish where the “Western Spiritans end up. We have a new resident in our cemetary here in Hemet. Joe’s dog died of rheumatism and old age. Turk was friendly and smelly and Joe doted on and took great care of his pet. When visiting here some ten years ago I put a bowl of my favorite cookies, oatmeal raisin, on the night stand. On one of his regular snak hunts around the house Turk found and enjoyed my cookies. Joe rushed him to the vet hospital where Turk underwent a two night stay together with complicated and very expensive medical procedures to the tune of two or three thousand dollars to extricate him from my raisin delights. Turk survived and I bought more cookies that I carefully hid from Turk’s nocturnal foraging. Joe brings up Turk’s ordeal from time to time never having totally forgiven me for my part in Turk’s gastric emergency.
Haven’t posted anything for two years and now wondering if I can get back to it. In the mean time I’ve retired to Hemet California in the midst of Covet 19. I’ve been here for six months and am still in a daze. It was time to leave. Driving the Land Cruiser in the bush, preparing discussions to have in Maasai villages, traveling hours to do basic shopping. It all became to much. So here I am in Southern California dealing with all kinds of new challenges. Cooking for myself (lots of Stophers microwave meals), driving on the “wrong” side of the road, being isolated due to Covet and the American way (although I’ve gotten both vaccine jabs) and just the strangeness of it all.
One of the guys here is a dedicated Cicillian. He celebrates St. Joseph Italian day like others would with green beer on March 17th. Yesterday, the 19th we marked St. Joseph day with a wonderful steak dinner. It was very special with super cheese cake, Cicillian I think for desert. There was red Cicillian wine throughout. I missed out on the wine due to alcohol conflict with some meds I’m taking. That is another story. Red T-shirts were worn to honor the day, green for Patrick and I find out red for Joseph.
We were 8 Spiritans celebrating, Neil MicQuillan, Dan Abott, and Pierre Deglairre from Our Lady of the Valley Parish, Mike Onwuemelie, Joe Gaglione (the proud Cicillian) from Holy Spirit Parish and I. The six of us live here on the same compound. Bill Headly and Mike White came up from San Diego to be with us. It was a great to join with other Spiritans for some good conversation and a great meal.