Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 187 - 08/26/2007

We went to 1045p Mass and listened to Father Alex give a pretty good homily. The gist of it was that as we go through life, we carry a cross on our back (the cross represents the burdens we encounter along the road of life). As we go along, some people realize they can lighten their load by cutting off some of their cross. Think of it as shirking your responsibility. However, when we get to the destination (our deaths), there's a ditch between you and the end of the line. Those who didn't cut short their cross are able to use it to get to the other side of the ditch. However, those who cut their crosses aren't able to make it and are unable to reach their destination.

Have you cut your cross short? Will it still be long enough to reach the other side of the ditch?

After Mass we went to visit Rudy in the hospital. He suffered a heart attack Thursday morning and was taken to the hospital, where he was admitted for observation. Apparently he also pulled a muscle in his leg while there and also had some pretty high blood pressure. Fortunately he's recovering and it looks like he'll be released in the next day or two. While we were there we were able to have a pretty good conversation with him. He shared with us the story of how he first came to the US from Russia back in 1923 and how he was in charge of the basket containing all the money his family had to their name.

Since Rudy's getting up their in years (he's 89), I asked him what one thing made the biggest impact on his life during his lifetime. His answer? Indoor plumbing. He no longer had to go to the outhouse to use the facilities. I really couldn't fathom the difference as I've never relied on an outhouse, but I could see where he was coming from. (Just for the record, I'd have to say that up to this point, the personal computer/Internet has been the biggest impact on my life.)

He skipped ahead to the World's Fair, and how he and his sister saw the first television. He said the screen was about the size of a baseball and that the people in the crowd were on the screen. It's amazing when you look back to that point in time, television wasn't much of a technology and now, some 70 years later, the screen on an iPod is about the same size, but it offers much more with regard to clarity (and color).

The wheel had been around for thousands of years before someone attached a motor to it and made the horse obsolete. Then, in a matter of decades after automobiles are available to the masses, mankind is going into space. It's mind boggling what changes occur over a lifetime (especially now), but it seems that during the past 100 years, amazing things have come to pass as everyday. I wonder what M and N will consider the item that made the biggest impact on their lives when they're grandparents.

After we left the hospital, we drove by our old house in Vienna. Much to our surprise, we discovered it was on the market. (I later found out it was being offered at $440,000.) The neighborhood looks like it had been cleaned up. Lots houses had new roofs, siding and windows. The last time I was there it was looking pretty scabby. I guess the ACC has been pretty busy getting people to take care of their homes. Good for them.

After we got home, I took the kids to the pool for a last swim before the summer ends. (Actually it will still be open until next weekend, but since school starts tomorrow, it's doubtful they'll make it back.) It was pretty empty and, for the most part, we had it to ourselves. The guards were busy cleaning all the deck chairs and had a countdown calendar on the wall in the clubhouse. From what I could tell, they were looking forward to the summer being over.

I met Coach Mike at Sweetwater to talk about the upcoming baseball season. He's continuing to try his hand at head coaching and I signed on to assist. Neil wasn't working, so we had to resort to - Gasp! - paying for our drinks! Oh, the horror of it all. We talked a little strategy and a lot about a lot of other things. It was a pretty good time as I never had the chance to sit and shoot the breeze with him one on one. I'm looking forward to the upcoming season and hope it's just as fun as last year

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