Engage with the Day

At least I did not get up at 3 this morning. I awoke just after 2, but managed to drift off quite a while later. But I was awake again before 4:30, so I opted to get up for the day. While sipping my first cup of coffee, I skimmed through this blog, stopping to read a post and view some photos I took in August 2015, when my late wife and I wandered through the Jones Mill Industrial Park, where we encountered a building that housed (or had housed) the Arkansas Midland Railroad. August 2015 was a carefree time. The harsh realities of life and death have forced their way into my experience since then.


Today, the flooring company has arranged for someone to come rip out hardwood and tile in our new house in preparation for installation of the LVP. We’ll also get a visit at the new place by a representative from a garage door service company; the two garage doors and their respective automatic openers and ancillary devices need a tune-up. We spent the day yesterday, as usual, painting. We have almost finished painting both bathrooms (except areas I have been unable to reach and some spots in need of touch-up). A coat of primer went up over the lime-green walls of the laundry room yesterday, as well. Painting is much more time consuming for a novice like me than I remember it being for a novice like me. For any big painting jobs in the future, I will hire it out, regardless of cost (within reason). Good painters are worth what they are paid.

We have new faucets and various other bathroom hardware ready for installation in the master bath. And new toilets await installation in both bathrooms after the new flooring is installed. New light fixtures were installed throughout the house not long ago. Eventually, the house will be quite livable. But, first, we need a knowledgeable door repair person to check and adjust virtually every door in the house. Once we move in, we’ll direct our attention to landscaping and such. Home ownership involves a never-ending cycle of work and expense. But it may be worth it. I’m beginning to appreciate the concept of living in expensive condos, though, in which the work element is transferred to the expense part of the equation.


Assuming all goes according to plan, a good friend will come to the new house this afternoon for nice visit. We need a break from “remodeling,” and there is no better respite from that chore than to spend time with a good friend. If the flooring guy is still there, though, we may change locations and meet at our current home. As much as I’d like to show her progress to date, I’m more interested in simply spending time with her. Only a very small number of people are such comfortable fits that I feel completely at home in their presence; she is one of them.


Though I picked up an online grocery order just a week ago, I will go out a bit before 7 this morning to pick up another one. While I’m out, I’ll probably buy gas for my car (I’m almost out, a rarity) and stop by the post office to pick up mail from my box. Speaking of groceries and related matters, I wish I had easy access to affordable full-meal home delivery or, at least, grocery stores sold healthy, tasty, inexpensive, ready-to-eat meals that I find appealing. Lately, when we finish our work for the day at the new house, we’re in no mood to prepare a meal. Therefore, instead of a meal at the end of the day, we’ve either gone out for a burger for lunch or have bought sandwiches from Subway. Growl. Look, I’ve found something to complain about!


I read an article on the NPR website that confirms for me the bureaucratic idiocy of the Catholic church. A Catholic priest used one wrong word in performing baptisms over a period of years; the Catholic powers-that-be decided that error invalidated the baptisms. Because, baptism is said to be the “sacrament that grants access to all the others,” any subsequent sacraments (e.g., confirmation, marriage, etc.) could be judged invalid.  The wrong word? The priest used the word “we” instead of the word “I.”  The priest spoke these words:

We baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

The sentence should have begun with “I.” The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said on its website, “It is not the community that baptizes a person and incorporates them into the Church of Christ; rather, it is Christ, and Christ alone, who presides at all sacraments; therefore, it is Christ who baptizes…If you were baptized using the wrong words, that means your baptism is invalid, and you are not baptized.”

Excuse me, Catholics, but this utter nonsense is…utter nonsense! What I presume to be an innocent mistake in a single word should not throw thousands of people (those who buy into this absurdity) into existential panic. My religious bigotry is showing; I realize that. But I cannot help but think people who have been brainwashed into believing in the sacredness of the rituals of a “make it up as you go” religion should not be subject to such trauma by the very church that caused them to be subject to such pain.  Okay. Off my “pulpit” for the moment.


In spite of my distaste for organized religion, I recognize it has significant value for many people. One aspect of that value, I think, is religion’s ability to effectively quantify (maybe explain is more appropriate) the concept of sacredness or holiness. Both terms are as valid in a secular context as they are in a religious context, but religion seems to better attach meaning and value to them. Religions seem more willing than non-religious perspectives to acknowledge the emotions invested in things or ideas or people judged “sacred” or “holy.” When I consider something sacred or holy or both, I have a deep emotional attachment to it, a sense of awe, I suppose. That sense brings me to an emotional point at which my eyes may brim with tears. “A sacred bond of ever-lasting friendship,” for example, is one “tangible” example of a deeply-felt secular experience.

I’m too distracted to go into any more depth. Putting on shoes so I can go pick up groceries is occupying my mind at the moment. Personal philosophy is being edged out by practicalities.


Off to engage with the day. And to be glad for the opportunity!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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