Pardon the (asides)

Good Morning! (and yes, I realize that this blog is being posted at a time that only means it’s morning somewhere in the West Pacific. Bear with me.)

It’s Monday, and close to the beginning of a new week (and our last week in Advent, with the long-awaited Christmas approaching soon), and I’m already a little tired (but in a good way – along the lines of just-spent-the-day-running-around-Disneyland-tired).  The past weekend was full of good things, so let me tarry no longer in describing them.

On Friday afternoon, Dan, Molly, and I made our way down to the St. Vincent de Paul’s (referred to from now on as SVdP) building to help sort presents to be delivered within the local conference. We had our chance to meet the people that Dan has been working with the past several months, and were quite impressed by both the quality of the people, and the amount of aid they deliver to the local area.

After Folk Group rehearsal on Friday evening, Jess and I made our way into town for the Scoil Mhuire Faculty Christmas Party, held at the Whites Hotel. It ended up being quite an evening, between the dinner, live band (with an unfortunate fuse blown at one point, but we eventually prevailed), and dancing into the wee hours of the morning. It was a lot of fun to get dressed up and have a good time with the teachers whose classes we have been in and out of for the past 4 months (Also, to be the only male dancing in the Scoil Mhuire contingent/circle for most of the evening, as the men were typically slow to get going. Eventually, though, they joined, which resulted with me engaging in a push-up contest against another teacher during “Sweet Home Alabama.” Story for another time, methinks…)

On Saturday, Dan, Molly, and I returned to SVdP to assist with house visits and the delivery of toys. Dan and Molly went out with two of the members, while I stayed back to sort presents and organize several rooms full of gifts.

Sunday afternoon saw me with the last cross country race of the season: The Wexford County Senior Championships. The race was held up in Ferns, in a somewhat flat and partially muddy field. It was a good bit of fun (read: my lower half was covered in mud by the end), and I finished the 10km race in 15th place, barely nipping the guy in 16th with a spirited (and possibly ill-conceived) sprint up a muddy hill to the finish. I did have one supporter during the race ( a gal I had met beforehand due to the following exchange: “Are ye from America?” “What gave it away, the accent?”) who shouted, “Go America!” each one of the 6 times I passed her.

That evening we provided music for an Advent Reconciliation service, and enjoyed a reception afterward at Fr. Martin’s house for all the priests who heard confessions. (Luckily for us, they weren’t checking for stoles at the door.)

And now it’s Monday! Mr. Mannen has arrived safely and will be spending the week with us, and we just hosted some friends for some conversation and prayer. The Kennedy Park Carol Service will be tomorrow, but other than that the week is a little slow before quickly picking up with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses!

To recap:
1) SVdP friends of Dan=wonderful people who do great work.
2) Male tendency to be wallflowers during dances,
except to engage in push-ups = troubling trend
2a) Push-up contest during “Sweet Home Alabama” = not a bad way to dance
3) “Go America!” = biggest smile on my face during a running race in Ireland.
4) Hosting family and friends at the Teach during the holidays = priceless

Here’s to a continued beauty in the remainder of your Advent preparation, and a wonderful Monday!

God Bless,