Choose Life

H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

March 29, 2008


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Easter Vigil was beautiful, as always. The darkened church with the single light of the Easter candle is amazing.

Sunday we had a late Easter dinner with Linda and me, KenEllie, P&J&Kids, and H2. H1/DIL1 were unable to come in, but we'll see them next week, for sure!! Dinner was our traditional ham, and it was good.

Work was work. My new job, so far, is keeping me very busy, so the days go by quickly. That's a good thing. I hope the pace lasts for awhile. It's not so crazy as to be overwhelming, but it's definitely more time consuming than what I've had in the recent past.

The week went by quickly. Friday Linda and I were supposed to have lunch with my friend, who we'll call Deacon Larry because, well, that's his name. Anyway, he had called and asked to set up a meeting to discuss my current parish assignment and possibly a future one. We were eagerly looking forward to the meeting, which was to be at New Orleans Food and Spirits (one of my faves, as you well know). Unfortunately he called about 45 minutes before lunch to cancel due to sickness. We hope he gets to feeling better quickly.

Linda and I went to NOFS anyway, and had a wonderful lunch. Surprisingly we both ordered the same thing, grilled tuna steak with angle hair pasta and a creamy shrimp alfredo sauce. Yummy!!

Then Friday evening we grabbed Ian and headed over to the KofC fish fry. This year they have had the most delicious catfish dinners! Really excellent!

Today H2, H2GF and I went to the 'Teau for a quick breakfast, then we took a leisurely ride out hwy 90E to Ocean Springs, MS. We went along the Gulf shore and got a good look at all the desolation still there since Katrina. Pretty weird seeing everything so different. Oddly enough, with all the businesses and homes that were just totally non-existent, it was kind of interesting to see that 4 out of 5 of the Awffle Houses were still there, and open for business. It was also strange to see the Grand Casino in Gulf Port, site of so many visits to their buffet, now located on the opposite side of the highway from the beach.

We passed through Ocean Springs and stopped at The Shed for some of their awesome BBQ. Then it was back to NOLA to call it a day.

So there you have it. A week in a nutshell!

Take care, God bless.

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March 22, 2008


First let me say that I am continually awed and humbled by this deacon's homilies.

This Easter Vigil homily is inspired and inspiring. I hope you enjoy!

The Deacon's Bench: Homily for Saturday, March 22, 2008: Easter Vigil

Wishing you a blessed, joyous and enriching Easter.

Christ the Lord has risen today. Alleluia!!!

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March 20, 2008


I'm not going on the 9 Churches Walk after all. I missed a day of work yesterday due to illness, so I'm going to have to make it up tomorrow.

Pizza Friday night! Anyone interested? No meat toppings... mushrooms, green pepper, onions, pineapple... It's all good.

Looking forward to the arrival of H1/DIL1.

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March 18, 2008

They're B-a-a-a-c-c-k-k-k!!!!!

H2/H2GF have returned from Del Rio, TX!! It is great to have them back! Judging from the pics and stories I think they had a good time.

They brought back a beautiful wall plaque of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was the perfect gift for Linda and me. Very thoughtful and much appreciated! H2GF's mom sent us a hammock! I can hardly wait to hang it. Once it's up, you'll always know where to find me!!

I think H1/DIL1 are coming this weekend. At least, I believe that's the plan.

Major Dad has returned from a business trip to Tampa, via Nashville, TN. Great to have him back. He is always sorely missed when he's gone.

I'm going to try the 9 churches walk this Good Friday. Wish me luck!! Then Saturday at 8PM is the Easter Vigil Mass, with the lighting of the Pascal candle and then I sing the Exultet. I guess I'd better buckle down and practice! 7 minutes, a cappella by yours truly... no wonder our congregation seems to get smaller each year!!

Wishing everyone a grand and glorious Easter season!! God bless!

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March 15, 2008


The return trip from Dallas was totally uneventful. It rained/drizzled most of the way until we reached Lafayette and turned East on to I-10. From there we got a break from the rain, and were able to arrive home and unload the car without getting soaked.

The Ken of KenEllie turned 27 on Wednesday! I think each new birthday causes more gray hairs to materialize in ever enlarging bunches. It's hard to believe he was only 3 when we first came to New Orleans.

Happy Birthday, Kenny!!!

To celebrate his birthday, Ellie's parents invited us to join them for dinner. It was fanTASTic! Fried bananas, banana chips, black beans and rice, fried cheese, beef marinated and grilled, it was all absolutely delicious! And... WE HAVE LEFTOVERS!!!

H2/H2GF left Dallas on Monday, but not to return to NOLA. They went, instead, to Del Rio, TX. That is where H2GF's family lives. They are spending a week there, with short trips into Mexico, then will return next Monday evening. Latest update from H2 is that Mexico is pretty cool, her parents like him, and they're having a good time.

Now that the lost power has been restored, I continue. The day outside is absolutely beautiful. Sunny, warm. Naturally our power would go out. Turns out we apparently blew a transformer on the block, so Entergy was out repairing it. While it was out we took Maynard for a walk around the neighborhood and then gave him a thorough bath with flea shampoo. That should keep him happy for a week or two.

We're looking forward to seeing H1/DIL1 soon. So far the plan is for next weekend (Easter weekend) but I understand that H2 is lobbying for the following weekend, when he has off from work. We'll see. If it's weekend #2, we'll probably do homemade pizza (Thanks, Helen!!) on Friday, then crawfish boil on Saturday, and finally a redo of Easter ham (not left overs) on Sunday. If it turns out to be Easter weekend then no pizza and no crawfish. Just a heads up to the family.

Next Friday is Good Friday, and many of the family members are going to make the 9 church walk, Soles For Christ, and Stations of the Cross put on by the Center of Jesus the Lord. DLG and KenEllie went last year and found it both fun and spiritually enhancing.

I guess I'm about done for today. I wish everyone a happy and faith filled Palm Sunday and Holy Week as we look forward to the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday!! God bless!!

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March 9, 2008


We left NOLA at 8AM Friday morning, H2, H2GF, Linda and me, the trunk loaded with suitcases. H2 and H2GF will continue on to Del Rio, TX tomorrow to visit her family.

The ride to Dallas was almost uneventful. The first 6 hours were quiet, driving through drizzle the whole way.

As we approached Shreveport we noticed occasional snow flurries which we thought was kind of neat. The temperature had been dropping continuously since NOLA and had reached about 37degrees by the time we stopped for gas.

Naturally, the gas pump had disabled the autopump feature, so I had to stand there, freezing, while filling the tank. Naturally everyone else went into the store for warmth and a potty stop. I quickly went into the trunk and pulled out my heavy winter coat and put it on before starting again.

As we left the gas station the "flurries" had pretty much turned into a snow fall! Once on the highway the snow fell harder and harder. Then we noticed that it was sticking a little on some of the roofs. The temperature had now fallen to 35. Soon the ground was covered in about 2 inches of snow! We're now about 1/2 hour into Texas. I'm thinking, "Great, this is going to be a really interesting weekend!"

As we continued West, the snow began to be less and less, then blue sky appeared and we noticed the temperature beginning to climb, once again. Finally there was no more snow, the sun was out, and the temperature peaked at about 54 degrees, remaining that way until we arrived at our destination, a Homewood Inn and Suites (Hilton).

Unfortunately we had missed the rehearsal dinner, but no sooner had we finished unloading our stuff then most of our family arrived back from dinner. It was a great reunion and was wonderful to meet and greet everyone!

After a "quick" dinner at Cheddar's, which was very good, we all went back to the hotel and did more socializing while S's 3 and 4 continued preparing food for the reception. We met the parents of the bride who were charming and hospitable, as the family had taken over their room for food preparation and basic socializing!

The evening finished over a few glasses of Harvey's over ice, and Heiniken, after which everyone settle in for a short sleep.

Saturday dawned bright and cold, and the families of the bride and groom set out to make sure the reception hall was set up properly. Others had breakfast at the hotel, then sat around "catching up" over many cups of coffee. At noon the food was taken to the reception hall. H1/DIL1, H2/H2GF and B1, Linda and I went to the Honda shop next door to look around. What a display of vehicles! I had no trouble finding one that I wanted, and now know where to come when I'm ready for the purchase!!

Next it was a quick change, then off to the wedding at a small Baptist church nearby. It was a lovely wedding. The bride and groom were beautiful, and handsome, respectively. Theirs was a unique ceremony as they used the "washing of the feet" as a symbol of their marriage being servanthood to one another.

Then it was off, once again, this time to the reception. A band performed many old favorites that brought back memories of my youth. They were very good, and the music was easy to dance to. Once the wedding party arrived, a photo montage of Tim and Kristen's life and meeting was shown. It was a beautiful tribute, prepared by Tim with much love for his new bride.

One of the hightlights of the reception was the "married couples dance". All married couples danced, the announcer would ask couples who had been married less than a certain amount of years to sit down. This would continue until the couple who had been married the longest remained. Guess who?!?! Linda and I won with 38years of marriage (going on 39)!! Yay, us!!

Today we all met and went to Texas de Brazil for a wonderful lunch. It was, as always, an AWESOME experience! This was followed by a trip to downtown Dallas to visit the "6th Floor Museum" which is where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK. It is a very interesting museum, well done with audio packs to guide you through the displays. Very nice.

Now we're back at the hotel, waiting for the rest of the family to get rested and ready for our final get together over dinner, somewhere yet unnamed. So, in the meantime I will try to give you a couple of photos from yesterday.

Here goes!

We got a couple nice photos of all the cousins that had come,

and also of my siblings.

You may (or may not) have heard of the musicla group, a bag of donuts. I think most anyone who met our family over the weekend would agree, if we were a musical group we'd be "A Can of Nuts"!!

OK. That's it. I'm all blogged out for now. Take care, and God bless!!

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March 2, 2008


Well, I made it back from Huntsville Friday night around 7PM. It was a nice drive, with just a smidge of rain at the onset, but mostly sunny and warm for most of the trip. The car averaged a nice 28mpg at 75mph.

The class I attended was really quite good. I'm looking forward to trying to apply the lessons to my work here in New Orleans. Then, I'm off again for another class, again in Huntsville, in late April. Linda is planning on going with me this time, which will make it a more pleasant trip over all.

This Friday we head to Dallas to attend the wedding of our nephew and his fiancé, Kristen. They are SUCH a CUTE couple!! It's almost scary! Just kidding, T&K, really... or, am I? Only the Shadow knows...

Big news! Big News! BIG NEWS!! H1/DIL1 are househunting! Not only that, but they've put a bid down on a house they found that they both fell in love with. I saw some pictures, and it looks like a great buy for them. We're really excited and hope it all works out quickly and smoothly. GOOD LUCK!!

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