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.

July 27, 2009


I’ve noticed that often, when attending a class or training session of some kind, the professor or instructor will begin the class by asking the students what they expect to get out of the class or training session. What is it, going in, that we expect to take with us?

Perhaps some of us here today might be season ticket holders for the Saints, or the Hornets, or the Zephyrs. As we are purchasing our tickets, what are our expectations? We might expect to see our teams win most of their games.

Did you ever go to see a movie, and when asked about it afterward reply, “Well, it wasn’t what I expected.”


Our Gospel reading today tells us that a crowd of more than 5000 followed Jesus. As he crossed the lake in a boat, they hurried around on foot to be there when he arrived on the other shore. Can you imagine if someone left Metairie in a small sailboat heading to Mandeville and a crowd of 5000 people hurried, on foot, around Lake Pontchartrain to be there when it arrived?

Why were these people following Jesus? What were their expectations? Some, as we are told in the Gospel, have heard that Jesus is a miracle worker, and expect to see a miracle for themselves. Others, perhaps, have heard that he is a powerful preacher, and expect to hear words of wisdom when he speaks. Still others might follow just to see what the “hubbub” is about, with no particular expectations other than to have their curiosity satisfied.

As it turns out, those whose expectation included seeing a miracle were not disappointed. We read about how Jesus fed the 5000 with only five barley loaves and 2 fish, and afterward twelve wicker baskets of leftover “fragments” were collected. I can’t help but wonder, though, if I had been there, even expecting some sort of miracle, had I not been paying attention would I have missed it? Would I have realized that a mere five loaves of bread and 2 fish had fed such a vast multitude?


What are our expectations when we come to Mass each week? Do we expect to encounter a miracle? Do we expect to hear words of wisdom? Or do we just come along, like always, because “it’s what we’re supposed to do”?

Standing in the back of church before Mass, I couldn’t help but look at the beautiful stained glass windows over the altar, and at the high, arched ceiling overhead. Many churches are built in this fashion. But do we ever stop and wonder why?

The beautiful windows and high ceilings are intended to draw us out of ourselves, to draw our attention “upward” to God, the almighty, the awesome creator of everything that is. It is our feeble human attempt to move us, focus us, and propel us up, away from and above ourselves as we worship the Lord.

Yes, we are gathered, not only as a community, but as a community united in WORSHIP of this awesome, almighty God. We worship Him with songs, and prayers, and attitude, and action! We worship Him, who came down to us, who humbled Himself to be born a man, who we then tortured and killed on a cross. We worship Him, who rose from the dead, and now present on the altar, provides us with spiritual nourishment, and seeks to guide us ever upward to our Father in heaven!

As Catholics we “know” that a miracle does, indeed, take place. We know that Jesus Christ becomes truly present on the altar. But are we paying attention? Are we aware of the miracle that has taken place? Do we receive Him with the respect and attention that He deserves?

And when we receive Him, we truly become one Body in Christ. And as Catholics, as Christians, we are obligated to share that body, to BE Christ to those around us.

As Jesus said in the Gospel today, “gather all the fragments together so that nothing is wasted.” I submit to you that the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the helpless in our city, in our society, these are the “fragments” that WE must gather to ensure that they are not wasted! It is our duty to care for them, to be Christ for them, in whatever manner we are able, be it through prayer, or with charitable donations of money, or food, or clothing.

We will return to Mass next week, and the week after, and the week after that. What will be our expectations? Will we expect to see a miracle? Will we pay attention to that miracle? Will we share that miracle with others?

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July 24, 2009


Linda will be away for a few days, once again, this time to South Carolina. But no need to worry, I won't starve, thanks to Dr. Boli's Celebrated Magazine. Of course, after reading it Linda may not want to come home...

I've "got the duty" this weekend, as Big J would say. That is, it's my homily weekend so I'll be doing the preaching at all the masses at our parish. As an added bonus we're also doing baptisms after 11:00 AM mass on Sunday.

H2 starts working 12 hour shifts this weekend. It's part of the NOPD push to get more officers on the streets during the summer months. It'll make for some long days, but the pay should be good.

Fr. Deo is in New Orleans "for the foreseeable future"!! We're excited! Can hardly wait to get together. It is always such a pleasure to be with him. Once he's totally finished with his PhD studies in Rome he will be returning to NOLA to teach at the seminary.

Having been to Uganda twice, I can say with some certainty that electrical power is an "on again/off again" affair. Fr. Godfrey, who is in Uganda, is trying to install solar panels in the rectory of his new parish. He has it mostly done, but is about $900 short of completing the project. Linda has begun fundraising efforts, and has a pledge of $200 from one of the Catholic women's groups in the parish. If anyone would like to contribute $1, or $5, or $10... let us know. We will accept all donations, and consolidate into one large gift for Fr. Godfrey's parish. I would also encourage prayers for the success of his project.

Maynard is a really sweet dog. Lately he's been demanding a lot of attention, though. He can't seem to get enough "lovin'". I think he might be a little bit spoiled.

Got to run now. It's almost lunch time and we're going to the Mediterranean Cafe on N. Carrollton Avenue. Hoping for some good baba ganoush!!

Update:Mediterranean Cafe was closed. We went to Mona's Restaurant instead.

Take care, and God bless!!

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July 23, 2009


Thanks to DIL1, I've come to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place if everyone would practice the art of resarciation. I, myself, would like to resarciate for any bruised egos, hurt feelings, toes trod upon as a result of any insensitivity on my part. Mea Culpa!!!

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July 18, 2009


* cause I can't think of a title.

I've been REALLY bad about blogging, I know. I finished my last paper for what might be my last class and I seem to have just kind of shut down. Relief!! After some much needed respite I have to begin preparing for the comprehensive exams, which is the last step. If successful I will have my Masters in Theology. So... you want fries with that?

H2 got pulled over yesterday on Carrollton Ave in his new truck with its newly "limo" tinted windows. The cop told him he had pulled him over because he couldn't see a license plate (he has a temporary plate taped to the inside of the back window) and that his tint was too dark. H2 told him that he had ordered it (the tint) that way. When asked for his license and registration he pulled out his wallet with his badge on it and made sure that it was visible. Upon seeing the badge the cop asked him if he was NOPD, to which he replied, "Yes". Then the cop asked him what district he was assigned. After he answered, the copy said, "have a good day." And that was that. Must be nice!!

A very Happy Birthday to Ian. We went over to MD/DLG's for dinner. It was awesome! Burgers, spicy dogs and sausages, corn on the cob, and cous cous. Delish! For desert was a doberge cake with candles that kept relighting. That was good for a lot of chuckles as Ian, BB and Molly all tried to blow them out! There was chocolate/vanilla ice cream to go with the cake. It was good to see Dan, and Rich and Michelle again.

Linda was in San Diego for a class the week before last. She arrived home on Friday at just about the middle of rush hour, so we took advantage of the traffic to meet up with KenEllie in Kenner for dinner at Olive Garden. It was a nice welcome home for Linda, I think. That Wednesday I had met KenEllie and Ellie's mom and dad at Mo's for pizza. Her folks are great and we don't get to see them often enough!

This past week Linda and I went to Fujihana for sushi. Whenever we go now the manager always comes by several times to greet us and to see if everything is all right, and some of the wait staff stop by to chat, even though they aren't our server that evening. Do you think we eat there too often?

That's about it for tonight. Got to get some beauty sleep. Take care and God bless!

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July 8, 2009


How on earth did I ever miss this? And this weekend will be it's third year!!

San Fermin in Nueva Orleans 2008

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July 7, 2009


Many, many, MANY thanks to Fr. Deo for the wonderful gift of the papal blessing on the occasion of our 40th wedding anniversay! I hope we are able to have it framed and hung soon!

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