It's been a busy week - how I ever found time for work I'll never know.
With the temperatures here in The Triangle dropping this week, a major project was to get the heating system repaired at our parish house. Thanks are due to Gary, our wonderful HVAC man, who never gives up on our monster unit. I must explain that the system is quite old, far too big for the job and of a unique design, which the ordinary HVAC guy would have trouble in keeping it running. "Never-say-die" Gary had our system up and running just in time for the monthly lunch of Ninth Street Neighbors. Mind you, we ate that outside anyway!
The bad news is that the temperatures is currently 11F (that's -11.6C to European readers), but with the wind chill, it feels like 8F (-13.3C). The good news is that it is dry, bright and sunny with wonderful blue skies which really makes it bearable. I say this in the comfort of my study - how it can be bearable for our homeless neighbors beggars belief.
Church activities have been a big part of my week, with a wonderful Epiphany Bible Class on Tuesday, studying Psalms. This is being lead by our good friend Father Chris Tessone, with whom I share a passion for catholic liturgy, food, soccer and beer! Wednesday we were at our monthly Healing Eucharist. I love this informal Eucharist which we follow by a simple soup supper - thanks Fred, your soup was delicious!
The superb skill of the US Airways pilot to land his disabled plane on the Hudson River with no loss of life was a truly inspiring event. How wonderful, during a week of tragic views of the bombing and loss of life in Gaza, to see a happy ending to what could have been a tragedy. Let us hope and pray that a permanent cessation of the killing and maiming can occur in Gaza, Israel and the entire region.
This morning, in the extreme cold, we were visited by a family of deer. Although I thought of the already familiar quote from Gran Torino, "Get off of my lawn!", I couldn't wish this on these wonderful creatures. Unfortunately they did run, baby and all, when I went out to feed them some carrots. I hope it's okay to feed deer carrots? The bird feeders need filling on a daily basis and the bird baths need "de-icing" almost half-hourly, but it is really worth the effort to see the array of birds lining up to use the feeders. We even have woodpeckers using the feeders and that's a new one on me.