Monthly Archives: April 2012

Family ties?

The Fitzgeralds, my mother’s side of the family, came from County Cork. As we have walked through Dublin the last couple days, I have spotted the name in several places. Is there a family connection? Who knows. But it is fun to imagine.


See you along the Trail.


Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Ireland

Carved by tears

Laughter rang out,
a smile filled his face,
yet as our eyes locked
for an instant,
I saw sadness
carved there by
tears unshed for
sorrows, pain, and loss
endured through the years.

25 April 2012
DL 92


Leave a comment

Filed under Poem

Love songs – silly or not

What song lyrics would you suggest for a wedding sermon on love?

Tonight I had the privilege and joy to preach at the wedding of two friends.  For the sermon I went with a reflection on love that used lyrics from a number of songs. Some I identified myself. Others were suggested by mutual friends: David Bowie, Laura Mariko Cheifetz, Noelle Tennis Gulden, DeLaina Gumbs, Irene Pak, Valerie Small, and Laura VanDale. For the little help that I needed to get by, I thank them.

Here’s the “playlist”:

  • With a Little Help from My Friends – The Beatles
  • What’s Love Got to Do with It? – Tina Turner
  • Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
  • Free in You – Indigo Girls
  • Do You Love me? – Fiddler on the Roof
  • September – Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
  • Home Is Where the Heart Is – Mary Travers and Holly Near
  • Respect – Aretha Franklin
  • Till the End of Time – Perry Como
  • Treasure Island – Mary Black
  • Bridge over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
  • You Can’t Hurry Love – Diana Ross and the Supremes
  • Love You ‘Till the End – The Pogues
  • Power of Two – Indigo Girls
  • Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own – U2
  • Let the Circle Be Wide – Tommy Sands
  • How Can I Keep from Singing? – Eva Cassidy

What would you add?

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Friends, Ireland, Music, Travel

Henna Night in Dublin

Joel and Roja’s wedding brought me to Ireland. It seems only fitting that the first posting related to the trip should feature a photo of Roja, Joel and me. Thursday evening saw two wonderful celebrations – a Groom’s Party at the Palace Bar followed by Henna Night at Clontarf Castle in Dublin. At the end of Henna Night, we paused for this photo.

I leave in a few moments to prepare to solemnise the service at the Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club.

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Friends, Ireland, Travel


For the upcoming Dublin wedding, I am practicing my solemnising look. How am I doing?

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photo

The way of travel

An enlargeable basic map of Ireland

An enlargeable basic map of Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tricia and I head to Ireland today. Friends have invited me to solemnise their marriage.

The day will see packing and the tying of some loose ends. Other loose ends will remain so. No doubt ends once thought secure will be discovered to be loose. Such is the way of travel.

I have long looked forward to a trip to Ireland. This is my first. I rejoice in the occasion. Still I will complain about the rush to get ready and worry about the things left undone and, Bilbo-esque, wonder about what I may inadvertently leave at home. Such realities are the way of travel.

Disrupting our routine opens the possibility for new experiences. New experiences offer the opportunity for new insights and growth. And that too is the way of travel.

See you along the Trail.


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Friends, Ireland, Travel

What’s your favorite book?

I no longer do so for pleasure as often as I would like, but I love to read. I am forever grateful to my parents, grandparents, and aunt for giving me that gift. On  World Book and Copyright Day, I give thanks for that gift and resolve to exercise it more often.

True confession. Before today I did not know this particular day existed. But it does. While everyday is a good day to read, UNESCO has designated 23 April as World Book and Copyright Day. As the UN News Centre reports:

UNESCO chose 23 April to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day as it also marks the day in 1616 that Britain’s William Shakespeare, Spain’s Miguel de Cervantes and the Peruvian writer “El Inca” Garcilaso de la Vega all died. The prominent writers Vladimir Nabokov, Halldór Laxness, Josep Pla, Maurice Druon and Manuel Mejía Vallejo were also either born or died on this day.

I have never joined the Professional Organization of English Majors, but my undergraduate degree was in English. I chose that major in large part because I like to read.

To celebrate World Book and Copyright Day (or at least the last 30 minutes or so of the day), I have pondered the question: what is my favorite book?

Of course I cannot answer that question, but I can list many favorites – almost all novels. Here are 10 – in the order they occur to me – which may say something about how much I like them or it may reflect more on how my mind is working this evening.

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (yes, that’s three, but I am counting them as one) – Tolkien
  • The Plague – Camus
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy – Walker
  • Lonesome Dove – McMurtry
  • A Pen Warmed up in Hell – Twain (many of his collections of essays or short stories could be added)
  • Moby Dick – Melville
  • A Lesson before Dying – Gaines
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Solzhenitsyn
  • The Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck
  • To Kill A Mockingbird – Lee
  • Things Fall Apart – Achebe
  • The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoevsky

Yes. That’s twelve, not ten. And that demonstrates the challenge, because even as I exceed my stated number, I think of other marvelous works by other wonderful writers (think Joyce or Faulkner or Garcia Marquez or Morrison or Thurston or Silko or Dickens – and the list goes on).

And so I ask: what books would you add?

And so I say: thanks be for all who write and all who read – thanks be for my family who inspired my love of reading.

See you along the Trail.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Family

Pending execution in Texas

I have missed a number of executions. No excuses, just a confession.

Tonight I signed a petition on behalf of Beunka Adams. His execution is scheduled for April 26, 2012 in Texas.

In 2002, Richard Cobb and Beunka Adams robbed a store and took three hostages, two women – Candace Driver and Nikki Dement – and one man – Kenneth Wayne Vandever. They drove the hostages to a field where Vandever was shot and killed. Both women were wounded.

Beunka Adams has never denied his involvement in the robbery, but he has always claimed that he didn’t shoot anyone and that he tried to stop his co-defendant from harming the victims. Adams’ co-defendant confessed to the shooting and the two men were not tried at the same trial. It is suggested that the jurors were convinced that Adams fired the gun because of evidence being held from them. Reports also suggest that Adams has not received adequate legal representation.

I grieve for Kenneth Wayne Vandever and all who loved him; I grieve for Candace Driver and Nikki Dement. What happened to them was brutal and unconscionable.

However, the execution of Beunka Adams by the State of Texas will not bring them back; it will further the cycle of violence and brutalize our society. I believe that the use of the death penalty as an instrument of justice places the state in the role of God, who alone is sovereign. In a representative democracy, the use of the death penalty places citizens in the role of executioners. I reject that role and say, “Not in my name.”

You too can sign the petition.

See you along the Trail.

1 Comment

Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

Not quite the same

Wandering through the Half-Price Bookstore on Thursday evening, I came across several versions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I decided that watching the trilogy – or at least as much of the trilogy as I could – would prove fitting entertainment for what could be my last night in the Shire.

I own the extended versions – they reside in Cleveland and serve as the basis for a family Christmas tradition. I pondered buying another set but, to save some bucks, opted for the original releases. They only cost $2.00 each.

I have enjoyed watching them – about half at the Shire and half at the Shire on the Hudson. Good, good stuff, just not the same as the extended versions.

It has been a good ride. I am glad I got them. I can’t wait to see the extended versions again.

See you along the Trail.


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Movie


Long line
slowly moves,
privilege whines.

20 April 2012 


Leave a comment

Filed under Poem, Travel