As I write, I’m looking down from my upstairs office window at my wife as she tends to the chickens and ducks. She’s wrapped up warm, indicative of the chill turn in the weather. That said, and taking a quick look at the thermometer outside my office window, 47 degrees is hardly chilling, considering the time of the year. It’s just that the temperature has been nudging the 60s over the past few days.
It’s high noon on the second Friday of the New Year and another week is wending its way to a close. Truth be told, I am feeling greatly relieved that the huge mountain of backlogged work which awaited my return from the Christmas holidays and the travels which preceded it, is finally looking more manageable. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel or, to keep with the original metaphor, the summit is in sight!
I’m writing this nine pipers pipingly, according to the version of The Twelve Days of Christmas that I learned as a child, which is to say that it’s the ninth day of Christmas.
Well, we’re into the O Antiphons which means that Christmas is almost upon us.
I’m writing this on December 10, which is the feast day of no fewer than eight English Martyrs, the best known of whom is probably St. Swithun Wells, who was martyred for the Faith on this date in 1592. May he and his seven holy and courageous companions pray for us.
It’s somewhat mortifying to set the alarm for 3:45am, only to discover that United Airlines (who else?) had once again failed to meet its responsibilities to its customers. I’m still smarting at a night spent rough at Washington Dulles airport a few months ago after technical problems on both of my scheduled United flights prevented my being able to fly to Croatia for a Chesterton conference. Having missed the conference, I returned home to South Carolina, utterly exhausted, giving my talk to the folks in Croatia via Skype.
The last time I wrote an entry in the Ladydale Diary, I was preparing for a pre-dawn flight to Texas. The purpose of this trip to the Lone Star State was my attendance at a C. S. Lewis Retreat in Camp Allen, a rural retreat centre near Navasota, an hour or more from Houston.
First, a word on today’s saint, who will be unknown to many but should be known to all, or at least to all who can claim Irish descent, as can I, my maternal grandmother being a Kavanaugh who was born in County Galway. St. Lawrence O’Toole is the patron saint of Dublin. Those wishing to know more should check out this folk song about him, sung by Finbar Furey.
Much water has flowed down the Ladydale Creek since my last Diary entry. And as the water flowed, I flew. All the way to California and back.
As I write, the window is open in front of me and the thermometer outside reads that it is currently 73 degrees. An hour ago, it was 78 degrees. In addition, the humidity level is very high due to the 24 hours or more of rain that we’re having. The fan in the room is spinning and I’ve reluctantly turned the air conditioning back on. This is crazy weather for Halloween!