Alumni game

Today we followed our son Devin over to the campus of State University of New York College at Fredonia for the annual men’s basketball alumni game. The annual get together of coaches, parents, players and a few fans was enjoyable. It’s fun to watch our son’s compete and to renew acquaintances with parents and coaches who had such an influential role in our son’s life. As I watched Devin warm up for the game tears came to my eyes as I watched him 3 pointer after 3 pointer in the pregame warm-ups. Little did I realize that he would hit consecutive treys in the game, play a solid floor game and then can the winner for his mates to win 68-65 in the event. I’d have been happy too if the score were tied as it was at the end of regulation last year. It’s great just to see these young men in action again. Soon we’ll celebrate the fourth anniversary of Devin’s college graduation. Wow! Where did the time go? Here’s a link to the Youtube video of the game I captured with my Flip Camera.

Where to begin

I haven’t been doing much if any blogging lately.  I’ve been too busy and mostly without words or the willingness to write anything down. Yesterday, Dara Maria graduated from State University of New York at Fredonia. I am so proud of her, she finished Summa Cum Laude.  She’s a very bright, classy young lady with a bright future and like her father, she’s an idealist.  I think being an idealist is important for teachers.  Ever since I returned from my southern trip last month I’ve been in a very introspective and contemplative mood. I’ve found a great deal to be excited about besides Dara too. I’ve been watching the NBA playoffs, reading blogs everyday, posting to Facebook and taking lots of digital images. Most of them have been with my Blackberry cameras, but still taking pictures and being as much alive as ever.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Thomas Merton and how his journey and mine are parallel though vastly different. A friends Facebook post led me to a Merton quote from “Rain and the Rhinoceros.”

The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!  Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen.”–Thomas Merton

I love to listen to the rain and we had some more of it last night. It was a perfect setting for contemplation. In fact I live on our enclosed porch. Nearly every waking hour I spend here except for when I’m at work or eating dinner with my wife. I spend my time in this hermitage that’s set apart from the rest of our home.

Well pleased

Tonight our daughter called to inform us that she has been awarded an Excellence in Student Teaching from the State University at Fredonia where she will graduate in nineteen days. Dara has excelled in her four years at college. Beginning with three semesters at Nazareth College and then the last five semesters at State University of New York College at Fredonia. Dara is our daughter in whom we are well pleased. Many young people dream of 4.0 semesters and some even attain those marks.  My best undergraduate semester was a 3.2 and I was quite proud of that. Dara’s overall GPA is 3.97 and a 4.0 in her major. Add to that she’s a charming and attractive young lady who is very sensitive and highly regarded by her peers and her teachers.  In other words she’s not a square. She’s athletic and continues to run eight to ten miles a week.  There is a quote from the Gospel of Matthew 3:17, “You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Tonight let me paraphrase that for our daughter and say, you are our beloved daughter in whom we are well pleased.  Deo Gratias!

Many thoughts

I”ve been very busy in the last couple of weeks and haven’t really felt inspired to write here. I’m learning a lot more about Drupal, an open source content management system that I began using almost two years ago. The learning curve is fairly steep with Drupal, but now I’m beginning to get it as I’ve built a half dozen or so Drupal powered sites.  I’ve enjoyed this time of learning and I’m looking forward to a new business venture with my son. It was his idea and perhaps I’ll write more about it in the days and weeks to come.

A good friend died in the last week. He had been sick for a long time. Frank Geaben was one helluva man. He touched my life in so many ways and had keen insight that he often shared with me. It troubled me that I was not able to see Frank in his final days as he really didn’t want any visitors. I will never forget the impact he had on  my life.

I’m troubled too by the situation in Gaza. It’s yet one more example of the utter failure of the war on terror. War only begets war and whatever Israel hopes to gain by attacking Hamas in Gaza will result in no gain. More terrorists will be created. If only Israel would follow the wisdom of its great prophets, much of this could have been averted. Their zeal has blinded them to the truth.  My sister visited that area a couple of years ago with a group of American nuns. She returned with stories of how the Palestinians that she saw were treated like dogs.  My sister is not a politician nor an activist. She was with the nuns on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

I’m also happy that our children have been home for the holidays recently. It’s nice to hear their voices around the home. Tomorrow they’ll be heading for their respective homes and getting ready for the work week. Our daughter, Dara, will be off to student teaching and her last semester as an undergraduate at SUNY Fredonia. I’m very proud of her efforts. She finished last semester with a 4.0 GPA and completed 21 credit hours. She’ll graduate in May with a 3.97 GPA.  I told her I was going to paint that on the roof of our home.

Our son, Devin will be returning to the Rochester, New York area and his work. He’s survived in a very tough economic climate as a salesman for a radio station.  I’m praying that our business venture can help him this year.  Tomorrow will be bittersweet as we bid them goodbye. They’ve both grown to be fine young adults.

I hope to get to Mass at Mt. Irenaeus in the morning and then a trip to Abbey of the Genesee later. I’m running out of Monks Brownies. Thank God for the Friars and the Monks.