Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family


June 2008

Lost and found

This is a very hard post to write. I’ve been composing it over the past few weeks, struggling to find the words to express in some coherent way, the struggles and joys experienced while caring for my elderly Grandmother.

How does one share just how painful it is to see a beloved soul struggle with the simplest daily tasks? How can I explain the sorrow felt while watching the hands that used to paint, tremble while holding a spoon? Will economy of speech suffice when I try to paint a picture of the confusion etched upon her lovely face as she tries to recall what month we’re in?

Words are insufficient and I’m humbled by my naivete as I continue to struggle while providing the compassionate care that this dear woman not only desperately needs, but has earned by virtue of the many years of life she’s lived and the love our family has for her.

It’s not easy. In fact, it is perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Caring for my very large family, nurturing the young lives daily entrusted to me, being a good wife (and sometimes not so good!), is a constant challenge. The sheer volume of work…cooking, cleaning, washing, etc. is at times, overwhelming. Add to the equation the 24/7 care needs of an elderly person experiencing progressive dementia, not to mention the 6 to 7 times per night that she awakens needing assistance and the situation seems fraught with challenges. How do I maintain the balance between my God-given vocation of wife and mother, and that of caregiver to an elderly person?

Adult children have an obligation and the bible mandates that they are to care for their elderly parents.  From the Cross, Jesus gave the care of His own dear Mother to John, who from that point took Mary into his own home.  My mother and father have taken Grandma into their home.  Mom nursed Grandma through a life threatening injury and two serious illnesses. Working part-time and providing all of Grandma’s care, the hard work had begun to take it’s toll.  My uncle would take Grandma home with him for the weekends to give Mom and Dad a bit of down time, but it’s just not enough.  I begged Mom to let me help, convinced that I could give her a break and create a myriad of wonderful memories with Grandma; that I’d be able to easily accommodate her needs with the needs of my children and husband.

But there have been so many unforeseen difficulties: Grandma is remembering less and less. My favorite memories of her home in Greenville, SC…she has no recollection of, whatsoever. A topic discussed over coffee in the morning, is forgotten within moments of my leaving the room to return with a second cup. This morning I dressed her and groomed her and a few moments later she asked me when I was going to help her get dressed.

To quote my mom: “Something is missing…”

Indeed. Grandma. She’s lost, and I’ve been trying desperately to find her in the midst of the many activities that comprise her daily care, the conversations and funny stories I prompt her to remember.

Yet there is still so very much that is clear! She knows me. She knows who I am, who the children are…she has not forgotten us. She may forget that she’s been to the bathroom already, that she’s eaten lunch, that she’s gotten dressed, but she knows us. And so all is not lost…as a matter of fact, I’ve found quite a few things.

I’ve found a renewed sense of appreciation for the simple tasks that I perform daily. Washing the dishes, walking up and down stairs, washing my hands…I do these things so effortlessly, but many are impossible for my Grandma.

I’ve found that caring for a disabled person is one of the most noble causes. Although it is exhausting, there’s a real appreciation for the dignity of the human person.  I do everything I can to never lose patience with her, to show her that she is a valued person, that her challenges are inspiring, rather than burdensome.

I’ve also learned that this responsibility is far too great for any one person to manage alone.  God bless my mom…she has been through a lot over the past few months, with no road map, no blueprint and no instruction manual.  Having spent that past few weeks with only a single day off (to visit my daughter and new grandson in the NICU), there is no way to describe just how exhausting full-time elder care can be.  Exhausting, yet rewarding…her appreciation for even the smallest kindness is too touching for words.

In a couple weeks, Mom and Dad will return to pick up Grandma.  She has an appointment with a new doctor, whom we all hope will steer us in the direction of improving Grandma’s quality of life, rather than maintaining the status quo.  We are trying to plan how best to help Grandma from this point forward, cooperating with one another to do the very best we can for her.  Please keep us in your prayers…

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries!

FOR TODAY – June 30th, 2008

Outside my Window…A light misty rain is falling, the air chilly and damp. A few blackbirds are angrily crowing in the tree beside the cornfield…

I am thinking…about my sewing machine. It’s been neglected. Patterns and fabric are beckoning, and yet I have no time to sew. Every moment of every day is filled. Perhaps in a couple weeks…

I am thankful for…the use of my legs, my hands, my mind. How I take these things for granted! Watching Grandma’s struggle to recall what month or day it is, brings it all home…

From the kitchen…hot coffee with Tiramisu creamer, whole wheat toast with strawberry preserves. Lunch will be yesterday’s leftover chicken salad on potato bread. Dinner…hmmm…pork roast smothered in herbes de provence with rosemary/garlic potatoes and homemade coleslaw.

I am creating…I have no time to create. Just a pile of unfinished projects. I’m putting them all away…

I am going…to clean house today. There’s so much that’s left undone from last week. This has been a tough week…

I am wearing…a pale yellow linen Eddie Bauer dress with a pink cotton sweater. It’s quite chilly and overcast today…

I am reading…nothing. No time.

I am hoping…that the doctor will find a solution for Grandma’s nighttime agitation. Last night was particularly bad. I was up with her every hour from midnight until 7:00 a.m. this morning. Her memory seems worse as a result. Please pray for us…

I am hearing…the hum of the computer, the low voices of the children discussing a movie with Grandma and the soft falling rain…

Around the house…laundry to fold, rooms to clean…

One of my favorite thingsmy new scapular. It’s pretty nifty…

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…a family picnic or barbecue for the 4th of July. My dear husband will probably take the children to Red, White and Boom. Perhaps Grandma and I will be able to see a few fireworks from the backyard…

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

The daylilies growing wild beside the cornfield…

Weather woes…

The only thing that could possibly be more irritating than putting your wash on the line to dry, only to observe a coming storm roughly fifteen minutes later; would be to remember in the middle of the storm that the laundry is on the line.

Thank heaven’s I was able to take it down…but here’s the rub:

It didn’t rain.

The storm hopped right over us. Talk about irritating. I run back outside (after checking the Weather Channel online, of course!) and begin re-hanging the wash.

And then it starts to sprinkle.

I hung it up anyway.

This weather is driving me nuts…

A bolt from the blue…

…took out my favorite computer.  Sniff, sniff…looks like hubby has his work cut out for him.  I’m not quite sure of the extent of the damages.  Oh, well…a small loss considering the ferocity of the storm.

What storm?  My friend, Barb, paints a pretty good picture of the storm’s violence.  We were in the heart of it, and it was truly frightening.  I say this as a former Floridian who’s been through a couple tornadoes and hurricanes…this storm was equal to anything I’ve ever experienced.  Lightening and thunder that seemed never to end, a bedroom full of frightened children (and concerned adults).  Needless to say, there was not much sleep had that night.  Except for Grandma.  For the first time in 4 weeks, she slept through the night.  Amazing.

Sweet tooth…

Grandma has a sweet tooth.

Do you think she’ll like this cake?  I know I will!

Feast and Fire

Amongst the many reasons why I love being Catholic, is the very real way our faith is daily translated through the living of the liturgical year.  Yesterday was the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  A “double of the 1st class” feast day always deserves to be marked in a special way…we chose the time-honored tradition of the St. John’s Eve “Feast and Fire” as we’ve named it:  a special family meal and a bonfire to commemorate the birth of the Precursor.

Last night we were blessed with the arrival of last minute guests.  This made for a truly festive evening, lasting well into the wee hours of the morning.

The children enjoyed grilling hot dogs and roasting marshmallows.

They skipped the ribs…inconceivable, but I guess nothing beats a hot dog you’ve roasted “commando style.”

Of course you need the proper equipment:

And then there’s the proper technique for eating this delicacy…without the bun, of course!

The chill night air made the fire even more enjoyable…even Grandma came out for a short visit

And though we may have lacked the traditional “sweet beer,” the Guinness drinkers didn’t seem to mind!

Dad entertained the crowd with a bit of “redneck golf”. Dad grabs a golf ball, while the kids run to the other side of the the big barn. A hard whack with his trusty Louisville Slugger and that ball is outa here! The kids scramble on the other side of the barn to see who can retrieve it first. Yeah…kinda strange, but that’s who we are…

As the sun slowly set, the glowing embers of the fire and the twinkling stars provided all the illumination we needed. Pulling chairs closer to the fire, we talked of our faith…the love we share as Catholics committed to living life abundantly, taking every opportunity to celebrate what it means to live as families did centuries before us…according to the liturgical calendar.

This morning…the embers are all that remain of the fire. But the memories the children will carry with them into their adult life will nourish the seed we’ve planted.


There’s no substitute…

Laundry lessons…

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, then you know that laundry is a very frequent topic of discussion .  I love my clothesline, am constantly looking for ways to improve the whole laundry experience, as it takes such a large part of my day.

Which brings me to the topic of laundry detergent and the trend that has lead quite a few wives and mothers to experiment with making their own.

My interest in making my own laundry soap first began after reading this post.  Hmmm…cheaper? Definitely intriguing…but what if cheaper isn’t better?  What if the family didn’t like the smell?  What if the laundry isn’t as clean?

I remained skeptical.

Then I read this postCleaner? Smells better?  I have five men in my house…any laundry soap that can stand up to the dirt, grime, sweat, etc. that these guys dish out would be worth an attempt.

So I made the first batch. And last night I made the second.  We’re hooked.  Even 18 year old Clementine has declared it a superior product.  She says she doesn’t even need fabric softener any longer.

And the scent after a few hours on the line?  Delicious.  Fresh, without a hint of any underlying odor or chemicals.

Like I said, we’re hooked.  A money saving product that takes very little effort to “whip up” and a superior product.  Hurray!

The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Today is the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Time to light the bonfire! Alas, that will only happen if the wind cooperates. We certainly don’t want to burn down the barn! We’ve been accumulating this brush pile for quite sometime:

According to Catholic tradition, the Feast of St. John the Baptist is traditionally marked with a large bonfire and picnic. Perhaps the weather will cooperate with us this evening…

From EWTN:

We are given the story of the ministry of John the Baptist, called the Precursor or Forerunner of the Lord, with some variation of detail, in the three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as in the Book of John. Luke tells us of the birth of John the Baptist in a town of Judaea, about six months before the birth of the Saviour. The attendant circumstances, which we have already recounted under the headings of <St. Elizabeth> and <St. Zachary>, his parents, suggest the miraculous and wonderful. The New Testament tells us nothing of John’s early years, but we know that his pious, virtuous parents must have reared the boy with care, conscious always of the important work to which he was appointed, and imbuing him with a sense of his destiny.
Continue reading “The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist”

Divine Providence…

Standing at the kitchen sink, gazing at the rapidly growing corn and the blue skies, I watched my youngest daughter quickly pedal by.

Without training wheels.  All by herself; once again demonstrating how fleeting are the days of childhood, how quickly the battle for independence begins.  “I’ll do it myself!” has long been her mantra.  And so she has…

While observing the beauty of this lovely summer morn, I notice the gypsophila had begun to open.  I love this bushy plant, with its delicate white blooms.

Cookie joined me for a peek amongst the blossoms.

There was a quiet rustling noise, beneath the bush, which revealed a young robin, struggling valiantly amongst the leaves.

At first, I feared he had been wounded by the cat.  Within a few moments, I noticed he was tangled, quite tightly, in a length of string.

Calling for a pair of scissors, the children ran quickly to assist in freeing the bird.  Arthur gently held him down, while I was engaged in the lengthy task of untangling…first cutting, then unwinding and untying.  How he managed to secure himself so thoroughly is a mystery.   The robin remained quite still, throughout the entire process.  Once the last piece of string had been removed, Arthur slowly lifted his hand and a very grateful and unharmed bird flew quickly to the top of the large maple by the driveway.

Cheers of excitement and the realization that we were meant to release that little robin.  How lovingly our Lord cares for even the smallest of His creatures:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Cecil F. Alexander -1848

In the garden…

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

“When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can’t find something good about the world and your fellow human.”

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

From The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

FOR TODAY – June 23rd, 2008

Outside my Window…sunrise.  A chorus of birdsong.  The extremely cool, nearly cold morning air is creeping through the window, past the lace curtains beside my desk.

I am thinking…about how wonderfully the gardens are growing.  Though this year’s planting was quite late, the harvest promises to be abundant…

I am thankful for…the time I was able to spend with Elizabeth after the birth of baby Ben.  For his continued improvement.  For the many phone calls that we’ve shared over the past few days. And, for a full night’s rest last night…the first since Grandma arrived nearly three weeks ago.

From the kitchen…hot coffee with Chocolate Carmel creamer, whole wheat toast with strawberry jam, an egg and ham bagel for my dear husband.  Perhaps Grandma would like a coddled egg this morning…

I am creating…a very tiny pair of North Country Baby Socks in a lovely variegated yarn in shades of blue, cream and tan…

I am going…attempt to restore some sense of order to my home.  A couple days of sickness, coupled with a trip out of town and Grandma’s care equal a great deal of chaos.   My dear husband did a tremendous amount of laundry to ease my burdens…he even folded and hung most of it.  The rest remains in various piles in a variety of laundry bins and is overtaking my bedroom.  Must…put…laundry…away…

I am wearing…a tan and white striped rugby-style dress, hair hanging down with bangs clipped back, socks on my very cold feet, looking longingly at my warm bed…

I am reading…very little.  The occasional excerpt from a book or magazine this week.  I haven’t even had time to read to the children…

I am hoping…this week will prove to be less stressful than last week.

I am hearing…the soft hum of the window fan (why is that thing on?!!  It’s freezing!) The morning song of many birds…

Around the house…laundry to be put away, a dishwasher to unload, children to hug, many blessings for which I’m thankful…

One of my favorite thingssoft-boiled eggs.  In a pretty egg cup.  Served with “soldiers”.   Breakfast, anyone?

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I’m trying to plan very little, just taking it day by day.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

My three new egg coddlers…a sweet gift from my mom and dad given during their recent visit!

Update on Ben and Elizabeth…

Please keep both mother and baby in prayer…Elizabeth has had a significant relapse and is once again experiencing pre-eclampsia, this time postpartum.   Her blood pressure is incredibly high (even while sleeping), her protein levels are elevated and the edema has returned.  She is back on bed rest and not allowed to be ambulatory until the Dr. determines how well she’s responding to Procardia.   Baby Ben has also been diagnosed with PDA (patent ductus arteriosus).  He is receiving medication to help close the valve and is beginning to respond.  Additional good news:  he is tolerating the weaning process from the ventilator.  The plan is to try to take him off completely by tomorrow afternoon.

Many thanks for your continued prayers…

He’s here…

Thank you, dear friends, for your many prayers for both Elizabeth and her baby!

Benjamin Scott was born June 19th at 3:03 p.m. (three minutes after the Hour of Mercy!).  He weighed 5lbs. 8oz, and is 17 inches long.  Due to his prematurity and his mother’s health necessitating an emergency C-section, he’s having a bit of a struggle breathing.  It’s quite common for babies born via C-section to have some fluid in their lungs.  Baby Ben is suffering from a touch of pneumonia, as well as a possible partially collapsed lung.  He remains on a ventilator and will spend at least a week in the NICU.

Please keep Elizabeth in your prayers…she is suffering tremendously, having not held her baby even once.   She wants to be able to nurse her son, but that is not possible at present.  As a mother, I know only too well just how empty her arms feel, coupled with the struggles that this precious little one is facing.

Last night, Elizabeth was able to see her son for the first time.  Unfortunately, he had a bit of respiratory distress, and the scene was quite frightening for both mother and grandmother.  The doctors and nurses who care for these little miracles are such wonderful people.  Quick to answer questions and to reassure parents and grandparents that the babies are receiving the best of care.  Nonetheless, this young mother wants her baby, and though the father is spending every spare moment in the NICU, reporting the baby’s condition continually, it’s just not quite the same.  Fr. Timmel came by yesterday, to bless both Elizabeth and the baby, but was not allowed to enter the NICU because baby Ben was in the middle of a medical procedure.  Elizabeth retained Father’s card and I’ve asked her to consider an early Baptism…we all know just how powerful that sacrament is!  It just might effect the turn around little Ben needs…

Meanwhile here’s a photo of little Benjamin Scott before he was placed on the ventilator:

Please keep mother, father and baby in your prayers…there are plans to slowly wean him from the ventilator and his mom is longing for that day…it will be the day that she will actually be able to hold him in her arms.

Prayers, please!

As many of you are already aware, my daughter Elizabeth is suffering from severe pre-eclampsia.  Her blood pressure is dangerously high, her urine protein levels are off the chart and she is being prepared for a trial labor after 12 hours of magnesium sulfate to lower her blood pressure.  Please pray, dear friends!  She is very frightened, wanting her mother to be present.  I’m currently providing care for my elderly grandmother, coupled with transportation difficulties, since hubby no longer has a company vehicle.  Grandma Marty is on the way, and will be a great support, but mother and daughter are suffering acutely.

Your prayers for a safe delivery and the emotional well-being of my daughter, are most greatly appreciated.  Oh yes…pray for me, would you?  This is such a trial…I trust in God’s mercy and Divine Providence, but I miss my girl and want to be there for her.  Thank you, dear friends…I know what excellent prayer warriors you are!

Goodnight, moon!

The moon has risen, bright yellow-orange…shining brightly on the cornfield.  Tomorrow’s night sky promises to be even lovelier.  Check out the forecast for this year’s Strawberry Moon:

Full Strawberry MoonJune This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to capture a nice shot with my little Canon digital…or perhaps I can coerce Clementine to exercise her superior photographic skills…

The answer

It’s been a hard day…a day of worry and anxiety.  My dear daughter, Elizabeth, pregnant with our first grandson has been diagnosed with toxemia.  She’s more than 3 1/2 hours away.  My grandmother, who requires constant care and supervision, is staying with us for the next three weeks, so my ability to travel is greatly limited.

Today has been a tough day for Grandma, as well.  She is struggling constantly with the loss of her mobility.  Feelings of helplessness occasionally overwhelm her.  Some days are better than others.  Today, observing my distress over the health of my own child so very far away, Grandma became very sad, feeling that her presence was burdensome.  I tried very hard to convince her that we never consider her a burden, but she still struggles.

And then the sweetest thing happened.  Little Emily, age 5, kissed her great-grandmother goodnight.  She tiptoed over to the mantle, to the rosary-draped statue of our Lady and found her own, very small rosary.  She walked over to her great-grandmother and said:  “I’m going to pray for you, Grandma…because I love you…”

She went up the stairs, to the prie dieu in our classroom, and knelt in prayer.

I feel a bit better myself, now.  I’m reminded once again, that the answer to my anxiety and true comfort will only be found while on my knees…thank you, sweet Emily!

“…a little child shall lead them…”

Isaiah 11:1-10

**please keep Elizabeth in your prayers…tomorrow we should have more information regarding her condition…thankfully, HELLP has now been ruled out.  Her blood pressure remains dangerously high…

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

From the Simple Woman’s Daybook:

FOR TODAY – June 16th, 2008

Outside my Window…green grass glistening from this morning’s shower, birds chirping and a chilly breeze stirring the bedroom curtains…

I am thinking…about my husband, wondering how his first day at the new job is going…

I am thankful for…getting a little more sleep last night. Solving the mystery of Grandma’s insomnia is quite a challenge…

From the kitchen…comes the aroma of strong, hot coffee and toasted fruit and nut bread. Homemade chicken salad stuffed in whole wheat pita pockets for this afternoon and pork roast for supper…

I am creating…memories with my Grandmother. Asking many questions about her past, trying to video as much as possible…

I am going…to try to pray more. I’ve been a bit too caught up in the busy-ness of daily life. Incorporating Grandma’s needs with the family’s has been a bit of a challenge…

I am wearing…cotton-knit teal dress with a pink sweater, socks and no shoes (it’s chilly!) Hair up in a twist, with the bangs that are much too long partially obscuring my vision!

I am reading…(rereading) A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle

I am hoping…to accomplish today’s chores early and finish up the laundry.

I am hearing…the clicking of the bedroom ceiling fan, the morning’s conversation between the boys and the ding of the microwave…

Around the house…the corn is nearly three feet tall. Soon we’ll be obscured by a wall of green. I love it! The gardens are growing nicely and it’s time to clip the herbs (again!)

One of my favorite things…is raspberry jam. Delicious spread thickly on fruit and nut toast served with a cup of hot coffee…

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…taking it day by day! Adjusting the schedule to fit Grandma’s needs, resting when possible…

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

My Grandma…isn’t she adorable? This is one of my favorite pictures of this week:

Happy Father’s Day, to my two favorite men…

My dear husband and my father…both the very best of men, both worthy beyond all telling. To you both I send all my love, all my prayers, all my best wishes.  Happy Father’s Day!

Only A Dad
Edgar A. Guest (1916)

Only a dad with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame
To show how well he has played the game;
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come and to hear his voice.

Only a dad with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s Super Tim!

Twice in the same year?!! Tim Lyons will go to any length to show just “what Brown can do for you!”
(image source: James D. DeCamp/Dispatch)

We love you, Tim! Holy Family is a safer place thanks to guys like you:)

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Man chases down attackers at his church twice in one year
Saturday, June 14, 2008 3:14 AM
By Meredith Heagney

Tim Lyons fights crime in his UPS uniform.

He doesn’t go around looking for bad guys. They just keep showing up at his parish, Holy Family Church in Franklinton.

Once they mess with his fellow churchgoers, the mild-mannered Lyons has no choice but to chase them down.

Thursday night, he led police to two women who had attacked Katie O’Keefe inside the front door of the church. O’Keefe was making sure no one got on the elevator during the storm that was knocking down trees and power lines. The church was struck by lightning.

The women started harassing her, then punching her in the face and pulling her down by her hair.

The attackers ran away, and Lyons, who came upon O’Keefe moments later, ran out in the downpour to find them. While splashing around the neighborhood, he saw them standing behind a nearby hotel and alerted police.

The women were detained briefly, but O’Keefe was told that she must file a complaint for a warrant to be issued for their arrest, said the Rev. Kevin Lutz, the parish priest.

It was almost exactly a year since Lyons’ last, more harrowing pursuit, chasing a purse-snatcher who “could’ve beat the snot out of him,” said Lutz.

Lyons tailed that guy out of the church parking lot, over the railroad tracks, through the woods and down an embankment before the thief jumped into the Scioto River. Lyons kept an eye on him until police fished him out near Confluence Park.

Both times, Lyons was coming straight from work to go to Mass and a parish council meeting.

Lutz says Lyons’ actions were heroic, but Lyons, 31, says any young, able-bodied person at the church would’ve done the same.

“It’s my church,” said Lyons, who lives in Orient. “I feel an obligation to, you know, stand up to crime in the neighborhood.”

Lutz said Lyons didn’t want to tell anybody, not even his wife, about what happened, but the priest is telling everybody who will listen.

He and O’Keefe have been through this before. About 16 years ago, he was counseling her and her husband-to-be at Christ the King Church when they were robbed at gunpoint and locked in a safe.

Back then, they didn’t have Lyons around.

Apples to apples…

My dad has such a wry sense of humor. Take this evening, for instance. Gathered around the table, playing our favorite board game, dad notes that the playing ages for Apples to Apples is age 12 to adult. Noticing the look of consternation on the faces of a couple of the boys, he quips “special exception for homeschoolers…ages 4 to adult!”

You have to love him…

He also made a rather humorous discovery. With only a few exceptions, the answer to nearly every comparison in the game could very easily be Hilary Clinton. If you are familiar with the game, check it yourself. It’s really quite funny…some of the more unpleasant and silly descriptions aptly describe Hilary. The players all became a bit “punchy” as dad continually suggested that “Hilary” was the best response to “nasty,” “frivolous,” “nerdy,” “naughty,” and so on…

Just another reason why I love my dad…he has such a keen sense of the obvious!

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