Father Joe changed my entire Catholic experience. He visits us once every month and when he comes the church is packed. Not your ordinary Father, he walks up and down the aisles, asks us questions (he calls on those who raise their hands), throws in a few Hail Marys, speaks in a booming voice and gets our attention. He was the first person I have seen who related Scripture and the Gospel reading to us today so well, so clearly and with such enthusiasm that I caught myself wanting more. When he spoke he tugged at our hearts and spoke to our inner doubts, fears, questions and desires.
It only fit that he officiated our Easter mass, touching on the suffering, sacrificing and faith of Jesus Christ. “How many times did He fall while carrying the cross? Three times! And he stood up again and again, carrying His burden.” Then came the mule.
“This is a true story,” said Father Joe. “There was a farmer who had a mule. The mule fell into a well and it was a very DRY well. The farmer felt very sad, knowing there was no water and that the mule would die. The mule passed out and when the farmer saw him said he would gather his friends and give this mule he loved a proper burial. He would bury it in the well. So, with his friends they began to shovel dirt in. The mule, having only passed out, felt the first mound of dirt hit his head and woke up. He realized they were burying him. This mule got smart fast. Instead of just standing there, he shook the dirt off and stepped on top of the dirt. (Here is when you have to imagine Father Joe bending at the knees, shaking his bottom, and stomping his feet as he “steps” onto the dirt. Then imagine him doing this again and again, turning in a circle, shaking his bottom.) And so the mule just kept shaking the dirt off while the others continued to throw dirt on him. He continued to step up and eventually got out of the well.”
The whole church pealed into laughter and clapped.
After Easter brunch and before Easter dinner, the lot of us decided to go to Santa Monica Pier and take some family photos. Of course, by the time we got there our kids had fallen asleep in the car so we waited as long as we could before losing time and daylight. While waiting I thought it may be fun to take pictures on the parking garage rooftop. Nope. The clouds parted and the sun shone too brightly. By this point Eye woke up and we popped Tee into the stroller and went for a walk. As we passed this alley, I thought, “hey! -(hey is for horses, Mommy!)- maybe this could work.
Slightly satisfied we continued on to the pier.
Easter this year was a bit frigid so we had to add a few layers to Eye’s cute dress. Where are all her pictures? Ugh, the little terror angel scurried here and there escaping the click of my shutter. She found this perfect green bench to sit on and when I said, “Oh, that is PERFECT!” she jumped off in a flash and darted away. Actually, it was more like her bottom barely brushed the seat; she heard my voice and split. Can you feel my frustration? My sister, who was in town for the weekend, witnessed all this and gained new appreciation for whatever decent photo I have of her.
The pier was packed and we worked hard to look like we had it all to ourselves. Wouldn’t that be neat?! Thank you Hubby for playing along with me!
And finally, FINALLY, (can you believe I am writing that?!) Tee woke up. Just in time.
My sister snapped a few photos of the 4 of us and then we began to head home.
As we began to cross the bridge we noticed, or Eye noticed, that the carousel was open. Somehow it is always closed when we go so we turned around and let her go for a spin. The girl is hilarious. She gets terribly excited about a fun idea and then, when she finally does what she’s been waiting for, she looks like this:
This goes to show, folks, that most of the joy, excitement, and fun in life is bundled into one tiny little word, anticipation. (Food for thought Friday?)
After riding the horsey, we head home. Do you want to know how lucky I was? A flock of birds flew over us and by over us I mean hundreds of people. As I walked in my dress and high heels at least one BIG bird pooped on me. Not on anyone else. On me. I felt a giant SPLAT across my head. I swear, it was like my head was the target of this feral pack of birds. The People’s Republic of Santa Monica just dumped on me. Disgusting puts it mildly. We pull over and Craig helps, helps, wipe what he can out of my hair. Never mind that I feel the stuff on my scalp. Yuck. We continue walking and Isabel starts pulling at her tights – no doubt those splinters have started bothering her. As I pull away from helping her I touch more poop on my dress. “I KNEW it!” I said in my quietest voice. I start bleaping profanities at this point. No, not really, but in my mind I did. Wipe, wipe, wipe, continue. Then we stop at a light and Craig said, “is that bird poop on your SHOE, TOO?” (Are you laughing yet?) It was not even like these droppings were from a tiny baby sparrow. No, no, no, that just would not be lucky enough. This was from some chunky, over-fed, previously-constipated pelican. At this point, I admit, I started to pout.
“Is it not enough that I don’t sleep? That my eye hasn’t stopped twitching all day for about 2 months now?” My list continued. “Did the bird have to poop on me????” And do you know what Hubby did?
He put his legs together, bent his knees, wiggled his bottom and stomped his feet.