Sunday stealing: liturgy of the Word


Here’s this week’s Sunday Stealing. I looked at the questions, and many of them seemed very familiar. In fact, look at these answers from two months ago.

But there is something in a lot of church worship called the liturgy, which is “a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances. The liturgy of the Word consists of Scripture readings, repeated in a three-year cycle. The theory is that as one revisits them, one has new insight.

So I will answer all the questions, even the repeats, but answer them differently.

1.    Write about the best decision you ever made. How did you make it? Was it reasoning or gut instinct?

It was moving to the Capital District of New York State in late 1977.  As you can tell, it was definitely not reasoning. And it wasn’t gut instinct. It was desperation.

2.    What ONE thing would you change about your life? How would your life be different?

I honestly cannot answer this. If I did this, then I wouldn’t have done that. I can think of a good half dozen choices that would have changed my life if I had said, or didn’t say, X. Think the multiverse.


3.    What is the hardest thing you have ever done? Why was it hard for you? What did you learn?

It wasn’t watching my mom die. It was a few minutes before that when I thought she was suffocating to death. I freaked out and rang the nurses, even though she had a DNR. This is a natural devolution of end of life, I learned. Do I need to explain why it was difficult?  It’s added to my pool of information for Death Cafe courses I have helped to facilitate. I’ve since embraced the topic of death, learning about death doulas, for instance.

4.    What is your greatest hope for your future? What steps can you take to make it happen?

Someday, my wife will retire. I can make oatmeal for us almost every morning.

5.    If you can time travel, what will you tell your teenage self?

Not a damn thing because I wouldn’t believe it anyway. If I did believe my Future Self, it would alter what I might have experienced.

6.    Write about the most glorious moment in your life so far.

One would be when my church choir performed the Mozart Requiem in March 1985, then a handful of us crashed Albany Pro Musica and performed it on September 11, 2002; afterward, it was the only time I wore a tuxedo to work.

7.    What did you struggle most with today?

Time management. the more I NEED to do, the less likely I have the focus to do so,

8.    What made you happy today?

Takeout Indian food.


9.    What did you dislike most about growing up?

The deaths of my paternal grandmother, Agatha Walker in 1964, when I was 11, and my great aunt Adenia Yates in 1966, when I was almost 13. They were great.

10.    Write about 3 activities you love the most and why you love them.

Music (singing), music (listening to recordings), and music (hearing live music). Because joy.

11.    What has been your best trip so far?

There have been a few. The first best trip as a family was probably a 2008  trip to colonial Williamsburg, pictured above.

12.    Write a list of 3 things (physical or personality-wise) you love about yourself, and why they make you unique.

We’re all unique, with specific recollections and skills. Mine tend to be with numbers. I had to exchange some tickets for a musical, and they would cost more. In my head, I figured it out before the person with the calculator could. Math is everywhere. Why? Because it’s useful and fun.

Unfairness ticks me off. Cars that park in crosswalks, making it difficult for pedestrians, who might be blind or have a walker or a shopping cart are selfish jerks.  Unfortunately, I’m too civilized to key their cars, But I think about it way too often.

And music. I hear it, even when it’s not playing. I listen for the tones of fire trucks, vacuum cleaners, or chainsaws. Why? Because music. Renée Fleming has edited a new book called Music and Mind, which someone ought to get for me.

Openish book

13.    Discuss 3 things you wish others knew about you.

I’ve been writing a blog for 19 years. Whatever I haven’t told you I either don’t think I can share, at least not yet, or I don’t remember anymore.

14.    Write about your top 3 personal strengths.

I can be VERY LOUD when I have to be, a useful skill when someone tries to announce amid a noisy room.  My go-to: “OYEZ!! OYEZ!”

I observe a great deal, looking for people in certain settings who seem new or shy.

I have that curiosity gene that a good librarian needs. It’s been used in the blog dozens of times per year.

15.    Is social media a blessing or a curse?

My general observation is that there’s a LOT of information, too much to keep track of. I saw this post about a woman leaving the reality show Real Housewives of the Potomac. There’s a show called Real Housewives of the Potomac. And it’s been on since 2016?!  I spend more time skipping things than reading them.

Occasionally, I will indulge myself by watching three or four reels on Facebook of billiard shots. I love billiards, but I suck at it, so the game interests me.

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