Sunday, June 28, 2009

Leave it

Today it was announced that one of our priests is stepping down from the priesthood after a year of discernment.

This is at the same time I took a quiz on and discovered that the three religions most appropriate for my beliefs were, in order, neo-paganism, Buddhism, and Quaker. Unitarian Universalist was right up there, too.

At least it wasn't the Shakers; although I love the furniture style, the lack of options in the celibacy department might become an issue at some point. However, I digress yet again.

The interesting part was that Roman Catholicism, the religion I converted to because tof EG's Latin roots and its importance to him through the Latino culture, was the absolute least appropriate option for me.

I am pretty open about religion, not adhering to the strict beliefs of some people that theirs is the one true way to believe, and those of us who believe another way were pretty much doomed. I always got annoyed when I would greet an in-law with "how are you?" only to get the response of "Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?" when I had seen this person just the previous weekend. I also do not understand mission work as it applies to conversion--those people were doing pretty well before we got there, so what makes us think that telling them about our spiritual doctrines would make things better for them. Besides, didn't some missionaries carry diseases into places and kill off some of the native inhabitants? There's a great way of earning bonus points.

Anyway, periodically some Jehovah's Witnesses will come aroud to the house, bringing their message, and I always respectfully listen and ask questions, much to the irritation of EG, who thinks I should announce "We're Catholic," as if that would have the same effect as garlic and a cross on a vampire, sending the witnessing scurrying to safer places, like perhaps a Baptist home or some devil worshippers.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on whose view you are taking, Penny took care of that for us. We were working in the yard on Saturday, and the dogs were out, running their acre, their radio collars keeping them restrained on our property. The kids called to me, telling me a car was in the driveway. Anyone who knows us knows to park behind the basketball hoop, as the dogs' collars prevent them from going that far; however, this car was parked in front of the hoop. Plus, this elegant elderly lady in a gorgeous emerald suit had climbed from the car and gone to the front door of the porch, standing between the flower bed and the drying rack of kids' clothes.

Penny alerted to the fact that we had guests and streaked past me as I approached the woman, who was already offering me a Watchtower and talking fast, hoping to get her spiel in before I announced we were Catholics, and thus unable to hear my warnings. "Penny, no!" I shouted. "Leave it!" But Penny was focused on her hostess duties and leaped up to greet this representative of the human race, tocuching her nose to the woman's nose as is her habit, and undoubtedly causing this woman to ponder, if she had time, that cannibals might not have been that bad after all.

"Leave it," finally penetrated Penny's brain, and she zipped off as quickly as she had arrived, pursuing a butterfly or a fly or some bit of fluff in the air. Meanwhile, the lady staggered, catching herself on the drying rack and breaking it and then recoiling the other direction, landing flat on her back in the flowerbed, which we had just that morning mulched with fresh bunny droppings from the litter boxes.

I was horrified. I turned to the kids, who were wide-eyed behind me. "Go get the phone," I said to one. "Get your father," I told the other, who tore off screaming incoherently that Penny had attacked someone. The women who were still in the car sat there, peering frantically through the windows, watching for Penny's reappearance; however, her dog attention deficit disorder had kicked in, and already she was out back, digging a rock to play with.

"I'm all right," the lady, still reclining in the flowerbed, said. I don't know if she was saying that more to reassure herself or us. EG appeared around the corner, muttering about why can't things ever be calm around here, and froze at the sight of this tastefully dressed lady supine in the rabbit urine soaked mulch, Watchtower clutched in her fist, and me standing over her. "I'm all right," she repeated. Who knows what scenario he imagined.

"Are you all right?" he and I chorused with the women who had emerged from the car. "I'm all right," she repeated, smiling feebly, staring up at the sky. We helped her up, brushing the bunny droppings off the back of her skirt and jacket, and the other two ladies whisked her into the car, where she smiled and said, "I'm all right."

I apologized profusely, but the remaining ladies all got in the car and backed out considerably faster than they had driven in.

We all stood there by the basketball hoop for a minute, staring after the rapidly departing car. Then Nita said, "She didn't leave her paper." Sure enough--she didn't.

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