I've been on vacation since last Wednesday, taking a road trip to Columbus, Indianapolis, and Toledo. So far, I've put 1300 miles on the car. It's held up really well so far, and that's a good thing. I've been experimenting with the gas grades higher than regular. I can't tell for sure, but it did seem that the car ran somewhat more smoothly on the highway when I was using the middle grade. Today I put in a tank of premium (it's $3.17 in Toledo at the moment, or $2.95 for regular) just to see what will happen on the next leg back home.
Itinerary so far:
Wednesday: on the road all day from Bayonne to Columbus , Ohio. I stayed with my friends Paul and Michael. They just bought a new townhouse condo in the Harrison West section of Columbus. Paul teaches Spanish at Whitehall HS, a suburb of Columbus, and Michael is Minister of Music at Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna and teaches voice and piano privately and at Otterbein College.
Thursday: Spent the morning with Paul, then went to visit Capital University, where I got my undergraduate degree in Political Science and Computer Science back in 1989. They've done a lot to the campus, but much of it is still the same. I felt very nostalgic wandering around and seeing stuff. The university finally closed off Mound Street, which ran right through the center of campus, after they acquired the last private home on the block. It was a very bright day and hardly any trees, so the new center of campus felt like a desert as far as I was concerned. I noticed in particular that the Conservatory complex had really grown a lot, with a new connecting building between Mees Hall and the next hall over. Lots of new practice rooms and stuff. They've renamed the library the Blackmore Library after Josiah Blackmore, who was president when I was there and for several years after. As I wondered around the campus, I was surprised to see some names of faculty who were there when I was there - that really says a lot about the longevity of the place.
I hit Indianapolis about 7 PM, and stayed through Sunday with my friends Stephan and Jeffrey in Indianapolis. I met them years ago as they sing in the Choir of Men and Boys of Christ Church Cathedral, my home parish. Jeffrey is a physican and works primarily in acute care and occupational care practices. Steve sings professionally as a counter tenor and maintains an extensive teaching and recital schedule. They're such good people - it was good to see them also.
On Friday I slept in and then had a nice afternoon with my grandmother in Muncie, Indiana. She's a very hale 81 and still volunteers at a nursing home twice a month. I hadn't seen her in a while and it was nice to catch up. She baked me a very nice strawberry pie for dessert. It was great!
Saturday was the Big Day for my good friend Davies Reed. He and two others were ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons at a wonderful service at Christ Church. Bishop Cate Waynick presided and preached. I thought her sermon was excellent but she told us later she didn't like it. Afterward, Davies had a nice get-together at his home for family and friends. I got to see several priests and partners and spouses whom I hadn't seen. Lots and lots of catch up!
On Sunday, Davies served as Deacon at Christ Church and I was given permission to vest and process and help with communion, otherwise known as "dressing up and walking around." That was a great joy for me and I know for Davies as well, since I had not served as a priest in my home parish since my own ordination in February. Once again, I got to see lots of people I hadn't seen in a while!
After a dim sum brunch with several friends from Christ Church at Shen Yang, which I had never been to while living in Indy, I headed up to Toledo to see my parents. We had a nice little supper, talked for a while, and went to bed.
Today is Monday. Dad and I drove to breakfast and then to see the Solon plot and see if we could get the date for when my grandmother died. The stone only had the year on it thought - 1997. I'm hoping we can do a ten-year anniversary family reunion in September
We also went to visit Woodlawn Cemetery, which I also had never been to while growing up. Lots of prominent Toledo families have plots there - the Libbeys, Tiedtkes, LaSalles, Guenkels, and others. It was fun to drive around and see them. At least one of the mausoleums (plural in Latin is what, I wonder?) has a real Tiffany window in it. Seems a bit of a waste, but probably felt right to the family involved at the time.
Tonight Dad and I are going to see the Toledo Mudhens play the Indianapolis Indians in AAA ball at Fifth Third Field downtown. We have great seats - only $8 each! - behind and a little to the right of home plate. In fact, we need to get going here in a few minutes.....
Baseball Update will come soon, if anyone is truly interested besides me, that is.