Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I tried Balinese Gong Meditation, which was definitely different, and I was mesmerized by Wim Wender’s Wings of Desire. 

For the last day of the official Christmas season, I went to mass at another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago” I attended mass at St. John Cantius and stopped in to take some photos of St. Stanislaus Koska, which is also featured in this article. I’m still blown away by both churches.

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St. John Cantius

Christmas actually lasts until the Sunday following January 6th. The reading is about Jesus entering public life.

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St. Stanislaus Koska, Chicago

I’m half way through a “cosy mystery” called Duck the Halls. I’m not that impressed as I’m on page 80 and so far there’s no real mystery. I think I can guess who’ll get murdered, but let’s get on with it.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that New Year’s Eve is not a big holiday for me. It’s too expensive and frenzied. So I have nothing to report on 12/31.

I did go to another church from the list of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss When You Visit  Chicago,” St. Alphonsus in the neighborhood of Lakeview in Chicago. Again I was blown away by an 19th century church. This has a sapphire ceiling and marble altar. I snapped dozens of photos, but got home and 2 out of at least 50 were kept. I don’t know what happened with my camera.

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As I wanted photos with the Christmas decorations still up, I returned yesterday. For their Epiphany mass they had a full choir, horns, an organ and drums. The homily was relevant and meaningful. Afterwards, I took more photos. The ones that were still on a device were taken on my phone and iPad. All those taken with my camera (and were of higher quality) are gone. I hope it’s just a problem with the memory card.

I worked a lot for the Census and got to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was impressed with the sense of true community shown by the members towards each other and the hospitality I was shown. The best part of the job is getting to see new sides of my community.

Friday a friend and I went out to eat and then drove around Sauganash, an area where when we were kids was known for the homes with over the top holiday lights. While it wasn’t as dramatic as we remembered, there were some very festive. I was happy to see some homes commemorate Hanukkah. While Hanukkah is a smaller festival in Judaism, it’s good to see that these families wanted to share their faith with their neighbors.

*My phone’s charging so I can’t use my (poorly shot) Hanukkah lights so I’m sharing these.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that we had a lovely Christmas with lots of tradition. As we have for years, we went to mass on Christmas Eve at 4pm at my brothers’ old high school before going downtown for dinner with my dad’s side of the family. Lots of cousins and their kids were there as well as my brother Bill and his family. One cousin was in from Las Vegas and another and his family drove in from Minneapolis. It was a shame that neither of my sisters came in for the holidays. One had to go to her in-laws and the other was here for Thanksgiving and couldn’t bring her kids in twice.

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St. Mary of the Lake Church

On Christmas Day, breakfast was a lot quieter as there were no siblings or nieces & nephews here. Still my parents and I had a lovely breakfast and quiet can be quite nice too. In the evening we went to my brother’s. He lives about an hour from here. We had a good dinner and it was a good time to catch up with college-age nieces and nephew.

Thursday I got to go to dinner with a friend who’s in town with her family. She’s been living in France for 13 years or so and we don’t get much time to talk.

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Jolly

Sunday, as I posted, I visited a splendid church in Uptown and then went on to the Gold Coast, where the Christmas decorations are fabulous.

I was a little behind in making my 40 book reading goal for Good Reads so I got some quite short books like And All Through the Night, a couple children’s books and a play by Tom Stoppard. Now I’ve more than caught up with that goal.

Now on to 2020!

Poem of the Week

Sunday Brunch at the Old Country Buffet

by Anne Caston

Here is a genial congregation,
well fed and rosy with health and appetite,
robust children in tow. They have come
and all the generations of them, to be fed,
their old ones too who are eligible now
for a small discount, having lived to a ripe age.
Over the heaped and steaming plates, one by one,
heads bow, eyes close; the blessings are said.

Here there is good will; here peace
on earth, among the leafy greens, among the fruits
of the gardens of America’s heartland. Here is abundance,
here is the promised
land of milk and honey, out of which
a flank of the fatted calf, thick still
on its socket and bone, rises like a benediction
over the loaves of bread and the little fishes, belly-up in butter.

Birthday

My Cake

The school brought over this lovely, large cake. So after a dinner with several favorites, I invited the teachers for cake on the patio since it’s still nice out. A good day. Much better than last year’s fiasco when a deranged colleague pounded on my windows outside my apartment.

I love how cakes here aren’t too sweet and they come with paper plates, little forks and a plastic cake cutter.

Yesterday’s Banquet

Impressive

China is a food culture. Period. End of story. People mark the beginning of the school year, or any venture, I gather, with a banquet.

Yesterday our American school treated us to a sumptuous luncheon. I soon lost track of the number of courses we had. That’s easy to do at one of these affairs in China.

Elegance

Fatty Pork

One of my new colleagues had the good fortune of celebrating a birthday yesterday so we got to finish off the meal with a beautiful cake. What I like about Asian baked goods is they aren’t too rich or too sweet.

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I think even a Chinese person who lives to be 100 would never eat all the dishes available just in our region, Shandong. One thing that isn’t poorly made in China is the food.