Thursday, April 17, 2008

Out Of The Office And Into The Wild

I made an unexpected trip to the day-care yesterday to pick up Chloe. My daughter in law needed some Mommy time and I was happy to pick Chloe up. That's why little girls have Pa Paw's. After a long day at work there's not much better than her smiling face and affectionate hug. We had dinner at McDonald's and all was fine until she saw her Dad walk in. She knew she had been had. "I want to go to your house, Pa Paw! I don't want to go to my house"! One of the most difficult things about being a grandparent is having to sometimes disappoint a grandchild. Seeing her disappointment reminded me of my childhood and how much I loved being with my paternal grandmother. In my mind there was no one like her and I loved to stay at her house especially if there were no other grandchildren around. Now Chloe looks at me with the same eyes that I once looked at my grandmother. We had one more little disagreement when I told her it was not nice to try to yank Pa Paw's glasses off. The night ended well however. She quietly allowed me to strap her in her car seat and she was happy to go home with Dad after trading me in for a very large Winnie the Pooh doll that was sitting in the back seat of Dad's SUV. This little girl can wear me out sometimes but I love her.

Way back in December a friend and I were standing in a long line outdoors on a very cold day to obtain concert tickets to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Due to our ticket buying competence and some tenacity on our part we were successful in obtaining tickets. At the time the concert seemed very far in the future. Well, that time is now here. On Saturday night I will be at the Palace Theater in Louisville to hear and see what these two can create together. At first they seemed an unlikely pair. Robert was the lead singer of Led Zeppelin and Alison made her name playing bluegrass. This oil and water combination have made a beautiful CD together called "Raising Sand". I admit that it took a couple of listens for me to get into it but when it finally clicked for me it was a thing of beauty. I look forward to seeing them live in such an intimate setting. There's nothing like seeing great music performed live.

While I am at this concert my son will likely be arriving in New York City. He will be coming home from the seminary on Friday afternoon for an overnight visit before hopping on a chartered bus at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. He is one of a delegation from the Archdiocese of Louisville who will be attending the mass of Pope Benedict XVI at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. I have never seen a pope in person but I think I understand the excitement he feels. Back in the 90's I was able to attend a lecture by the Dalai Lama at a small college in Kentucky. I remember the excitement I felt as he walked out on the small stage and bowed to the crowd. Since my son is a seminarian and hopes to be a priest someday I am especially happy that he has this opportunity to see the leader of the Catholic Church.

Friday I will be at home walking in circles around my backyard picking up sticks and branches, raking leaves off my patio, chasing my wife with the leaf blower, talking to the squirrels, and feeding the birds. I might even work up a sweat which is something I rarely do. At some point I will finish these chores and I will sit in my chair with a cold drink and survey all I have done. It will take me all weekend to recover.

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