Saturday, April 3, 2021

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Tomorrow Easter is celebrated in most of the Christian world, also sometimes called "Resurrection Day," the day in which the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated.  

I say "most" of the Christian world because Orthodox churches follow a different calendar and their Easter Sunday is different from other Christians traditions. This year it's a whole month later. I won't get into all of that -- mainly because I don't understand it -- but suffice it to say, at one point or another, Christians the world over celebrate the resurrection of Christ. 

As a lifelong church attender, I have rarely missed an Easter Sunday in church. Last year, with the pandemic, was one of those rare years. Tomorrow we will be with my daughter and her family. Her church is having an outdoor service. Since I'm only half-way vaccinated, I'm thankful for that. 

My favorite hymn of all time is ""Christ the Lord is Risen Today." Most traditional churches have it played as the opening hymn on Easter Sunday. In the Methodist Church in the small south Arkansas town where I grew up, as it was played and the adult choir processed down the aisle to take their place in the choir loft, there was often a brass quartet accompanying the pipe organ. It was glorious and it gave me chills. 

The text was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. The first verse is as follows:

Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia!

Sons of Men and Angels Say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens and earth, reply, Alleluia!

There are a total of six verses, although I'm only familiar with the first four. The words are stirring and I would urge you, if you are so inclined, to read or listen to all of them. 

Early in my adult life, I joined a non-denominational church. It's where Wife and I met. An offshoot of the one we attended in Little Rock, Arkansas is the one we are now a part of here in the Nashville area. It's great, but I don't love the music, and I miss hymns like this one. There might or might not be a version of this played/sung, but it won't be in the traditional way (I won't be there tomorrow, anyway, and of course I have no idea if Daughter's church will sing it). 

But thanks to technology, a stirring rendition of this old favorite is as close as YouTube. I'll also go into my living room, open my old Methodist Hymnal, play it on the piano and sing it myself. 

Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen! He is risen indeed!  


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Half-way there

 Yesterday was momentous. 

I got part one of the COVID-19 vaccination. 

It's been a long time coming and I'm thrilled to have taken this step toward normalcy. 

A friend had told me Wal-Mart opened up a portal every night at midnight for a rolling week, and you could schedule an appointment a week out. She's a night owl, so offered to do it for me. Shortly after midnight last Saturday night/Sunday morning, she scheduled my appointment for 5:40 p.m. yesterday at a Wal-Mart about a dozen miles from my house. 

The pharmacy called about 3 p.m. yesterday to confirm I would still be coming and said I could come whenever I was ready. By 4: 15 I was vaccinated. 

I thought I would be getting the Moderna vaccine, but when I arrived, I was told they had switched to Pfizer. It made no difference to me, of course. 

Although I begrudgingly say anything positive about the Trump administration, I am appreciative for those who got things moving last year to make this thing happen. It is nothing short of miraculous that we have vaccines scarcely a year after this nightmare began. 

If Trump had not acted the way he did (like a big baby who didn't get his way), never acknowledging Joe Biden as the new president, Biden would have likely expressed his appreciation himself. 

But we'll not go into all that today. I am even more appreciative of President  Biden and his administration for expediting this process. 

To be sure, we are not back to normal yet. I suspect it will be another year before we go into crowds without giving it a thought, and all sports and concert venues are back to capacity. I might wear a mask in public the rest of my life, because I think it protects me from all kinds of stuff floating around in the air. 

It is also possible many of us will remain in the remote workforce. A lot of folks like it, and for most of us, it works. Patterns in work are cyclical, and I suspect we'll have a large segment of remote workers for a few years to come, and then will not be surprised to see more companies having people coming back onsite. 

I'm happy with whatever happens. I can ride this work-from-home gig into retirement (although Wife might not agree with that) or I can go back to an office. At my age, the longer I can work and build up my retirement account, the better. Plus, I am not ready to find other things to do to occupy my time every day. I'm a creature of habit. 

Anywho . . . . I'm half-way there. I'll return in 3-4 weeks for the second shot and shortly thereafter, I'll be hugging anyone who crosses my path. 

Calm down, I don't really mean that. But if you're in the neighborhood and you're longing for a warm embrace, stop by. 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Winter blast

 Like so many of you around the U.S., I've been hunkered down here in Middle Tennessee this week as a winter storm came through. 

Ours started last Sunday, and the first wave came primarily in the form or sleet and freezing rain, with a little snow mixed in. By Monday, there was a layer of ice coating everything, including my driveway and street. 

Older Son and DIL had requested Wife's presence in Atlanta this week. They both had COVID, and by the time both of them had experienced it, about three weeks had gone by and they were both way behind with work, among other things. And Wife was only too happy to have some time with the grands. 

So Wife left last Sunday before stuff started falling. As she drove south, she drove out of it. 

So I've been going it alone this week. Since I work at home, my world has been pretty small. By Wednesday (yesterday) most of the streets had been plowed or salted. They didn't make it all the way to our end of the street, but everything was packed down enough by then that I could make it out of the driveway and down the street to where things were cleared. 

I made a run to the grocery store, along with hundreds of others who were stocking up on provisions as I was. Most everyone was cordial and polite and we waited patiently in line. I think we were all glad to be out among humans. We are already limiting our socialization during this pandemic, so a winter storm only adds to our feeling of isolation. 

Seems I made the grocery run just in time. By late afternoon, white stuff was falling again, this time in the form of snow in big flakes. I must say it was beautiful and this morning I woke to a blanket of white over everything. We had about four more inches on top of the ice that was already there. 

I stayed in again today, and we had a little more snow this afternoon. It has not been above freezing since last Saturday, but our friends the meteorologists are telling us to hang on, the sun will shine tomorrow and we'll be in the high 30s Saturday. By late next week, we're supposed to be in the low 60s. 

Having nowhere I had to go this week, I must say I enjoyed the snow. It has been a few years since we have had any significant accumulation, so it was fun to watch it fall and see if pile up. 

But now that it's done, I'll be ready to welcome spring and hopefully get the COVID vaccine around the time of its arrival or shortly thereafter. 

Yes, spring will bring hope this year.