St. Michael's Mskis

Dear friends, it's good to be back. It was good to be away, and it is good to be back. I can't wait to spend some quality time catching up on what everyone's written about. Tonight I am trying to spend some quality time with the babies, so they remember who I am. But, couldn't resist posting a quick blog entry.

These retreats always make me realize how good it is to be in the CEC, and to have the greater CEC family around us. I can't wait until you all experience that more and more. The St. Michael's crowd, and San Clemente Diocese, is very cool. There were a lot of blessings that you'll hear about in the coming sermons. I'll tell you a little sidenote.

This retreat was different from others in that we stayed with friends. We stayed with Mean Deacon David, to be exact. He's not mean, but years ago when we worked on the Convocation (he organized the entire thing) he used to put the fear of something in me. Anyway, Mean Deacon David is very kind, and a lot of fun. He and Fr. Husband have become great friends, hunting buddies, etc. MDD invited us to stay at his house instead of the traditional Holiday Inn, and we took him up on the kind offer.

MDD has a family like ours - except MDD and Mrs. Mean have three boys and one girl. They have a lovely home in San Juan Capistrano and redid their guest room right before we came, so we had the most lovely room with freshly laid Pergo, moulding, mocha paint, and lovely bedding.

MDD and Mrs. Mean are a hoot. We had a great time. We ate appetizers with water crackers, my favorite thing. The only thing we didn't get to do was play cards, because we got too tired. It turns out they like to play Spades too, our favorite couples card game.

We were at the clergy dinner on Friday night, a sumptuous affair at the home of Canon Jim. Canon cooks steaks, serves wine no one could afford at their own homes, and really treats all the clergy like kings in a soiree at their home, fully funded by the Canon. We were having a fine time at the dinner when MDD got a phone call from home.

At 10pm, a very loud knock occurred at the door of MDD's home. Their oldest daughter Ashley, age 16, was watching the younger kids. She was afraid. MDD told her to bring in their two hunting dogs, and lock the doors. He also had her bring over the neighbors, two girls who were also clergy kids staying at home alone, so they would be protected by the Gus and Annie, the Wiemeraner (sp?) hunting dogs too.

Ashley called back again, 10 minutes later, to say that people were outside with flashlights and a helicopter was circling overhead. We packed up, said our goodbyes to everyone, and high tailed it out of there. MDD talked to Ashley on the way, reassuring her that he and Fr. Husband would patrol the place with MDD's bows and arrows when they got home, and we'd be there quickly. Apparently Fr. Husband was going to have to whip out Robin-Hood style Fr. Kickass.

Ashley called again, while we were close to Mean Deacon David's house. Annie, one of the hunting dogs, had bitten the two neighbor clergy kids. One on the elbow, and one on the butt. Now MDD was feeling not just anxious to protect his kids, but guilty over harming the neighbors.

We pulled up the driveway, ready to spring out and capture the potential intruders. Then, we saw the culprit. Ashley's car had been tee-peed, and it was the teenagers who had done the knocking and flashlighting. Ashley must have interpreted a random helicopter overhead as a police copter circling. We went inside the house, and tended to the hysterical bunch. Two of MDD's younger boys had been crying, Ashley had been crying, and the neighbor clergy kids had been crying after the dog bites. Both of them had broken the skin.

We laughed. It's so good to know that other people have our kind of chaotic domestic bliss. This family is the St. Michael's version of us. We have never had such a fun time at retreat.