I was pretty proud of myself for the way in which I deftly managed my schedule yesterday, especially as I was still discombobulated from my travel of a few days before (which always throws me).

♦   First stop was RFEC, where it was “Jazz Sunday”.  As I’ve mentioned in previous years, it is the practice of my former rector on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday to bring in a jazz combo (with himself on the drums) and have us sing them old tyme spirituals instead of the usual fare of 18th and 19th Century hymns.  As I’ve also said many times before, I find the whole concept of a gang of well-healed, upper middle class suburban whites singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to be rayther tacky.  So aside from “Amazing Grace”, I simply kept my mouth shut and smiled thinly.

However, I had particular reason to be there, apart from the whole family unity policy.  For one thing, the 5th grade class was handling the Old Testament reading about Elisha succeeding Elijah, and the eldest gel had bagged the former part.  I think she was selected for the forcefulness with which she kept telling the sons of the prophets warning about Elijah’s impending exit to pipe down.    For another, the nine year old’s youth choir sang the Offeratory Anthem.  The gel is rapidly becoming a leader in this group, and when her eyes start sparkling and she decides to let rip, her voice is quite distinct among the general hubbub.  It is a real treat to watch and hear.

♦   After the Offeratory was over, I slipped out in order to dash over to a neighboring school, where was being held the final day of softball try-outs.  The past couple sessions, I’ve been sitting with the other AAA managers.  The atmosphere is considerably less intense than it is with the major league sharks, and I’m beginning to sense that I’m going to have a lot of fun working with them.  Our draft is next Sunday, so hopefully I’ll be able to start getting my team organized very shortly.  As I was leaving, I was accosted in the hall by the mom of one of the AAA players, who immediately started lobbying about how nice it would be for her daughter to be on my team, especially as the girl sings in the choir at RFEC with my nine year old.  She also started offering helpful hints about all the wonderful training drills last year’s coach had devised.  On the one hand, I’m inclined to try and nab this girl both because I know her and because I think she’ll be good.  On the other, I’m not so sure I want such a self-advertised fussbudget hovering around behind me.   I suppose it’s just one of those things that goes with the position.  (Good thing we get paid the big money.  What? We don’t? Hey, waaait a minute…….)

♦  Because this was just a make-up session, try-outs ended at 11:30.  This gave me enough time to collect myself and dash over to my own Church in time for the Latin Mass.  The musick was by Palestrina this time and, in all fairness, although it was perfectly fine, it did not move me half as much as I thought it might.  Go figure.

As I stood in line to get up to the altar, I suddenly realized that a couple places in front of me Father S was having a whispered argument with some fellah over whether or not he should receive Communion.  I couldn’t quite get what the fellah was saying, but I could hear Father S whispering, “This is the way we do things in the Catholic Church….”  In the end, he refused.  I thought the fellah was going to spring at him.  What would be the etiquette in such a situation? To come to the aid of the Cloth?  Or to stand staring into space and pretending nothing was happening? (I should mention that Father S is a muscular young man with whom I would certainly not want to tangle.  I imagine he could have taken care of himself perfectly well without my help.)

♦  Thus, a whoooole lot of livin’ packed in and, as I say, I came through it with flying colors.  It was only in the early evening, as I sat in the bleachers watching the gels’ swim team practice, that I found myself dozing off.