Thursday, October 2, 2008

Birthday Hiatus

It's my aunt's birthday today, and I have been too occupied with helping her celebrate to do much blogging. She's the last of my parents' siblings, and all the more precious to me for that reason.

The beautiful early October weather is conducive to celebration--crisp, clear, sunny. For those of us who live in climates in which we've come to rely on air conditioning for much of the summer, it's a wonderful treat to open windows and feel breezes waft through the house again, after months of having the house shut tight from the outdoor air.

One of my chores today--in addition to taking my aunt to lunch--is to bake a cake for her. This past weekend, our neighbors kindly offered us pears from their prolific tree, and Steve picked a bushel and a half of them, crisp and sweet. He spent the weekend putting up 16 quarts of pear preserves, and about an equal amount of pear juice.

I'm going to take the remaining pears and bake them into a cake for the birthday celebration. In these times of economic uncertainty, when it seems about half the citizens of my nation have taken leave of their senses, it's good to gather with family and friends to celebrate an important passage for a much-loved elder.

(The madness: I have been mercifully spared most of the unbelievable garbage being circulated now about Mr. Obama. I have occasionally gotten one of those tell-all emails from some misguided soul who thinks I might believe the pack of lies, but when I see what they are about, I immediately delete them.

My brother, unfortunately, is being bombarded by them, particularly from some right-wing Catholic friends who are intent on saving his soul. Like me, he sometimes finds it hard to hold his tongue, and he responded a few days ago to one of these lists of astounding, easily disproven lies about Obama by telling the sender in an email, "Thank goodness for the record numbers of new voters who will vote in this election and reject out of hand this kind of appalling racism."

His friend has responded with the following email: "if you are true to your catholic faith, you'd realize that obama, clinton and the lot are agents of the devil and are looking for the ruin of mankind. We will all be held accountable , even for the choices we make regarding our voting record. A Catholic, one who truly believes in GOD, cannot vote for such sleazes as clinton and obama, who both believe and endorse abortion and other sexual deviant behaviours, and have no regard for life preserving issues . But, I'm not responsible for your soul, you are."

Attached is a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Sad to say, since I have met the woman sending this stuff to my brother, I have to conclude that the slam about "sexual deviant behaviours" has to be an allusion to his brother--and I'm sorry that he has to endure such slams on my behalf.

In a world in which those who are so certain that they stand with God are also confident that their God gives them wide latitude to spread disinformation and to attack those who disagree with them, all the more reason to celebrate clear blue skies, sunshine, cool breezes, and pear cake, along with the 80th birthday of an aunt.)