Friday, March 06, 2009

One of THOSE Days

So, this morning I decided not to take my morning constitutional as I would be walking to work anyway. By the time I got out of the shower and got dressed the sky was very dark and threatening to rain, which put the ol' kibosh on the idea of walking. I asked the Lovely Mona if she would drive me to the church, and she agreed to do so after her shower. Once the Lovely Mona was all clean and shiny and dressed, we went out the front door to the driveway and the sky was clearing and getting quite bright, actually. It was getting late and I didn't feel like going back in the house and changing shoes so I took the ride.

Once we arrived at the church, I gave the Lovely Mona a kiss and a goodbye and got out of the car. Mr. Hudson, our Sexton, was waiting for me. "Padre, they cut the light" he announced. So, that was fun! No electricity to the offices and the church. However, we did have power down in the former rectory, which I found odd. Turns out that the former rectory and the church are on different meters, and we hadn't received a bill for the church building meter and, rather than sending a warning or threatening letter, they just cut the light (Thank God that didn't happen yesterday with that big funeral!). A cheque was quickly sent down to our dear friends at Elektro Noreste, and they said that they would turn the power on within the hour. I laughed when I heard that one!

I moved my operations down to the former rectory. There isn't any telephone service in that building so I had no internet access, but at least I could write and print stuff. Some of the young ones were making a sign about Papua New Guinea for the World Day of Prayer thang happening over at the Salvation Army church on Calle Once. They had a sign with photos of life there, they practiced a song they were going to sing, and they put together several prayers. I came out and talked with them, took a few photos, and off they went to participate in the World Day of Prayer.

Had a meeting with Victor and Doris, who will be married on March 28. We met out on the patio, which can be difficult as it is very noisy around there.

It was interesting working in the shabby room; I could hear everything going on outside, and we are in a very, er, active neighborhood. Noisy, noisy, noisy! Also, I had to keep going upstairs and through the church to my actual office, as I kept needing books and stuff that were over there. The Senior Warden came by to tell me all about his visit to Elektro Noreste, and we discussed whether the lights would be back on in time for our Lenten Series and the Stations of the Cross this evening. Hah! He told me that the old pine tree in front of the church was dead, attacked by termites, and ready to fall over. We are going to to have to hire a tree surgeon to cut it down. But first we have to talk to the Junto Comunal and get permission to cut down the tree. I asked what would happen if the thing fell over dead and blocked the streets. Keith said that the Junto Comunal would come, cut everything up, and express their regrets that our tree had died. But we can't just cut it down without their permission. And, of course, we can't get ahold of anyone on the Junto Comunal until Monday or so. I went and took some photos of the dying tree and the termite damage, or, as we call them here, wood ants.

Meanwhile, all the bulletins were being copied across the street at Instituto Episcopoal San Cristóbal, as were the items I needed for this evening's presentation. It was kind of nice, very quiet, since even the telephones won't work without electricity. I was back in my office looking for yet another book when I heard some chopping going on outside my window. I had the blinds and window open, looked out the window, and saw two guys out in our lot next door, chopping branches off of one of the mango trees. I went next door to the parish administrator's office to ask if she knew anything about any mango tree trimming. No, it was news to her. I asked the Sexton if he knew anything about it, and he said no, too. He went out and asked them what they were doing and they told him that the school had hired them to do some trimming before school starts ( we rent the lot to the school for parking. Ya don't want mangos bombing yer car!).

I was getting a bit worried about whether we would have power in time for this evening's activities. We called Elektro Noreste once again. They informed us that they had twenty-four hours to get the power back on. We reminded them that we were a church, that it was a Friday in Lent, and we had stuff going on tonight, so we need the lights. The person at the office decided to get honest and told us that no one would get there until 8:30 pm or so. I started thinking about how I was going to work this. The "Spiritual Journey" session would be okay for a while, as it starts at 5:00 and it doesn't get really dark until 6:30, but the Stations of the Cross would have to be done by candlelight, which, while romantic, might be difficult for our crowd; you all know how difficult it is for those of us over 40 to read by candlelight. I decided that the Spiritual Journey part of this evening's activities might be edited a bit so that it wouldn't be too dark by the time we got to the Stations of the Cross.

Since we didn't have any power, the office staff left early. I moved my computer up from the former rectory and back into my office. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading. At 4:30 i started setting things up in the church and checking out the candle situation. I was in my office at 4:45 when the power came on! YAY! We wouldn't have to worry about candles and the stations after all! THIRD STATION Jesus falls the first time. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you: Because by your holy cross you . . . help! help! the paper's on fire!!!

Things went well for the rest of the evening, except that once I got home I was too tired to pose toys about the house (remind me again: why did I give up alcohol for Lent?), so, no regular Friday Features this evening. Maybe tomorrow; who knows? Think of it as some sort of Lenten Discipline or something. Holy Lent, y'all!


Word Day of Prayer preparations

I don't know, that kinda looks like next door to me!

The Dying Tree

See how it leans towards the church?

Wood ants been here!

Today's modern office


David |Dah • veed| said...

Hey Padre, you are a Mac guy too!

Sorry about your day. Here when they shut off the power they just slip these little plastic booties on the prongs behind the meter. We just take off the meter, remove the booties and put the meter back in place. But if you owe a lot of money, they take the meter!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I always pay on time (and keep the receipt) because there are various culprets who do ¨things¨ with not only the bill but with the electricity cables...if anyone isn´t a little paranoid when living in Latin America they are nutso or simply living in denial and overly wishful´s the REAL ¨realismo magico¨ that grabs my attention (almost every hour of everyday) I went to Bigtown and while I was waiting for a fabhandwoven fabric store to come back from ¨siesta¨ and be open, I went to La Merced and showed it off to a friend (Jewish)...she/we were dazzled, we were busily lighting candles and suddenly a casket was carried in and we then attended a instant High Mass for someone very poor named Pedro (his friends and family were apparently from a very low income group)...there we were, completely dazzled and overwhelmed by the great beauty and gilt antiquity and Poor Pedro was carried in in his gold sprayed triple beveled caja...brings REAL life right back into perspective as it was quite a contrasting and touching affair...may Pedro rise in glory (he got a great sendoff, we know...we were there).

Leonardo Ricardo said...

But another BIG QUESTION for today is why don´t we ever get to have the Joe´s Special from Original Joe´s in San Jose the recipe Padre (my imitations don´t seem to work out)?

Cany said...

You know, something wiggy is going on in the universe this week.

My week has been much like yours in different ways.

Maybe Mars is crashing into Mercury or who knows.

I just want reality back, which is a darned sight better than whatever this week has been.

Here, when they turn off the electricity, they mean it. No rubber anythings, no way around it. And like Leonardo, I do keep receipts.

motheramelia said...

Sounds like a trying day. We only deal with ice and snow and high wind. Can't turn the power off in the winter for not paying, but a few hours in the dark and cold because of ice or snow is bad enough. Reading your blog makes me think of the days of my youth spent in Panama.

Jane R said...

Yikes! You has earned a big NAP. +Maya Pavlova says to tell you this.

Jane R said...

P.S. Though she adds that naps, like grace, don't need to be earned. So have 'em often.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Oh yes, Leonardo, we always save the receipt! Paper talks in Mexico. We make a photocopy and tape it to the meter around the day that the bill is do. So you see little flutterings of paper flapping in the wind from everyone's electric, gas and water meters on my street! They are a sort of Buddhist prayer flags beseeching the gods of utility not to shut us down.

Caminante said...

"They are a sort of Buddhist prayer flags beseeching the gods of utility not to shut us down."

Wonderful description.

Padre Mickey, your narrative somewhat reminds me of the Sunday morning the electric company turned off all the juice for the entire town at 7.55. Blam! In the dark we went (well sort of, it was late October). Think of the power the person had who hit the switch.

word verification: shmish, a good expression for what you went through ayer.

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