Sunday, December 14, 2008
Ice, Visitors and an Adoption
I am glad to be back in New Hampshire again, but I am not so excited about the massive Ice Storm that seems to be bringing life as normal to a halt. Checking the news tonight it looks as if hundreds of thousands of New Hampshire's finest will be out in the coled and dark again tonight. The giant Ice Storm has seemingly slammed much of the state and leaves nearly 25% of all residents in the dark 3 days later. Luckily the parish I am at has not lost power and appears to be the only block in the entire state that looks pretty much the same as it did a few days ago. Talking with friends early today I get the sense that most people are still stranded.
Here at the rectory I have been blessed to have two special house guests over the past few nights. One is a ninety year old woman and the other her eighty year old neighbor. They have been staying at the rectory because they have no power and have no place to go. I must admit at first I was a little worried it might be strange entertaining them for days on end, but it has been a blast. We just finished a marathon 4 1/2 conversation, at 10:45pm, before they headed off to sleep. They are amazing women who have taught me so much about the history of Manchester, the old shoe mills, the floods, Saint Anselm College, and life in the last century and in general. The ninety year old, who I will call "Lucy," is an avid bird watcher and naturalist. She shared amazing stories of catching birds over the last 70 years and "banding" them for the national wildlife service. At one time she even raised two morning doves in her home. One of them would perch on her head, the other would sit patiently on her lap. Tomorrow mornign I will be headed over to her place to see if I can fix her brid feeders which were destroyed by giant trees. Her greatest concern is not her home, but her feathered friends!
Having lost my grandparents before I was born, I have always had a special appreciation for the elderly. Spending this weekend with two special ladies I am reminded of how special they are and how important it is to keep them connected to the community. When I return to Baltimore next semester I have decided to adopt an elderly resident (who has no family)from a local nursing home and visit them weekly/take them out to eat. It must be tough to be old and alone. Since I can't comfort everyone, my new year's resolution will be to start with one.
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