Tag Archives: evening prayer

Euro18: and home

I woke on Friday morning to the iPad NOAA warning about extreme temperatures at Rienosslsgasse 3 in Vienna.

Fortunately, I was home in Saint Louis with moderate weather, but more humidity.

At some point my iPad will figure out that I’m in the USA. I certainly know that I am! Witness:

  • Iced tea!! I went for three weeks without it.
  • Taco Bell. I went for 3.5 weeks without it.
  • Airport staffs who are not multilingual (except in Spanish). Such a change from Europe.
  • Air-conditioning everywhere.
  • Cellular service everywhere without having to think of turning the phone on and off.
  • A fridge and a freezer. (Small fridge only, with no freezer, in Vienna.)
  • Loudness. Americans just talk so damn loudly.
  • Diet Pepsi! I went for 3.5 weeks without it.

But as my friend Alice said on Facebook last evening, she has little compassion for the slight frustrations, given what I was able to see and do. And I expect no boo-hoos for the cultural differences and the weariness because of the seeing and doing.

And DO I did.

The research grant proposed outcomes are essentially complete. The draft report is 75% there, with some details and nuance to ponder and finesse. In other words, I accomplished the stated goals. The grant outcome was successful. Now we move to implementation.

Along the way, I was a tourist nearly every day — in fact, save for last Sunday, every single day of the sojourn in Europe.

What did I not do? Well, I skipped the Salzburg and Venice/Dolomites excursions because I just was not feeling well. Summer allergies are, I’m told, quite severe in Vienna this year. I did not make it to all the art museums I would have wished, and since concert season was over, I attended only two musical performances.

What DID I do?

Enough art to keep me happy for months. Less-frequented locales such as the Snow Globe Museum, the Freud Museum, the Schnapps Museum, the Imperial Crypt, and the old Jewish cemetery at Zentral Friedhof. Anglican Church services in Florence and Vienna. Florence. Choral concert by a British choir at the British Embassy Church. A cruise on the Danube. Cooking class. Visited Mahler’s grave. Walked in the steps of Mozart and Beethoven and Schubert and Haydn and so many others. Melk Abbey. Heurigerabend. Organ recital at the Jesuit Church. Churches and parks and the Naschmarkt and gelato and beer and bubbly and schnitzel and . . . well, the whole five-senses experience indeed.

And I kept up with the daily office work. My email inbox is only marginally more crowded now than it was when I left, and no decisions have been punted to next week.

Now home for a few days, and with days off this weekend with few obligations, I can rest and recharge before the onslaught of the run-up to August 20 when contracts begin.

And I can love on Auggie, who apparently did indeed miss me.

Of all the pleasures of travel, returning home is the greatest joy.

There are days . . . .


There are days when I just need to read Evening Prayer as soon as I get home.  And I do so do.  And I did, today.

Nothing untoward happened today, but I was just beat and whipped and worn when I got home.  I think that perhaps part of this is that I can feel my sabbatical starting to take hold.  And part of the weight today is that this always happens in the week before school begins.  No matter how prepared we are — and we ARE prepared — this week is just a complex, confounding, wearying pile of things to do.

So I drive home, tired.  Samson is needy; outdoors he goes.  I read Evening Prayer after throwing some chicken in the oven so I have protein to go with the salad.  I eat dinner, make a few calls, and it’s now 7 p.m. and I’m stepping out for a walk.

Weary doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to be healthy.

But damn if my foot doesn’t ache like the dickens for reasons too detailed to explain on a blog.  Alas.

Even so, Sweet Sabbatical, come, and soon.

Thursday prayer

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past: be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of thy love. Amen.

I love this prayer, one that I read tonight at Evening Prayer as part of the regular cycle of prayers at the coming of night.

This prayer is based upon the story of the appearance to the disciples at Emmaus.

Saturday continued

The day has been both productive and peaceful, and at 6.30 p.m. the day has turned out to be quite beautiful too.  Clouds have cleared.  Blue sky abounds.  Temperatures are April-ish, rather than June-ish.  I’ve opened up the house for some fresh air.  And I’m writing from the porch swing, Samson by my side.

A quick Costco run led to a trip to the nail salon.

I’m without my boot this afternoon, since I desperately needed a (First-World problem here) pedicure.  And I wanted to give the ankle a chance to talk to me.

It is. I’m back in the boot in a few minutes.

Meanwhile, the time for Evening Prayer is nigh.

And after plowing through the first disc of Modern Family, season two, last evening, I think this evening is going to include planning for the UK trip (AKA itinerary building) and some reading about British history.

Eve of the First Day

‘Tis the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break.

I have worked every weekend since well before Thanksgiving.  Between church services on Saturdays and Sundays, concerts, lessons, events to attend at school, international travel, and most recently a round of final concerts then Commencement Weekend, life has been exceptionally rich.

Even this past Saturday was an eight-hour day, with Sunday a five-hour day of events that kept me ‘on.’

I was in the office on Monday for ten hours, Tuesday for nine, and today for eight.

Leaving the office at 5.45 today, I left a pile of things I was going to bring home, but then decided not so to do.

(None of this is complaining, mind you.  I love my job, and I don’t regret doing it, or doing it well.  But I’m due for a bit of down time, since my last day ‘off’ was one day in Spring Break.)

And just like that, with a simple pasta dinner, I am celebrating the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break.  Tomorrow begins the first of an annual series of three- or four-day weekends.  I’ll read Evening Prayer in a few minutes, then orgy on Modern Family (the first season on DVD arrived today),the faithful Samson by my side.

To celebrate, I have closed up the house and turned on the air conditioning.  Sweating and this damned boot don’t meet happily.

What is in store the next few days?

I’ll celebrate my First Day of Summer Break with a brief meeting at church, then Noonday Prayer and a noon-time organ recital at Christ Church Cathedral. Then I’ll continue work for a while in the afternoon on my operetta project.  Friday is a cooking & cleaning day (the home office is in dreadful state), with T arriving for dinner of coq au vin.  Saturday brings two private voice lessons, after which I intend to catch a movie.  Sunday, after church, is not one but two different auditions, one for a show, the other for a chorus.  And then I’m back to work on Monday and Tuesday next week.

So let the Eve of the First Day of Summer Break continue, and LONG LIVE SUMMER.



I enjoy very much the letter of St. Paul to St. Titus.  The entire little book — all three chapters — are on the docket for Evening Prayer this weekend.  I’ve just read aloud chapter two.

Hear these words:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,* training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour,* Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Meanwhile, SLUH has a home ball game tonight against a rival school, so parking is at a premium.  I’m walking over there in a few minutes to see the Dauphin Players production of a delightful favorite musical, Brigadoon, at a different location on campus.

And . . . wait for it . . . I successfully changed an outdoor security light this afternoon, dealing with electricity (with success) for the first time.  And I’m alive to tell about it.

Gelato and a Hilton

After attending Evening Prayer yesterday at 5.30 at The Church of Saint Michael and Saint George, I went the few blocks on over to World Market to scour the last of the Christmas items.  And I drove home from there poorer, but happy.

Jacob Wolverton

Meanwhile, my student Jacob Wolverton texted me to let me know he was in town for the evening with his family.  I’d not seen Jacob since I left Indiana in 2008, so we got together later in the evening at the historic Hilton downtown by the Fed, and shared laughter, swapped stories, and imbibed just enough.

I love meeting up with former kids of mine!

(This particular student has a back-story, though, which makes him even more special.  Jacob’s parents were students at Southwest Baptist at about the time I was working there.  Jacob was in children’s choir, and while I don’t have specific recollection, I would have seen him on the chancel steps at First Baptist Church in Bolivar, singing lustily at age four.)

Before the Hilton visit, though, I dashed from my dinner of salad at home to the South Grand gelato place where I enjoyed very much a small cup of London Fog gelato while talking with my friend K.  We always find things to discuss.

‘Twas a good evening of chatting.