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Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Five-Johnny Appleseed

Raise your hand if you know that today is Johnny Appleseed Day!

September 26, 1774 was his birthday. Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny travelled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels. According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received to churches or charities. He planted hundereds of orchards, considering it his sevice to humankind. There is some link between Johny Appleseed and very early Arbor Day celebrations.

So, in honor of this interesting fellow, let's get on with the questions!

1. What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS points if you share the recipe.)
I love apple pie. Don't have time now to look up my mothers recipe, maybe later. She made a good one. Actually, every kind of pie she made was wonderful.

2. Have you ever planted a tree? If so was there a special reason or occasion you can tell us about?
I planted a lot of trees when I had a country house. Two I remember were housewarming gifts from Ronnie Bamberger and Olga. They were Italian prune plums because she remembered that we had an orchard of them when I was growing up. The deers got them, alas.

3. Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise) appeal to you? Why or why not?
I like the idea of roaming around the country meeting people, but not preaching. Maybe working for lgbt rights or just traveling.

4. Who is a favorite "historical legend" of yours?
I love the Groundhog, that harbinger of spring. Groundhog Day is my favorite unsung holiday.

5. Johnny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he travelled the roads of the west. Do you have a song that comes when you are trying to be cheerful, or is there something else that you often do?
From Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis, the Musical! (the one with Lucille Ball-couldn't find the Broadway either one)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Perplexed in Church

In the middle of my "church search" I've become complacent. I found a group of Catholic Lesbians and a Jesuit run Catholic church which seems to welcome their lesbian and gay parishioners, with announcements in the bulletin for our meetings! (We're having a recently ordained woman priest at our next meeting and in yesterdays bulletin there was an announcement in a with a border! If the archbishop finds out we'll all be excommunicated...)
Well, to get to the point, I went to an actual mass, after attending meetings for a year and a half, when my Ohio family visited. It wasn't so bad and all my friends were there. They went to brunch after. So I've been going to mass every once in awhile, maybe twice a month. It's been...pleasant, although not quite what I'm looking for, but part of what I'm looking for is community and that was there. Yesterday I attended mass. One of my group said to me, "What are you doing here?" I was dumbfounded. Then I felt guilty-from my years of Catholic schooling. Then I became defensive-with my whole spiel about discernment and searching and attending other churches. I sat through the beginning of the service unable to concentrate on spiritual things, obsessing on what I perceived to be a slight or comment on not attending every week (like a good little Catholic girl.) I finally passed a note saying "I should have said to you: 'I'm here doing what every one else is doing.'
After the service, my regular group disappeared, some to do tabling in the church, my critic to have coffee with her special friend. I was alone to process my thoughts. It may be time to stop my complacency and find a place that will truly serve my needs with a woman on the altar and no childhood baggage.