Monday, November 1, 2010

Fall at the Hall

Autumn had been taking it's time getting around to upstate New York and the weather had been balmy and bright. The Hall was decorated with the usual mumkins and pumpkins, and since Master Ian was home, the front door was open more often than it was closed. Hoards of young boys dropped by at all hours to check on the new Marine and see how he fared at boot camp. On several mornings, a drowsy Mrs. H. would slide into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of joe, only to find half the parties still focused on their flatscreens with bags under their blurry eyes and the other half asleep, spread out all over the family room floor. "Just make sure you put the dog outside, and the dishes in the sink- and don't get those two mixed up!" advised Mr. Hall, as they left for work. The Halls were lucky to have Ian for an extra week; he managed to get assigned to Recruiters' Assistance for part of his leave, allowing him to stay on a little while longer. Along with visiting the local schools to talk about the Marines, he got to lead some of their physical training sessions as well.

Back in June of 2009, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus began its anniversary celebration of the 10th year of it having been elevated to status of "basilica". Monsignor Gleba had expected the bishop to come and had printed celebratory cards and programs advertising same, at some expense. So it was understandable when the party began and the bishop backed out, that he might be slightly miffed. However, one does not get to be Monsignor by sitting idly by; the good father waved off the slight undaunted, and vowed the bishop would visit the basilica to celebrate its good fortune yet. Sixteen months later, as the "10th anniversary" season began to get a little long in the tooth, the bishop's office bowed to the pressure and promised an appearance. The parishioners breathed a sigh of relief at a chance of closure and welcomed, at last, the pontiff's representative in grand style. Every priest in the county had an opportunity for a cameo, and the bishop presented an elaborate papal blessing (or possibly a cease and desist order; it was all in Latin so one couldn't really be sure) and beat a hasty retreat.

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