After three weeks of spinning schedules, this past Tuesday Father decided to throw on the brakes for an afternoon to go fishing. A friend of Father's owns a bass pond just outside of Eufaula where Father has an open-invitation to come by and drop in a line. So we loaded up my truck and headed out.
However this was like no other "bass-pond-fishing-expedition" I have ever been on.
For one, we used fly rods instead of the standard poles. Father is an avid fly fisherman and really avoids having to using anything but his fly rod.
I had never used a fly rod before, so upon our arrival, he first put me through a brief tutorial.
After a few minutes, my crude thrashings began to evolve into smooth casts...smooth enough to get started at least.....
However, rather than just stepping up to the shore of the pond and casting....Father had a different...more intimate approach set up for us---Personal Pontoon boats.
Imagine a lawn chair with two inflated tubes attached on either side. Now attached two oars...one on either side of the chair. Then strap on some wet-boots and flippers. Now you are starting to get the picture. And here is the picture.
Now grow a beard, dye it white, and put on your straw cowboy-hat. Dawn your favorite fishing vest, load it with your lucky lures, and by all means...Don forget the shades.
Hahahaha. I'd never even seen something like this before...but...nuances such as these are just par for the course with Fr. Shoemaker.
Once we had them all inflated, geared up, and assembled...we headed into the pond.
It took me a few to get comfortable, figure out how to maneuver the boat, and get the hang of casting while my "flipperred" feet dangled in the pond water. But before long....I had landed my first fish ever using a fly rod...and sitting in a Personal Pontoon Boat for that matter. Nice size bass too (about 11 inches)!
Time flew that afternoon, as we got lost in the beauty of the moment, the rhythm of the casts, and the satisfaction of reeling in fish.
Like this 9-inch brim Father caught! 9-inch BRIM???
I am hoping Father and I have a couple more chances to take out the boats before the summer is over. Such a nice way to relax and imbibe a bit of this world we have been given to enjoy. The experience really added color and depth to the second reading at Mass this past Sunday:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible [...] all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Here are a couple pictures just before the Spanish Mass in Union Springs on Saturday.
Luz is having a hard time waiting for Christmas to come....good thing ole St. Nick is nearby :)
Rotillio keeps it real on the altar with me most every Saturday. Props.
PARISH TALENT SHOW:
This was one of the first things Father mentioned to me on the phone when I called him for the first time from Rome after receiving my assignment to his parish. He wanted to make sure that I would be there for it....as it promised to be "the best show in town"--a title he consistently employed to promote it. They started the Parish Talent Show two years ago and it seemed that people really have begun to look forward to it.
Already it has generated many memories in the parish. One act people consistently recall is that last year a girl took the stage with a couple Kraft Cheese Singles and chewed them into the States of Texas and Florida!!!! hahahahahahahahahahaha
Sooooo...I was told---ANYTHING GOES!!! Just DO SOMETHING!
It all came to a head this past Friday night. The parish hall was packed as people filed into metal chairs to wait their turn to perform and/or just enjoy the show. It really was a blast! Hilarious to see the variety of acts. Shocking to see...especially the young kids...bust out some serious talents. A good time had by all.
Here are some snip-its from the night to give you a taste:
George singing a Johnny Cash song and another old country song. George, his wife JoAnn, and I have coffee together a couple times a week, sitting on his front porch. It is a great way to start the day.
Edgar is in the Youth Group and plays soccer for Eufaula High. We have played together a couple times. It has been a hunbling experience for me :)
Kayla singing an Amy Grant classic--"Children of the World"
The Youth Group doing hand motions to the song "Waves of Mercy"....classic
Libby blowing minds and crushing hearts with her flawless hoola-hoop act. You try and do two at once, drop to your knees, get back up, and strut around the stage without missing a beat while singing the lyrics to the song blaring on the speakers behind you. In your frustration...appreciate this hoola-prodigy hahhahahaha
Nolan pieced together snip-its of popular Beatles' songs...way to work the crowd bro
Rosie choreographed an entire dance by herself and lit up the stage
Her older siblings, Bernardo and Cynthia, got everyone's hands bumpin' together as they performed a dance they have learned for Cynthia's upcoming
The Boyce Boys (Jacob, Joseph, and Bradley [L->R]) won everyone over with their routine involving a song rhyming "Spam" with "Fried Ham" and "Ma'am"
About 10 days before the Talent Show I brought my guitar and box of harmonicas to the weekly Youth Group meeting. One of the guys who comes regularly is also named "Victor." Seeing my box of harmonicas, he questioned, "What is that?" To which I responded, "Haven't you ever seen a harmonica before?" He had a vague memory it seemed.
I suggested that he try to play one as I strummed some simple chords. And thats when lightning struck. Miracles bubbled. Talent was discovered.
It was as if the ability was inscribed on his heart from the beginning. From just about his first breath into that mouth harp...it was smooth...on beat...on key. It was meant to be.
So we decided...or should I said...destiny prompted our entry into the Talent Show together as "The Two Victors" or "Los dos Victores." Let just say...we did our part to justify the saying "To the Victor(s) go the spoils."
And last but not least...there is Father David. It just so happened, that Father used to have a buddy who was an escape artist that gifted him a straight-jacket back in the day. By this point...you can't be surprised can you??!!?!!
So, sit back and enjoy this brief look at Father's public escape:
Everyone's pretty skeptical at this point...
Now starting to get worried...
But wait...could it be????
This can't be happening.....
Maybe God DOES exist after all!!!!?????!!!!!!
Soooo....just another week in Eufaula! hahahaha
It continues to be a good experience here. God is good. His creation is rich. It doesn't get old. And as we have learned....it can't be contained by a straight-jacket!!!
In closing, here is a montage that Fr. put together from all of the talents that night:
Quick Wikipedia article on the guy who founded "Heart's Home"--the Catholic Movement that my sister has joined to do a mission in Peru for 18th months
Here is a link to Fr. Brian Barrons' blog--the Maryknoll priest that hosted me last summer in China. Now Brian is hosting 5 more guys from my seminary this summer. One of the guys, Lee Junhee, went bungee jumping off one of the skyscrapers on Macau island--just off the coast of Hong Kong.
NEXT SUNDAY'S GOSPEL:
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mark who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her."
Always a pleasure to share these posts with ya'll.
Let's keep praying for one another.
Let me know if there is something in particular I can be praying for.
Keep growing in Love. In Wonder. In Compassion. In Humility.
For all things will be well....all things will be well.
Peace & Love