We're going to Baltimore tomorrow morning to be with those mischievous and wondrous three granddaughters of ours. Their school is out and they are going to the beach in Delaware with another family next week. But this week they are ours as their lawyer mom and dad work more hours than it is healthy to work.
Oh, what mischief we'll get into with them and what tales will tell them. I'm going to teach them how to count money and play checkers. Bern will entertain them much more than me but I will cook all week and feed them.
I also hope to see two special people while we're there: Sister Jeremy Daigler (who our daughter is named after) and my favorite cousin, Mejol and perhaps her two kids and two grandkids.
Jeremy and I, along with a Catholic priest named Roger (I think) drove each weekday during the summer of 1974 to a mental hospital in Maryland where we did what's called CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). I'd drive from Alexandria each morning and pick up the two of them in DC and then head north. We had a great supervisor, Don Fergus, who was from New Zealand and we learned how to be with crazy people--something very valuable in parish ministry.
Jeremy is a Sister of Mercy and always believed (back then) that women would be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in her life-time. One thing I want to ask her, now that we're in our 60's, is if she still believes that.
We worked at a huge mental hospital with hundreds of patients, probably closed now since we some where along the line decided to let crazy people be homeless and even more crazy out in the world. One of the patients called Jeremy "Germany" so Roger and I did too. Sister Germany was part of one of the most intense 3 months of my life and I haven't seen her since. I really look forward to that.
I was the youngest of 15 first cousins on my mothers side of the family and the youngest, by far, of 3 cousins on my father's side of the family. And Mejol was the one who mattered.
My parents had decided they weren't going to have children though they wanted them and in a way had adopted Mejol as a companion and surrogate daughter before I was born. Mejol went with us on vacations. We always went to the Smokey Mountains for vacation. Why in hell would people who lived in the mountains go to 'the mountains' for vacation? But we did. Gattlinsburg, TN and Cherokee, NC were where we went and most times Mejol went with us.
Mejol taught me how to be a human being in many ways. One when I was 13 or so, she shut me up in her room with a Bob Dylan album and a copy of Catcher in the Rye and wouldn't let me out until I'd finished both. That was, I believe, the day I grew up.
Also, when I graduated from High School I drove my Aunt Georgia, Mejol's mom and my mother's younger sister, to New Orleans, where Mejol was living. Or maybe we took the train. I don't remember but Aunt Georgie and I traveled a lot together. Anyway, though people who know me now can't believe it, I graduated from high school without ever tasting alcohol. I was the consummate 'good boy' and quite a prude in high school. So Mejol took me down to Bourbon Street and got me stinking drunk in Al Hurt's club.
I've always liked Dixieland and alcohol since then.
Mejol, in many ways, taught the 'too good kid' how to be a bit naughty.
And I've thanked her for it ever since.
So, what a perfect week it could be---Morgan, Emma, Tegan, Josh, Cathy, Jeremy and Mejol!
Though we have to leave Bela in the kennel and Luke and birdy Maggy in the care of Johanna, the high school Junior from next door, it should be wondrous.....
(Johanna, it seems to me, is the kind of 'good girl' that is like the 'good boy' I was. I hope she has an older first cousin to teach her 'naughty'....)
So, I might not blog much next week, if at all. But come back for tales of Baltimore.....
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