Sunday, July 13, 2014


I saw Tony yesterday in the parking lot of the package store we must both use. I hadn't seen him for 5 years or so. Our daughters went to school together--Beth and Mimi--from first grade to graduation. They were sometimes close and sometimes not. Tony ran a print shop/trophy shop/where you could get keys made and ship stuff by UPS and FedEx that was just a block or so from St. John's in Waterbury.

I used to see him a lot since he did major printing and shipping and plaques for the church and I always wanted to get out and walk rather than send someone else.

I guess I haven't seen him in a while since he mentioned "my new wife" and I didn't ask for details.

I always liked him because he was very efficient and was one of the few men shorter than me. Short people, I like.

And we always had our daughters to talk about.

He asked me how I liked retirement and I told him (as I tell everyone) "if I'd known how good I'd be at being retired I'd done it years before." He's given up the shop but works 4 days a week in his son's independent pharmacy in New Haven. For both of us, the grandchildren come from the sons. Three each, we learned.

Talking with Tony for ten minutes in the parking lot got me to pondering. He and I could have been friends, I think, under different circumstances--like, if I had a different personality.

I started pondering 'me and friends'. I think my closest friends are John and Jack and Sherry in New Haven. John and I go back to WVU and met in church in Morgantown. Jack and Sherry I met because Sherry came to church at St. Paul's in New Haven and she's married to Jack and she and Bern are in a women's group together for 30 years or so. John and Sherry come on vacation with the two of us and Mimi and Tim each September. Jack runs a Day Care and can't come but may retire in 2015 and then they'll both come.

I consider the people I meet with on Tuesday morning to be friends, but they're all friends because of church. Besides John, the only friend from the past I have any contact with is Mike, who I roomed with in college.

Harriet and Malinda and Bob and Fred are my friends, but we worked together at St. John's in Waterbury.

Most of my friends these days are people who go to the three churches I serve.

Of all my friends, only Mike (who I've only seen once in 20 years) and Jack aren't somehow related to 'church' in some way--though Jack is related by marriage.

I have lots of acquaintances and neighbors who I'm 'friendly' with. But we fall short of being friends.

I have to ponder this some more. I'm an extrovert and quite gregarious, though shy at first meetings, but most everyone I consider a friend has a 'church angle'.

Shouldn't I have some friends who have nothing to do with church in any way? How odd I've never noticed this before.

Talking to Tony got me to thinking....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.