My due date was Dec. 26, but by Christmas Eve 1985, I was ready to be done with it.
I stretched out on the bed and reluctantly prepared for another night of leg cramps and propped pillows. The Christmas presents were wrapped and ready. The Christmas cookies decorated. The overnight hospital bag was packed and waiting in the corner. My sister had arrived and was ready to look after my daughter.
Soccer in St. Louis and Catholics are forever linked.
Much of it is attributed to the outstanding program of the Catholic Youth Council, which organized parish teams of children of immigrants, and its former director, the late Msgr. Louis F. Meyer, known as the "Soccer Priest." But it also is linked to coaching, especially at Catholic high schools.
For years, folks told Mike and Maria Slavik that their blue colonial-style house looked like a Christmas card. Maria would be out mowing the lawn in the middle of July and someone would stop to say he loved the way it was decorated for the holidays. So they decided to make it into a card, editing a picture to resemble a painting, blurring the lights into longer strokes, darkening the red poinsettias in the window boxes and the red bows on the wreaths.
In a culture of plenty, it is not difficult for us to be tempted by and acquiesce to the need to acquire innumerable possessions in our lives. In fact, much of our social interactions and conversations with others center on our ability to tell others about all the things we have.
As we approach Thanksgiving Day, I remember recent correspondence asking me to focus on giving thanks for the beauty of nature. The writer asked me to thank the "gardening angels" at St. Paul Parish in Fenton who have transformed the parish grounds into a place of which even St. Francis would be proud -- a place where God's grace is abundantly present.
So, on a recent Saturday, I spent some time with the five "angels" who were bent over the shasta daisies valiantly hanging on in dormancy until they would come back in the spring.