Jan 19

We’re back and it is cold and frozen

So since everything, included the roads, are frozen here, still*, let’s talk about some place warmer. Here are a few pictures I took yesterday just before we left Savannah. (Truly, we toted our luggage inside.)

This is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. It’s a lovely building, and it marks the local Catholic diocese.

The diocese was installed by Pope Pius IX in 1850. At the time, it covered all of Georgia and part of Florida, totaling about 5,500 Catholics. Another Pope Pius, the XII, split the territory in 1956. So now this covers south Georgia. Much of what was the original church at this location was destroyed in an 1898 fire. The outside walls and two spires were saved.

There was a big renovation project in the middle of the 20th century and a massive repair project in the 1980s put the high altar in the background. Then there was another round of renovation in the late Nineties. So the pews aren’t that old.

Indeed, much of everything here is new compared to some of the beautiful church buildings we have seen over the years, but this one is still lovely, and as impressive to me as the first time I saw it 14 years ago.

The stained glass windows went in around 1904:

Many, if not all of them, were removed, cleaned and re-leaded during the last restoration project.

I didn’t realize you had to do that to windows.

Now, about that organ …

The first recorded organ at the cathedral was installed in 1837. (They held a fundraiser in 1836.) That original organ is now on display, but not in use, at the First African Baptist Church a few blocks away. Organs came and went, one was rebuilt after a hurricane, but lost in the fire. At the turn of the century an organ builder in Delaware installed a new one. That one was removed after 1938, and some of the pipes wound up in local classrooms. During the reconstruction in the 1980s a Massachusetts firm, Noack Company, was selected to build the new organ. A protestant, a Lutheran even, helped bring the organ project to life. The cathedral’s website says that was a first. And that man’s church choir, from the local St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, was the first Protestant concert in the cathedral in 1991.

*The snow was Saturday. You could barely drive around downtown today for the ice in the roads. They have some kind of plan, I’m sure. You’d like to see it activated. You’d like to see warmer temperatures, too. They’ve got about 13 degrees on us today.

Jan 19

So much was accomplished!

Woke up this morning for a run. The windchill was 22. There were snow flurries. I ran through something the National Weather Service called freezing fog. I don’t know what that is, meteorologically speaking, but let’s say what I ran through fit the bill.

It fit the bill.

Here’s one of my views, from just under halfway through my run:

This little field runs down into a man-made pond. I bet it is frozen right now.

I do not know what is happening.

All of the pavement was dry. But I did run on a path next to the local middle that was iced over. It seemed a bit inexplicable. Either the soccer field above the school had been storing up a lot of moisture and released it in sub-freezing weather or some middle schoolers had a little fun in the hopes of shutting things down.

They did not shut things down; the local educators are a hardy bunch. The pranksters, or the weeping field, only succeeded in slowing down my run.

My run didn’t need the help in slowing down.

Hit a grocery store for a few essentials, and wondered once again how it is that people can’t be bothered to put away their shopping carts. It is a small store, and is most decidedly used more by regulars than one-offs. Especially thoughtful is the person who routinely parks their cart in the handicapped parking spot. You know who was really appreciative of that soul? The elderly lady who climbed out of her SUV while I was moving that cart. She had to shuffle around the frozen snow piles on her cane, because she couldn’t park in the handicapped spot.

That’s at least the third time I’ve seen that happen there. I’m counting now. Last time I saw a guy actual leaving his cart there. It was a nice move, seeing as how he was in his work truck, covered in company livery, at the time. We had a pleasant conversation about it. For my part I complimented him on his ability to at least push the cart away from his own quarter panel.

Anyway, in the studio tonight:

Meredith, Caroline and Andrew have the latest stories and weather covering campus and town. That episode should be out in the morning.

Tonight I visited a tailor because there are alterations to be made to pants and, really, I needed the new adventure. Two pairs of slacks are getting taken in, and they’ll be ready for me next Tuesday. Whereupon I might take a few more pairs of slacks, as well. It was, as you might surmise, a great big ol’ party.

The nightcap was spaghetti and zinc and vitamin C chewables. And if I stop this here, I’ll have established a trend of finding my way to bed earlier and earlier.

Jan 19

Sometimes I run early, sometimes I run later

The days are getting longer, somehow. I know this intellectually, but it never seems like this at this time of year. Maybe it’s better if the days are longer than the night. We’ve probably thought that for generations. Because we can see and work and play and its just less dangerous.

I read a book about this, about what people did during the dark hours before electricity. It could be dangerous. It was a different world. You could be romantic about this; there were long nights on the moors. You could be practical; candles were precious. You could be poetic; you still look up at the stars and name the constellations. You could be fearful of this. People could ride their horse off a cliff they would see, or get mugged or drown in a pond.

But that’s about the dark. No one ever writes about the gloaming.

Sure they write about the gloaming. The Brits and the Scots write poetry on it. But maybe they don’t write enough about it. The word can be traced to Proto-Germanic, Old Norse or Old Frisian. Depending on which one of those you like, the original meaning could be different things. Some of them are fierce or triumphant or sad and lonely, at least in a modern connotation. Maybe more than one is right, which happens a lot in the evolution of languages. The word could come from different things because it means different things because there is a lot of darkness out there, below that line of the light. It means a lot of different things.

It meant, tonight, that I could run fast, but I could also run slow. It was about being warm, but wishing I’d worn my gloves. It meant I could feel great for four miles, that my feet or my knees or my lungs didn’t hurt, which was the only gift of the day. It meant I could run hard, run angry, without running any faster. It could also mean I knew I shouldn’t run five or eight or 10 miles, like I briefly considered, but wisely dismissed. The word never means wisdom, but maybe it should. That present participle look, that -ing, should hold a lot.

It only meant that no matter which way I ran, I was going to run farther into the darkness. Even if the days are getting longer.

Jan 19

Happy New Year!

Resolutions should be built upon. We are resolute. Since we’re all better at some resolutions than others it only makes sense to think of them as a continuation.

So I’m resolved.

Say it right the first time.
Write it right the second time.
Focus your presence.
Become more quietly assertive.

May as well keep working on earlier ones, too. They are no less valuable because we have changed calendars.


Be more joyous.
Be a better example.


Be more thoughtful. Help more. Be more cordial, courageous and kind.

Read more. Write more. Shoot more video. Take better photos. Work better.

Make two new friends. Find three new hobbies. Learn four new skills.

Sleep more. Make The Yankee laugh a lot.

Oct 18

My annual seasonal observation

Maple’s are nature’s first quitters.