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April 8th, 2019

Dan and a Lark Sparrow


 I learned Saturday that my cousin Dan passed away. He was 13 years my senior. I had not been in touch with him in recent years. He served as a church organist in the St. Louis suburbs. I always liked Dan, who seemed to have a good sense of himself.  I was sorry to hear of his passing. My sister told me some great stories of a time she and my niece spent with Dan. I was glad to hear of it.

Wednesday-Friday I searched for something.

Saturday, I rolled up my sleeves and began a massive reorganization and search. for something. I spent hours sorting and boxing and tossing and filing. I finally found the things I sought.

I drove to Celebration Park, where I walked for 2 hours on the Celebration Pass Trail. I added to my species list, and took pictures. The rain had fallen all morning, so the birds were out in force--aparrows, a couple of hawks, and lots of other songbirds.  I then went to Bethany Lakes Park, where I saw lots of ducks and a Wilson's Snipe.

My wife went out to a movie with a friend. I stayed home and enjoyed the evening. When my wife got home, we rented the "Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald" to watcn on television. We liked the movie pretty well.

Sunday I went to church at the Community Unitarian Universalist Church. I enjoyed the talk about truth and honesty. It seemed appropriate in this Varsity Blues era, even though like many U/U talks it featured more reflection than answers.

The recent United Methodist general conference which resulted in a split vote in which the majority voted to double down on a so-called "traditionalist" view which would bar same-sex marriages and LBGTQ clergy. While a majority of American churches in the denomination voted for a plan with more flexibility, the denomination as a whole voted for the more traditional plan. This leads me to ponder if I should return to the Unitarian Universalist denomination until the day comes, probably sooner rather than later, that either schism or democratic change creates a methodism that is more inclusive. I liked the U/U church to which we belonged in California.  At the same time, I grew up in Methodist churches and feel comfortable at our church now. Time will tell what we decide.

Sunday afternoon I walked the Cottonwood Creek Trail, where I saw the first Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and the first Franklin's Gulls I have seen this year. I see Franklin's Gulls only in migration. I have still not seen any Spring warblers. But I did see a Lark Sparrow while I was walking Beatrice.

Monday I was quite busy at work.I took a walk on the Chisholm Trail in the evening. I listened to a podcast about a Russian assassin in the Ukraine. When I turned on the radio, the same program was beginning to play.

I felt it appropriate that some 12 parents involved in the academic scandal pleaded guilty early in the proceedings. I thought about the law firm partner Gordon Caplan who probably forfeited future career earnings of perhaps tens of millions of dollars, all to supposedly help a high school junior have a somewhat improved university admission. I felt this crime was palpable and that the fellow should have known better. But I hope he is able to create a life after law with lots of family and meaningful work. I am sure that, unlike a recording during his wire tap, he sees the moral issue now.








from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice