Wednesday, September 30, 2009

St. Michael and All Angels

I woke with what feels like a chest cold this morning, so I didn’t go to water aerobics, but instead slept in and so this is going to be late getting posted.
I apologise

Last night the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels was celebrated at our place. Michaelmas (in England pronounced "mikkelmus") is one of the Quarter Days, dividing the year into four parts. They are, I believe, Candlemas, Lammas, Michaelmas and Christmas. The "mas" is a shortened "mass," because these were holy days, celebrated with a mass in church – marking the quarter days is a very old (e.g., medieval) custom. In England the fall term at university is still called the michaelmas term. (The university itself is a medieval invention.)

It was a good party, if smaller than usual. We hadn’t seen some of the guests in a long time, so there was lots of catching up to do. And one pair came late – one of them is a teacher and fresh from an acrimonious parent-teacher meeting that had her in tears and threatening to quit teaching. We soothed her with kind words and leftover goose and soon she was smiling. Ann told a long, convoluted (possibly invented) Irish folk tale about Archangel Michael in disguise defending a young man against the angry ghost of his wicked mother. She’s a good story teller seeking to become a good short-story writer.

Today I am going to a local mystery bookstore to sign a stack of copies of Unraveled Sleeve, which is set at the Naniboujou Lodge up on the north shore of Minnesota. The lodge carries my books in its gift shop, an unexpected and very welcome effect of my setting the book there. They buy their copies from the bookstore, which offers them a discount for quantity purchases. Everyone wins in this instance!

Last week I went to play golf at my usual par-three, nine-hole course and found the place clogged with high-schoolers. Someone said I was probably ready for the big time, and that I should try playing the back nine of the regular course. Big mistake! For one thing, I set off unable to see in the distance the hole I was aiming for and with my weak drives it took me a very long time to get to the green. For another, I got lost. I didn’t think it possible, and I was very embarrassed about it, but I couldn’t find the tee for the twelfth hole. So I decided to quit and discovered golf courses aren’t meant for people just to walk on. Finally a man in a cart came by and gave me a ride back to the clubhouse where, on confessing my sad tale, they gave me a rain check for my beloved par-three. I’m going to try to get there today


Betty Hechtman said...

I hope you feel better. I liked the background on Michaelmas. It sounds like your get together was nice.

Your golf story reminds me of when my son got me to play golf with him at the golf course in Yosemite. I had agreed to play with him, but told him I was never going to care how well I did, but just have fun. It was lucky I felt that way, because I don't think anyone could do very well on that course. First the ground was like a sponge and every time you stepped, water oozed out, then there were the deer laying around blocking things, and finally at least one of the holes was around a corner. Oh, and my son drove the golf cart like it was a race car.

I had a wonderful time.

Monica Ferris said...

What a great story, Betty!