Thursday, December 25, 2014

Joyeux Noel

Wishing everyone a Joyeux Noel
from the Wisemen and their Landlady!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eiffel Tower

Dear Landlady,
This trip has definitely had its ups and downs.  First we made it all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view was stupendous!  At least, that's what we heard as we are far too short to see out the window. And for some reason, unbeknownst to us, we have been placed looking in the opposite direction!   
Eventually we made it all the way back down to the bottom and had an opportunity to look up at where we had been.  We decided that it was probably wise that we had not been able to see out the window when we were at the top.  You know how queasy #3 can get.
I'm not sure if it was the ride to the top of the tower or the ridiculous traffic but #3 became a wee bit carsick as we made our way to the restaurant for dinner. 
 So in order to settle our stomachs after all that driving around in circles we ordered a bottle of wine but you know how poorly #2 holds his alcohol.  Before we knew it he was completely tipsy. 
 And I mean that in the most literal sense.
 This type of behavior is completely inappropriate for men of our stature (and I'm not talking about height here dear landlady.  I'm talking about our being known as "wise.")
Rest assured, I do plan on having a talk with him when we return to the room. 

So we ordered some food to absorb the fine French vino!
It's at times like these that arms would definitely come in handy....
We are very grateful that the day is ending.  As delighted as we are for having seen the Eiffel Tower we are in need of rest.  Tomorrow we will be heading out on the train to Normandy to see an ancient site of deep spiritual significance.  Until then, Bonne Nuit!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Notre Dame Cathedral

Dear Landlady,
Sorry for the delay in writing but Paris is just too much fun!  This week we spent a good bit of our time touring the Notre Dame Cathedral, which, as you probably know, is one of the best known cathedrals in all the world. Such architecture! So different from that feeding trough that we found the Christ child in oh so many years ago...

And we had the good fortune to meet some fellow astronomers.  So colorful.  They hail from Mumbai where they dwell within a Zoroastrian community.  Turns out there was some confusion when they were purchasing their tickets online to return home from their tour of Rome.  Somehow they wrote 'Paris' instead of 'Parsi.'  They thought the question had to do with their religious identity, not their flight destination.  Can you imagine?  So a simple spelling error compounded by a misunderstanding caused quite the mix up.  As you know, wars have been started over less!  But the Parsis have been delightful companions for us.

Of course there was an awkward moment when #3 blurted out that he didn't quite understand how they could possibly have been able to type, never mind purchase tickets online since it's quite obvious to everyone present that their arms are only painted on.  Oh my, dear landlady, there was such a cumbersome silence at that point, but the Zoroastrians were kind enough to eventually find the humor in the situation. I'm going to have a word with #3 when we get back to the hotel. 
Will write more tomorrow.  We're off to see the famous Notre Dame bells.  I hope the vibration does not knock us off of our nonexistent feet. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Are we there yet?

Dearest Landlady,
Just a quick update on our trip so far.  We were quite excited (and a wee bit anxious) while waiting to board our plane to New York.  It's been several years since our trip to Ireland and we truly hoped we would be allowed to sit together.   Here we are waiting patiently while watching our plane being prepared for take off.

Once on board we were delighted to meet up with our old friend Santa Claus. It seems he has "gone commercial" as he is now hawking carbonated beverages.  But it was delightful to spend some time with him again.  Such a happy fellow!

So here we are in New York.  Your friends Karen and Elizabeth (who have now become our dear friends) gave us a delightful ride on our luggage.  What a hoot!  But I guess you would have had to be here to realize just how hilarious this was.  Speaking of which, we miss you....

Well, after boarding yet another flight we finally made it to "Gay Paree" as they used to say in the late 1800's!  That's how long it's been since, while en route to the Holy Land one December, we made a bit of a detour.  Those were happy times!  But we digress....It's a joy to touch down on Parisian soil at last.  Here we are checking out all the brochures.  So much to see! So little time!

Here we are arriving in our room.  What a lovely view!
But after such a long journey we were experiencing some significant jet lag. The only place we wanted to see at this point was our bed, with the mint on the pillow (which we shared.)  Tomorrow the adventure begins!  Good night dear Landlady. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bon Voyage

When I arrived home tonight I saw that the wise men had been quite busy.  Bags were packed and by the door. They were so intent on peering at this map that they didn't even notice my entrance.
Me: Excuse me....What are you doing?
Wiseman #2:  Oh hello, dear landlady.  We are planning out our itinerary for our arrival in Paris.
Me:  Really?  You are going to Paris?  When?
Wiseman #3:  We leave tonight.
Me:  What?  Let me see the invitation.
Wiseman #1:  Well, that would be difficult as we told a wee lie to your dog Lucy. 
Wiseman #3:  Yes, we apologize, but we could not wait for you to return so we told her there was a treat inside of the envelope for her.  And knowing the high level of gullibility that your dog possesses, she jumped up onto our bed and ripped it open.  Fortunately we were able to read the invitation before Lucy devoured it along with the envelope.  You really should do something about that dog's lack of manners!
Me:  Well, you set her up.  Anyway, do I need to take you to the airport?
Wiseman #2:  That won't be necessary as a limo is being sent for us.
Me:  What?  This is all too much to take in.  And you all seem remarkably calm.
Wiseman #3:  You forget, dear landlady, that we are seasoned travelers who have followed stars to a manger in a field outside an obscure village.  Travel is in our blood.
Me:  Then why are you studying that map so intently?  Can't you just follow the stars in Paris?
Wiseman #1: Obviously you have not been to Paris of late.  The city suffers from high levels of air particle pollution and it would be impossible to navigate by stars.  Hence, the map!
Wiseman #2:  Enough of this chit chat!  We must get ready! 
Me:  Well, how will I know you are ok?
Wiseman #1:  we will text you.
Me:  Really?  with no arms?
Wiseman #1:  (icy stare)....cruelty is not becoming dear landlady.
Me:  I know. I apologize.  It's just that I'm going to miss you on Thanksgiving. 
Wiseman #3:  Knowing how attached you are to our royal-highness-ness, we left you a prayer and some selfies.
Me:  Selfies?  I really want to ask how you could possibly take a selfie but I know you will think it cruel so I'm just going to wish you safe journeys and bon voyage!

You've Got Mail Wiseguys!

Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Fifthwheelian, there slept three very wee wise men.  Nothing disturbed their slumber for months on end until one day the landlady received a letter addressed to their royal highnesses.  What should she do?  They looked so peaceful in their very ornate, very large bed.  There they lay, with their pinecone comforter to keep them toasty, while Mary and her precious baby gazed fondly from their rather over-the-top headboard. 
But this correspondence might be very important.
  So she crept up beside them and said, "Hey, wiseguys! wake up!  You've got mail!" And so the sleepyheads returned to reality, looking like they had overslept, which of course they had.
wise man #1:  oh my!  what an intriguing piece of correspondence!
I see the plane and the flag of France!
wise man #2:  and I see Viva la France!
wise man #3:  good grief!  I see nothing but blur.  I must need glasses!
me:  yes, it is quite blurry. let me bring it closer.

wise man #3:  Ah much better.  Yes, it's definitely from France.
And oh, look!  It's marked "personal."
me:  I noticed that so I didn't open it.  But I have to go to work now.
wise man #1:  what? you can't just leave us with this mystery. 
We have no arms!  who will open it?
me:  I'll open it when I get home!  I must go or I'll be late.
Have a great day!



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chronic unhappiness

"7 Habits of Chronically Unhappy People" by Tamara Star. When I saw this headline on Huffington Post this morning I just had to click it! (to read the article click here.)  Tamara goes into more detail on the site but here are the 7 habits she describes:

1) Your default belief is that life is hard.
2) You believe most people can't be trusted.
3)  You focus on what's wrong with the world vs. what's right.
4)  You compare yourself to others and harbor jealousy.
5)  You strive to control your life.
6)  You consider your future with worry and fear.
7)  You fill your conversation with gossip and complaints.

Know anyone who fits all 7?  how about 5?  3?  how about yourself?  I see several that I know quite intimately. And even if none of these apply to you, being around someone who lives these mantras can be draining and exhausting.

One of the things I've learned working as a hospice chaplain is that even though someone may have spent a large portion of their life viewing the world through several pairs of these skewed glasses, by the time they receive a hospice referral and we have had an opportunity to talk about their impending death, most of these beliefs have been allowed to fade into the background, seen to be not as important to keep holding onto, or even viewed with some humor. When faced with death, many begin to see more clearly or at least get a new prescription for their glasses.  Let's not wait until then to change our unhappiness habits.

unhappy sunflower taken from