Monday, May 16, 2011

To Kill a Mockingbird

I have never read the book or seen the movie To Kill a Mockingbird, but I now know where the sentiment behind it must have come from. There is a mockingbird that lives in the environs of where we are staying here at beautiful Emerald Isle, and it would not surprise me in the least if someone desired for it to meet its demise. We don't have mockingbirds in my native Fairfield, Ohio. And for that, I am now eternally grateful.

From what I can tell, mockingbirds have three salient characteristics. First, they are loud. Obnoxiously loud. There can be a chorus of dozens of birds here on the island, and the mockingbird will stand out among them all like a bad soprano in a church choir. (My apologies if you are a soprano. However, I grew up in the Catholic Church and every parish choir I ever heard had one soprano who knew only one musical dynamic: fortissimo. And they inevitably held the final note of a phrase a beat too long to produce their version of a solo). Second, mockingbirds are persistent. They go on and on and on and on from one ripped-off bird song to the next with barely a breath in between. Their third, and perhaps most disconcerting trait, is they are early risers. This particular one seems determined to wake every other bird (and me) at the ridiculous hour of 5:30am. I am not amused.

Now that I've written this, I should probably add this caveat: I have no intentions of harming said bird. So if it perhaps comes to the end of its earthly journey during the coming week, I promise I had nothing to do with it. Pure coincidence.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I just completed my last undergraduate college assignment. Technically, I still have to attend one more classroom session, but that's not really work; that's just taking up space. But the important stuff is done. No more books to read. No more papers to write. And in just over one week, I will walk across the stage at Cincinnati Christian University, shake the President's hand, and officially be an alumni.

I will also be fulfilling a promise I made to my mom about thirty years ago. I dropped out of college when I was around 22 years old, and I promised her I would go back and finish someday. There was a long period of time when that idea seemed like a fantasy. I think I probably made a lot of promises to both my parents that I never kept and have long since forgotten, but for some reason this was one that I couldn't forget.

But God had some ideas in mind I couldn't foresee, and the most important of those was for me to meet, fall in love with, and marry Vicki Gabriel. If that didn't happen first, I am utterly convinced next Saturday would mean nothing to me other than another day at work. Vicki is the most supportive partner any man could possibly have, and she is largely responsible for it being possible for me to do this. So more than anything, this is in gratitude to her. Thanks, Vicki! You are one amazing woman of God.