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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Aunt Bee

Sister St. Aloysius is an...unusual...person. I've mentioned that she is a brilliant mathematician, sought after by think tanks. You'd think someone like that would know the difference between a black can full of worms and a green spinny thing that is a compost heap.

But she didn't. So today I had an "Andy of Mayberry" moment with my own personal Barney Fife in a half habit.

I've been in a bit of a slump. I'm turned around from the change of time zones from my long trip. I'm not done cleaning the house, even though at this point we've found both Jimmy Hoffa and Amelia Earhart. I fully expect to walk into the bathroom and find a bespectacled man in a safari hat. "Doctor Livingston, I presume, " I will say to him. And my poor worm farm is a beehive. I've barely had the wherewith all to offer the whole thing up for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. Too bad one can't to that retroactively.

(One can't. Don't even try it.)

That's why it took me nearly a week to suddenly have my light bulb moment. "The compost heap!" I thought to myself, like Archimedes in the bathtub! "I don't have to toss out the table scraps! I'll put them in the compost heap!" In my mourning for the worms, I had forgotten it completely.

So out I danced with a handful of strawberry tops and shriveled blueberries.

The compost heap is not a heap. It's a round drum sitting on a little base that has rollers on it. You open the lid, toss in the garbage, close the lid and give the whole thing a spin. Then, when you want to use the compost, you can actually roll the whole thing into the garden. (If you don't mind getting gooey goo and mud all across the floor on the way. Why should we mind that? Jimmy and Amelia never complained.)

I opened the lid. How is it that the mind goes so slowly when bizarre things are happening? I know there is a scientific explanation. No doubt, Sister St. Aloysius has told it to me. I was amazed that the compost drum was so full that as I cracked the opening, compost began to spill out. And at the same moment I realized that I wasn't looking at compost and all, but at a lot of angry bees. In the next millisecond, they were pouring out of the crack in the drum door. I can't remember when I started hearing the buzzing. The air was full of buzzing.

For another moment there, I thought about how strange it was that we have two beehives in our front yard that's not a yard. Our front blacktop. Our driveway. And of course, then I realized that somehow my PhD Sister in Christ didn't know the difference between the worm farm and the compost heap.

"You beat everything, you know that, Barney?" Isn't that what Andy used to say?

I marched back into the house, still holding the strawberry tops and shriveled blueberries. No bees followed.

"Sister St. Aloysius," I said, "the beehive is in the compost bin."

"We have two beehives?"

"No (Barney)," I said, "They are only in the compost bin."

"They moved?"

"No," I explained, "they were never in the worm farm. That green thing is not the worm farm(,Deputy Fife). The black thing is the worm farm."

"Black thing?"

"Yes, the black thing that we park the old lady shopping cart behind." We have one of those carts you drag behind you to the store so we can walk there sometimes, to help make up for my Dad causing Global Warming. (Why, just today, my Dad caused a tornado in Brooklyn.)

"I haven't seen it."

"You beat everything, you know that, Barney?" I didn't say that. I was thinking that. That and some other things that I'll confess on Saturday.

I marched back outside with the strawberry tops and the shriveled blueberries. I prayed for the intercession of St. Therese the Little Flower, the patron saint of people who are annoyed by the annoying habits of other people. The truth is, the worm farm is covered in MORNING GLORIES. So is the old lady shopping cart behind it.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Sister!

I fear that I am going to have to either stop reading your blog or start wearing Depends.

I have reached the age where I am too old to laugh.

If you please, who is the patron saint of urinary incontinence?

ColleenD said...

Praise the Lord and pass the blueberries! Your blog is better than any soap opera on TV.

I am so glad that those defenseless worms are safe, albeit pretty hungry by now, I would guess. And, I think that if you get that compost going again, the heat should drive the bees out to find a new home.

While I am here, I have a question that I hope you can answer. My homeschool group has been debating the possibility of scheduling monthly Masses for the school year. I would love it if we could hold them in our own homes rather than trying to arrange to hold them at the church. Somebody said that the church now frowns on home Masses. Is that true? I remember having them on many occasions as a child, like family reunions, anniversaries, even just because we could find a priest who who do it for us. I'd hate to think these intimate celebrations were scandalous, or worse.

Anonymous said...

Wiping away tears of laughter here... and I'll be sure to tell my son that there is a patron saint for those annoyed by the annoying habits of others. He will be good friends with her!

Still laughing.....


Anonymous said...

So funny...thanks for the lesson in how to get along with the people we love. I forget to look for the humor in daily events and will, instead, focus on the frustrations.

St. T huh? I think I have a new patron saint.


Anonymous said...

I'm not done cleaning the house!
Sister, Sister...cakes get done...You are not finished cleaning the house! But then again maybe you are!
Please don't take this serious. ;) I just had to say it!
Love your blog...God bless..
A faithful reader

Paul said...

Thanks for bringing this IMPORTANT patron saint to my attention in such an amusing manner...

bizyhands said...

Sister - YOU beat everything,

Anonymous said...

Some of the most brilliant people I've ever known have trouble with the most basic details of everyday life. It's a documented phenomenon.

Sandra Williams said...

what a great read.....so funny! Thank you for brightening my day!

bencandance said...

You are so funny! Ha ha ha ha ha ha

I love your wit and your style of writing. :D


Kelli said...

In answer to your question: Yes. Diocese of Quincy.

Kelli said...

Ha! Forgive the ignorance. Aren't Maid-Rites a sandwich based out of Iowa?

Kelli said...

Ah ok. Well, I don't think I'll ever make it to Quincy but if I do, I'll keep that in mind and get some grub!

Anonymous said...

There is more than one Barney living in my house. I think St. Therese and I need to talk.

Thanks for the laugh. Now I need to wipe up the floor. *Note to self - Do NOT try to read Sister's blog and drink iced tea at the same time!*

Kasia said...

Hmm. I'm sure someone told me that one could 'offer up' past, present and future suffering by consecrating oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort's method. But that's OK. I'll let God sort out my accounting. :-)

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Just discovered your blog.
I read loads of it out to my teenage children as their bedtime story.
They have decided-and I must agree-and one is never too old for a bed time story.
God bless

Anonymous said...

Here's how stupid I am - I JUST REALIZED that that was Barney Fife's mug photoshopped over the nun. I had a good laugh both at the photo and myself. I'm dumber than a doornail sometimes. You, OTOH, are very clever! :)

Anonymous said...

Uh, Monica,

Do you mean "dumber than a door knob?" I think the other expression is "dead as a door nail."