If there is one thing we natives of rural northeast Missouri know how to
do, we know how to "do funeral." One of the greatest comforts in this
life--but only if we choose to ride with it--is the small town funeral.
I remember during the 14 years I lived in Columbia, going to funerals
and visitations was a somber, sterile activity.
of the funny sidelights of owning a chiminea (and Facebooking about
making fires in it on a frequent basis) is that I have kind of become
the "Parish incinerator for holy objects." Things like slightly
"off-smelling" chrism, leftover blessed palm fronds, or worn out
corporals or altar linens seem to find their way into my chiminea to be
burned. I think part of it is folks in my parish know I love to burn
stuff, and they also know my fire-sitting spot is, at least to me, a
One of the problems with moving forward is that there are times that require looking back--and not with nostalgia.
I was recently visiting with a friend who is a Vietnam veteran, describing "then" and "now."
described it like this: "When I came home, I sort of put all that
stuff in a package. You know, when I was in country, we always said
"When I get back to the world, I'm gonna...etc. etc." It was sort of
like Vietnam was "another world."