Friday, April 18, 2014

Reid Buckley, RIP

Reid Buckley died earlier this week. I suppose you can read tributes to him on the National Review blog and other places. He lived in Camden, SC which is 20+ miles down the road from us.

I had 3 encounters with Mr. Buckley. A great friend had given me his book "An American Family". After reading it, I was compelled to write Reid Buckley a short note. He wrote back, very graciously.

Some months later (probably recounted in this blogs archives) at our feed store in Bethune I met Reid Buckley. It could only be him. I stepped out of character (being naturally shy) and asked. (It was.) I introduced myself and my daughter and noted I had read his book. He immediately remembered my letter and we talked for just a few minutes.

It must have been a year or may be two later that I again encountered Reid Buckley at the same feed store. I greeted him and he responded "Have you done anything good today?" We chatted a bit. He clearly remembered me.

In looking at my archives here, I find a piece I quoted from him, close to my heart, which I reproduce below. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace! Amen.

When last did you hear a conservative spokesman deplore yet another six-lane highway, yet another fast-food alley, yet another graceless subdivision, yet another Super Wal-Mart or Lowe’s that sucks the life out of small village businesses, yet one more onslaught against neighborhood and nature that is masked under the name of progress? Unless it is a bridge in Alaska from nowhere to nowhere, you will not hear the deepest red-dyed congressman denounce the progressive uglification of our natural inheritance, as though beauty is of no concern. Have you flown recently from Newport News to Boston at 25,000 feet on a clear day and gazed down upon the horror of American civilization? What man hath wrought! What we have done to this beautiful land? Dear God, forgive us! But when last did you hear a conservative oppose a new mall because it is ugly, an affront to the eye, accustoming thousands of human beings to dehumanizing blows against the aesthetic sense until it is benumbed? The good, the true, and the beautiful are inseparably joined. One cannot damage one without doing harm to the others. Those who fail to comprehend this are morally in error on the dialectical front, though they may be personally virtuous.

.... Where are our Friedrich Hayeks of The Road to Serfdom, our Eric Voegelins of The New Science of Politics, our Russell Kirks of The Conservative Mind? Where is our philosopher? Meantime, on the practical front, what can conservatives do? The very first thing is to dissociate from the Republican Party, which has become an albatross around the neck of integrity.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2 years ago I planted corn in early February. Last year it was March 15th. This year we put our first corn in on April 3rd. We plan to plant some more this week.

Just got back from a trip to the College of St. Mary Magdalen in NH. Son number 2 was in a Shakespeare production: Much Ado About Nothing. They did a great job.

In my travels I was able to finish Evangelii Gaudium. Here is a great passage from the end of the Apostolic Exhortation:

286. Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love. She is the handmaid of the Father who sings his praises. She is the friend who is ever concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives. She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all, she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. She is the missionary who draws near to us and accompanies us throughout life, opening our hearts to faith by her maternal love. As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love. Through her many titles, often linked to her shrines, Mary shares the history of each people which has received the Gospel and she becomes a part of their historic identity.

Finally, an article on our sorghum effort last year will be appearing in the May/June issue of BackHome Magazine. Look for it!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Learned from listening ...

When we ask of God, we need to tell him only our problem ... not our proposed solution.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, March 07, 2014

March is here. Lent is here. And winter persists. Two years ago my corn had been in the ground for over a month. Last year my corn was just planted at this time. But this year, I haven't even finished putting in broccoli, peas, and lettuce. I can't even think about corn. I thought I had two years worth of wood stored up, with the woodstove season starting in October and still going strong, we barely have enough left for this year. And I have to get cutting and splitting or I will be doing it over the heat of the summer!So this year in the evenings of Lent we will be finishing "The Family That Overtook Christ", about St. Bernard of Clairveaux and his family. We had started it a couple years ago and got through at least 1/2 the family. (Bernard's family) Time to finish it up.  I will also be (finally) reading Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation "The Joy of Evangelization".We finally put down our boar of 7 years this past weekend. He was a good boar; gave us a lot of great litters. Now he will live on in sausage! Our new boar fathered his first litter a couple weeks ago, and it was a good one. Good for him, too bad for Tarzan.Okay, time to read and pray. Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A day in the life

Up and start fire in wood stove.

Coffee with Mrs. Curley and morning chores.

Breakfast and readings of the day.

Client work until noon with an occasional Math problem for one of the kids thrown in.

Noon - Angelus and lunch.

Coffee with Mrs. Curley.

Rosary (we are currently using St. Josemaria Escriva's book on the Rosary to help meditation)

Till garden area for the first time this spring.

Children finish school and they start trimming muscadine vines. I notice our surplus chickens are gathering in the newly tilled garden. We catch and process 4 chickens.

Shower, eat, teach Faith Formation at parish.

Get home, talk on phone with great friend in Chile.
Intercessions and Night Prayer.

Check on Sow ready to farrow and watch the process. 14 piglets!

Bed after midnight-tired, but satisfying day.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All I'm goin' say is (and I am not explaining it): We were here first!

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

update on snow

So as the snow finished at 5:00PM, we had about 6 inches.

This morning? It is snowing again; 2-3 inches expected before turning to wintry mix and eventually ice.

In our 18+ years in SC (plus my 4 in college a decade earlier) I have never seen it snow on top of snow.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Our third snow this winter! I remember 2 years ago my corn was already in the ground by this time (but truly that was an exception to the rule.) We already have 4-5 inches on the ground here in Bethune.

I have a sow due to farrow this weekend. With a ice predicted and continuing horrible conditions, no doubt she will pick sometime in the next two days to have piglets.

But we are warm. The predictions of power outages won't bother us. We are stacked high with wood and candles are at the ready.(I have been trying to put a picture up, but blogger won't cooperate. )

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, January 06, 2014


Here's something interesting to read at Public Discourse: Our Obligations to Animals. The quote which caught my eye?

Now farms are, in origin at least, an extension of the home. That means that the so-called family farm, even if quite large, should express and body forth the character of the household. But as I have noted: we do not like to live in filth, ugliness, stink, or decay; to which we should add, in light of undercover videos of pig factories, casual brutality and violence. Our farms should express who we are, and that ought to mean that they express goodness.
That, I believe, is entirely compatible with killing and eating the non-human animals on a farm and making those animals available to others to eat. I have participated in the killing and eating of pigs on a friend’s farm. That farm is the embodiment of my friend’s and his family’s very Christian life: the pigs are well treated; their slaughter is preceded by a prayer; and the entire family works together to make sure that the pig’s life and death is for the sake of the family’s common good.
I am always interested in pigs raised on a family homestead, and Dr. Tollefsen's writings are always worth reading.
Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Melkite Divine Liturgy

Wow! Sunday for the first time I attended a Melkite Divine Liturgy. I have to say I have never experienced the Divine Liturgy like this. I am still struggling to put into words what and how it was different as it is the same sacrifice with some very similar prayers. The Liturgy seemed to flow easily and more logically than I have experienced with either the Novus Ordo or the Extraordinary form.

Now I am certainly not ready to apply to change rites, but I am yearning to attend another Melkite Divine Liturgy like nothing before. Not kneeling and not genuflecting was hard. Doing a little research into the rite over the past days has made me understand the rite is not just the Liturgy and there are many things which culturally I would have to figure out-after all I have been Roman for 49 years.

I am not sure if after one experience I can communicate what I found at Our Lady of the Cedars which I haven’t found anywhere else. Perhaps the presence of God was more profound or visible. Perhaps the community of worshipers (including the priest and deacon) seemed to be both more casual (no, casual is not the right word- perhaps humble) and intense at the same time.

For the Melkites, this was not the first Sunday of Advent. The Gospel was about the blind man trying to reach Jesus over the objections of the crowd. One part of the homily struck me: the deacon told us that in contrast to the crowd which tried to prevent the blind man from reaching Jesus, the Church’s mission (and thus ours) is to help “the blind” reach Jesus. It seemed to me that the Melkite Divine Liturgy was trying to help this blind man (me) reach Jesus this past Sunday.

Oremus pro invicem!