Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oireachtas is "a feis on steroids."

Imagine: One dancer, plus a minimum of one parent, add in a few siblings and grandparents.... multiply that sum by 5 thousand and you will know how many people were at the Hyatt Regency O'Hara this weekend for the three day 2006 Midwestern Oireachtas.

There were jigs, reels, sets, choreographed dances, treble jigs, solo competitions and team competitons (names of things I can remember). The dancers started early and they stayed late. They were dancing when we arrived on Friday afternoon and were still dancing when we left on Sunday morning. This is a competition that takes dancers to the World Competition in Ireland. There is a certain joy at these events that is palpable and a certain amount of respected sorrow. This is a place where dreams are made and moved or removed.

Dancing ages begin in the U6 category and continue to the Adult category and every combination in-between.

We, Irish, have many stories and icons attached to our heritage. Cabled sweaters, Celtic roping, Celtic music and a variety of "Irish" motifed items are common forms of expression. So you can imagine the combinations of displays of art that vendors display. It is hard to stay in contact with your cash. I am not a shopper and I did not even look hard at the tables... My daughter did look and surrendered to the vendor that had "hoodie" event jackets and sweatshirts. The dancing granddaughter can now wear her Oireachtas hoodie because she earned the right to wear it. DD#3 can wear her sweatshirt as a memory of a fine time with the family support team. Laughter was in abundance as we told story after story in the true Irish tradition. Some stories true and some stories sheer spin.

The drive to and back from Chicago was uneventful "Thank You Jesus" and I still hold the belief that Chicago is one of the most amazing cities. I love Chicago a lot!

Congratulations to the dancer and her support team... I think we did marvelous and had a nice family retreat time together.

And what has been going on since I wrote last 9 November? Well there was a General Convention where our Diocese elected a new Bishop, I have been to Akron/Cleveland to begin the process of dismantling my parents homestead, I have had Thanksgiving dinner for 7 local family members, began the Supartz injections in my knee, and tried to prepare the yard for winter. No dull moments have passed these hands.

Enjoy the time you have with family. Learn to enjoy one another. You can learn much from making peace. You can learn to stay on task and focus. You can learn to keep your political views to yourself and respect what views others hold because we are all entitled to certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. What is happiness to one may be sheer torture to another - - but we can quietly respect each person and their right to go in that direction.

I can tell you that there will be a certain amount of silence on these pages. My second sweater is on hiatus for a while, my knee needs more shots and the Dentist thinks I need some work done that will lay me up for an evening and I will need a few evenings to forgive him for what he does ... It is Advent season and a time of waiting is upon us...

So respect each other. Stay the course. Be brave. Learn from each other by holding your thoughts and listening longer. There is much to be learned in the silence...