What are you giving up?


From five full weeks into Lent, Ash Wednesday and Fat Tuesday seem to be in the distant past. I didn’t go for ashes this past Ash Wednesday because it was the first full day on which I was back from the trip to Rome, so I didn’t accomplish much and did not even leave the house. However, so many years of the ash cross on my forehead with the soft words “…remember man, thou art dust and unto dust you shall return…” as the priest marked us each in turn I was there mentally and could hear the words in my own head.

With our El Nino winter winding down and the still bare fine pen line twigs and limbs on trees looking like lace on a blue and purple grey skyline we are advised by our televisions that we must set our clocks ahead one hour before going to bed this evening. This seems to be a carryover we just can’t to let go of after World War II though it really no longer severs any purpose and the time between turning the clock forward one hour and setting it back that same hour, has grown shorter in the last few decades. I am so ready to quit it altogether.

An anecdote from the past which always seems to surface with this pre-Easter season is when a lady I worked with in the Insurance company downtown asked me one year what I was going to give up for lent. Not Catholic herself, she did know that Catholics were forever giving up chocolate, other sweets, and assorted goodies during Lent. Personally I recognized the futility of that habit a long time ago and decided that it might profit my soul considerably more if I did something positive, so instead of giving anything up (or of making New Year’s Resolutions), I think of something like increasing my prayer life or other more constructive effort and embark on it.

But to answer my co-worker’s question about what I was going to give up, I said, “Smoking, whiskey and wild men.” She looked at me rather quizzically and said, “But Rose, you don’t smoke!” To which I said, “AND, Winsome, AND????” (did she think I nipped the whiskey or had any kind of social life, much less with any wild characters?) She still looked puzzled and I said to her, “Well, that certainly makes it easier!”


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