Friday, October 12, 2012

Vatican II, the reading list, running

It is the middle of harvest, so the idea of having a current book to read, save for the latest issue of Runners' World, and my winemaking texts, is laughable.  That said, current events are nudging me to carve out some time for real reading.  You see, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.  Vatican II was a council envisioned by Blessed Pope John XXIII (yes, that is 23rd) to update and rearticulate the timeless teachings of the Catholic Faith for the modern world.  Over the course of three years, the world was left with a batch of documents, a new pope (John XXIII died and Paul VI was elected), and a feeling of optimism. 

I link to a post by Whispers, and link to a video of Pope Benedict giving an off the cuff reflection.  On the first night of the council, Pope John appeared at his window and addressed the crowd that had gathered in St. Peter's Square.  That talk is referred as the "discorso alla luna", the "discourse to the moon", as there was a radiant moon that night in Rome.  Benedict took a page from John's book to reflect on his feelings on the optimism that came from the council and on the quiet, confident humility that the Holy Spirit calls us to. 

So, where does the reading come in?  Benedict opened a "Year for Faith" in the Church, emphasizing our dedication to the letter of the Council, not just the amorphous "Spirit of Vatican II", which was used as an excuse for poor teaching, catechetics, liturgy, and nearly ran our Church into the ground.  My plan for this Year of Faith is to really dig in and read all of those un-read books on the shelf:  Jesus of Nazareth, The Confessions, The City of God, Introduction to Christianity, Feast of Faith.  I plan on reading all of the Mass readings for the year.  That will get me at least 1/3 of the Bible read in one year.  I need to dedicate more time to prayer.  I can pray when I'm running, driving, or when I have a quiet moment in the office. 

Pray for me, I'll pray for you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Still kicking

For those of you that come by on rare occasion to see if I am still around, have no fear for Donald is here!  It is the middle of harvest at the winery. Which means grapes, interns, and lots of work.  things have been going pretty well at the job, and we shall leave it at that.  On the home front, we are not at Hazel's anymore.  Our home was sold out from under us, and we are no renting at a ranch about five miles from the winery.  Well, it is 5.5 miles, as I clocked it this afternoon.  Today was "run to work day", as Alie's car was in the shop, and mine was filled with car seats.   It was a nice run.  peaking of running,  I ran the Salinas Valley Half Marathon in August, finishing in 1:53; three minutes slower than last year.

For a bit of nuttiness, I have signed up for the Big Sur Half to be run in mid-November.  that's rig, it's harvest, and I'm training for a half, too.  I ll keep you updated as things progress.  Hope you are well, where've you are.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hemingway of the winery

In the last few days, I have had one of my bosses call me, "The Hemingway of Paicines", the miniscule wide spot in the road where the winery is. I am not sure if this is a compliment or not. This guy likes Hemingway and Kipling, that I know. At any rate, I know that this blog, with its three followers, is not Hemingway or Kipling. So, tonight is Holy Saturday. Tonight, we Catholics enter the Easter Triduum (three days of Holy Thursday to Good Friday, to Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil). My preference would have been to go to Mass, followed by Adoration. Unfortunately, the wife was not feeling well, so I was not able to go.
At any rate, after dinner, I was watching the sun go down in the kitchen. Leo climbed up onto my leg, and we talked about the sun going down, and how it was twilight. He asked when the sun would come back up, and we talked about twilight being that part of the day after the sun goes down, but before it is dark. He told me that the dark is on his "list of things that he is scared of". I got the idea to show him the stars before he went to sleep. Sure enough, after putting pajamas on, and after doing the night time routine, the twins wanted to see the stars. I took them outside, and showed them how to find the North Star. i showed them Venus, Mars. There was a nearly full moon out tonight. I thought them their first Shakespeare: I got them to repeat, "I am as constant as the Northern Star," (Julius Caesar). After the annoyances and frustrations of the last few days, I felt like I was doing the right thing, like I was following The Plan. Too bad it took a full bottle of wine. Great way to start the Triduum, right. Now, I think I will go off onto the porch to sing one of my favorite hymns. Since no one comments on this blog, I'll tell you the title: "Pange Lingua Gloriosi", by my patron, St. Thomas Aquinas. Happy Holy Week.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

NVM Results-why I have I not posted this???

So, I ran the Napa Valley Marathon on Sunday, 4 March. I did not post my race report, Lord only knows why. So, here is the skinny:

Race day was great. You could not get better weather, if you asked, begged, and pleaded for it. Chilly at about 40F at the gun (or air-raid siren, rather), with a couple wisps of cloud. The first five miles went like a breeze. Around mile 6, I met a man running his 47th, yes, 47th marathon. We chatted for the better part of the next 8 miles. We made it through the half in 1:56. I saw Alie, the kids, and family around mile 14. Shortly thereafter, the wheels fell off the cart. An ankle injury from 2 years ago reared its ugly head, and I did a walk-run the last ten or so miles. I nearly broke down in tears at mile 24. But, I saw someone I was not expecting to see: Amby Burfoot. Amby won the 1968 Boston Marathon, and was the editor-in-chief for Runner's World for many years. He was walking the course backwards. I don't know if he had run the race, and was coming back, or was just walking along those last couple mile to encourage us in. I saw him, and managed to start running a bit more again. I waved, and said "Hey, Amby". He smiled, and said, "Finish strong,". Sounds silly, but the guy helped me out a bit.

The last mile was a little surreal. We were no longer running among the vines, but were going through a couple of residential neighborhoods to get to the finish at Vintage High. Someone said, "You're doing the 0.2 now,". That fact encouraged me greatly. I crossed the road to the last straightaway in front of the high school. I was overjoyed, I started running, and thought, "Well, let's see if I can get a little out of the crowd,". I took my hat off, and started waving it over my head. The crowd roared, well, as much as about 150 people can roar on a Sunday morning. Much to my delight, Alie and kids had just arrived, and I saw my wife hold Ollie over the railing. Finish time of 4:42:46. Second fastest marathon ever (PR of 4:27 in 2005).

It was a great day. The race did not turn out as expected, but I was not terribly surprised. Before I commit to another marathon, I need to evaluate my ability to train well much better, and drop about 20#. The foot has healed, I got 3 miles in this morning, and now its time get after it again. Watch out critters, I'll be out there tomorrow morning.

Happy Palm Sunday and Happy Holy Week! We're in the 0.2 of Lent and here comes Easter!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Napa Valley Marathon in the AM

Ok, campers, I am running the Napa Valley Marathon. The course is Calistoga to Napa along the Silverado Trail. I am staying with the family tonight in one of the guest cottages that our company owns in Calistoga. I've got my training done; it did not go exactly as planned. So, in case any of you are wondering, here are the goals:

  • "C" goal: Break 5:00 (last year's Big Sur debacle time)
  • "B" goal: PR/Break 4:27.
  • "A" goal: Break 4:00.

Based on my 20-miler, and my overall health, I think I can hit all three. I'll fill you in tomorrow!

St Joseph, pray for us.

St Sebastian, pray for us.

Bl. Junipero Serra, pray for us.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

2011 wrap, 2012, and WENDELL

We should start with the most exciting news first. On Wednesday, 4 January 2012, my sister Sarah gave birth to her first child. Wendell David Fruit came into the world at 3:13pm, 19" long, weighing in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Wendell, Sarah, and Sean are doing well; Sarah and Wendell should come home from the hospital today. Thanks be to God!!!

2011 certainly had its high and low points. I was blessed to complete the Big Sur Marathon in May. I was offered and accepted my new job at Blossom Hill, removing a couple of hours off my commute each day. Alie and I witnessed the Solemn Vows of Br. Dominic David in April. I hit my goal for the Salinas Valley Half Marathon in August. The family sold more grapes than it did in 2010. Gabe came home from Afghanistan, and is in Monterey for the next year. I ran over 430 miles. All three of my kids are in good health, growing every day. We just had possibly the best Christmas season in recent memory. We had a great time with the family around, the kids had fun, and we had a good experience at Christmas Mass.

2011 had its crosses, too. We lost Jack, Alison's grandfather in March. I thought very highly of him; he was a good man, and one of the sharpest I have encountered. I had hoped that he would survive and enjoy a couple of good years after his wife, Vyn, passed in February of 2010. That was not to be. I lost a mentor in September, when Carol Thorup passed away. When I got my new position at Blossom Hill, I inherited her old office. I think about her everyday when I walk in to the office, some of her books on my shelf, and the picture of Thomas Jefferson on the wall.

I am looking forward to 2012. The twins will be five in May; Oliver will turn two in March. I am in training for the Napa Valley Marathon in March. I have my goals, and I think I will hit them. Bottom line is to break four hours. I plan on attending the ASEV (American Society for Enology and Viticulture) meeting in Portland in June. I may run the Salinas Valley Half again. My summer running will be dictated by how well I do at Napa.

I wrote the reading list for 2012 the other day; it includes over 10 books, and finally getting through Fr Reggie Foster's "First Experience". I am looking to be a bigger part of the team at Blossom Hill.

Pray for me, and as always, I pray for you. Happy Epiphany!