It’s been a busy week, what with me spending most of Wednesday crying in front of the television and all. All throughout the conclave and the leadup, I had been oddly unemotional. In part because I was happy for the wonderful Pope Benedict to get some much-needed rest, in part because I totally trusted his decision, and in larger part because we have so much going on right here right now, I hadn’t really paid that much attention to any of it. I thought this historic moment was going to pass me by. And then I turned on the television on Wednesday, and waited for the announcement with the rest of the world. When I saw the new Pope walk out, and it wasn’t anyone I expected, and my super-quick Google searches revealed that he’s a kind, humble person who puts God first in his life, and I saw him kneel down and ask for the world’s prayers…I lost it. I sat on my couch heaving big, loud, ugly-cry sobs, with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I got to witness this moment.
I asked the resident Conversion Diary sommelier (a.k.a. Joe) for his top Argentinian wine recommendation for those who would like to celebrate the first Argentinian Pope the right way. He said that the Las Hormigas Malbec by Altos is the way to go. (He also recommended Concha Y Toro’s Carmenere, which was a thrilling chance for me to sound sophisticated since I actually know that Concha Y Toro is a Chilean vineyard and got to point that out. But if any South American wine from a country near the Andes will do, you might want to try that one as well.)
I was going to get more recommendations but it turned into a surprisingly complicated discussion about the finer points of new world grape growing, so here’s a picture of Yaya and me at the Norton winery in Argentina in 2002 instead:
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It was a joyous moment when I got to tell the kids that we have a new Pope. As I mentioned, I had not been as mentally checked in to the process as a good Catholic mother might hope to be. Frankly, I’d been doing a terrible job of keeping the kids in the loop of everything that was going on in the Vatican. And so I was thrilled to see my six-year-old daughter’s eyes light up when I told her about the Cardinals all coming together in a secret meeting, being guided by the Holy Spirit in their decision, then sending up the white smoke to announce that we had a new Pope. She was on the edge of her seat, as engaged as if we were discussing the finer points of a Barbie fairy princess movie. She asked me one question after another about how the Cardinals could possibly do all of this, gasping with delight at my answers.
And then I realized: cardinals. She thought we were talking about red birds.
It, uhh, may be time for us to revisit the Religion component of our homeschooling curriculum.
I have to say, I think Joe and I both did a good job of finding very tiny sacrifices we could make for Lent that would have a big impact. There has been no shortage of opportunities for detachment from worldly pleasures in this house in 2013, so we knew that it would be setting ourselves up for failure to attempt too much. Not that we have to give up anything at all, but we wanted to. So I decided to stop listening to secular music, and Joe gave up drinking wine out of wine glasses.
I thought Joe’s idea was particularly good. It would be no big deal to those of us who usually choose our wines based on the picture on the box and could barely tell the difference between a 1950 Bordeaux and a grape wine cooler, but it’s a surprisingly significant penance for oenophiles. Evidently, for people who are into wine, sipping your favorite cab out of a worn, dishwasher-battered plastic Dora the Explorer cup is just not the same as having it from a smooth, wide-mouthed Riedel glass.
I think I’m going to collect more ideas like this to keep in my back pocket for other seasons like this one. Look out for my post in February of next year: “Really, Really Tiny Sacrifices for When Your Life is Already Lent.”
I sent Joe a few links from Glennon Melton’s wildly popular blog, Momastery, as part of some research I was doing about bloggers who’ve written memoirs. We discussed it back and forth by email a few times before it finally came up in person. And when I heard him pronounce the name of the site, I just about died laughing when I realized he’d misread it as Mo’ Mastery.
Talk to me about having filters put in your veins. Well, I guess I should be more specific. I don’t mean like, “AAAAAAH THAT SOUNDS HORRIBLE!” I’m thinking more of people who have had this done or know someone who has had it done. My hematologist has mentioned this as an option for freaks like me whose blood gets all crazy about clotting. I’m familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of having it done, and am still undecided. So I guess what I’m wondering now is: How hideously awful is the actual procedure of having it put in?
My hematologist said it’s “no big deal, ” then elaborated on that statement by talking about stabbing a little robot machine thing deep into my leg until it reaches a major vein and then snaking it all the way up, in the vein, behind my internal organs toward my lungs, ALL WHILE I’M STILL AWAKE. He said it’s an outpatient procedure as if that’s a good thing. Umm, no. If I’m going to have electronic snakes winding through my veins to implant things in them like something out of a bad Aliens sequel, I want to be knocked out for at least a week.
Don’t miss this wonderful video. Habemus Papam!
P.S. Next week we’ll do the linky list in reverse chronological order. Prepare yourself for the excitement!
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