Grandma day again.  Rode out to St. Francis Catholic Shop to do the annual buying of gifts for the godchildren.  There was an incident on I-26, and I got to detour along Broad River Road, the section between downtown Columbia and St. Andrew’s road.  Been ages since I’ve driven that particular neighborhood, and I was struck by just how seedy of an area it was. 

    But I was even more struck by the measure of seediness.  It was not run-down-buildings, or loitering disheveled people, or the relative infrequency of late-model vehicles, that drew my attention.  It was all the instant-loan places.  Car title loans, payday loans, check-cashing services, pawn shops.

    I’m not sure quite what this says, but it definitely says something about our culture.  That there could be dozens of businesses making their living on the issuing of high-interest loans to people who urgently need more cash. 

    Anyway, something to think about.

***

    Bread & Comments  A reader notes that the bread at Heather’s Artisan Bakery really is very very good, and wishes for more bakery hours.  Wish granted: as the farmer’s markets close up for the winter, Heather is doing more in-store sales.   Check her website for details from week to week.

    Re: comments: the comments are not, at this time, moderated.  Which means that I don’t get any notification when they are posted.  I try to check down for comments on older posts — this is not one of those speedy blogs, so there’s no reason a topic should get out-of-date too quickly.  But for the record, if you want to be sure I see your comment, you can put it in one of the more recent entries (or just note there that you’ve commented farther below).  My e-mail also works, though I don’t check it as consistently as some think I ought.

***

    In mystery ailment news,  the PT tells me, "Get thee to a neurologist".  Um, okay, I’ll add that to my list.  Apparently when an arm takes to acting like the beleaguered leg, we can neither blame it on a nasty backache, nor shrug it off as solidarity.  Certainly the femur is innocent of this one. 

    She also informs me that there is no way to turn around (standing) that does not involve using the pelvis.  In other words, no it isn’t my imagination that housework is an aggravating activity.   Experts are still debating on whether one can properly call an ailment "suffering" if it requires, in the name of treatment, the avoidance of household chores.

***

    I finished reading Spe Salvi.  Can’t recommend it enough.  A lovely and very encouraging document, and full of interesting historical and theological points.   And if you are, like me, just a junior member of the lay faithful, not one of these people who can speed through encyclicals the way the rest of us read the Sunday comics, it’s probably just as well.  It is worth taking the document paragraph by paragraph, and reflecting on one bit before moving to the next.

  I think it would make a good small-group study, in that one somewhat-informed leader could walk interested readers through it section by section, perhaps giving some background information, and then moving to a discussion of how the general principles apply to daily life.  So much fodder for reflection.  Something to consider for Lent, perhaps.

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