Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Perfect Sunday Morning in Cleveland, Ohio

1. First, attend the outdoor Sunday mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Euclid.
2. After mass, ride your bike in the Euclid Creek Metropark. Dip your feet into the clear waters of the creek and gaze upon the great shale cliff above the Welch Woods picnic area.
3. Then head up Nottingham road to East 185th Street, stopping at Buettner's Bakery.
4. Take your sweet rolls and coffee to Wildwood Park on Lake Erie.

You've had a perfect summer morning!

Grotto at Lourdes Shrine

Euclid Creek

Denny Coughlin used to hang from these tree roots!

Wildwood Marina on Lake Erie

Jet ski heading out to the Big Lake

Fr. Paul Desch, OFM--a Wonderful Priest

My daughter Emily was married earlier this month to Brian Homan of Lima, Ohio; the presider at the wedding was Fr. Paul Desch, a Cincinnati Franciscan. I love the Franciscans and thought if I ever were to pursue religious life it would be as a Franciscan (that train has left the station). I know quite a bit about the life of St. Francis and one of my close Cincinnati friends was Kenny Przybylski, who was a Franciscan brother for about 6 years (Little Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis). Another Cincinnati and Mansfield House Commune friend, Jack Shereda, was also part of that Franciscan order.

Fr. Paul's liturgy was beautiful and both traditional and non-traditional. His homily was especially beautiful. He knew that Brian and Emily met during a summer school semester in Salzburg, Austria, where they studied German. So during the homily Fr. Paul sang a sweet German folk song for them:

Du, du, liegst mir im Herzen.
Du, du, liegst mir im Sinn.
Du, du, machst mir viel Schmerzen--

Weiss nicht wie gut ich dir bin.

Ja, Ja, Ja, Ja,
Weiss nicht wie gut ich dir bin.

The words mean: You, you, are in my heart. You, you, are in my mind. You, you, cause me much pain--you don't know how good I am to you (or for you).

Fr. Paul especially commented on that last line and how good Emily and Brian are for each other. I think he was exactly right.

Since I was so much part of the ceremony and the reception, I wasn't able to take many pictures of Fr. Paul. But below is one from the brunch we had at our Chardon home the day after the wedding; the other from the rehearsal dinner. 

Thanks Fr.Paul!

July 6th brunch at our Chardon home. Fr. Paul is in a white shirt back
and a bit to the left of center. Members of the Homan family
sit with him (also, Bruce Sanders is there on the left).
Rehearsal Dinner, July 4th. Fr. Paul on left, Emily front center, Brian right.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Der "Rudi" (Tim Forward) Besucht Mich in Ohio!

So happy today to have lunch with my old friend from Notre Dame and Innsbruck and Salzburg, Austria, Tim Forward. Back in Salzburg, in the previous millennium (1967) we called Tim "Rudi" after a character in a book about the famous Swiss character Wilhelm Tell (I think that was the origin of Tim's nickname). Almost all the Notre Damers who studied in Salzburg and Innsbruck had nicknames. Sometimes they were logical and more often they were inexplicable. Why was I called "Wilder Mann"? Why was Chris Cotter called "Wheat"? And Tom Heinen "Spider"? Why was Mike Gerrity "Misha"?

Thirty-six 19-year-old boys in the Innsbruck Program--all of them bright, ambitious; many fun; a few stone crazy. Forty-five years later some of the guys have had incredible success. Two have died--Steve Shields in combat in Vietnam around 1973 and John Higgins from cancer. One of my favorites is Tim Forward, "Rudi"--so happy he stopped by today on his way to Chicago and Green Bay.
Tim Forward and Bob Coughlin at the Red Hawk, Concord, Ohio

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Great Tune Heard at Irish Festival: "Come Give Me Your Hand" by Rory Dall O'Cathain

I heard Maureen Reich (on fiddle), Dennis Doyle (on celtic harp), and Sheldon Firem (on bodhran) play this beautiful tune yesterday at the Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival at an "open session" (I was there playing too, but not on this particular tune). The tune, called "Give Me Your Hand" (Tabhair dom do Lámh in Irish) was composed by the blind harpist Rory Dall O'Cathain around 1603. 410 years later it was played in a Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds building in Berea, Ohio. Below is a version from Youtube by the Chieftains:

Friday, July 19, 2013

"I have a beard like you!"

Colin Jude Kleppel

My grandson Colin sent me this photo with the message, "I have a beard like you!" Colin calls me "Brrr," which came from his word for beard. I am the "Grampa-with-the Beard."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Birthday O Carolan!

Carolan giving Linda a birthday present. Brian Homan on left (July 6, 2013).
Our wonderful daughter Carolan Ruth turned 28 yesterday. That hardly seems possible because Linda and I hold the memories of her birth and her childhood so fresh in our hearts.

The story of her birth seems almost mythological in our family (I am admittedly one of the chief mythologizers). It was July 14th and we were ready for this baby to be born. I love names and had been thinking about all sorts of possibilities. If the baby were to be a boy, I thought about "Giovanni Francesco," which was the name of St. Francis of Assisi, my favorite saint. The English version of that would be "John Francis," the name of my Grampa FitzPatrick, who died when I was one year old in 1949. I didn't think we would have another girl, but if we did I thought about the name "Carmen." To me it was a great name for a dark-featured beauty (our first child, Julia, had dark complexion, dark brown hair, and brown eyes--"Black Irish," we figured). Also, this baby was due around the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16th. "Carmen" was close to "Carmel." Also in mind was an Irish singer I had heard on television years before, Carmel Quinn. I always liked her name. So this baby might get the moniker "Carmen."

When Linda started into labor on July 14th, we headed to Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, some 45 miles from our home in Berea, KY. To our astonishment (after our first child we felt like old pros!), the labor didn't progress and the doctors sent us home. This was a little discouraging. The next evening, the labor began again and this time we were pretty sure so we packed up and headed to Central Baptist again. We arrived there around midnight. Linda was in serious labor quickly. Somewhere around 4 in the morning, the doctors spotted meconium and they went into what seemed to us a panic. Their seriousness--the sudden change from relaxed joking and talk to serious work--scared us. They wheeled Linda in her hospital birthing room bed directly into what seemed to be an operating room. Then things happened fast! And a little baby girl was born around 4:30 in the morning on July 16th, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. But as we looked at this new baby, we knew right away this was no "Carmen." This kid had pale skin and red hair (that stuck straight up!). You couldn't find a kid who looked less like her older sister. We would have to rethink this baby's name.

The next day someone congratulated us on the birth of "Carmen." I had to tell her that this new person's name was not going to be Carmen. Her name would be "Carolan Ruth Sanders Coughlin." "Ruth" was her maternal grandmother's name. "Sanders" was her mother's surname. And "Carolan" was the name of the great Irish harp player and composer who lived from 1670 to 1738. O'Carolan was a blind harper and composer of some of the greatest, most timeless tunes ever created (my favorite being "Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór").

Very shortly after Carolan was born, she was put into Linda's arms. Linda, who had no medicine, no anesthetic for the birth, was wide awake and full of energy. Linda wanted to call her family and friends and tell of the wonderful news. I had to tell her that no one else in the world was awake yet and that we'd have to wait a couple hours before spreading the word.#

Carolan is a happy kid, very bright, a hell of a lot of fun. She shares her joy with everyone, family and friends alike. She reminds me of Kenny Przybylski in that regard. We thank the Lord for Carolan!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blueberry Season in Chardon, Ohio

Great summer for blueberries in Chardon, Ohio!

Snake Lurking in My Shed!

This snake, guarding my lawn mower in my little barn. Should I be afraid?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coughlin Family--July 6, 2013

Coughlin Family, Day after Emily and Brian's Wedding. Chardon, Ohio.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Mark Zaremba wishes Linda a happy birthday at Progressive Field. A wonderful day at the ball park as the Indians rally in the 8th inning to beat the Tigers. About 20 members of the extended Coughlin family were there (7 from San Diego; others from Mentor, Chardon, Hambden, and Dayton).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Irish Blessing for Emily and Brian on Their Wedding Day

Irish Wedding Blessing

Go bhfaighe tú focail te ar tráthnóna fuar
(May you have warm words on a cold evening)

Lán na ré ar oíche dorcha
(A full moon on a dark night)

Agus an bothar le fána ar feadh an bhealaigh go dtí do dhoras

(And the road downhill all the way to your door)

Blessings to you, Brian and Emily on Your Wedding Day!