Sea Duty

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SeaHawk is rigged and ready to go to see on a sublime September afternoon.

(Harbert, Michigan) While thousands of happy cyclists were out enjoying the Apple Cider Century bicycle tour of our back roads on Sunday, I was paddling Lake Michigan in the Easy Rider SeaHawk kayak I purchased in 1989.  The lake was in one of her sweet September moods, and I thus could paddle with purpose and ease through the glassy seas.  The sun shimmered on the big-sea water, and I could follow shafts of light to the sandy lake bottom as I put SeaHawk through her paces.  We have been together on the big lake for many a September now, and we are already planning a spectacular October color tour of the shoreline, beginning as soon as Mother Nature gets her act together.

Going green in a red boat on the big, blue lake.

Going green in a red boat on the big, blue lake.

A preview of fall color to come.

A preview of fall color to come.

Paddle power to the people, right on!!!!

Paddle power to the people, right on!!!!

Returning to port with a work-out no fancy gym could offer.

Returning to port with a work-out no fancy gym could offer.

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Chicago Riverwalk

This is the entrance at Michigan and Wacker.

This is the entrance at Michigan and Wacker.

(Chicago, Illinois) I had time Saturday afternoon before a train for home, and so I finally got to follow the Chicago Riverwalk from State Street to the mouth of the Chicago River and back.  I saw kayakers and riverboats full of happy tourists and plenty of pedestrians and cyclists and just plain old people happy to be alive on such a splendid fall afternoon.  If and when you visit Chicago, please include the Riverwalk in your itinerary.  You won’t regret it.

Commune with kayakers as you follow Riverwalk, or rent one and paddle the Chicago River for yourself.

Commune with kayakers as you follow Riverwalk, or rent one and paddle the Chicago River for yourself.

Crossing under Lake Shore Drive.

Crossing under Lake Shore Drive.

 

They closed the mouth of the Chicago River with a lock to keep it from polluting Lake Michigan.

They closed the mouth of the Chicago River with a lock to keep it from polluting Lake Michigan.

A better perspective of a Chicago landmark: the Wrigley Building.

A better perspective of a Chicago landmark: the Wrigley Building.

The name says it all:  Chicago Riverwalk.

The name says it all: Chicago Riverwalk.

 

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Goods to go

Lights on and ready to roll eastbound.

Lights on and ready to roll eastbound.

(Three Oaks, Michigan) Seasoned Amtrak passengers such as myself know that the passenger carrier is treated as a second-class citizen by the freight railroads over whose lines Amtrak most often travels.  But Amtrak does own its own track in places, including in Michigan where high-speed dreams are being realized.  In an interesting twist, Amtrak “rents” its high-speed line in Michigan to freight operators, such as Norfolk Southern.  Thus, it is not unusual to see a Norfolk Southern freight sitting in the siding in Three Oaks waiting for passenger trains to pass.  And such was the sight I saw the other night while heading through town.

Goods to go on Amtrak's Michigan line.

Goods to go on Amtrak’s Michigan line.

 

 

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Homage at Homewood

Cousin John Hope took this photograph of us, the McKelvy Children, at the grave of our parents James and Hannah McKelvy.  Eternal rest, Mom and Dad.

Cousin John Hope took this photograph of us, the McKelvy Children, at the grave of our parents James and Hannah McKelvy. Eternal rest, Mom and Dad.

 

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)  Credit Dennis Roddy for filming the tribute we paid to our mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend, Hannah Dick Macfarlan McKelvy, at Homewood Cemetery on Saturday, September 20, 2014, as we laid to her to rest in her native Pennsylvania soil.  Thank you, Dennis, for this moving memory of our final act for Mom.  May you live as long as you want to and want to as long as you live.

 

 

 

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Jesus is crooked

Flash Fiction

by Charles McKelvy

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“Jesus is crooked.”

“What?!?”

She pointed at the wall of photographs and prints in his office. “Your picture—your icon, excuse me—of Jesus. It’s crooked. You must have knocked it out of alignment when you were dusting today.”

“But I wasn’t dusting today. I haven’t dusted—well, I don’t know when I last dusted those pictures.”

“I got you that feather duster for Christmas. Just so you could—“

“I know; I know. Point taken.”

“Well, all I’m saying is that Jesus is crooked. You need to straighten him out.”

“I need to straighten out the Son of God?!?”

“Well, didn’t he say that the last will be first?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

She said: “It just means that Jesus wouldn’t mind if you straightened him out.”

“I’m going to straighten out Jesus?!?”

“Why not? You were the one who made him crooked. Unless there was an earthquake in the night I didn’t feel.”

“We live in the Midwest.”

“Right. Look, all I’m saying is: Jesus is crooked. And you should straighten him out. Unless you want a crooked Jesus hanging on your wall.”

“No,” he said. “I certainly don’t want that. That would be disrespectful. Sacrilegious even.”

“You said it; I didn’t. So?”

“So?”

“So, aren’t you going to straighten out Jesus?”

“I should; shouldn’t I?”

“Yes, you should.”

He looked at his crooked icon and shook his head. “Maybe I should leave him like this. Especially since I didn’t knock him off balance with my dusting, which I haven’t done since—well, since you gave me that feather duster for Christmas. Maybe he’s admonishing me for my slothfulness. You know?”

“I’m afraid I don’t. But I’ll take your word for it.” With that, she walked over and straightened the icon.

“What did you do that for?”

She smiled at Jesus and then at her brother the priest-in-need-of-a-housekeeper and said: “Because I did the dusting today, and because hell was going to freeze over before you used that feather duster I gave you last Christmas, and because Jesus was never crooked, and he never will be.”

“Can I use that for my homily this weekend?”

“Only if you give me 15 percent of the basket.”

“Deal.”

“Thank you, Jesus!”

###
 

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The Old Ballgame

Mom and Missy at the old ballgame on Sunday, May 25, 2014.  Mom was pleased as punch the Yankees won.

Mom and Missy at the old ballgame on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Mom was pleased as punch the Yankees won.

Derek Jeter gave his final farewell at Yankee Stadium Thursday after hitting a walk-off single, and Paul Konerko is thanking Chicago White Sox fans for 16 years of memories, but they can both be thankful that they were seen on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago by the best fan in baseball history, Hannah Dick Macfarlan McKelvy.  Mom went to watch the Angels play the Saints on that great field of dreams in the sky on June 4, but she did not leave us before seeing her beloved Yankees play one more time, and she was particularly pleased to see Derek Jeter say farewell to the fans in Chicago.  Mom was and is all about baseball, because she knows it is a game without a clock, in essence a game for all the ages.

Paul Konerko is thanking Chicago White Sox fans for 16 years of memories.

Paul Konerko is thanking Chicago White Sox fans for 16 years of memories.

Derek Jeter said farewell to Chicago White Sox fans and Hannah McKelvy on May 25, 2014.

Derek Jeter said farewell to Chicago White Sox fans and Hannah McKelvy on May 25, 2014.

 

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Postcards from Pittsburgh

Joyce Gannon (left) and Missy Wright were roommates at Penn State and have been good friends ever since.

Joyce Gannon (left) and Missy Wright were roommates at Penn State and have been good friends ever since.

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Credit my sister Missy’s good friend Joyce Gannon for taking us on a delightful tour of her native metropolitan area on the day after we buried Mom.  If ever we needed a relaxing tour of the city that is sited between the Allegheny and Monongahela (affectionately known as the Mon), it was on Sunday, September 21.  We were spent, and Joyce got us going again by first taking us to Mass at the magnificent Saint Paul Cathedral where her parents were married, and then on a walking and driving tour of the site surveyed in 1753 by George Washington himself.  By George, we got it!!!!  Thanks, Joyce.  You’re the best.  Now please sit back and enjoy the show:

We began the day with Mass at the Cathedral.

We began the day with Mass at the Cathedral.

Joyce knew just the overlook for a spectacular view of Pittsburgh.  We got the Point, and I visited there later in the day.

Joyce knew just the overlook for a spectacular view of Pittsburgh. We got the Point, and I visited there later in the day.

Our army traveled on its stomach.  This is the iconic sandwich served a Primanti Brothers, a Pittsburgh institution.

Our army traveled on its stomach. This is the iconic sandwich served at Primanti Brothers, a Pittsburgh institution.

Did I mention that Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, best Venice, Italy?

Did I mention that Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, besting Venice, Italy?

Getting to the Point (State Park) on foot is the only way to go.

Getting to the Point (State Park) on foot is the only way to go.

River boats on the Ohio.

River boats on the Ohio.

PNC Park sits along the Allegheny River and is reached by the Roberto Clemente Bridge.  The Pirates won that day!!!

PNC Park sits along the Allegheny River and is reached by the Roberto Clemente Bridge. The Pirates won that day!!!

A short-cut under the Convention Center.  How cool is this?

A short-cut under the Convention Center. How cool is this?

My Pittsburgh "money shot."

My Pittsburgh “money shot.”

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