Our annual parish festival kicked off Saturday. During the daylight hour the grounds of our parish grammar school- I like to call it Our Lady of Peace Through Strength, or OLOPTS-- were a maze of inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and of course the video deer-hunting games courtesy of the DNR. (OLOPTS kids excel at these.)
Luckily for Desperate there was also a fully functioning beer tent. So she and like-minded adults could sit in the shade and enjoy adult beverages while little kids with cotton candy sticking to their teeth ran around screaming in the sun. Ah, restfulness.
And shade. Shade is important. Last year the school began a long-planned expansion project that involved tearing down a couple of neighboring properties and leveling a new playing field. This is great for the kids, but bad for the carpool moms as it eliminated any shade we had while waiting for our children. This might not sound like much to any of you Mediterranean types out there, but to persons of the Irish persuasion this means trouble. It means carrying sunblock in the car, just in case you get parked too far down the line. It means skulking in the shadows, wherever you can find them. You start to feel real sympathy for vampires.
One of the perks of attending the parish festival is that eventually four o'clock rolls around and you find yourself sitting across the street from the church. Naturally you say to yourself, Hey, it's four o'clock, I'm here, why not hit the confessional? I mean, it's not like I'm going to go down the inflatable slide again. Why not take advantage of the situation?
These are the thoughts that crossed my mind as I lingered in the Beer Tent.
Now, there were two ways of looking at this situation. One, I was there; two, it was four o'clock; and three, a Miller or two goes a long way towards breaking down the inhibitions of vanity and the pre-confession jitters one may be subject to.
So far that's a vote for "Go to confession."
The other way of looking at it, of course, is hearing oneself saying, "Bless me Father for I have sinned, I don't know how long it's been since my last confession but I just had a couple of beers and I'm feeling, oh I don't know, expansive..."
And that's a vote for "stay where you are."
I don't think I'll say which way I voted. I'll just say I enjoyed the Festival and my buddies in the beer tent, and it was nice and cool inside the church, too.
And such lovely shade.