Thursday, 6 July 2017

Small Town Ontario

What a year to start working full-time! But Benedict Ambrose's first brush with death scared the heck out of us, and when I saw a good Catholic Media Job up for grabs, I grabbed at it. During my first interview B.A. shut himself in a room and prayed to St. Joseph that I would get hired. I thought this was from the stress of being the primary breadwinner, but he says it was because he thought the job would be great for me.

Now I am the primary breadwinner, and B.A. lives in his pyjamas as he recovers from his second operation. Naturally I do all the housework too because the poor man can barely totter from room to room, let alone push a hoover. But I am so tired I am blogging only because I said I would.

While I was being trained in "Someone's Basement In the Ottawa Valley" I had the opportunity to meet three stay-at-home mothers of big families, and I was totally blown away by them. These were amazing women who were living out their vocations like heroines of God. The only one who looked like she had slept in the past year or so was the one with kids older than 12.

I asked this one what there was for women to do in town after dinner--besides yoga. (There seemed to be a lot of yoga on offer, which a lot of Catholics avoid on principle.) Apparently there wasn't anything---although my mother pointed out when I told her this that what women of many children want to do in the evenings more than anything else is sleep.

But I really loved this little town, and how the Catholic church nearest me filled morning after morning for daily Mass, and how the family names in the churchyard were the same family names on shop windows and business signs. I saw a big old-fashioned house with a "For Sale" sign and was very tempted. Do I owe it to the good women of Someone's Basement to qualify as a Pilates instructor, move to their town and offer evening classes? B.A. and I could flee south to Toronto for a holiday during the town's two-week blackfly season. But then what would B.A. do for work? And do the women of Someone's Basement WANT to go to Pilates class?

I can't find the answer to this question in The Benedict Option, although this little town sure reminded me of The Benedict Option.

I shall write about The Benedict Option anon. I was supposed to write about it for Catholic World Report, but then I loaned the book to a homeschooling pal and my not-writing-for-LSN-at-the-moment window shut.  What I can say at this very tired moment is that I enjoyed the book a lot, especially the parts about Norcia. However, having worked on three pieces for LSN today, I am of the mind that we can't run away from the war because the war will come after us and  smoke us out of the hills.

The original Visigoths had no problem with monks shutting themselves quietly in monasteries. But the New Visigoths hate the idea of anyone not celebrating them and their way of life, so it's a different situation now. Back in the day, it wasn't good enough to have a "Homohop" dance at the Univeristy of Toronto; it had to be advertised at the Catholic college, too. That was the big battle back in 1990; I forget when St. Mike's caved in to that. They put up the rainbow sticker in 2001.  Here's  a history of SMCs relationship to the gay movement, written by gay activists. As you can see, SMC was not left in peace to just be a Catholic college.

But I certainly hope I'm wrong and that the Benedictine Option is a place of safety. On the bus ride to Somebody's Basement and during my first evenings there, I read the AP Guide to News Writing and fell in love with its portrayals of American life.  The book was originally published in 1991, and I must say that while reading it I felt highly nostalgic for the 20th century. We're not even talking the Fifties, here, peeps.  I wasn't around in the Fifties. No, we are talking Nineteen Ninety-One. I miss 1991, only I wish I had gone to Aberdeen University instead of SMC and met B.A. when we were young.

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