I went down by the bank three days ago, asked by someone to help protect a baby seal who was running around on the street. Turned out it was a river otter. It was hiding in the bushes in front of the bank when I got there, but it had longer hair so it was not a seal. The bank manager came out, watched it and also did a lot of calling. Turned out it was a river otter, and the city animal people and the various animal rescue groups “don’t do otters.” I guess they’re not listed in the Bambi Brigade. So I went home.

We had a simple sacramental wedding here a few weeks ago out in the garden for a couple already married in civil law—just a few of us—and these are somewhat common these days, and quite upbeat. Short and with very little ceremony. How long does it take to make a life-long promise? And we are going to have another garden event soon out in the garden—baptism of our newest parishioner. Just the parents, the tiny kid, and me. On the grass in the middle of all those roses and bougainvillea all in full bloom, and with the white stairway up to the side entry into the church as a backdrop, it will be lovely. This year the apricot tree at the gate into the garden is really full with apricots. Last year there were three. And the squirrels got two of them. But last year the peach tree was so full with really good peaches that the branches were bending over. It is up against the side fence, and the neighbor is a great pastry cook who wanted to try her hand at peach jam, and that abundance provided jars of jam for the neighborhood. I still have two of them which I draw upon for special treats. Great with that Costco vanilla ice cream.

We had a new desk built for the parish office. Very simple and clean-looking. Basically a 6 X 2 tabletop cut from a section of plywood set on a frame of legs that the builder designed and put together. There is such an over-abundance of catalogs, reports to be filled out, and propaganda of one kind coming in every week that it is an effort to keep from being swamped by it. So a long and very simple desk provides a decent space for the computer and the rest of the stuff. This was part of making the office attractive and decent for meeting with people. The filing cabinets are going along with all the stand-alone machines that, a couple of years ago, provided necessary services that now can be done by the computer. Like a fax. Anyone want a three year old antique fax machine?

We are still collecting food in that box by the garage door for the food bank. And we also have a lot of nice, bagged clothes that need to be driven to the Richmond Rescue Mission on MacDonald which is where we take the food. So drivers are also appreciated.

I have started doing a lot of filing-cabinet cleaning. Stopped when I stopped driving. But we have check stubs and cancelled checks going back to 2000. Drawers of them. The shredder is in Berkeley, and I have delivered many of my own files to them. But I don’t drive now. Drivers needed. The process could not be simpler. The machine is just off the parking lot. You bring the boxes or bags and he feeds them in. Costs about 3 dollars a box. Costs more than that to keep them heated in the office per month.

Fr. David