Monday, February 18, 2013

...Into Dust Thou Shalt Return.

I saw this proudly illuminated sign on Truman Avenue reflecting the new status of the Catholic church at Windsor and Truman. A minor basilica is a big deal it seems in a faith that eschews the value of the temporal over the value of the spiritual.

It's funny how hard it is to throw over the allure of the physical in favor of self abnegation, even among the pros who are supposed to show us the way. And yet on Center Street there is a small church that lives in the shadow of the minor basilica on Truman and the massive white wedding cake that's St Paul's on Duval Street.

This church is usually open when I wander by on Center Street and I like to take a pause in the shadows, especially in the heat of summer when I'm not walking my soul-free hound downtown.

This is Lent, the time of self denial and purification in the Catholic and Anglican traditions. The Good Book says Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to much acclaim and waving of palm fronds to sweep the path of the insurgent "king." Tradition requires the fronds be burned and used as ashes to mark the foreheads of the faithful on Ash Wednesday as a reminder that we are made of dust and into dust we shall return. Lent is a somber time, a remembrance of inevitable death.

Especially this year as tomorrow they are planting the former pastor of St Peter's. He was by all accounts a decent man who lived a full life before he came to Center Street. He was found dead at home which seems possibly as good a way as any to leave this Vale of Tears.

I doubt the Anglicans have all this fussing about minor and major basilicas and badges of rank favored by the religion I grew up in. Too bad really, I'd like to see this quiet decent little church made big. It seems everything has to be given a badge of rank to get attention in this world before we leave it, begging oddly enough for more time.

Fish For Breakfast

It's called The Stuffed Pig and it's on Highway One in the City of Marathon and they make a pretty decent breakfast there in the diner tradition. It's where we go from time to time when we find ourselves north of the Seven Mile Bridge looking for an eggy way to break our fast.

They draw quite a crowd with their indoor or outdoor seating under the tiki in back. It's also dog friendly outside and as I was seeing my wife off bound for the airport and a frozen teaching conference Up North she was in the mood to eat breakfast with Cheyenne in attendance.

The menu includes the usual grits eggs meat and breads in various forms and on a sunny fresh winter morning it was quite delightful to sit out in shirt sleeves.

She was perfectly behaved of course and the server did pretty well too, bringing her cookies in a container that served as a water bowl as well.

The tables were fully equipped but my wife's complaint was no butter as she doesn't much like being served previously buttered toast or muffins. I really like the insulated coffee pot which allows one like me, who drinks copiously of coffee at breakfast, to help myself.

The food was unremarkable to look at but what I really like about The Stuffed Pig is the fish offerings on the menu, including grunt and grits where grunt is a mild white fish, shrimp and grits or fish benedict as ordered by my wife. I Indulged myself with an order that surprised my wife who finds me predictable sometimes in that department.

Instead of grunts and grits as usual I went with the over-the-top lobster and cheese omelette seen above. My wife's benedict hit the spot.

It was all an indulgence, especially as we rarely eat breakfast out and indeed with my nighttime schedule I rarely eat breakfast at all. It wasn't cheap but worth every penny of the thirty two dollars for the most expensive items on the very reasonably priced main menu.

Marathon is not picturesque, far from it, but is a fishing town, witness the lobster pots above, just a few of the miles of pots stored in the surrounding streets, so fish for breakfast seemed appropriate. My wife drove her rental car north and I took Cheyenne for a walk before I went home stuffed to the gills with nourishment.