St Joseph the Carpenter, Georges de La Tour, 1640s
Today is the feast of St Joseph the Worker. My Dad, like St Joseph, was a carpenter. As his names were John Joseph I can proudly claim to be the son of Joseph the carpenter. He was known as John in his own family and among his workmates but as Joe to my mother and her family.
Jesus too was a carpenter but I have no skills whatever in that area.
In my imagination, St Joseph built furniture. However, Dad worked on building or construction sites all of his working life, most of that time as a highly respected general foreman. He often said to me, 'Anything that's worth doing is worth doing well'. He lived by that. I don't know if he was aware of what GK Chesterton wrote, 'Anything that's worth doing is worth doing badly', but he agreed with that too in terms of encouraging me whenever I tried to do something new, such as taking a scholarship examination or whatever. He would say, 'The experience will do you good'. And it always did.
Today, 1 May, is a holiday here in the Philippines. If it hadn't fallen on a Friday or Monday President Arroyo would have changed it to one of those days. She has an obsession with long weekends and has demeaned every single distinctively Filipino public holiday, including Independence Day, 12 June, by switching them sometimes at the last minute. Her late father, President Diosdado Macapagal, moved Independence Day from 4 July to 12 June for historical and practical reasons but his daughter seems to have forgotten that.
Instead of blogging I should really be packing. Yesterday I got the keys to the house down the road I'm moving to. The Columbans have been renting the house I've been living in since 2002 for about ten years. The owners told me last August that they would need it for one of their sons, Jose Maria 'Jong' Abaya, who was married in 2006 and whose first child, Bernadette Sophia, was born to his wife Ella a few weeks before Christmas. Around that time Jong was discovered to have cancer of the colon. Sadly, he died, aged 42, and was buried last Wednesday. Please remember him in your prayers, along with his young widow of 29 and baby daughter.
I was to have moved at the end of November to another part of Bacolod City but learned of a house down the road becoming available after Easter. With the agreement of all parties involved I was able to change my plans. But the arrangements are made now.
We have a grace period in the sense that we won't transfer our office equipment for http://www.misyononline.com/ until the phone lines are connected, probably during the coming week. We'll still have the same number.
While I adjust very quickly to a new place I'm somewhat of a procrastinator. I meant to move some things this morning but it's coming up to lunch time now. (It's 11am here and 12 is the usual time for lunch in the Philippines). However, after post-siesta coffee I'll move at least some of my clothes and maybe a few books. I guess I'm in a sort of denial, but it's really only the bother of moving that I don't want to face.
I'm sure that Jinky, the ten-year-old 3/4 black Labrador I inherited from the late Fr Niall O'Brien, will adjust quickly. I hope her companions, Pembo, a very friendly neutered male cat, the only one of five orphaned kittens to survive, and Pascua, who became mother of four kittens nearly four weeks ago, will adjust too.