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By VINCE LUECKE, Editor
I try to get to weekday church at least once every couple of weeks. Friday was such a day. I went because it was the feast day of St. Blaise and because I was happy to be on the upswing from a nasty bug of some type that kept me on my back the previous day.
It’s on Saint Blaise Day that in some churches the throats of the faithful are blessed, usually with a pair of candles. Father Dennis did that after Mass Friday morning.
Why the throat?
Among the legends surrounding St. Blaise, who was put to death around the year 316, was that on the way to his execution, he healed a child who was choking on a fishbone. The prayers caused the child to be finally cough up the bone.
Blaise, who lived in an area of the Roman Empire where Christians were still being persecuted, was beheaded after refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods.
I thought a little more about St. Blaise – and my throat – this year since having a growth removed from my mouth late last year. I worried it was cancer but a biopsy showed it was just a benign clump of tissue.
St. Blaise was among the saints I invoked.
As Father Dennis said Friday, the blessing of throats, like palms on Palm Sunday and ashes on Ash Wednesday, are a visible sign of our reliance on God.
• A belated congratulations on the retirement of Lynn Wooldridge from the Tell City Police Department. After more than 20 years on the city police force, Lynn retired earlier this year. He’ll stay busy at home and in part-time employment.
Lynn was one of the first officers I got to know well when I came to the paper and he had a good knowledge of the city and its people. Co-workers, family and friends will gather later this month for a reception, but if you see Lynn, thank him for his years of service to the community.
• I received a call last week that daffodils were in bloom near Mulzer Camp west of Troy. I haven’t been past to see them yet but I don’t doubt it. I’ve seen daffodils and hyacinth springing up in several places, all thanks to a strangely warm winter.
I suspect we’ll get a true taste of winter soon and snow can still fall in abundance through much of March. But each day of above-average temperatures is one less day of winter. I worry about how many insect pests will make it through the winter instead of being killed by bitter cold. That’s one of the few benefits of freezing temperatures.
I wonder if bacteria and viruses that pass from person to person aren’t more likely to spread during a warm winter. Though I’m not a big fan of super-cold conditions, there’s something antiseptic about winter cold and snow.
An online seed company named Renee’s Garden sends out a catalog of seed every year and gives media outlets a chance to order free packets of seed. I chose a variety of seed packets, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, beets and several flowers, including sunflowers, snapdragons among others.
With a sunny window sill in front of my desk, I’m tempted to plant a few seeds early and then transplant them come spring. Even though snow may still fly, seeing something new and green will help spring here.
Renee’s Garden specializes in hard-to-find heirloom seeds and varieties of vegetables and flowers usually seen only in other countries.
If you want to check out the selections, visit www.reneesgarden.com.