September 11th, 2018


September 11--Rosie gazes into the pond

I had a super long day today, as I am working just a few hours tomorrow (well, 6 1/2 hours) before I take the rest of the week off for my photo trip. I got there at 6 am and dove right into my list of things that needed to get done. Most mornings I ease into things with a cup of coffee and some music, and read the news and stuff. I had my music and coffee, but started by clearing my email box. I did take a walk at about 9, while it was quite nice out. I finished up at about 3:30 and headed home.

I did the laundry and packed up my stuff for tomorrow. I will come home at about 12:30 and head toward Yosemite. I have plans to take some evening pictures up in the high country above the valley, then head down the east side to the same motel that I stayed at last week when we were in Lee Vining. This time, though, I have a little cabin out back.

Tomorrow at the college they will have the groundbreaking for the new Mohr Hall, where the nursing department will eventually live. They have a fence up around the old Mohr Hall and have started tearing out the insides. Goodbye decrepit old friend.


I saw a frog in a marshy area near the creek the other day. It reminded me of the time I was at a silent retreat at a beautiful pastoral retreat center a few hours outside of Toronto near the town of Guelph. This was back in 2005 when I was contemplating becoming a Catholic priest.

Every morning I would see a woman outside, kneeling by the pond, meditating. On our final day, I sat across from her at lunch, and we were released from our silence. I asked her, "What did you see in the pond?", kind of thinking maybe she saw the face of God or something.

Her name was Rosie Chao, and she told me about what she saw:

"Oh, I have many friends there!" she answered, clearly delighted with the question.

"You mean the goldfish and the frog?", I replied. I had looked in the pond myself after a few days, and discovered that there were all sorts of things going on there.

"Oh yes!" she continued enthusiastically, "I asked the frog, 'don't you have a little friend to keep you company?' Do you not have a wife, mister frog?"

"And the next day, there was a second frog! So I asked them, 'what, no baby?'"

And indeed, the next day she finds a little frog with them--the happy family. And this is what she contemplated every morning.

I decided against becoming a priest.

My frog story.
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