Monday, January 03, 2011

Reflection on New Year's Weekend...

This is the second year our town has tried to steal glory from New York by having its own ball drop. I missed it last year as I was in the Carolinas, so I made sure I was there this year to celebrate with my neighbors. The ball drop was done from one of the old three story buildings on Main Street, which has been restored into a brew pub with a ballroom upstairs. The streets were closed off and my daughter and I stood on the opposite corner, where we could see the ball and listen to the jazz band playing on a make-shift stage just off the center of the intersection. The temperature was in the mid-50s (this is Michigan, it should have been freezing). I wore only a light jacket, no gloves. (Of course, I had my Stetson, as the top of my head doesn’t have a lot of insulation.) As we waited and listened, I kept looking at the lighted four-way stop sign that hangs in the middle of the intersection, between where I stood and the ball drop. STOP is what a lot of people would like time to do, but as there is little chance of that. Maybe we should make the best of the time we’re given.
Photo of Indianapolis from the window on the north side of Lucas Oil Stadium.

On January 2, I found myself in Indianapolis. Seeking out a church in which to worship, I headed to the Episcopal Cathedral as I’m friends with a former priest from there. I had heard stories of how formal this church was and knew I might be underdressed. I wasn’t, there were a few in jeans even though most men were in suits. Being the day after a holiday, the attendance was sparse, but the folks were most welcoming. Even those who appeared homeless were gracefully received. However, the service was very pomp, as if they were attempting to out-Vatican the Vatican. Everything was planned, down to the littlest detail. It took five people to read the gospel passage. The contingent, with robes draped with fancy fabric, marched down into the middle of the nave, lead by a guy with a staff (or is it a scepter?) Following him was the holder of the Bible, who was flanked by two acolytes (or candle holders). When they stopped, the guy with the Bible did an “about face” (with military precision) and opened the book and held it for the guy behind him to read. The Gospeller (I didn’t even know that was a word, but it was in the bulletin) read from Matthew 2. When he got to the part about Herod ordering the killing of innocent children in and around Bethlehem, an infant behind me let out a scream. That couldn’t have been planned, but it was most appropriate. I do believe God often surprises us in small ways.

Yesterday afternoon, I was at Lucas Oil Stadium watching the Colts play against the Titans. I didn’t really have a dog in this hunt (and wore my Stiller’s cap), but am glad the Colts won because otherwise it would have been a long drive back north! It was a tight game; the Colts clinched victory on the last play when they kicked a field goal with 3 seconds left, winning 23-20. It was a late drive back home into the early morning hours, made later than planned because the NFL decided to move the game from 1 PM to 4:15 PM! After a day in Indy, I’ve decided that if I ever want to commit a crime there, I’ll do it on game day, wearing a blue hat and a #18 Colt’s jersey. They’ll never be able to pick me out in a line-up.

I hope your 2011 is off to a good start!


  1. I love how google ads work, I post this and immediately below there are ads to buy Colt's playoff tickets, to learn about the Catholic priesthood and to buy men's suits!

  2. Stillers, eh? Sound like you're from the Burgh.

  3. ha. huge steelers fan here...and they crushed you got to go to the game...happy new year!

  4. Enjoyed reading this post!

    Wish you a very happy 2011! May you continue to write your reflections for our reading pleasure.

  5. I love your description of that church service. So many people at my church think we are too "high church" at times - I should let them read this. :)

    There is a general store in a mountain town in North Carolina near my sister's house that has a possum drop every new years. The possum is treated humanely and kept in a cage and released afterward (in case anyone wonders.)

  6. Oh but I found a way to stop time--in my dreams
    Hoping you have a wonderful 2011

  7. Good Game--SuperBowl Picks???

    Hotlanta and Pats???


  8. We celebrated with the ceremonial "Ham Drop."
    It occurred at 6:32 PM on my kitchen floor.

    We'll not be making an annual thing of it, I think.


    P.S. We're going to the Outer Banks in June. If you'd e-mail me some recommendations, I'd be appreciative.

  9. Sounds like your 2011 got off to a great start! A ball drop in 50-degree weather with a jazz band and your beautiful daughter...what better way to bring in the new year??

    That church you went to sounds a bit fancy. I prefer a more casual service (and I'm not just talking about the attire)...although I haven't stepped foot inside a church in a while (far too long).

    Love the last photo of you in the Steelers cap! Sounds like a fun time at the game. Enjoy the rest of the new year, Sage style! ;)

  10. What a great story,in the life of a know how to live...and how in the world does Michigan have such warm's like the North Pole here..even Las Vegas, Nevada right now has snow...(a friend posted on Facebook) a horrible winter are so lucky! Take care, and keep on enjoying life!

  11. Wishing you a happy New Year! And as always your storytelling is wonderful!

  12. hahaha....oh that church story is too funny. If I would have been there I am certain I would have been kicked out with my laughter- uncontrolled.
    I have a very hard time with church and their pomp services. Where the heck is relationship??

    Lucky you. Next time see if you can get extra tickets to a game like that:)

  13. Ron, I spent three years in the 'burgh during grad school. Never thought I would, but I loved the place

    Brian, yes they did. And there is nothing better than crushing the Browns!

    Gautami, happy new year to you too!

    Lynn, high church can be relative... I talked to an assistant rector from Atlanta who said she was surprised when she moved to Indy from the cathedral in Alt. But compared to Baptist, Presbyterians are pretty high church...

    Michael, Happy New Year.

    Pia, that's interesting (and true) stopping time in your dreams

    John, I'm hoping for the 'stillers!

    Randall, LOL at the "ham drop!" Will do, where in the Outer Banks?

    Lulu, got to get you back to church :)

    Karen, we're getting snow today

    Tim, Happy New Year (you're book is on the way)

    Dawn, they actually serve breakfast on most Sundays after worship, so there is an opportunity for relationship.

  14. G'Luck my friend! I loved the days of the Steel Curtain and before free agency tore the leagues a new one!

    How about Arkansas vs Ohio St--Did you see about the 3rd decent bowl game outta 36 - LOL???


  15. My only NFL game to date was in Indy -- a Cowboys/Colts game at the old Hoosier Dome in '93.

    Also, like your #18 Colts jersey plan. I always tell people if they are coming to a Bama game to look for me, I'll be wearing Crimson.

  16. I'd love to see a ball drop somewhere in person sometime. Good for you.

  17. Sounds like the ball drop would be fun.. particularly in fine weather like that.

    That baby cried out right on cue.. too funny.