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!