Monday, May 25, 2009

Holiday Weekend

Liz and I came to our cottage here at Heart Lake on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning, I started turning on the water -- a process which involves reconnecting pipes in and under the cottage and putting the footvalve back in the lake. The final step is to prime the pump and the line to the lake. At that point, I discovered that I not properly drained the pump jast year and it was cracked. So I had to call the plumber and get a new pump. The plumber came Saturday afternoon, and now we have running water again.

The next task was mowing the lawn. The grass was high and it was something of a struggle to cut it, but now that's done. It will probably be at least two weeks before we are back, and the grasss grows fast, but next time won't be as hard as this time.

They had a yard sale at the Heart Lake UM Church on Friday and Saturday -- we got there Saturday morning and everyone was delighted to see us. On Sunday, Liz played the piano for the service -- people really appreciated having her back.

Today's our last day here -- gotta go back to NYC tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slogging On

When I last reported, I was working my way through In a Godward Direction. I finished that and then went on to Noble Wolf. I spent most of yesterday working through Of Course I Could Be Wrong and I'm still only in the G's.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I thought better of it and removed the original post.

I'm still praying.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Thermometer at Resentful

Come to our bracing desert
Where eternity is eventful,
For the weather-glass
Is set at Alas,
The thermometer at Resentful.
-- W H Auden, For the Time Being

I have removed most of this post.

I am praying for Joel and for Margaret; for John and for Elizabeth and the rest of his family; for Mimi; and for Jonathan.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Exploring the Community - First Report

I decided to use my genealogy program, The Master Genealogist (TMG) to keep track of this small part of the blogging community. The inset paragraph that follows is technical and if you don't follow it, don't worry.
I began with this blog, Morningsider. I entered each of the Blogs I Follow and each blog on my blog roll Some Blogs I Read. To the program, the blogs are people. I also entered the blog owner as a parent to the blog, so I have a list of people that includes both bloggers and blogs.
Each blog I entered from my list was an associate of Morningsider. I then repeated the process with the associates of the first of Morningsider's associate, which chanced to be Adventus. I discovered that Adventus had a number of links to blogs that were far afield from the community of inclusive Anglicans but at first I entered them anyway. After a time, I realized that it was extraneous to my purposes to enter (those that are neither blogs nor directly concerend with inclusive Anglicanism. (If I encounter a link to "the other side," I will include it, but I will not explore its associates.)

After I finished Adventus, which is on my blogroll but not among those I follow, I decided to proceed down the list of Blogs I Follow. I have finished An Inch at a Time, Counterlight's Peculiars, and Father Geoff Farrow (who has no blogroll), and now I am working my way through In a Godward Direction.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Morning

Continuing in the spirit of the last few posts, I am going to continue to talk about me.

It has taken me at least a full day to come down from the high induced by the excitement of seeking the presidency of my coop. But now I am turning back to other things -- while at the same time remaining a committed board member and committee chair here at Morningside.

Morningside Gardens is a community -- six 21 story buildings with about 980 residential apartments and a population of more than 1,700 persons. I am deeply involved in this community and that involvement will not change.

I am going now to direct my attention to another community -- a community of people, many of whom have never met, who blog or comment on blogs on the inclusive side in the Episcopal Church and othe Anglican churches. I want to explore this virtual community more deeply than I have in the past.

On an occasion or two in the past, I have surfed from blog to blog, seeing where it took me. This will be a different sort of exploration. I'll keep writing about what I find.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The Board of Directors of Morningside Heights Housing Corporation had its organizational meeting this evening. The elections are over.

I narrowly escaped being elected president. There were two other candidates and the vote, so I was told, was 6-5-1. (I got 5 votes.)

I wasn't elected to any other office, so this year I am not an officer, and that's ok with me.

I was elected to the Finance Committee and to the Executive Committee.

Now that that's over, my preoccupation with this aspect of our coop is also over and I can get back to some other things that interest me.

Monday, May 11, 2009


We got to Heart Lake (not having been there for 28 weeks) and found that the phone was out -- no dial tone. So I had no internet access -- we did have our emergency cell phone, so we used that to call the phone company. The phone was still out at the time we left.

After I got home I learned that there's no change in the vote count. Four people solidly for me, five if I count myself. Two more are needed to elect. Maybe we won't find out until the board meeting tomorrow night.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Away,away, ere I expire

This afternoon, Liz and I are taking off for our cottage at Heart Lake. We have haven't been back since the end of October.

I still don't know whether my supporter have rounded up enough votes to elect me as president. The truth is, while I am willing to be president, I am not running against anyone. There is another candidate who I think would be fine but there are some who are really against him. It's an odd position to be in.

I'm leaving right now. More later.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

New Board Members

Well, the waiting is over. Four people have been chosen for the board -- three new and one reelected for a second three year term.
There is another candidate for president, but I think I am more qualified. I am actively campaigning for the office, although in a low key sort of way. While the Whip is finding out what the count of votes is, I'm waiting again, but more actively, because nobody gets to vote until Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


Last night, our Morningside coop had its annual meeting. We voted for four board members to begin three year terms. Now it's all over but the counting.

Depending on the outcome of the election, I may or may not be chosen by the board to be the next president. As I said before, I don't really want the job, but I am willing to take it if the votes are there.

So I'm waiting for the results -- waiting to see who will be on the board.

Update: I had thought the results would be out this afternoon, but I just learned that the Elections Committee will not begin counting the votes until this evening. So I had best be patient.

Monday, May 04, 2009

What's Up?

This morning I was asked whether I am a candidate to be president of my coop. My answer was that I am not seeking the job, but that if there are six board members who want me to, I will accept the job (and be the seventh vote.)

There is another person who I am told wants the job, but since the person who told me that is severely irony-challenged, I don't know for sure -- the statement the presumptive candidate is quoted as making could have been meant humorously.

I have already served as president of this coop for five years -- and I am completing my fourteenth year on the board. I do not want to be president -- it's quite enough to be a responsible board member. So why am I willing to accept the job?

First, though I say this who shouldn't, of all the present and potential board members, I am the most suited for the job -- temperamentally, by availability, and by experience. For over a decade now, the president has been a retired person. When I was president the first time, in the early 1980s, I was not only working but I was beginning a new career -- high school teaching. During my second stint, from May 2004 to May 2006, I was putting in 20 to 30 hour weeks at the job. I believe our outgoing president is averaging more time than I did.

I think I will able to chair even handedly. Depending on who gets on this time, there may be some sparks. I think I have the skill (or at least the vision of what's required) to help the board have vigorous but civilized discussions.

I think my experience at Morningside both on and off the board will help me help the board to be a better board.

Our main challenge right now is financial -- this has nothing to do with the current economic crisis, but that sure makes finding solutions more difficult.

The first time I was president I had just been overwhelmingly elected to the board for a second three year term. My three years as president ended in acrimony -- not over me, but it left such a bad taste in my mouth that I vowed never to be on the board again. Six or seven years later I ran again and that time I was tied for a one year term. I won the run off and a year later I was elected to a full three year term.
In 2004, I was on a trip in early February and when I checked my phone messages I had received an urgent message that things were awry at Morningside Gardens. Upon my return I was urged to run for the board (even though the official deadline for a candidacy had passed.) I did run and I was again elected with a large number of votes. I was elected president by the board, unseating the then current president. Two years later the same thing happened to me -- I was unseated by an incoming director.

In November 2007 I wrote in a small notebook:
Should I run for the board or shouldn't I?

I need to have my time.
If I run, I might want to be president.
Being president is too time-consuming.
It's fun.
I want to.
The corporation needs me (or somebody good.)
I'm good

As it happened, in December I decided against running -- then in January a board member implored me to run. So I did.
Sure enough, I was asked to be a candidate for president. It turned out, there weren't enough votes and I withdrew. I didn't really want to be president anyway, and I also did not think that the incumbent, who had unseated me two years before, was all that bad. We all have strengths and weaknesses and the question was this -- did her weaknesses trump her strengths? For some board members, the answer was yes -- and some were against her for political reasons. But there were an equal number who were for her on account of her strengths.

Some of that politics is still here, but the cast of characters is changing slightly, and my candidacy would not be challenging anyone. In our coop we have twelve directors; each year four are elected for three year terms. A director may serve a maximum of six consecutive years -- that is, normally, two three year terms. Three years ago, four new directors were elected -- three of them were clearly perceived to be part of a faction. This year, none of those three are running for reelection -- they are all going off the board.

I hesitate to say too much about the politics here -- largely because so much of it is driven by personalities. I will say this -- for each of the six candidates for the board there are people who say "I wouldn't vote for that person," because of either a personality trait or a position that person has taken (or is said to have taken) on a no longer live issue. In my judgment, none of those reasons speak at all to the question of whether any of the candidates will be a good board member.