Play Ball!! Or, a Cincinnati Holiday

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Today, April 3, 2017, is a holiday here in the Queen City,  when our Cincinnati Reds play the opening day baseball game AFTER our big parade!  On the rare occasion that spring break falls on Opening Day, the Bohlens are at the parade.

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Instead, today I tried to bring the parade into my classroom.  First, we sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as I paraded around the room in my Reds regalia.  Two very different responses from my reading classes:  7B humored me by timidly singing along, and 7A rocked it.  Find the song and lyrics here.

I was so surprised that my students were luke-warm to our beloved Cincinnati Reds.  Such short memories!  Yes, last season (okay, seasons) = abysmal failures.  YET.  The Reds!  The FIRST professional baseball team in the history of America!  THE team (until recent history) to ALWAYS have the FIRST game of the season.

It’s my job to get this generation educated on the magical days of THE BIG RED MACHINE.  Sparky Anderson managed the “Great Eight” All-Star team of Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Dave Concepcion, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey Sr., and Cesar Geronimo.  Because I was a kid in the 1970’s, baseball will always have a special place in my heart.

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In this spirit of Opening Day in Cincinnati, we read the narrative poem Casey at the Bat by Earnest Lawrence Thayer.  Find the poem here.

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James Earl Jones has an amazing narration of this poem, complete with theatrical background music.  Listen here.

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My students really liked the poem and “got” the message.  They were crestfallen when Casey struck out, and very annoyed at his arrogant showmanship.  They got the message.

It was a good day in my Milford classroom, in spite of my Redlegs losing to the Phillies later in the day.

Opening day score

Lord, I Am Not Worthy to Enter Under Your Roof, but Only Say the Word, and My Soul Shall Be Healed. 

Last night I was warmly greeted by my host family.  Puppy Chanel  jumped into my arms,  Issa made me delicious coffee,  and later tea,  and my teacher partner, Mirna, showed me my comfortable guest room, and we sat and chatted about all sorts of topics, as girlfriends do.

Soon we joined the other teachers and pilgrims for a delicious homemade meal in the school multi purpose room.

Lots of laughter was shared between bites of hummus, pita, seasoned vegetables, and juicy grilled  meats. The parish priest wrote my name in Arabic on my dinner napkin and explained many things abut Arab ancestry.  My dear friend Waseim once again tried to give me a lesson in pronouncing the kh blend.  Another epic fail, but we keep trying!

Our tired little group from Ohio was renewed by exceptional hospitality and fellowship. 

My homesickness vanished because I was reunited with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just as Christ feeds me in the breaking of his holy body, just as Christ forgives me in the sacrament of reconciliation,  the Palestinians have nourished me by their hospitality and healed my soul in their total acceptance of who I am.  What would Jesus do? Come to the West Bank to find out.

Baptism and the Living Stones.

We celebrated mass at the baptism site of the Jordan River, and also renewed or baptism vows. We will soon cross the Allenbey Bridge checkpoint and head to the West Bank.

This is what my soul longs for; to be with my loved ones in Beit Jala.

To be with the people who live out their baptismal promises every day;  the Palestinian Christians who are the Living Stones of the Church. 

We Are Officially Pilgrims

Fr. Chris celebrated mass with us in the smallish prayer room of the Paris airport. A Muslim man came midway through the mass and said his prayers on the other side of the partition. God is good to all and made known to those who desire him.  

Today’s Gospel, Luke 19:41-44 in part reads:”If this day you only knew what makes for peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

Thank you, Lord, For opening our eyes; you are the only way to true peace.

The Journey Begins

Our flight out of CVG was delayed a bit due to a mechanical problem. We were loaded on the plane but stuck in the gate due to a APU. I called my aerospace engineer hubby who explained everything I ever wanted to know about Auxiliary Power Units. Thanks, Dan!  

After a 35 minute delay we were off for our 8 hour flight to Paris.  

Here is a picture of dinner. 

And Fr. Chris rocked the hoodie. Just chillin’ with his Kindle. 

I enjoyed watching the flight path and listening to music all night because I can’t sleep on a plane.7

Sunrise over London.

Delta was awesome.  Comfortable seats, headphones that worked, hot towels, and a friendly and efficient crew. Best flight of my life. 


Tomorrow I begin my journey to the Holy Land. I’m really looking forward to connecting with my teacher partners, whom I consider family,  and meeting new friends.

My students made these beautiful cards for a group of boys from LPS St. Joseph School who shared a very wonderful video with us about the Old City of Nablus. Their video was the inspiration for our production titled “A Slice of Life in Milford, Ohio.” 

I look forward to sharing these cards and my students’ videos with the boys in Nablus, a town in the region of Samaria.

 I will share the videos  with the other Latin Patriarchate Schools that I will visit as well. 

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fruitful video exchange where we can share our cultures and learn from each other…A spark has been kindled by some industrious boys who live where Jesus promised life giving water to a woman who thirsted.

Going Back to Jesus’s neighborhood! 

One week from today I will get on a plane and head to my favorite place in the world. I am looking forward to seeing my teacher partners whom I consider my brothers and sisters.  My sister Mirna and her husband Issa will host me in their home.  I will also get to meet their puppy Chanel.

This post is a practice run to learn how to blog from my phone!  Peace and blessings, everyone!