Thursday, October 13, 2005

Like a Good Neighbor,

I have a comprehensive theological library in my basement. (I mean really, who doesn't?)

Yesterday I popped over to my neighbor's house to drop off a catalog with these mums which she had admired in my yard for growing to freakishly mutant proportions - they're seriously bigger than the hydrangea. I had lost the gardening catalog we found them in, but I had told her the next time one came, I'd hand it off to her so she, too, could purchase freakishly enormous mums.

All was not well in the Neighbor Household. Neighbor Boy, who is 10 and attends Catholic school, was grumbling - literally grumbling - about his homework. (It was a sort of cute sound, as if a very grumpy groundhog was having a high-pitched grumble and trying to be taken seriously by the deeper-voiced mammals whose grumpiness is more impressive.) He had, it seemed, his very first "go write a report" assignment, from start to finish, with outlines, sources, bibliography done properly, and all that good stuff. He'd done hand-held essays before but this was his first solo flight.

"And we couldn't find anything at the library," his mom said. She said at first they thought he was just footdragging on it, but then she and her husband helped out and they too could find nothing. The looked on the internet. They asked the librarians. They went to multiple libraries. Nothing.

So she gives me the litany and ends, "... and it's because he chose a bad saint, Thomas the Apostle, there just isn't much on him --"

"Neighbor Woman!" I interrupted. "Hello! You live next door to Peoria's finest theological library!"

She stared at me open-mouthed for a moment. "It just never even occurred to me to ask you," she finally said. "I guess I knew you studied theology ..."

"I'll be back in five minutes," I said. "With sources."

And indeed, five minutes later, I returned to the Neighbor Household with several age-appropriate sources on Thomas the apostle and a list of other books they could find at a local library that would have further references. Neighbor Boy's eyes lit up as he realized that a) he now had actual research with which to write his essay and b) someone else had found all his research for him.

All in a day's work. I'm just a friendly neighborhood theologian, here to help.


Anonymous said...

Please share with the rest of the class the name of the Company that sells the huge, mutant, freak mums. I want to get some too.

Eyebrows McGee said...

Audubon Workshop, at

They had the mums in the spring; in the fall/winter they don't seem to list too many plants!