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  • It is a puzzlement, as the King of Siam might say. I feel no different than when I was 59, or when I was 39 for that matter. Yet I look at the calendar and there it is. 2012. Subtracting 1952, I come up with 60.

    It was a pleasant day, some cards and greetings, notes on Facebook and emails from friends. I even posted a long dissertation on one of my Poetry sites, which I may share here on Cowbird as well. But perhaps even more important was the baptism of my great grandson occurred on the same day.

    My granddaughter/daughter Michelle married Felix Montesdeoca almost six years ago. They have two lovely children, Natalie who will turn five in July, and Jayden who will turn two in August. Since Felix comes from a Catholic family, they have decided to raise the children in the Catholic church.

    The baptism was performed at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois. If you ever come to Peoria, it is a sight you should not miss. It is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Illinois, and an incredibly beautiful piece of architecture. If you are coming, you can find them on the website and arrange a tour.

    The priest performed the ceremony in Spanish and English, so that everyone attending could understand, and Jayden was exceptionally well behaved, as he usually is. That's him in his baptism suit, which his godfather and uncle Fernando purchased, standing next to his mommy, Michelle.

    Not being a Catholic [I am an itinerant minister of the Church of Gospel Ministry], I did not participate in the Mass beforehand, but was honored to be invited to witness the ceremony. Regardless of your belief, the baptism of a child in the Catholic church is a beautiful and sacred ceremony, one which you cannot help but be moved by if you are in the attending witnesses.

    But to tell you the truth, part of my motivation for participating was the wonderful gathering of friends and family at the home of Felix and Margarita Montesdeoca afterward. You cannot help but feel welcome in their home. They are kind and gracious people who exemplify the passage in the Bible that says to treat all strangers and friends as family. And besides, the women in that family can cook! We had Pozole, a dish with hominy and pork, almost a soup, which you then add chopped lettuce or cabbage, onions, radishes, and other seasonings to your taste. Believe me when I say it is to die for.

    In about ten minutes, I will leave off writing this to get ready for another celebration; a joint birthday party for Natalie and Jayden, held early so they can meet the entire family, which will include close to 100 people. It should be fascinating.

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