Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dawn Over Chapel Hill

It's all go here - we're off to Ohio for Easter where it promises to be just a few degrees warmer - well every little helps....

Meanwhile, there is beauty in Western New York in the snow - beauty of all sorts, like this...

And this, the sun coming up over Chapel Hill, our local highest point and one which we have to negotiate every time we drive to Buffalo. It's a frequent topic of winter conversation, as in  "D'you think the car'll make it over Chapel Hill?"  If it's not a four wheel drive and they've been remiss in gritting the road, it most probably won't. I speak from experience.   Another topic of conversation is exactly how Chapel Hill should be pronounced. We and Samantha, the SatNav robot, call it Chapel. Longstanding locals call it Chay-pel. Perhaps someone of that name lived there.

Though, on the other side, there is indeed a chapel - or a small church, one of the prettiest in the county and its oldest Catholic place of worship. St Pacificus was sadly closed a few years ago despite a thriving congregation. I used to see the Franciscan priest, Father Greg, energetically shovelling snow off the steps before Sunday Mass in his long, brown habit. A great outdoorsman and volunteer fireman, big-hearted and beloved by many, he was a man in a million. Sadly, he lost his life in a boating accident at a nearby reservoir a few years ago.  The local fire brigade turned out for his funeral resplendent in dress uniform and white gloves and carried him to his rest on a vintage fire engine.   He is still sorely missed.

I've been told that the church can't be sold because it stands in a cemetery. Occasional services are still held there and people keep it looking good, perhaps in the hope that it might open again one day.

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