A new foundation

In a collection of sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, there is a one saying which is a brief dialogue between two abbas:

Abba Moses: “Can a man lay a new foundation every day?”
Abba Silvanus: “If he works hard, he can lay a new foundation at every moment.”

Before - Green FloorWell, I can’t say I’ve laid a new foundation every day, let alone every moment, but my wife and I did lay a new foundation yesterday, from 8:30 am through about 6:30 pm.  It’s a cork floor made of interlocking tiles that we installed ourselves.

In the morning, we rented a table saw for the day from a nearby hardware store (the miter saw, which we had spied out the evening before, had been rented a mere 45 minutes after we left the store that night).

During - Floor with Insulation and Tiles on TopWe actually didn’t get started laying the tiles until 10 am, because of our deliberations and worrying and second-guessing and recalculating.  The beginning was excruciating, because we were having trouble getting the under-layer insulation to stay in place and getting the tiles to lock together firmly (with no gaps between them).  We finally decided to try the block-and-hammer method, to get the second row of tiles to fit with the first row of tiles, and it worked.  A couple thumbs were struck once or twice, but things started to come together.

On top of that, the Catechism Search Engine had some content delivery issues yesterday morning, which frustrated a fair number of subscribers to Flocknote’s “Read the Catechism during the Year of Faith” mailing list, and added a bit of anxiety and pressure onto my workload for the morning.  Thankfully it was resolved in a matter of hours.

Floor Vent with GapDespite not having used such wood-shop equipment since my high school days, I was able to successfully and safely navigate the table saw all day, with only one defect: the final piece we needed got a chunk taken out of it, so we had to substitute several smaller pieces instead.  This was the most painstaking part of the project, because we had to cut out a rectangular opening for the floor vent.  The small gap beneath the vent opening is the last piece we put in; there are two small pieces immediately beneath the vent (in the center and on the right).  The final pieceThe long piece along the top of the vent is connected to the tile on its left; you may be able to see a tiny gap at the right end of the long narrow piece and the tile to its right.  We put the final small piece in place, and it looked pretty close to perfect.

At long last, we put the air vent cover in place, and stepped back.  It looked… right.  It looked like we’d hoped it would.  Completed ventAnd even the hairline gaps between these carefully cut-out and squeezed-into-place pieces looked natural, like part of the cork tile pattern.  All in all, the long and exhausting day was a win.

So, it was a rewarding endeavor, a tiring day, and we got our taxes done in the middle of it.  And we celebrated with some local delicious Mexican food.  With meat.  (We’re not eating meat during all — well, mostly all — of Lent.  Yesterday was a cause for some celebration.)

And, no offense to abba Moses or abba Silvanus, but I’d rather not have to lay this sort of foundation every day, let alone every moment.  I’ll stick to the spiritual foundations!

Completed floor

My new home

After six and a half years at Blogger (thecrossreference.blogspot.comthis was my first post), I’ve decided to transition to WordPress, hosting my blog on here at the Catholic Cross Reference.  The whole web site, this blog included, is meant to be a resource for studying the Catholic faith so as to better live in constant reference to the cross of Christ.  This web site seeks to bring together scripture, the liturgy, and catechesis; to that end, this blog will be home to articles on the following topics:

  • the Sunday Bible readings
  • general Bible study resources
  • links between the liturgy and life
  • reflections on the prayers of the Mass
  • analysis of magisterial documents

I hope to have series of blog posts on particular topics; I was somewhat successful with that in the past, but I think shorter posts on a more frequent basis will go a long way to achieving this goal.

The first series on this blog will be (at least) weekly posts with content for the Salvation History religious education class I am teaching for sixth graders at my parish, St. Hedwig’s in Trenton, NJ.

There will soon be links to my various search engine projects, just below the header image.

I thank you for your readership, I welcome your comments, and I beg your prayers!

“As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21)