Monday, April 10, 2006

Redemption centers

Who uses it: Residents of Maine and Massachusetts
What it means: Businesses that give refunds for returned bottles.
How you can use it: To describe your neighborhood church or bar.

I've mentioned Gardiner's Tigertown Beverage & Redemption before. It's a rather shabby-looking orange building at the bottom of town, right across the street from the junction of the Cobbosseecontee and the Kennebec River. It's my favorite sign in town, and I wish it represented something better than a bottle shop.

But redemption seems an appropriate term today, which is Claire Bea's 20th birthday. Today began with a small breakfast gathering of Claire, her parents Keith and Vikki, her sister Carolyn, and me. It was a bright sunny day in Montreal, and an exam day for Claire, who seemed unflappable as always.

Vikki, Keith, Carolyn and I went to Palm Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's Oratory yesterday. It's a massive stone basilica high on Mount Royal, and Mass was in French -- which, as Keith said, was a good reminder for us of the Church Universal.

The whole weekend was just about perfect, and this day, which was sad for me for so many years, is one of the happiest of my year. Happy birthday, Claire.

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