Pope John Paul II will be missed | RecordCourier.com

Pope John Paul II will be missed

Record Courier Staff Reports

by Linda Monohan

Fish Springs Flier

Sept. 18, 1987 was a very special day for my husband and I and about 80,000 other Catholics who got to spend a few hours in the presence of Pope John Paul II.

When the jet named “Shepherd One” touched down at Crissy Field, it marked the beginning of the first papal visit in the history of San Francisco.

This was a pope who visited over 120 nations, which was many more than any of his predecessors.

Soon after the Giants beat the Houston Astros in Candlestick Park, hundreds of construction workers erected an elaborate altar where Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass on that morning.

He was a very charismatic and spiritual man. When 80,000 people joined together singing the “Our Father,” you could feel the uplifting spiritual vibrations.

You could feel it also as the pope reached out and touched so many extended hands, and he also laid his hands on the heads of many handicapped people who had gathered there in the ballpark stadium to see him.

He talked about our opportunities to minister to and serve those less fortunate than us. His voice and demeanor projected intense peace and caring.

He seemed to radiate all-encompassing love. I feel privileged and honored to have walked in his shadow.

Pope John Paul II, the shepherd of the Catholic Church, will not be forgotten.

Birds busy building nests

“Birds do it, bees do it, let’s do it, let’s fall in love.” Remember that old song? Well, it’s that time of the year again when we see lots of critters around us pairing up in preparation of making babies.

Every morning lately we’ve been watching two little finch birds way up on the solar panels on our roof.

They’re pecking away at the duct tape that covers the foam insulation which is around the water pipes. Birds will make their nest out of all kinds of things.

They really like string, as I discovered after flying my kite and leaving the ball of string on the lawn!

Last spring we were bothered by a very pesky redshafted flicker. This North American woodpecker gets its name from its loud calls, which sound like “flick-er” or “wick-er.”

But all we were hearing was his incessant pecking noise. He used his sharp bill to drill a large hole through our three-eighths-inch thick exterior wood siding.

Then, in his zest to build an appropriate nest, he tore a big hole in a second story window screen and created his nest out of the scratchy screen material.

He’s a big, beautiful bird that likes to eat insects, but he’s not welcome back in our yard this spring.

Regarding the bees in that old jingle, mating for a queen bee is a whole different story.

The queen is the largest bee in the colony and she can lay more than 1,500 eggs a day.

It’s the male drone’s main purpose in life to mate with her. And as soon as he has accomplished that, he dies. End of story.

— Linda Monohan can be reached at 782-5802.