About eighteen months ago, before life had become more surreal than the strangest of imaginable days; before I had begun chronicling the events of this house; before Marge had come to live with us; before Fr. Bob had journeyed home to the God whom he loved so well; and just before the beginning of Lent, 2019 – or perhaps just after the beginning of Lent, 2019 (I can’t remember which) – I walked into the res of an afternoon to enjoy some lunch and was confronted startlingly with a four-foot plaster replica of our house patron.

It was fortunate that my encounter with Plaster St. Anthony, standing resolutely atop a blue tarp placed in a rather random location in my living room, occurred in broad daylight. Had this encounter occurred in the deep, still silence of dark night, things might have gotten very bad very quickly.

I immediately determined that I did not want Plaster Tony to take up residence in the res.

Later that evening, Tracy also vetoed the idea of sharing our living room with Plaster Tony. Fr. Bob, meanwhile, sheepishly admitted that he might have sort of kind of been responsible for the fact that Plaster Tony ended up in the res. Oh, dear.

Our triumvirate agreed that Plaster Tony needed to find a new home.

It took a few days for Plaster Tony to depart from the res. During those days, he managed to acquire a festive set of Mardi Gras beads that had wandered onto a curtain rod in the res from somewhere -perhaps they had been a gift to Fr. Bob or Tracy from Myron, a part-time kitchen staff member who enjoys a variety of creative past-times.

At long last, Plaster Tony and his Mardi Gras beads began a Goldilocks-like journey around the house, looking for a new nest that was just right. He eventually found that just right nest in Just Bob’s office, about thirty feet from the stairwell in which he had originally begun his life in our house.

There he stayed, awaiting a new paint job and startling all and sundry as we walked by Just Bob’s office on our way to/from the laundry room, or as we entered Just Bob’s office to look for a lightbulb or a hammer or a tape measure or what-have-you. And who can forget the day that Kim was in Just Bob’s office, obscured mostly from view by Plaster Tony, when Jackie H. walked in, Kim greeted her, and Jackie nearly fell over, thinking that Plaster Tony had called her name?

The situation was little improved when Plaster Tony, freshly repainted and ready to take up residence in the library upstairs, moved into the foyer of the elevator, suitcase in tow, waiting for a ride to the first floor. He still continued to startle all and sundry on our way to/from the laundry room.

Plaster Tony has truly spent more than his fair share of time making people jumpy.

How wonderful it thus was, after having caused so much jumpy nervousness, that Plaster Tony could finally, on Friday of last week, make people rejoice!Β  For on Friday, the 26th Day of June in this Year of Our Lord 2020, Plaster Tony finally got to ride the elevator up to the first floor! A joyful event, indeed.

Now that he has arrived on the first floor, he waits patiently, ready to greet – or to startle, perhaps – all and sundry as you enjoy your very first ride in our long-awaited elevator.

Deo Gratias!