Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Monday, July 17, 2017

Viking River Cruise

Yes, we got home safely. We flew from Budapest to Amsterdam, had a three-hour lay over, then flew ten hours on KLM Royal Dutch Airline to San Francisco. I took a sleeping pill and slept for four hours after a cocktail called the Flying Dutchman, hors d’oeurves of salmon tartar, delicious chicken and peas, Sauvignon Blanc and ice cream and a bit of elegant brandy. It was a great way to fly. Remember we went business class.

On July 1 we got on our boat called the Viking Ve. The Ve is named after a Viking God. I’m sure you are overjoyed to know that. Our room had a window overlooking the river so we could watch the passing castles, trains, bikes, barges, speedboats that appeared going up and down the rivers and riverbanks. Factories and building sites also were on the banks. One cannot miss the ever rolling green of the trees and vegetation lining the banks for miles. We were surprised to see green vineyards growing on steep terraces near the riverbanks.

Our stateroom was compact and efficient. Eliosa, our “servant” cleaned the room while we were at breakfast and straightened up after dinner. She was a very small and cute Philippina, friendly and polite.

On the first night the passengers gathered to get an orientation on the voyage. There were introductions of the captain by the Program Director named Sam. It felt like summer camp. Who came the furthest? How many from New Zealand etc. Then who is the youngest, the oldest? I was the eldest as I was born in 1931. I was rock and roll famous for thirty seconds.

We travelled South and Easterly, touching on Amsterdam, Holland; Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. Major stops were at Cologne to visit the great Cathedral there; Nuremburg where the WW2 Nazi trials were held; Vienna the city of waltzes, pastries and elegant street; and Budapest, which gave us the greatest surprise, it has the most beautiful buildings, cathedrals, public buildings and they faced the Danube. In most of the cities and towns you have to take a bus from the river to the town center. In Budapest the most gorgeous buildings are on the riverbanks. We had sailed on the Rhine, Mainz and Danube rivers.

I know you are terribly anxious to read about the food on the ship. Breakfast food of every possible kind, juices, hot and cold cereals, smoked salmon. Omelets prepared for you on the spot. Bread, rolls, butter, jam, cream cheese even peanut butter. Lunch – creamy vegetable and beef, lamb and fish soups. Lavish salads and meat and fish courses, wines plus a variety of desserts and cakes as wells as fresh fruit. Three course dinners every evening. Starters of soups, salads and cold meats; main courses of chicken, fish, lamb, beef or vegetarian all with elegant and rich sauces. The portions are modest but you can get all you want. We wanted more spices and herbs. Wine and beer are free, booze, you pay for. Then for dessert, ice creams, pistachio was Ann’s favorite. Puddings, cakes sorbets and fruit and cheese plates. The waiters were attractive and helpful and efficient. I suppose you remember all that.

We had some very interesting people on board. One man invented the app at Motorola. Another invented the post-it at 3Ms. We asked another guy how many cruises he had been on? He said two; this was his first and his last.

We began the trip on June 29, 2017 flying from San Francisco non-stop to Amsterdam o KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The food service and business class accommodations were roomy and restful.  We returned to San Francisco on July 14 learning to enjoy jet lag.

The cruise was delightful in every way. It is cruising in a relaxed manner and sight seeing for easy tourism.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Advice for the Newly Ordained.

Love the members of your congregation. You won’t like some of them. Thank them regularly and often for what they do. People yearn to be thanked and acknowledged.
Write them emails and/or notes when they do something important or just thoughtful.

Make sure the liturgy is graceful, sacred and fun.

When you preach, do not do Bible Study in the pulpit. Get a major point from scripture. Illustrate it, make it concrete and apply it to the listener’s life. Tell stories. Say things about yourself. Listen to and critique other preachers. That is an excellent way to improve your own preaching. Read a book about preaching. Better yet, write one.

People love to be asked to help. Ask them.
Learn to enjoy asking for money. People don’t give if they are not asked.

Avoid unnecessary meetings.
When leading, be prepared and keep them brief.
Do ONE thing in and for the Diocese. Don’t let it suck you dry.

Do not let your spiritual life wreck your social consciousness.
Pray the way you can, not the way you can’t

Your number one priority is your family.


Friday, June 02, 2017


A Serious Christian – Climate Change

To love one’s neighbors, means to allow them to breathe.
Compassion means to assure clean water.
Healing means to assure people do not get sick.

The President apparently believes the world is not a global community but “an arena where nations, nongovernments actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage.”

Christians decry injustice and greed. We support equality, reverence and strive  for goodness. We seek community and cooperation.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Why the hate, the anxiety and paranoia? There is real danger afloat by our present leadership. But why the worry, the unease, the passionate distrust? Watching the president and his gang on TV is the culprit. Every moment spent watching the lords of misrule burns into our eyeballs and brains hateful long-lasting images. The more we watch, the more these people influence our anxiety and us. Get our news from newspapers, not TV or computer screens. Reading the newspaper allows us to pick and choose what and how much news we want to see. On TV we are at the mercy of the newscasters and politicians whose images etch into our brains. Newspapers and the printed word set us free to choose. Newspapers manipulate, too. But we can read or not. On TV we have to take what we get.



People thrust into our minds these days are IMMIGRANTS. The President is waging war on illegal immigrants, insinuating all of them are criminals, drug abusers and cheats. The immorality of classifying one group of people by the bad behavior of a few is screamingly clear.

The fact that Republicans have repeatedly cut funding for the immigration service in the US. It has been easy for many determined people get into the United States or remain here because enforcement of laws again illegals has been sporadic. This crackdown is cruel because many children born of parents who are illegal immigrants face deportation even though they have never lived anywhere but in the United States.

A member of our parish, who is gay, was beaten almost to death in Honduras. If he is deported he faces certain rank discrimination, perhaps death on his return.

Daniella is an illegal. She fears deportation back to El Salvador and she and her daughter Lily face mob rule and sexual abuse at the hands of gangs roaming that country. US President Ronald Reagan spent years and money destabilizing that country as they had a communist leaning regime.

Many have pointed out that the agriculture industry in California and in many Border States depend on immigrant labor to accomplish harvests.

When the father in a family is deported, his wife and children remaining have no source of income and will have to go on welfare. Such cases have already been reported in the media.

Statistics indicate the flow of Mexicans into the United Sates has decreased. The flow of Mexicans going back to Mexico has increased. Our elected Republicans leaders pay no attention.

It appears that our leaders play on the prejudices and fears of the few in order to exert power over the poor and disenfranchised. Leaders want to win elections and make money by harping on popular issues, which are unconstitutional and unjust.

I hope the American Civil Liberties Union and other rights organizations fight these matters in the courts to the fullest extent possible.