Been Awhile…

Work has been super busy lately, but some of the projects are really wonderful. One day this week, I got to spend time with some of the Sisters in our sponsoring congregation. As their numbers continue to shrink, they are in the process of moving from the big, beautiful Mother House to a retirement-type community that is shared with four other congregations. And I got to spend time in both locations.
The Sisters who are still living at the Mother House need a higher level of care. But they continue to spend their days in prayer and reading about the Lord that they love so very much. 
Some of these women are 80, 90, even 100 years old and they’ve spent much of their lives at the Mother House — eating together, praying together, just being together. Change is hard any way, but after all of these years, they’re changing everything, leaving this beautiful place behind. Yet they’re doing it, tapping into their faith and trusting in God’s call. It occurred to me that wherever they go, it will be beautiful — no matter what the building looks like. 
I spent the later part of the day at the new community — and whoa, it’s a nice place. Really. It’s beautiful. A different type of beauty than the Mother House, but it is really quite swell.  Two of the Sisters I visited share adjacent apartments and are the proud owners of this sparky little girl. 
 Such a wonderful day. I’ll post the link to the final story when it’s published. 
The next day I headed to our hospital in Maryville. Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Maryville if we didn’t stop by the convent for soap or the monastery for freshly baked cookies. This visit was a little different because we got to walk around the convent grounds and visit their nursing home.
 This nun sculpture was swinging in the breeze in a clearing not too far from the soap place. Crack me UP.
 And of course we bought lots and lots of soap.
 I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about this, but we had another new experience on this trip — and learned a valuable lesson as a result: if you are driving along a rural highway and come to a point that it is closed for construction, turn around and retrace your route. Do NOT pull onto (what you think is) a gravel side road that turns out to be gravel-less and is entirely dirt (silt, actually). In a river bottom. After five inches of rain fell the prior evening. And if you do decide to wander blindly where four-wheelers fear to tread, don’t do it in a rented convertible. Oh, and don’t bother calling AAA to bail you out*. They don’t do mud. 
*Good news — after two hours, we got out on our own. NO idea how we pulled it off. This is the view of the road from the point of safety. This is the section of the road that the four-wheelers go to play and get super dirty. If you notice in the photo of the tire above that, there is only one set of tire tracks. That’s how far back we were. Even the four-wheelers wouldn’t try it. That little figure walking is my wonderful friend and colleague Rhonda. It’s a long story as to why she is stuck hoofing it. Just know that she was good with it because if I would’ve stopped to pick her up, we would’ve been stuck again.

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