Sunday, January 20, 2019

Winter storm Harper

The view from inside..note the accumulation on the screen!

The six-tiered railing on our outside porch.

Sister Karen clearing the lower backyard entrance. Big job.

Again, note the drift up against the doorway
and the huge "globs" of snow on this little fir.

Poor Scholastica, snow covering her feet and lower robe,
not to mention piling up all around her!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The ways of winter

I had three different encounters with winter today. The first was at 7:30 am when I joined other sisters out in the parking lot as we faced that unique thin layer of solid ice that our overnight icy rain left on our car windshields. Windshield wipers are useless, only a strong, hopefully metal-tipped, scraper will do. (Backed up by the heat on high inside the car!). Starting at the bottom you work away upwards, finally loosening a piece of the solid covering--sort of a very thin yet strong version of those thick, heavy ice floes that come down our creeks in the early spring. You continue to break off these large, paper-like pieces of ice until the windshield gets universally warm and you can reach the top and unloosen the entire windshield. What a job!

Secondly, in late afternoon I found that nearly an inch of snow had accumulated on our grounds, but it was in dots/little spheres, not flakes ...just like those Dippin' Dots that are popular ice cream treats these days. Odd!

And third, while reading my second favorite book of Mary Oliver's works I came upon this winter tale, unique not only for its depth, but that its title is nearly as long as the poem! Enjoy:

"Watching a documentary about Polar Bears
Trying to Survive on the Melting Ice Floes"

That God had a plan, I do not doubt,
But what if His plan was, that we would do better?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

PO does not always mean post office

This past Sunday brought poinsettias and postulants to our community.

The poinsettias are courtesy of the end of the liturgical Christmas season which included dissembling the chapel's poinsettias gardens. The beautiful red and white plants were free for the taking. With the right temperatures, light and a little luck they can stay in bloom for quite a number of months.

The postulants are courtesy of two women who wish to continue their spiritual journey by spending time with us to explore whether God is calling them to community here. These months precede the more serious and intensive commitment to a year as a novice. We welcome them and offer both community life and prayer for them as they explore their continued "seeking."

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ordinary Time Approaches

Blessed "Ordinary time" is coming (Monday) and if you have been browsing on our website at all you can understand how we look forward to it--we have had a ton of activities and events over the Christmas weeks. All of them were great, but the "everydayness" of Ordinary Time, the small feasts that are scattered through it and just its regular rhythm all make for a nice backdrop to the weeks before the "special" seasons (aka Lent) begin again.

BTW, for those of you who knew my Dad, this Friday, the 11th, would have been his 100th birthday! And for those of you who did not know him...he was a great guy--a real people person, which was perfect for his career as a small business owner (jewelry store) as he dealt with customers all day long. Happy Birthday, wish you were here!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Epiphany-Three Wise Women

We had a wonderful Sunday Epiphany liturgy this weekend. The homilist was great, music came off very well, including a prelude by the 30-member schola of the Huron Carol, a beautiful Native American story of the birth of Jesus. At gift time, the hand bell choir played an old Polish folk hymn about the visit of the shepherds, which had our sisters who grew up learning a little of the language humming along!

And finally, in memory of my mother who used to claim she couldn't tell who were nuns after the habits disappeared, yet delighted in "picking them out" whenever we went out (and she was always right!), here's proof that "habits" still live: nearly identical attire from our Sisters Laura, Kath and Dianne, on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

In at full force

And the wait continues.

Eleven days. It's been eleven days since I and all the people I usually deal with, both local, national and even just down the hall, have all been "at their desks," full throttle and at the same time, so to speak. In between we had all been in occasionally, off occasionally, on Christmas break, and at any other holiday end-of-year event you can think of. Today, everyone was back...texts and emails were sent and calls were made and a response came through. But---it is a bit of an overwhelming experience after having ratcheted-down for more than a week.

All in all, I survived and I think everyone else did, too!

It helped that we began and ended the day with beautiful Christmas octave prayers and songs and that we are looking ahead to one of our very favorite feasts: Epiphany---and this year it is even on the traditional Epiphany date, January 6th.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Flowers in December

Every year we have poinsettias in chapel and every year they are beautiful. But this year...I know it's crazy, but they look more beautiful than ever: the reds look brighter, the whites seem clearer...they just look healthy and "happy"..if flowers can look happy. Ditto the orchids in my office.

After hearing all my life that orchids are a special flower, that people who grow and watch over orchids are a special breed, and that orchid flower shows are unique in their own right, I never even entertained the idea of getting one, let alone caring for it. But that changed about 5 years ago when a sister received a beautiful orchid as a gift and, after the flowers fell off, didn't know what to do with it. "I'll take it" I chirped up, forgetting my previous thoughts.

All I did, really, was put it in my office in indirect sunlight, yet lots of sunlight; talked to it, watched over it, and gave it the prescribed teaspoon of water a week. Life continued month after month after month until one day more than a year or so later I saw these odd long things growing out of it. Turned out they were roots (above ground) and after another while a stem appeared and finally flowers. It was absolutely beautiful and I was dumbstruck at the process and at the results.

That was about 2-3 years ago and I've been watering, talking and watching over it yet again, not really giving it the attention that I do all the other flowers which seem to need more.....and voila, it's happened again: roots, stem and flower buds have appeared. Watch this space: I hope in the next few weeks to share its beauty with you.

P.S. In another forgetful moment, I adopted a second gift-orchid a couple years ago and have given it the same treatment. Nothing happened...until two months ago: out come the roots and now I am watching diligently for a stem to appear! Ha--maybe I should look up when the next local orchid show is scheduled!