Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Heard Museum-Phoenix

While we were at the LCWR assembly in Scottsdale, Arizona, we went to this museum that is home to an outstanding collection of Native American art. It was begun by a couple that moved to the southwest from Chicago. They started showing their pieces right in their home, but as the collection expanded they moved it to a building across the street where today it is a first class collection of art and artifacts from numerous tribal traditions from the southwest.

Native American women from five nearby tribes.

A beautiful needle work quilt.

Beaded Native American woman, horse, baby, two small horses
and two (non-visible) children riding in the back.

Barry Goldwater's family donated their extensive collection of Native American dolls.

Material for fences.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Saguaro world

I'm in the southwest this week and amazed at everything that is so Arizona-like. It has been over 105 in the afternoon every day...a totally different kind of heat than ours! But the natural world here is beautiful...I'll share lots of photos Monday. The most amazing single thing is the saguaro cactus. If you have 5 minutes go here and you'll see all about them.

We also went to the Heard Museum which specializes in Native American art (again, pictures Monday)! However the special exhibit on the Indian schools of the late 1800s+ breaks your heart...thousands of children taken away to awful boarding schools to be anglo-sized.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Black-eyed Susans time

We are "recuperating" from this year's really wonderful Summer Community Days, last Wednesday through Saturday. I put the word in " " because it's not that it is like getting better from a disease, it's just the coming back to "ordinary time." Since only a minority of the 91 of us are blooming extroverts, (not I), all that time with people, people everywhere (even ones you love!) and activities each day, take their toll---and coming back to the everyday pace and interactions are welcome.

In fact, we were walking around the Benetwood and Mount grounds tonight, feeling awash in black-eyed Susans, which are around every corner and in every single garden patch, when we came upon one of our postulants. She was sitting by herself, music coming through ear buds I'd guess, and just enjoying the quiet and peace of sitting on a bench in our backyard. Forty feet later we passed the sun room and who's sitting there by herself reading, the other postulant. Both "recuperating" I'm sure, from their first Summer Community Days. Smart gals!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Alarming Grace

This week I had a chance to see live and in person one of my very favorite authors, Barbara Brown Taylor---speaking at Chautauqua. (Here's the review of her talk in the Chautauquan Daily. ) I had read her magnificent An Altar in the World and before that, Leaving Church and just this summer finished her latest, Holy Envy. They were all so real, so spiritual, so witty. Please read about them on amazon or someplace and if one at all sounds "possible" for you, give it a try. She is one of the best!

Cover of TIME April 28, 2014  her book
about finding God in the dark.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

How can it be August?!

The cutest little kids were all around at this family affair event this weekend at one of our many local wineries.
 I haven't officially heard yet, but I'm betting that it's been a banner year for our grape crop and, if so, the annual
North East Grape Festival in September will be a very happy event for the many grape farmers of the region.
We have thousands and thousands of acres of grape vineyards....primarily for wine and for Welch's in
New York state about 20-25 miles east of us.

Our final concert of the season, I'm afraid. The Rooftop Project at Penn Shore Winery.
 Great music, great time.

Continuing on the weekend theme of enjoying summer events, about a dozen of us took in a game Sunday afternoon for our AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers: the Erie Seawolves. It was my first game of the season and they won! 3-2. Reeking of Americana...I thought I saw Norman Rockwell in the stands sketching the crowd in all their baseball paraphernalia, eating hot dogs and singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Yes, we really do stand and sing it in the seventh inning!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Humdrum and ho hum

One of my favorite authors had the July 30th reflection in "Give Us This Day" the daily booklet we all have. Here's an excerpt of what Barbara Brown Taylor wrote: "Heaven is the Humdrum and the Ho-Hum"

"If the kingdom of heaven is hidden in this world, it is hidden really well, and only the most dedicated detectives among us stand a chance of finding it at all. Unless, of course, God has resorted to the oldest trick in the book and hidden it in plain view. There is always that possibility, you know--that God decided to hide the kingdom of heaven not in any of the extraordinary places that treasure hunters would be sure to check, but in the last place that any of us would think to look, namely, in the ordinary circumstances of our everyday lives: like a silver spoon in the drawer with the stainless, like a diamond necklace on the bureau with the rhinestones; the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary, the kingdom of heaven all mixed in with the humdrum and ho-hum of our days."

If she is new to you, do give her a try. I'm sure her dozen or so books are in your local library or on sale somewhere!

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Our Sunday presider put a spin on the Genesis reading for this weekend's Mass that I had never heard or thought of before. We had just had a reading about the city of Sodom and a dialogue between God and Abram on what it would take for God to spare the city from destruction. Would God save the city for the presence of righteous people? Our presider pointed out that the "sin" of the city of Sodom had nothing to do with the standard view that it had something to do with sex. The sin of the people of Sodom was a lack of communal hospitality.

A shiver went through me as I thought, are we (the United States) guilty of that right now, in our time? I believe we are.

In another, more successful, vein of hospitality, however, was the celebratory weekend we had for this year's 50 and 25 year jubilarians. The weather cooperated, family and friends arrived and it was a wonderful time together....prayer, food, camaraderie and just great overall. This is certainly one of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of building community--experiencing events together that bring out special memories and moments of the life that, in turn, add to the "glue" that helps and keeps the community what it is and what it hopes to be....and what it hopes to bring to the world.

We are blessed.