Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Our beloved creek-pt 4

How is our creek restoration project doing, you ask? It is "settling in"--things are growing, I would say. Here is a long shot of the bank at the almost 90 degree turn that the creek makes and a close up of the grass which is growing very nicely, through the macrame-like carpet support that is, I suspect, part of the anti-erosion, new bank material. I don't know if the planting of bushes and trees will be taking place this fall or early next spring. We shall see. If you missed any of the first three reports, with photos, see blog entries on July 26, August 6 and August 13.

On another note, we received the nicest, supportive and complementary editorial in our local newspaper, the Erie Times News, Wednesday morning: "Benedictines lead quest for peace." The result was that over 200 people showed up that evening for the first of monthly silent walks for peace. WOW! Thank you Benedictines for Peace committee for your idea and efforts to get this latest venture started off and for making it one that welcomes participation by the whole city of Erie.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our family tree

This week a new addition to our administrative hall is a framed poster that shows five "generations" of Benedictine communities of women of American federations all of which originated from a community in Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany and a small group of sisters that came here in 1852.

There are nine communities in along the trunk of the tree (first generation), many more than that in the second and third generations and even one in what is listed as the fifth generation. All total there are about 50: most are still active communities today, but a number have closed--some had rather short lives, others longer.

It's called A Heritage Tree and is a lovely project by the heritage committee that has been working on the archives et al of the first community of the tree: St. Joseph Monastery in St. Marys, PA 1852-2014.

The latest is a community in Puerto Rico, begun in 2000. And where do we fit in this "family"? We are number 2: 1856-

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Our bay

This week, fifteen of us were able to take advantage of an invitation for a sailboat ride on Presque Isle Bay one evening. Oh my! the water was like glass, the temperature was warm, the breeze just enough for the sails to be up, and an hour and a half trip became a soothing and beautiful balm for a late summer day.

One of our sister's friends took this photo from the shoreline, not knowing it was we and our boat. Yes, it is this glorious. Thank you, Bill and family.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

All around us

Within the continual, almost daily upsetting and disturbing news reports about our upside down political situations, beginning with Washington, DC and spreading out from there, the beauties all around us help me keep hope alive....especially in the belief of the basic goodness of people of good will and, as seen here, in the awesome beauty of the natural world.....frankly, the world that is made up of other life than human beings!

Our weekend joys:

Right under my bedroom window Saturday morning

On a dock at the Presque Isle marina

Courtesy of the man fishing.

The monarchs are passing through.

The purple martin will be right behind in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Music Man

A surprise bloom here in the final weeks of summer and it is a real beauty: tall, seemingly delicate, yet they are staying vertical by some magical power, I'd say!  Google images seems to support that they may be amaryllis--which, of course, reminded me of Professor Harold Hill of Music Man fame and the little girl who played Marian, madame librarian's piano student: Amaryllis.

Meanwhile we are also experiencing a late summer surge in guests--though that in itself is not unusual. Our Sunday liturgies have been larger than usual for the past few weeks and I believe the "culprit" is family reunions. Happy, laughing multi-generational groups seem to be with us every week, many we certainly know, of course, and we look forward to seeing these out-of-towners every year.

One of the blessings many of our sisters give us when they pass onto eternal life is a continuing relationship with their family members. It keeps our memories of them warm and alive. We are indeed blessed.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our beloved creek-pt 3

This isn't along the creek, I just put it in because the Black-eyed Susans are blooming all over our place right now and since that's how I got my name (according to Mom) I like the sight of them!

Here's the new bank and top of the bend in Seven-Mile Creek. If you look back a couple days you'll see these large rolls of material and here they are all laid out along the bank. They are held in place by small metal hooks that go right into the ground, placed about every 5 ft.along the perimeter.  It appears to be a sort of firm base for the grass, plants and trees that we are told will be planted all along here.

Here's the same area, but looking the opposite way, upstream. Notice, too, the large stones that have been laid along the incline. The whole area looks quite natural, yet engineered, if that makes any sense. How about this: the best of environmental engineering working in sync with nature!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


I came upon this school-is-almost-here reminder when I stopped by "my" branch of the Erie County library--it's in Lawrence Park (3 miles from us). I did speak to the girls and they responded by saying that they were at band camp (I presumed at the high school across the street) and had a 45 minute break, so they came over to the library for some quiet. (Notice how they are deeply engrossed in their books.)

They were cute and made me nostalgic for my 25 years of teaching high school. This nostalgia is always greatest at the beginning of a new school year and that is right now.

Secondly, I am reading a quirky book and I do love anything quirky! The title is The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. It's a little book, in size and length, and is one continuous chapter about the Queen of England suddenly becoming addicted to books--and what effect that this constant reading has on her, her obligations and every other person in her life.

Here's part of Publisher's Weekly's review: "Briskly original and subversively funny, this novella sends Queen Elizabeth II into a mobile library van in pursuit of her runaway corgis and into the reflective, observant life of an avid reader. Guided by Norman, a former kitchen boy and enthusiast of gay authors, the queen gradually loses interest in her endless succession of official duties and learns the pleasure of such a common activity. Bennett has fun with the proper behavior and protocol at the palace, and the few instances of mild coarseness seem almost scandalous. It's a fun little book."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our beloved creek-pt. 2

The environmental engineers are hard at work on our creek, making it healthier, to put it in a nutshell.

Here are this week's efforts--primarily shoring up the bank, especially at a near 90 degree bend.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our annual LLL days

Our annual Learning, Leisure and Legislation summer community days are this week and they already are off to a very good start. Great conversations and sharings Wednesday on issues on our past, present and future that engage and energize all of us. Tuesday night LLL opened with a lovely Evening Prayer followed by a dinner and celebration of our six jubilarians this year: three 70-year celebrants, two 60-year celebrants and one Golden jubilarian.

Leisure time gives us a chance to "be around" in a different way than ordinary days. Here are two sites that caught my eye already:

Our inner courtyard Blessed Mother is surrounded by clematis and hydrangea these days and they are truly stunning.

Out on East Lake Rd, down by the entrance to Glinodo you'll find this old, weather-worn, utilitarian fire hydrant. Never noticed, never needed (hopefully). But, at this time of year the roadside chicory circles it with a kind of beauty it certainly isn't used to!