Sunday, April 28, 2019

Monday, Monday

Did you ever have one of those weekends where you can't wait to get back to work on Monday---so that you can relax? That's what we had this weekend! Two days of great times but, whoa, lots of people, lots of wonderful input and lots of energy and experiences but I can't wait to get back to the relative calm of Mondays, Tuesdays, get the idea!

See our community website here for the usual fine, fine coverage of our life and you'll have mercy on me for wanting the "normalcy" of Mondays!

Did I mention that they were great days?!?!?

One of my top three favorite spring flowers in our gardens--white, white hyacinths.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Could be Minnesota

Today I talked to "Cathy" a gal in Minnesota that I talk to every year at this time. chat. In the course of the conversation I asked how they're doing, as I told her we've been watching the horrible April storms that have passed through. She said they were doing ok and that most of the snow has melted. "Most?" I thought, holy cow! "Are your daffodils up yet?" I asked. "Almost," she replied, "they are trying." My gosh, it's April 24th and they still have snow remnants and the daffodils "are trying." WOW....

Our last snowfall was March 31 and here are three shots of our inner courtyard. Daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and a gorgeous flowering magnolia tree are truly taking our breaths away. Sure we won the golden snow globe contest a couple times (this year we were fourth, thank God) but spring does come in April here.

Cathy ended with, "But it's a beautiful sunny day today, so I think we've turned the corner for good." I should hope so for their sanity---after all--next Wednesday is May 1.

BTW, that's a feeder that's suppose to attract Baltimore Orioles, who love oranges. Hmmmmmm, we'll see. One sister asked if someone had hung a pumpkin in the courtyard! Another thought it was a small basketball. We need a field trip to Wild Birds Unlimited!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Holy Saturday Triduum Day 3


Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have. I walk out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord, I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your mercy, a little more time. Love for the earth and love for you are having such a long conversation in my heart. Who knows what will finally happen or where I will be sent, yet already I have given a great many things away, expecting to be told to pack nothing, except the prayers which, with this thirst, I am slowly learning.

Mary Oliver

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Good Friday-Triduum Day 2


The grass never sleeps.
Or the roses.
Nor does the lily have a secret eye
that shuts until morning.

Jesus said, wait with me. But the disciples slept.

The cricket has such splendid fringe on its feet,
and it sings, have you noticed, with its whole body,
and heaven knows if it ever sleeps.

Jesus said, wait with me. And maybe the stars did,
maybe the wind wound itself into a silver tree,
and didn't move,
maybe the lake far away, where once he walked
as on a blue pavement,
lay still and waited, wide awake.

Oh the dear bodies, slumped and eye-shut,
that could not keep that vigil,
how they must have wept,
so utterly human, knowing this too
must be a part of the story.

Mary Oliver

Our new bird bath, which the birds don't seem to have discovered yet--but they will.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Holy Thursday-Triduum Day 1

The vast ocean begins just outside our church: the Eucharist

Something has happened
to the bread
and the wine.

They have been blessed.
What now?
The body leans forward

to receive the gift
from the priest's hand,
then the chalice.

They are something else now
from what they were
before this began.

I want
to see Jesus,
maybe in the clouds

or on the shore,
just walking,
beautiful man

and clearly
someone else

On the hard days
I ask myself
if I ever will.

Also there are times
my body whispers to me
that I have.

Mary Oliver

A small but colorful beginning to our flowers!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Another Holy Week Begins...

"The Poet Thinks about the Donkey"

On the outskirts of Jerusalem
the donkey waited.
Not especially brave
or filled with understanding,
he stood and waited.

How horses, turned out into the meadow,
leap with delight!
How doves, released from their cages,
clatter away, splashed with sunlight!

But the donkey, tied to a tree as usual,
Then he let himself be led away.
Then he let the stranger mount.

Never had he seen such crowds!
And I wonder if he at all imagined
what was to happen.
Still, he was what he had always been:
small, dark, obedient.

I hope, finally, he felt brave.
I hope, finally, he loved the man
who rode so lightly upon him,
as he lifted one dusty hoof and stepped,
as he had to, forward.

Mary Oliver

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gearing Up

The countdown is just about over and we are "gearing up" for the busiest two weeks of the year--both liturgically and in hospitality: Holy Week and Easter Week.

The guest list for the next 14 days has not be disseminated yet, but I'm sure that it will be full and long--as in one guest leaves in the morning of a certain day and the next one for that room arrives that afternoon!

The outline sheets for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil Saturday evening and Easter Sunday itself are starting to trickle out. Tuesday, the handbell choir received a separate sheet of rehearsals and events just for their performances, the next day a similar one appeared for the schola. Oh, my--talk about a full dance card!

Everyone of us has her own way of keeping track of all this, particularly your own parts. A few years ago I stumbled upon what works for me. I transfer all the information on the separate sheets to two Master sheets that are taped to my bedroom door. One holds all my commitments from Palm Sunday through Good Friday. The other is the same thing for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Without going "all crayola," I even color code a little bit--rehearsals are one color, the actual event is another. It seems to work for me--or at least it makes me feel calmer! It's a wonderful couple of weeks. Just seeing all of the out-of-towners is itself a treat.

Exhausting? Sure, but catching little cat naps is sometimes a needed part of the day's schedule, too! But it is well, well worth it....wonderful, creative rituals, lovely people, memory-making everywhere and blessed/holy moments galore.

We are indeed blessed.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Did they survive? Yes!

Last summer we received 12 "twigs" from a friend who had made a donation on Arbor Day. Always grateful for new trees, I planted the twelve little sticks in some of our garden spaces. At the end of the summer 5 had taken root, grown a few leaves and seemed to be making it. Now, how to get them through the winter: snow, winds, storms, etc. I read about a few methods and enlisted one of our great maintenance guys to put tubes around them. The best protection it seemed.

In this photo you can see how they have spent the last 5 months.

This weekend was the great unveiling. Snow is gone now, the temps are more and more in the high 40s, 50s and even 60! I got the tubes and the support stakes out and lo and behold, there they were. Looking skinny (still), bare (the leaves had fallen off), but otherwise alive and looking pretty good to me. So here we go into the summer months to see what these three dogwoods--and the other two (a hawthorn and crab apple) become!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Coming Out Parties

This week we've hosted two "coming out parties."

The first was finding patches of snowdrops in the garden! A welcome sign of early spring for sure.

The second was witnessing the first day for outside play time for the toddlers and pre-schoolers at St. Benedict Child Development Center, located on the lower three floors of the building that also houses our offices. There's nothing like little children's voices--laughing, screeching, yelling--such delight!

More signs of our welcome mat for spring!