Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Checking in

With family still in town, I have hardly had time to turn on my computer, much less come up with anything to share other than all the activities we've been sharing. For instance, on Sunday, after the choir Mass at Mt Carmel, we all (Mom, my sisters and my niece, with me at the wheel) drove to southern Michigan to deliver one sister to her mother-in-law's for a visit. On the way, we stopped at the Indiana Dunes (National Lakeshore). It was a matter of braving the day's chilly winds to go out on the wave-lapped beach. Chicago was just barely visible to the northwest. We also stopped at "Mt. Baldy": an enormous sand dune that keeps making its way southward because the dune grasses that would have anchored it in place were trampled to death by visitors. (The Park Service is trying to restore the grasses, so most of the dune was off-limits.)
Two of my sisters really wanted to try the marked-off path to the "summit"--others of us weren't so sure. The signs warned that it was a "strenuous" climb, and we were all wearing our church shoes. But the intrepid won the day. We hiked the whole (short) way through deep sand. That's what is so interesting about the Indiana Dunes: they really are sand dunes, but forests are growing through the sand! So it looks like an ordinary, if hilly, wood, but you are tramping through nothing but sand. The last few yards went up at a "strenuous" angle, but the view from the top was worth it all. (Even Mom thought so!) Of course, we had a bit of sand to empty out of our shoes when it was all done...
Yesterday, most of my family went home; Mom watched TV while I helped in the bookstore. Then, at 4:00, Sr Helena walked in the door after a week in Italy! She has been creating high-resolution scans of the photo archives of our Founder for the documentary film. Evidently, things went fabulously well, and not just because she was enjoying our sisters' Roman hospitality. She found photos that most of us have never seen, and was even able to get an interview with the Society of St. Paul's most widely-published author, Fr. Gabriel Amorth.
My remaining sister will return from her mother-in-law's this afternoon and by this time tomorrow things in Pauline Chicago will be more or less back to "normal." (Sr Lusia is out of town, so all is not quite back to normal).

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