Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Community update

We've had some comings and goings here in the Chicago convent. Sister Helena, formerly of Chicago and now of Toronto, came through for several days to give talks in the area (and then to cart the remainder of her books and equipment up to Canada). She had been planning to drive back on Monday, but the intense snowstorm (thundersnow! two inches of snow an hour!) convinced her otherwise. So she spent a good part of yesterday afternoon loading the van, only to be delayed by a dead battery. (She made it back safely thanks to our prayers, a new battery and her ability to drive through the night.)

Remember Snoopy's "Suppertime!" dance?
That's us when Sister Gemma is in the kitchen!
Meanwhile, four sisters arrived to visit the showrooms of religious article dealers in view of our bookstores' Christmas needs. Sister Gemma prepared a Korean-style dinner to welcome the guests. We had electric skillets on the tables, bubbling with oxtail broth, into which we could dump our choice of chopped cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini, shrimp and thinly sliced ribeye. (Needless to say, it was a hit.) Sister Gemma will be in the kitchen again today, fixing us a traditional Korean New Year's meal--she says it is still the Chinese New Year, and she wasn't able to observe the tradition two weeks ago.

Although a couple of the sisters will leave on Friday, Sister Maria Kim will be arriving on Saturday. She, Sister Frances and Sister Gemma will be presenting our Catholic school bookfair program to the principals of the Catholic schools of Chicago. We hope there will be a lot of interest; the Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese gave the program a hearty endorsement!

I had a big deadline this week (met it!) and now I can sort of ease back into a more regular pattern, even though now that will mean alternating writing projects with packing (mostly) books for storage. The flight I booked allows a single checked bag (50 pounds), and for $100, another 50-pounder. I have enough miles to upgrade (two "free" 75-pounders!), but when I went to actually do that, the site had tacked on a $425 "service fee" in addition to the (many) miles. Forget that! Jesus must be challenging me to trust that two 50-pound bags will hold all I need for the coming year abroad--after all, he sent his own apostles out with not so much as a spare tunic! (But then, they were all guys...)

Meanwhile, it is a balmy 39 outside (who needs a coat?) and the snow is melting fast. I'll make sure to take the long way on my errands this afternoon so I can soak in the sun!

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