Up at five o'clock yesterday morning to get on the road by six. I was treated to homemade waffles, a beautiful prayer, and a few tears before I went. Isn't community wonderful?! I pulled out in the midst of a beautiful snowstorm; big, wet, sticky flakes that put me in a tunnel of little lights as I drove. Through a bit of sleet and a lot of fog to arrive in St. Louis to weather in the fifties. It was nice, but odd, to be able to unload my car without a coat. Pat and Paula met me at the door with the cart to help me in with my things. Isn't community wonderful (again)?!
People have asked what it is like to be "home." It is both wonderful and sad: wonderful to be here with my sisters and my family in this home and sad to be leaving my sisters and home in St. Paul. Luckily I know in advance when a move like that is coming. I have time to prepare and to say my "see you laters" (rather than goodbyes). It was a wonderful last week. Little closure pieces at Sarah's with Maggie, Krista, and the women there. Little closure pieces with the vocation/formation sisters with whom I worked. (I should mention in here all of the good food that those closure pieces involved!) And bigger closure pieces with Liz and Mary Clare. We went to the best Christmas play on Friday night. If you have never read the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever I would highly recommend it. In short, it is about an economically poorer group of siblings who bully the other kids and hijack the church Christmas pageant (a story with which they are maybe vaguely familiar). Needless to say the pageant is a little less than traditional, but so funny and so real. Mary Clare, Liz, and I saw the performance at a professional children's theater, Steppingstone Theater, in St. Paul. The children and young adults were of various ages and from various schools. Adults played the adult roles, but the children stole the show. I think the Angel of the Lord was my favorite with her long braids, superhero cape, and exhuberance, although the boy who played Charlie was quite an excellent actor himself. I cried during the scene where the young woman who was playing the part of Mary realizes the importance of the role she is given (okay, so maybe I cried at more parts than that, but that's probably where the crying began). It was very excellent! After the play we came back for dessert and a few little presents. Then off to bed so I could get up to go in the morning and Mary and Liz could be up to see me off. I miss them already!
It is time, however, to be moving to the next thing, I suppose. One of those next things is making my formal request for vows while I am here this next month. There are a few little steps involved in that, but, one-by-one the checklist will get checked. I don't always like the evaluation pieces that go along with this process, but, in the end, they are good for me and for community.
Home to be with my family for a couple of days over Christmas. We already have a live version of the game Clue planned among other things. I love my family.
Anyway, I've got to get some dinner started. The squash will take nearly an hour. Merry Christmas to all!
Love, hugs, and prayers,