Over Thanksgiving and the weekend I went to Charleston, SC to visit friends! Katie and I graduated together from St. Ben’s, and she lives with her husband Karl in Charleston. We shared a delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal and company of friends. The weather was fantastic when I was there (they had rain all week before I arrived), so Katie and I spent much of our time outdoors. We walked around downtown Charleston two different days; again another place so rich in history. I enjoyed a few tourist experiences as we paddled a small boat through Cypress Gardens, visited a slave mart—the original building still standing, and toured a plantation outside of Charleston complete with a tour of the main house and self-guided history in nine slave houses. I appreciated being able to put real images to the history that we—especially as mid-Westerners—only read. Charleston is a city of authentic and original cuisine, so Katie and Karl treated me (as their first visitor!) to a few of their favorites including unique tacos, Indian, Southern comfort food, and also brunch at the Farmers’ Market.
Life at the monastery is and has been wonderful! Mostly I am not around here as much as I’d like to be. Or when I am around I am running to and/or from someplace else which is not conducive to conversation or quality time. Lately some nun-life adventures include beautiful preparation as we are moving through the season of Advent. I have my flute here and have loved contributing to the liturgy, especially because of Advent hymns. Scarves, scarves, scarves!—we had a very successful sale and received many orders from staff and parents of Benedictine. The race has been on to complete scarves to fill these orders. I will admit that I took quite a long break from knitting, but have jumped back in and do what I can. I spend many of my volunteer hours in the evenings which reduces my evening communal television and knitting time.
I thought I wrote about this already, but I didn’t—I visited Washington D.C.!! I have had some wonderful touring experiences with a couple friends in the area. We went to D.C. for a day early in November and saw all of the monuments and memorials. I am itching to get back to see the museums—a couple at a time since I have the time to do so! It was a chilly, windy day, but we got lots of walking in. We also walked by the White House and saw the First Lady’s garden. I am so grateful to the many friends and acquaintances generous with their time and keen on contributing to a full experience for my time here.
Another experience to add to these—Handel’s Messiah! Just Saturday night Sisters Patricia, Jo-El, Mary Elizabeth, and I had the privilege of attending Messiah put on by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with guest soloists; it was held at Chesapeake College. It was incredible, beautiful, breathtaking, and more! I hadn’t ever heard the full 2½ hour oratorio, and the bar was set high for any future performance of it. I am so blessed.