Wow! The end of November already! Time certainly has flown by for me. I cannot believe I’ll be traveling to MN in less than four weeks. I definitely have lots to share from the past weeks I’ve left you without updates of my adventures. This is your fair warning that this will be a long post and/or one of two… =)
In November my childcare hours increased, my days and schedule at the (Benedictine) school have changed, I’ve had new projects related to the Barn, and I had many wonderful days of relaxation and reflection. I took one of the St Martin’s House residents along with her 18-month-old daughter trick-or-treating a couple days after Halloween. Many towns rescheduled the town trick-or-treat because of Hurricane Sandy that week. It was Lucy’s first time out on Halloween and she got scared right away by the costumes, but we had a fun time and of course got a little candy.
I had an opportunity to stay at a condo in Ocean City, MD for a couple days. The Sisters were given one week of a timeshare there and Sisters Colleen and Patricia invited me to join them! It was chilly (low 40s) when we were there, but inside we enjoyed the company of one another, shared meals, reading for pleasure, and the presidential election updates. It was a perfectly timed get-away.
The following weekend was a holiday bazaar in Ridgely put on by the joint parishes of Ridgely and Denton (another nearby town). The bazaar has a 5K run and fun walk as well, this year being “Run for the Well of It”—the money raised went toward providing clean, drinkable water for communities in Ghana. Some of the House residents, their children, and I had a great time walking three miles in the crisp, sunny morning. Anthony who’s nine turned it into kind of a competition and ended up speed walking ahead of us, finishing almost ten minutes before the rest of the group! We were very proud of his ambition.
Speaking of the Saint Martin’s House children—oh, so many stories and misadventures I could share! As I mentioned, I have been doing childcare for the House residents (in the evenings when they’re at college classes or meetings) quite often. Just this week I planned to care for Lucy and (Anthony’s four-year- old sister,) Rosie but also had to do transportation for the residents that evening and night. So I set out from the House with the two residents on their way to college night class and Rosie who has to ride along because I’m in charge of her. On our way we pick up Lucy from day care; after singing songs about November and the other months of the year Rosie falls asleep in the backseat. We arrive at the college to drop these two women off and pick up Lucy’s mom who had an afternoon class. Upon returning to SMH (St Martin’s House), Rosie sleepily gets out of the car while I’m waiting for the second she snaps out of it to instantly be wound up for the entire night…
Next we heat up Rosie’s dinner and Lucy’s mother leaves with me Lucy and her own dinner. The two are sitting and eating as I get distracted by the 11- and 12- month olds who want my attention and run around finding drinks and activities to bring with us as I had to leave shortly to be out driving for the rest of the night (again bringing Rosie along). Next thing I know Lucy’s whole plate of food is on the floor, she’s crying about her hotdogs, while a ball bounces and babies continue to crawl and walk through it. Alright, I guess we’ll make a new plate of dinner for Lucy! Oh, and did I mention that somewhere in there Rosie is running around with the second half of her pork chop hanging out of her mouth? Yep. [I wasn’t going to mention it, but some of the Sisters insisted.] Rosie, sit down if you’re going to finish eating and yes, you do need to wear more than a t-shirt, leggings, and sandals when we go outside…
Those were the events of that evening, but really life is never dull! My mom was here visiting for over a week—right before Thanksgiving! She was able to come along with me to my service sites and she survived through hours and days such as these. She really got a super-condensed version of my life here, especially in just the first two or three days of her visit. We stayed very busy and enjoyed our time together doing just what we love: health food stores and a farmers’ market, exercising, the state park and all of nature (there are many more leaves on trees here than in Minnesota), baking gluten- and egg-free goodies, and lots of visiting and catching up. I got to show off how well I know my way around the area, things I’ve discovered, and all I’ve grown to love, especially the community of Benedictine Sisters. It was great to have my mom here!