Sunday, December 8, 2013
Week Ending 7 diciembre
Here's my contribution to the linkup that Wanda hosts over at her blog, Reinventing Mother, for
Let me start by saying that it's been literally freezing cold here all week (unusual for this area). Every day has been colder than the day before.
The weekend started on Friday night with dinner at the home of a couple whom we have been close to for over 40 years. Both of them are artists: he is a world-renowned sculptor of birds, and she is a painter (I featured one of her paintings in my recent blog post here). There has been much rejoicing in that family because their younger daughter and her husband and sons have moved up and now live in the old homestead (just like our younger son and his family), while the parents live in a cottage they built on the same property (just like us!). We had a great time hanging out with them - it's such a gift to be with long-time friends!
On Saturday we went into town to pick up a couple of things and go to the Christmas Fair at the Presbyterian church. Our two oldest granddaughters had a booth there selling things made by young women rescued from the sex trade in Africa and India. The women are taught how to make these bags and jewelry as a way of earning money and supporting the ministry where they have found a safe haven. All the money my granddaughters made went to support this ministry.
The name of the ministry is Hope's Gate and you can find out more about it here.
The wind was bitingly cold so we scooted on home and sat in front of the fire for awhile before heading across the road to visit with a couple who are our "spiritual parents". Then we went to vigil mass, where we met the new priest. He's a Discalced Carmelite from the Philippines, and he speaks fluent English and Spanish, which is necessary in this parish. Of course, it's WAAAY too cold to wear sandals around here, so he was wearing the same kind of heavy shoes that everyone else wears (I just had to check that out as soon as he entered the sanctuary!) For those of you who don't know, "discalced" means "unshod" - this particular monastic order was distinguished from the main Carmelite order in that the monks and nuns didn't wear shoes.
The reason that we went to vigil mass on Saturday was so we could join the rest of our family at their Baptist church on Sunday. We have known many of the people in this congregation for decades, and we always get a very warm welcome whenever we show up - even though they know that we're now Catholic. Today they had communion - this is a rare occasion for them, and in fact in 20 years we've never been there when they served communion before. After the service the Pirate took the pastor - an old friend of ours - aside and explained why we didn't partake and we had a good conversation about the philosophies behind closed and open communion.
One of the great traditions of this congregation is that they all have lunch together after the service. They actually built a huge kitchen/dining room right at the back of the sanctuary for the purpose! It has been a strong factor in building close relationships in this little country church.
Sunday evening was our second granddaughter's 16th birthday party. It was held in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian church in town, where the youth group (high school and college-age kids from several churches) holds its meetings. Everyone from the youth group was there, plus a bunch of parents and grandparents. Most of the time was spent in dancing - to "Cotton-Eye Joe" and other fun tunes (we were taught the steps to them - they were all line dances), and at the end there was a long bout of square dancing (the simple type, in a double line, like many of us learned in elementary school). What fun!
It's so heartening to see the innocence of youth still being nurtured and honored in rural communities!
Now it's a matter of packing up the truck with all our goodies and heading south of the border…we expect to get to the border by Wednesday and home by Saturday.