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Occasionally we get a prompt from Joan Chittister or Mary Lou Kownacki on the Monasteries of the Heart site. For July we were to write 10 sentences or thoughts about things we are homesick for. Our group meets on Wednesdays and after our book discussion, we shared some of what we wrote. Here is mine:


for the nights when I’d slide down the side of the bunk bed so that I could sleep with Sis.

for the 10 Sisters… The Fuentes Nieves girls and the realization Mom belonged to them more than she belonged to us. I miss them all so…

for snowball fights and walking single file to school in deep snow.. the oldest first in line, making a path.

for the stained glass dome at the old church

for rolling down the hill at the botanical gardens, pitching pennies in the pond there

for summers trips to parks.. riding the roller coaster, the bigger they were, the more we screamed… and fun houses… more screams.

for Abuelo’s farm near the rain forest… first taste of fresh milk, the rooster who never stopped crowing.

for warm sandy beaches, ‘refresco de coco’ and the colors of Old San Juan

for delightful surprises that came with the house on the hill … hundreds of berry bushes … and candles on the bridge…

for showers of cherry blossoms …. the garden left behind…

for church bells that called us home

for church bells that call us home

for church bells that call us

When I was a child there were several churches in the neighborhood and at certain hours of the day one or more of the bells would ring. The bells were my ‘clock’, particularly in summer. I would wake to bells ringing, knew when it was time for prayers, time to go home for lunch… and so on. No matter what I was doing, I’d stop and listen. Many years later the sound of a bell ringing still causes me to stop whatever I’m doing, even if just for a moment. It helps me to not rush along trying to cram in one more thing into my day and to stop, pray, breathe.


Visited some favorite websites today and noticed there haven’t been recent updates. It occurred to me that they are probably doing the same thing I am … too busy savoring summer to work on blog updates.

A lot of my time is being spent with grandchildren. Along with sleeping in, swimming, camp and just being kids, they are tending the garden right along with me. Jessica has been given her own space and she made a sign for it. I asked her what she thought were the most important things to make a garden grow and she put her answers on the back of her sign.

This summer is one of many firsts. The first full summer in our new home and so the first garden attempts here. Also the first time we’ve had a grandchild living with us. Interesting because this happened after we moved to a much smaller home.

Another first is the beginning of a Monasteries Of The Heart community. Our group meets weekly at Mount Saviour Monastery. This isn’t about this particular monastery, it is a group some refer to as a ‘monastery without walls’ for people who want to live a more meaningful life. Using the Rule of Saint Benedict as a guide, we are exploring subjects such as Prayer, Silence, Hospitality and much more. During our meetings we share readings, poems, personal writings, books, etc. It is a good thing! Photo shows our meeting room at the monastery.
A family member suffered an injury recently requiring family members to take turns staying with them since they are unable to care for themselves. While there on one of the visits I took this photo of Seneca Lake from the deck.

And this photo… just because… I’ve yet to establish proper garden beds but here and there things are blooming. I’d transplanted some clematis vines from the old house to this one, they are growing but there isn’t much in the way of blooms this year. The one in the photo was one I found here last fall while pulling weeds around a shrub. I recognized the leaves on the tiny vine as those of clematis. I added compost and mulch to that area and added a trellis to prevent people from cutting through the shrubs and trampling the tiny vine. To my surprise two different vines grew this spring, the larger of the two grew up the trellis and around a post.. has large leaves and the flowers shown. The other vine is shorter but bushier and covering the trellis.. just starting to form buds.. an autumn bloomer I think. Just like the children, plants flourish with a little TLC.

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