Sunday, December 23, 2012

Buon Natale and Mille grazie

This will be my closing blog post. I thought this was the best way to reach my family and friends. I have found out over the last couple of days just how many of you have been following and enjoying this blog of our Roman adventures. Now that I am back home, I want to take this opportunity to:
a) Thank you for sharing this amazing and pretty unbelievable chapter of our lives. It made it all the more fun to know that you were sharing it with us!

b) send our Christmas greetings.
        While in Rome, we visited a myriad of churches and museums which contained works by Carravaggio. He has now become a favorite of Pat and me and so I would like to send you one of his images. It is called "Rest on The Flight Into Egypt" and shows Joseph holding the sheet music for a violin- playing angel, while the donkey rests and Mary and the Babe sleep. The music of the angels unites heaven and earth. I love the idea that Joseph (a most neglected member of the Holy Family) makes the music possible by holding it for the angel to see and this comforts Mary and the Baby on their arduous trip. Of course, this speaks volumes to me as a musician and a believer!
     So I send this to you with our wishes for a most blessed Cristmas and New Year filled with the music of the angels!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I got this today!

WAAAAAAHHHHH!! Pat is still over there and he went back to Assisi this week-end with our friend Rob! Actually, I am glad because they were able to see some of the parts of Assisi that I wasn't able to walk to because of my back.
    Here is what he wrote
"Of course Rob showed me places I had never seen: the cathedral with Clare's house; the square where Francis stripped with 4 high school kids enacting the scene in medieval costumes, Francis' house with his Dad's workshop, Clare's preserved body in the crypt of S. Chiara, and of course San Damiano

It is still the basic medieval Cloister where Chiara and the nuns lived.  Very primitive and lovely.  We went ther for vespers.  The underground chapel was packed with all ages including lots of teenagers.  The singing was incredible!  There is a community of about 20 friars. I think it is the novitiate for Italy.  There were several young friars."

     I am a leetle envious, but I am happy I made it back here for my friend's wake and funeral and to be with my kids and grandkids.
    This is Pat and the creche in front of the Basilica of San Francesco

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

As it is now..... life is pretty "un-blog-worthy"! Nobody really wants to read about my awakening at 5:30 AM, but falling asleep midday because I am still jet lagged.
Nobody cares that I picked up Pat's gasses and went to the bank and had a mani-pedi. The fact that I picked up a new recycle bin in thoroughly unexciting. Planning a wake service and funeral for my dear friend who passed yesterday has taken up a lot of my time that was formerly spent haunting museums and churches. Supremely boring is my unpacking of the box of goodies we sent home and sorting out what will go to whom! The fact that I hate taking out the garbage and recycling is of interest to no one!
      So, after my whirlwind life in Italy - Rome, Florence, Orvieto, Assisi, Bolsena, Viterbo - I am settling into my usual routine of week-end Masses, funerals, weddings, school masses, holy day masses, Advent Evening Prayer and anything else that arises.......and preparing the home and the church for the celebration of the Nativity! It is of little interest to anyone, but I love my life - what God has chosen me to do with my life - and I love being with my family here; I loved seeing my family in Italy.....and I look forward to the return of Il professore!! :-)
water lily in Bolsena
     It may be boring.....but God sees that it is very very good!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jet lagged and freezing, but home

    The last photos taken in the rain and through the windshield of the car, as I was heading for the airport

The ruins of a Roman aqueduct (beyond the cycle -lol!)

My umbrella pines that I like so well!!!                                   
      With the help of some wonderful porters, I was able to get to the right terminal, get my boarding passes and get my luggage checked! Then it was the 10 hour flight, during which I sat next to an aging hippie who is a physics professor at University of Delaware......and who liked to talk......once again, God was good - he gave me sleep and kept my motion sickness at bay!
     When we landed in Philly, we had to get passports stamped (45 minutes in line), pick up our checked luggage (another truly wonderful porter to my rescue), put it through a scanner and re-check it - walk a 1/2 mile to the customs area (another 40 minute wait) then go through security (another 20 minute wait!)
      NOW, I am finally cleared to go to my gate for the next leg of my journey home to Providence from Philly. Of course, my gate is in another terminal - grab my cane, carry-on and purse and board a shuttle which will take me to the F terminal. Upon arriving at the F terminal, I am informed that my gate is about a 1/2 mile away - enter the little electric cart!!!   YAY!!!
      The flight to Providence was uneventful - I was sitting next to a man from Saskatchewan who was traveling to Providence because his son, who is a Ph. D candidate at Brown, had fallen and was suffering a blood clot in the brain. How tragic - he was going to RI hospital right after he got off the plane. I listened to him talk for an hour.....about his son, his unemployment, his life in general..... and promised to pray for his son, Adam.
      My daughter picked me up from the airport and brought me home - I promptly fell asleep as it was getting close to 24 hours of being up!!
I awoke early....I guess.....I am not sure what time I am in.....and began unpacking and will be a long road.......
      My Julie is doing the 4 PM with me and we will begin Advent together - I have rehearsed nothing and we are beginning new acclamations with this liturgical season.......tonight.....hopefully.....the GRANDS!!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

penultimate day....

There have been so many times during this sojourn in Italy when I have felt the Providence of God with us......but NOT today!!  Lol!!
       It was my final Mass at the Lay Center - I had carefully prepared the liturgy and the worship aid and was looking forward to saying good-bye to Donna Orsuto and the lovely people with whom I had prayed for the last 6 weeks. We had said good-bye to Rob on Tuesday at a lovely dinner (GNOCCI BOLOGNESE yum and Pope Gregory the Great wine).

Pat, Linda and Rob

    We were going in later, so I didn't see the need for a taxi, just the buses. As we waited at the bus stop, a light drizzle began. The bus came and we boarded. As it approached our stop, the heavens opened and what seemed like a full blown monsoon began. Umbrellas were turned inside out and were flying everywhere and the rain was coming sideways. Now, we were toting a guitar (which does NOT like to walk in the rain!)
and so picture this; I was huddled in a doorway with my little Leonard da Vinci umbrella and my purse under my arm and the guitar case between my body and the door jamb. I am trying to position the umbrella as to protect my hair (lost cause), my blouse, my purse and the guitar. Pat was frantically looking for a taxi (another lost cause) or the bus. Lol!!
    Well, the bus came and we disembarked at the door of the Lay Center - we still had the long walk up the hill in the rain before we got to the building, but we made it - 2 drowned rats!! Fortunately, the room was over-heated and we dried out. The liturgy was beautiful (as it usually is when there is a small group who really wants to be there!) Fr. O'Neill is a very prayerful celebrant and we bid everyone a fond farewell.

Pat, Linda and Donna
     Graciously, they said I could print my boarding passes which usually take 2 minutes, right? wrong!!!!  There is a glitch in the system (the woman on the other end of the phone tells me) and I can try again later or check in at the airport! (SIGH)
    Checking in at the airport is not my favorite thing to do when everyone there speaks English!! Doing it in Italy seems even less attractive (with lots of baggage in hand). Doing all this abortive fol-de-rol, I missed my ride down the hil to the cab stand and so we trudged the 3/4 mile to the cab stand. My sciatic nerve is not liking any of this (double gabapentin tonight!!)
     We are home now, in dry clothes and shoes and hoping the rain goes away so I can see Christmas lights in Piazza Navona tonight. If not.....there's always next time......

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the final days....

    My Roman adventure is coming to a close - yesterday, at HUGE expense, we got a box mailed to the US with all the goodies we have purchased and collected (every program, ticket, brochure, note etc.) during our stay. We also got word that a dear friend of ours was very near near death and continues to hover between worlds, unwilling to let go. In your kindness, please pray for his peace and safe passing. Last night, we had a "farewell" dinner with Rob (at 8:30 PM!!! Poor guy had to teach until 8:00)
      Today, I am beginning to pack - a monumental job! When the rain lets up, I will visit  a new mercato just around the corner from the flat. I think it's a Christmas mercato and will not be there after Christmas. Tonight, hopefully, we will visit Piazza Navona as it is decorated for Christmas. Normally, I am an "Advent celebrator", but how often will I be able to see Christmas lights and mercatos in Rome?
will report more later.....ciao

Sunday, November 25, 2012


    I am still not out of the woods with whatever crud has invaded my body - still a cough with a low grade fever - am napping daily (which is very unusual for me) and feeling generally crappy. But today was to be my last day to cantor at Caravita, so I HAD to go. As I have written before, this community has meant a lot to Pat & I and Father Jim H. gave us a truly beautiful send -off! I will miss them very much and I feel so blest that they accepted me to minister among them!
     We had lunch at another one of the myriad little restaurants lining the small back streets, went home and took a nap (sigh), called the family and now we are contemplating dinner as we listen to the church bells ring 6:00PM.
      I guess I am getting nostalgic as I prepare to leave - my life will be so different and hardly "blog-worthy" when I get home!
I am posting this because one can never see too many angels!

from S. Paul outside the walls