Here is the usual schedule for my days, give or take some extra hours at the food pantry or late program at the Children’s Home.

I wake up around 8 or so (lately I have avoided drinking coffee the night before otherwise I really struggle with snooze in the morning, and sometimes “8” really means “9:30”) and lie there and think about the ridiculous dream I just had, like trying to hold a lot of sloshing water in my hands. Remembering them is incredibly hard. Usually I forget them in about ten seconds, but if I’m lucky, I’ll quickly pin point major themes and lock them in my memory, to tell the nuns later. They get a kick out of my crazy dreams and I’ve had a lot of them since moving to MN. Sister Loretta saves me coffee in the morning.

In the morning I blare mewithoutYou as I get ready. I fall in love with them all over again. Today I especially got into “C Minor”. Brilliant!

Open wide my door, my door, my Lord // To whatever makes me love You more

If I don’t have work to go to, I’ll make my way across the street to the Volunteer House and share breakfast with the other three guy volunteers. Otherwise Sister Clara and I talk about whatever is in the St. Cloud Times over shredded wheat. I bike to work, just a handful of blocks away, passed Schmidt Park with their playground and community garden, passed all the groggy college students from State leaving their apartments. I stow my bike in the back of the chapel at the Children’s Home, right next to the bust of a Catholic bishop. Lately I am reading up on a lot (a lot) of orientation material, going to the different cottages and meeting all the groups of children, and this week I’m doing a ton of training for CPR, first-aid, being a spiritual advocate (??), crisis prevention, etc. Fridays I get to clean house, spend time in the gardens, catch up on work or whatever. Already my favorite day! This past Friday I spent it outside picking cherry tomatoes and zucchinis.

I come home around six and prepare a meal with either the Sisters or the guys. Mondays we have dinner all together, reflection and discussion, so on. Those are my favorite nights, when we talk about what God is doing in our lives. After dinner a few nights a week we all gather for ceremonial prayer, and I’ve come to really like it. I love chatting with the Sisters, watching Wheel of Fortune, playing Rummikub, discussing politics and Jesus and just catching up on the back patio. Weekends are a toss up. Usually Sunday is our day of complete rest after Mass or church in the morning, but Saturdays we’ve biked to nearby parks, explored downtown, gone cliff-diving at a nearby quarry, or just hung out together at home. I had my first beer a few nights ago. The guys got a kick out of that! Or you know, we’ll decide to try a low ropes course for team building in the back woods:

Tightrope

Tightrope

We were supposed to all cross the “ravine” with no man left behind. We totally ate it up. Look at our skillz!

One of my favorite things to do is bike around town. The weather is great right now and I want to take advantage, plus it’s a nice exercise. And the way the nuns have been feeding us… things don’t look good. What will we do in the winter when they feed us copious amounts of casserole and it’s too cold outside to bike? We’re all trying not to think about it.

Listening to: Sufjan Stevens, Happy Birthday

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