Tag Archives: vacation

How we deal with storms

Last summer I had four flight cancellations due to weather, which may explain why I wasn’t too upset when my flight from the west to east coast today was delayed three and a half hours. It was still going and it was a direct flight for me, no connections. No worries.

Of course those with connections were no doubt put out as their carefully constructed plans fell apart. I get that.

But I was fresh off a mini break weekend at the Oregon Coast with a friend I have somehow already known for 28+ years. I was renewed, mostly grumpy free, and a bit zen. I had just watched the choppy waves of the storm one day become beautiful shining waters the next day.

The plane ride itself was uneventful, until, that is, we started our descent just as the sun was setting above the skies and the storms brewing below. Breathtaking.

We landed into mid storm, with lightening strikes and tornado warnings. Ground crew were grounded, so it took awhile to get to the gate. But we were safe.

My positive attitude lasted the next hour while we waited for our bags. Remember those storms? Baggage crews were also grounded, not able to go outside and take our bags off the plane.

Bags started finally to come out of the gate and make their run around the circle. Bags from Aruba and Chicago, but none from Portland. Then the bags stopped their ride around the belt, and no new bags appeared. For quite a while. Admittedly, my positive attitude had lost some of its shine by now. But there was bonding with the other passengers. Two of us embarked on fact finding missions. And one or two walkie talkie messages later and magic … bags!

Storms come, and sometimes a grumpy or angry response is warranted and appropriate. But other times going the grumpy annoyed route just makes you grumpier. How we approach the storms of our lives makes a difference it seems.

And of course it always helps to be coming off of a three day weekend of friendship, fun and fabulous walks on the beach.

Restoring Ourselves

When I was a novice, we participated each week in an intercommunity program with novices from other religious communities–men’s and women’s communities across the entire spectrum.  We gathered each week to learn about the various aspects of religious life.  When it came time to learn about the vows, the presenter shared unique perspectives present in the Constitutions of each community. That is when I realized that  the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace “recognize the value of leisure as contributing to restorating and wholeness.”

Now, of course, this is both common sense and good self care.  But we put it in our Constitutions! Not only that, we placed it in the section on the vow of poverty and in the context of work.

In solidarity with our sisters and brothers
we engage in human labor
as a means of service and sustencance.
We recognize the value of leisure
as contributing to restoration and wholeness.
In these ways we come to share
in the creative power of God.

(CSJP Constitution No. 54)

For Apostolic religious women, leisure is not the aim or the goal or the norm, but it is critical, so critical that it enables us to live our vow of poverty and be about the mission of peace with joy, and from a place of wholeness.  I write these words a few days into my annual summer vacation, this year a solo adventure to a spot that’s been on my bucket list for years … Prince Edward Island.

Yesterday when I was driving around a part of the Island where one of our CSJP Sisters was born, this view caught my eye and so I pulled over to take this picture:

PEIWorkLeisure

The perfect juxtaposition of the value of human labor, leisure, and the creative power of God.

Work is the norm, but sometimes we just need to stop and soak in the beauty to remind us that in the end it’s not up to us, but to the creative power of God.  And besides, we all need to stop and take some time to just soak in the sheer beauty and wonder of the world God has created, including us!

My Reading Vacation


This year, I decided to do something I have always dreamed of … I took a reading vacation. Days of rest and renewal, moving around a bit (first the ocean, then the lake) but solitary for the most part. Except of course for those friends who jump off the page and into my imagination.

It has been a wonderful adventure, and has also helped me rediscover reading. Don’t get me wrong, I read some, but not like I used to. But after years of grad school when my brain could not absorb much beyond assigned reading, I turned to easy reads like mysteries on my kindle app. And of course, we are in the era of streaming television services! You know what they say about habits.

But I miss reading real books, and now remember why.

My vacation reading list? I am so out of practice in literary efforts that I am also out of the loop on newish fiction. So I did some research. I looked at recommendations online from Nancy Pearl and the bookstore, and picked up a great audio book at the thrift store for the car as I travelled around.

  • Siracusa by Delia Ephron
  • The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
  • Turner House by Angela Flournoy
  • Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maude Montgomery

I will admit to liking some more than others, but they all held my attention and brought me into their worlds. I only managed half of The Turner House, because I think I left it at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. (By the way if you love books and the ocean google this marvellous place!). But will find another copy!

Island of the Sea was an audiobook read by by S. Epatha Merkerson. Her talent plus Isabel Allende’s words kept me captivated. It paints a picture of slavery in the colonial era in the North of Haiti, close to where our Sisters now minister. Plus it is just a human story, beautifully told.

I was surprised by The Last Days of Night, a historical novel about the fight around the light bulb patent. I know, sounds thrilling. It is by the same author as the Imitation Game and kept me up late at night and woke me up early in the morning, anxious to read.

As for Lucy Maude Montgomery, I am rereading the Anne Series this summer. It is in the public domain and you can download it for free. I am now part way through Anne of the Island, and it is a joy as an adult to rediscover the real Anne as described by Lucy Maude.

I have a few new books I have picked up at thrift stores along the way, but do not anticipate large chunks of time to read in the near future. But I may trade netflx for real books, at least some nights.

Books are such a gift. Saying a special prayer tonight for authors of all kinds!

Begin, tomorrow my vacation will

yodavacationWelcome to the blog!  Feel free to read the archives and stay tuned for future posts after the first of the year.

I am taking a much needed vacation before I begin my new adventures. Hence, I will be off grid and electronic media until later in January.

In the words of my community’s constitutions:

We recognize the value of leisure
as contributing to restoration and wholeness. (Constitution 54)

Or, as Master Yoda might put it:

Away you must go, relaxation you need. Hmmm…?