Friday, July 19, 2013

Fun Visits

I lack internet in my travels and I have not yet been able to get to a store that cells travel phones or SIM chips. I think at this point I’ll do without. I can see the list of emails growing in my queue, but I can’t respond to them because when I get access to the Internet, it is late at night and I have no strength to reply to even one. I’m still on Jordanian body clock time, which is a seven hour difference.

I was disappointed that when I went to the dentist in Maine (yes, I know I need to get a dentist who is closer), I did not get to see my sister or her family. I was hoping to see them and they received my messages saying that I will be at Tim Horton’s in Scarborough for much of the day. I know none of them were able to make it, but I was disappointed because I would have liked to see them. Also, Robin, another friend was supposed to come at 3 p.m. I know she often doesn’t arrive on time, but I decided to leave at 3:30 p.m. and we missed our chance to connect.

I do like the emails I receive when people ask, “When are you going to be in Maine?” to which I reply “Thursdays, at Tim Horton’s in Scarborough across from Enterprise Park near Scarborough Downs.” They reply, “Fine. Where can I meet you on Friday or Saturday? I’ll come to wherever you are.”

In my visits, I find that I simply have to say that I am going to a particular place and ask people to come see me there. Otherwise, I’d be driving around until kingdom come, racking up miles, expending a great deal of time and energy, and getting frustrated because time is limited. People are so good in wanting to plan a meal for me. It really is quite nice, but I’ll explode if I take in all those requests, but the real issue is time and wear and tear. The personalized invitations are heart-warming, but when traveling as I am, very impractical. It is so much healthier to suggest a central location and let people drop by.

I had two fun chance encounters. When I traveled to St. Joseph’s Abbey to visit a monk spiritual directee, I ran into a Jesuit who used to be a community member. He was on a silent retreat, and we were not expecting to see each other. He has been supportive in his prayers because he knows overseas ministry can be challenging. He was in Burma for a couple of years and he knows the joys and pitfalls of being a missionary. It was great to see Brian again. He just moved from the Rochester-Buffalo area in New York to Philadelphia.

I also ran into a friend of the Jesuits of Jordan, Beth. I stopped at her place on Kittery Point and we had a glass of lemonade before I went to a cookout in Rockport. We caught up on our mutual friends, but even though we just met, we have many points of contact. It was great fun to place a face with a name. She laughed when she heard by car coming up the Point.

I had a lovely cookout with friends in Rockport. I miss them as I miss so many people. The cookout was great fun, but I knew I would not get to spend as much time individually with people as I hoped. The food was very good, the company was enjoyable, and the news updates were consoling. I will not stop praying for my friends even though I’m have a world away.

I was exhausted and ready to travel back to Worcester when Ruth said I ought to stay with her and Mel for the night. It made sense, but I first had to go to Gloucester, Eastern Point to pick up a package that was awaiting me. I ran into a Jesuit scholastic who is doing a summer program at the retreat house and he filled me in with the good and happy details about his life. However, he told me Sr. Maddy fell and broke her legs and needed surgery, while Joe contracted shingles, and this Brent was having tonsillectomy on Monday. The retreat house needs prayers.

It was a stroke of genius to stay in Beverly for the night because it reduces my travel a great deal. I have a doctor’s appointment on the North Shore later in the day, so I’ll run my errands and take care of some of my projects.

I’m grateful for so much care.

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