Reflections & House Chronicles

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House Chronicles

Upsides and Downsides

Baby, it’s cold outside! Those three ladies in the basement, Billie Jo, Betty Jo and Bobbie Jo, have been working hard this week. As soon as the snow flakes stopped falling last Friday, the temperatures started falling. By Monday, the high temperature was 1. Tuesday morning dawned in the teens...

We Welcome All

Saturday morning, in the midst of breakfast on a silent retreat, our lovable, gregarious, differently-abled dishwasher, Myron, walked into the dining room and shouted, “Good morning! Merry Christmas!” to our guests. The men on silent retreat, rather than being upset or irritated by the intrusion...

Friends Near and Far

Many people seem to believe that St. Anthony’s draws retreatants only from the central Wisconsin area. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Wednesday, a group of more than 40 arrived from St. Paul for a four-day retreat. This is one of several of our regular hosted groups who venture...

What Goes Up . . .

. . . must come down. That’s the law of gravity. It is also the law of Christmas decorations. Wednesday was the day to take down the tree and put the Christmas decorations away for another year. Both Jackies, Kim, Adele, Marge, Sr. Barb, Candy and Terri pitched in to remove the ornaments and...

Unexpected Changes

“Next week we will be back on a regular schedule.” Or not. Jackie K. jinxed it last week when she proclaimed this week would be returning to a regular five day work week for the first time in a while. That lasted one day. Weather forecasters predicted a wintery mix of sleet and freezing rain for...

Lights in the Darkness

We have seen and heard much about darkness and light lately. Christmas lights inside and out pierced the darkness of December. Last week we marked the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. We just finished the season of Advent and are still in the midst of...

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the houseOnly the residents were stirring, and maybe a mouse;The boilers were humming, the weather was cold,Everyone hoping the power lines would hold. Tracy, Candy and Marge were all snug in their rooms,The staff had all left to return to their...

Blessings of the Season

Tuesday was our team Christmas pot luck luncheon. There was no shortage of foods to choose from. Appetizers included smoked fish, herring, beer cheese dip with pretzel chips, cheese & sausage, and Rolo pretzel treats. The main course was baked ham, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, and...

Stillness

December is always quiet around here, but it seems particularly quiet this year. The nine inches of snow that fell in November has melted into the earth, and we have only the fresh dusting of the past few days to remind us it is December. Except for a brief flurry of activity on Saturday, there is...

Christmas Spirit

Now that Advent has begun and December is just over the horizon, it was time for our team to get to work on tree trimming and decorating. Wednesday was designated as the day, so Tuesday JustBob and his Three Wise Guys, Dennis, Butch and Tom, brought one tree in the house and set up in the front...

Reflections

At Brother Andre’s Door

When I was nearing the close of my RCIA instruction in 2015, Father Slowiak asked me if there was a particular Saint I thought I could "walk with" as I began this new life as a Catholic. I think he may have said "walk with" intentionally, still having protestant ears I might have misunderstood...

Enjoy the Ride!

What an interesting time of year. New Year’s and the Christmas season have come and gone. St. Valentine’s Day is weeks away. The gray winter trudges on. But we know spring is on its way. Really! We know that the seasons continue to change; it is familiar and expected. Don’t we often wish all...

Longing to Belong

The feeling or sense of belonging has changed and taken on a deeper meaning in my life today, compared to my younger days. For most of my life I had seen things mostly in negative terms. Everything was serious, heavy, awful. I did not allow myself to get too close to people in general. As a child,...

It’s Okay

It’s okay to make mistakes.It’s okay to be wrong.It’s okay to ageand it’s okay to get old. It’s okay to have wrinkles and thinning hair,dark circles under your eyes and sagging skin.It’s okay to have a heart that beats irregular sometimes,bones that creak and muscles that ache. It’s okay to...

Christmas Snow

The afternoon sun faded early across the little park outside my home. At the far end, shadows falling from bare trees deepened. The cold grew as the sun departed, making the lines of the trees seem even more harsh. Barren dark trees stood out against white banks of snow saying goodbye to the day....

Why Might It Be Difficult to Keep New Year’s Resolutions?

It is a tradition that with the end of the year, we make resolutions. It is common not to keep these resolutions. We might be serious at first but soon our commitment wanes and we go back to our old ways. Why might that be? It seems that completing another calendar year is quite an accomplishment...

Connected As One

Sunshine seemed to follow Grandmom Otti wherever she went. I thought she was born of royalty. She trimmed her Christmas tree with bright ornaments and real candles brought over from her home country. At nineteen years old grandmom migrated to the U.S. from Germany. Eventually she met my...

Darkness and Light

As many times as I have been through the change of seasons, the whole process still fascinates me. The shifting hours of darkness and light. The change in the weather. The mystery of the journey of our one small planet in all the universe around the sun. December, in my imagination, seems like a...

The Great Love

“Ubi caritas et amor, deus ibi est.”-- 8th Century “Love abounds in all, from the depths exaltedand excelling over every star.Loving tenderness abounds for all,from the darkest to the most eminent one beyond the stars.”--Antiphon of the Holy Spirit/Divine Love by St. Hildegard Caritas Abundat...

Full of Grace

Many Christian communities around the world annually observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. It is designated a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics. In 1854 Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception as an infallible dogma of the Church. This feast can mistakenly...

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