It rained on Saturday! It was a glorious, soaking rain that went on for a couple of hours. I took all the inside plants outside to be watered (it does amazing things) and decided – what the heck – Sebastian and I will go for walk. It has been so long since we had an honest to goodness rain it seemed rather a treat to get wet! I was clad in a T-shirt and shorts and no shoes as we went sloshing around the parish. Off in the distance we saw someone else and their dog doing the same thing. I was a little put out that we would have to change directions. “What moron walks his dog in the rain?” I thought – the irony escaping me at the moment.
Instead of going up into the chapel to pray evening prayer I stayed out on the porch to pray listening to His gift of rain as I prayed from the breviary. Fr. Pfeiffer and I were supposed to watch a movie but I suggested that it was the first time in a while that it was actually survivable outside and it was such a great, rainy night that we should go on the loggia.
When my family from Slovenia was in town, they told us that Pfeiffer meant, “one who smokes a pipe” or some such thing in the Slovenian language. So we had gone out and bought Father a pipe and we sat out and smoked a small bowl and listened to the rain. It was wonderfully soothing.
I would like to do a little bragging for a moment. I mentioned above my family from Slovenia. They were in town recently for two weeks and for a spell I got to see this parish, Akron, and northeast Ohio through their eyes. It seems that people from Akron always admit being from here with a little bit of an apology like being at a Browns game and admitting that you live in Pittsburg – with a little wince and hoping those who hear don’t mind. We really do need to get over that however, this is a fantastic place to live.
So I was on the canal path tow trail (part of the fantastic park system that surrounds us) riding bikes with my family from Slovenia through some very interesting, beautiful, and historic areas. We parked our bikes at the Stanford Youth Hostel in Boston and hiked out to Brandywine Falls which were just gorgeous despite our lack of rain. On our way back on the bikes they stopped and asked, “Why is everyone saying hello to us?” “That’s just the Midwest,” I tell them.
My sister and I did some research in order to provide the family with a list of things to do for 14 days. Besides the parks, there are all kinds for free concerts and an incredible amount of fairs, there are ample chances to see theater, go to concerts (we went to Blossom for the Cleveland Orchestra) sports venues, museums, and a giant list of things to see and do.
There was a missionary from India here this weekend and he commented on how lively the faith is here in the United States and in this area in particular. “In much of Europe the faith seems dead in comparison to here,” he said. Another priest visiting from overseas made mention that Americans seem to build our houses “in the woods!” And indeed if you climb the bell tower of Saint Sebastian – except for a couple of sky scrapers punching through it does look as though we are in the woods. The priest from Barcelona mentioned that, “there is just so much space here!” This is a great place to live. The biggest draw backs are that you have to know where to look in order to know what is going on and you must have your own car. Public transportation is not very convenient at all. Every place has its warts and it would be easy to point out all of them out (including the lack of jobs.) But overall, this is one great place to live and worship and I am glad to be a part of it.