Sorry it took me so long to get back to this saga, but I got home Friday afternoon very tired and facing another week of travel. So I "laid back" Friday night and Saturday.
I got to Milwaukee as scheduled on Thursday and faced a minor snow event. We received an inch or so over night with a thin layer of ice underneath. So much for Spring!!! :-)
Upon reflection, in spite of the grounded planes and lack of control on my schedule--and, oh yes, I forgot to mention that the main zipper on my brand new piece of luggage malfunctioned and the bag developed a six-inch tear in the fabric--the trip was a good experience. The situations I faced introduced me to some wonderful people and I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with two of the men thinking about joining our community. While I completely missed an opportunity to meat the third man, I am hoping to pick up the pieces with him at a late date.
God is good and Jesus is Risen. Those are the significant realities of the week and of my life. Schedules, plans, duffel bags, etc. are minor occurrences along the way.
Tuesday I am off to Benet Lake, WI for a meeting of formation personnel from three Franciscan provinces. The Directors of Vocations, Postulants, Novices and the Temporary Professed along with the Prefects of Formation from Saint John the Baptist, Sacred Heart and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary provinces will have our annual meeting to discuss collaboration in the formation of the men joining our communities.
I had admittedly scheduled an adventuresome itinerary for myself this week. The plans were that I would leave Cincinnati on Tuesday and fly to Corpus Christi, TX via Houston to do an interview with a prospective. Then on Wednesday the plans were to fly to Nashville, TN via Houston and Atlanta. Thursday I would fly to Milwaukee via Atlanta and then return directly to Cincinnati on Friday.
Tuesday was a GREAT day and I had a very pleasant meal and interview that evening. Wednesday the trips to Houston and Atlanta were very pleasant--I even got booted up to first class on one of the flights. At 5:00 p.m. we began boarding the flight to Nashville and were about half way through the process when the captain announced that there would be a slight delay. It seems that the FAA had decided to do a service check on all MD88s in the country. Earlier they had basically shut down American Airlines who had to cancel 200 flights. Now it was Delta's turn.
We all deplaned and stood around for our short delay. The Delta personnel did a great job of keeping us informed of our progress for three and a half hours. After many announcements the one we were all hoping to avoid came: "Flight 1868 with service to Nashville has been canceled." It was now going on 9:00 p.m. and I had neither a car nor a motel room reserved, and neither had hundreds of others in the airport because ours was not the only flight canceled.
I actually found a car and a motel room relatively quickly but had to pay a good price for both. I called Delta who had automatically rescheduled me to Nashville this morning which made no sense since my interview was scheduled for last night and today I have to move on to Milwaukee--which, by the way, is expecting snow today! Both Delta and the motel in Nashville canceled my reservations at no cost.
So the Lord took good care of me--as he always does. I'm out a few bucks and I missed an interview, but I am safe and had a good night's sleep.
Stay tuned for the next leg of the trip. :-)
A Blessed and Happy Easter from the Friars and Postulants of Saint Anthony Friary.
The March 2008 Come and See weekend came to a successful close in spite of the weather and necessary adaptations. Three men participated in the weekend:
Greg Ostdiek, 38, was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. Presently he is in Port Aransas, Texas serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy. Greg has completed 12 years in the service. He has two brothers; one older and his twin who is a few minutes younger.
Kevin Janke, 38, comes from Milwaukee, WI. Kevin is presently serving as a Security Guard at Harley Davidson. He has also worked a a Saute Chef. He was in the United States Air Force for four years and one year in the United States Army Reserves. He has one brother and one sister.
Ryan Carens, 20, was born in Centralia, Illinois and presently lives in Clarkesville, Tennessee. He was recently discharged from the United States Army. He is a Certified Nurse Assistant and is presently serving in local hospitals and nursing homes as needed. Ryan has an older brother and two older sister.
Seldom are winter weather forecast accurate in the Cincinnati area, but the major snow storm predicted for yesterday and today truly happened--and is still happening! I took a picture out the front door of chapel with Roger Lopez walking in the driveway.
I got these two pictures standing at the side door of the friary. (Notice that in neither case did I venture very far from the warm and dry of the indoors. :-))
Three men did manage to arrive here yesterday afternoon to begin a Come and See weekend. While we are having to adapt the schedule because of the weather, we are having a good weekend. (I'll have pictures of the guys and more on the weekend tomorrow.)
No, I haven't died or run away from home. I have just been very busy with both Vocation Office work and helping to plan our provincial meeting that is coming up in May. (More about that in the weeks to come.)
This weekend we hope to host three men of a Come and See weekend but the weather does not look like it will be very cooperative. We are expecting a big snow here in Cincinnati. But, often when big snows are predicted we get little or nothing. Let's hope that is true this time.
Please say a prayer or two for safe travel for the men planning to attend this weekend and for their discernment.