It has been almost a month since my last post and I think that should be indicative of the kind of month we've had! Just after that last post our reign of visitors ended with my friend Tara coming down from Boston. The following weekend Emily went to Baltimore to visit her brothers and run her first road race while Maureen and I welcomed the quiet weekend with wide open arms!
Since that weekend, the entire Team had been anticipating the first of the month... the guests seemed particularly on guard, the numbers were astronomically high, and we were all getting ready for Volunteer Appreciation Day which was to be the following Sunday. That week, for the first time since any of the Team can remember, we had three straight days of numbers over 400... that means that at our evening meal we had over 400 people walk through our doors to eat! None of the cooks were prepared for such hoards of people and none of the staff could have possibly been ready for such chaos to ensue. As crazy as it was, however, it was a time when I could look to my co-workers and know that despite all the insanity, these people had my back in whatever decisions were made. I'm beginning to think that it's not often that people find that kind of comfort and security in their workplace so I am constantly grateful for this incredible blessing!
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening the Team, and anyone who wants to come, goes up to the chapel for evening prayer. It is lead by different Team members each night but is really just a time to relax and unwind from the craziness of the day. When I came to Philly last year with SBA, my trip went to evening prayer but were definitely not mature enough to handle it. I didn't really like it in the beginning of the year either but have really come to appreciate how it is a time when we can all be together in our exhaustion within the presence of God. So last week at evening prayer each person that walked in slumped down in their chair, put their head back and looked completely defeated. It is days like these where you feel like you've gotten beat up... certainly not physically but definitely emotionally.
Luckily after that short stint of craziness, things died back down to normal-ish numbers for the rest of the month (somewhere around 350-375 each night). Last weekend I got to escape the crazy for a bit by going home to visit family and to accompany Marcus (a friend from school) to his senior formal. I had a wonderful time at home, my first time really being "at home" without having to see other friends in the area. The formal was lots of fun!!!
Early Sunday I went to the airport and jumped on a plane to come back to Philly just in time for Volunteer Appreciation Day! We pulled in 5 minutes before mass started and had a beautiful celebration with all those volunteers that make our ministry possible.
This past week, as school is ending for many colleges, our volunteer numbers have been really low. Since we have no groups coming, that leaves the Team to serve and bus the tables. Believe me, it's soooo much fun! In one day, I served and bussed tables and was Maitre'd. The next day I was just a server, and the following day I was on line-up (outside), Maitre'd, and busser... all in one day! As difficult as it may seem to function without volunteers, it's actually kind of fun to be on the floor with all team members. I keep explaining the meal as a big choreographed dance. Each knows their steps and their role and executes it beautifully without much confusion or mess.
As the week ends, I've been blessed with two days off in a row! I am taking advantage of the opportunity to rest and recuperate from the week and gearing up for what is to come! May brings some busy weeks/weekends but I'm really excited for all the coming activity!
God bless you all as Summer comes your way!