45 days until departure. As much as my two housemates would rather not talk about it, for me it's a lot easier to prepare to leave my life here if it's not sprung upon me. I've been forcing them to talk about it for months but now that the time is actually getting to be a lot closer, it's getting easier to push the thoughts aside and really try to live in the moment. Either way, we have a very busy 6 weeks ahead of us and are making every effort to spend time together.
Summer has finally hit here in Philadelphia. We had a heat wave with 5 straight days over 95 degrees. Now I recognize that all you up in New England have experienced such heat but this heat among many people who cannot shower and who seem to be on edge even when it's a beautiful day just makes for a nutty couple of days. I've recently decided to embrace the sweat because there's no use trying to avoid it and that complaining about the heat is futile. These dang Franciscans have this idea that simplicity is the best way to go... FYI, air conditioners are NOT simple.
Just after my last post, I had two friends from school come down to visit. Marcus was my co-leader last year here in Philadelphia for Spring Break Alternative and Mike was on my SBA trip to Lawrence, MA 4 years ago. It was absolutely wonderful to have some friends from home down here to visit and to share in my ministry. I know I've said it a hundred times but I really can't express how much I appreciate when friends and family come down to share in my ministry!
Just after Marcus and Mike left I went to Atlantic City with Jamie, one of the women on the Team, and Joanne. We stayed 2 nights at Harrah's!!! Indoor pool, beautiful boardwalk, two delicious buffets, and a big flat panel tv in our room? Recipe for fun and relaxation!!! It was really nice to get away and relax although I've decided that I do not like gambling, especially when I lose money. But overall, it was a great time!
Just after Atlantic City, I went to 6 Flags in New Jersey with Beckah, my sister-in-law and her co-workers! It was a really fun day away and then she came back to Philly with me to work the meal on Sunday! It was incredible to have her come down... the next and last family member due down here is my illustrious brother. Hopefully he'll make it down before I venture back to NH.
I'm not sure if I mentioned in the last post that we had an intern here for a month from Florida, Will. Well, he was a great addition to our community, as he just fell into place. We spent a lot of time with him and we miss him as he returned to Florida to take classes and stuff.
So with all this fun, you're probably asking yourself if I ever work. Well, if you asked Fr. Michael, he would probably say no but we've actually been pretty busy around here. We had another meal of 485 the last Sunday of May but were really cranking out lots of food by the end of the month! Our efforts to be more vigilant about getting people off our street have been mostly ineffective but at least it's been relatively quiet around here. I might regret saying that later tonight when I'm trying to get to sleep but all will be well.
One of our "favorite" guests, Gary, has turned crazy. Legitimately crazy. He has been off his psych meds lately and has become particularly volatile especially within the past couple of weeks. He's usually pretty even-tempered and mild, just one of those odd ghost-like presences around here, but lately simple things have been setting him off into crazy threatening rages where he pulls whatever sharp metal object is nearby on whomever seems to cross his path. Scissors have been pulled on Fr. Michael, Judy, and Karen and just last night I saw him with a barbecue fork. Now to paint the picture a bit, Gary is homeless and sleeps on our steps here so he has absolutely no need for a barbecue fork, except to harm us or others. So in an effort to get the crazy man off our steps we called the Mobile Mental Health Unit to come examine him with the hopes of taking him away. Of course when they examined him, he did not show any signs of his true nature and they told us that he was fine. So needless to say, our friend Gary is still sleeping outside but he is indefinitely banned from the Inn until he can get treatment for his issues.
Apart from that, things are going really well! The Team is going on another retreat Thursday-Saturday so we'll be left to hold down the fort until they return and next weekend is the annual Block Party!!! I'm really excited about it and can't wait to see how it goes down! We are in the midst of planning a 6 Flags trip for some of the families that come to the Inn. I can't wait to spend the day with the kiddos at such a fun place!
Well, I guess that's all for now. I've written a lot and have to get some lunch! I hope all is well with you! Take care and God bless!