I just got back in from an exciting day working with Habitat for Humanity here in St. Louis. I’m technically done with work, but I don’t leave for New Orleans until tomorrow, so I decided to put in a couple of days with them since we didn’t get to build all semester (except spring break in New Orleans, of course). Yesterday the temperature was in the 90’s, and we spent all day hauling lumber, swinging the hammer, and finding other ways to make ourselves sweat even more. I honestly couldn’t drink water fast enough to keep up with what I was losing in sweat. We finished about 3:00, and I came home and crashed for an hour or so before going to SLU for the evening. A little group of my students convinced me to cook dinner for them – black-bean spinach burritos, which is about the only thing I know how to cook, and then we got gelato at a new place that opened up in my neighborhood. Nice.
Anyway, this morning I went back to Habitat (partially dreading it, I admit, because yesterday wiped me out so much) but it ended up being much cooler (more on that in a moment). I ended up spending most of the day lugging windows out of an 18-wheeler, some to the houses, others to a flatbed so we could move them to the Habitat warehouse. We did that through mid-afternoon until the heavens opened up on us, and we would have kept working except that the city alerts came out that there was a tornado alert (warning? watch? whichever one means they have actually spotted a tornado). Then we had to pick up the pace to load the last few palettes of windows onto the flatbed so we could get out of there. The guy driving the Bobcat forklift was in a hurry and ended up driving onto my foot – it was my fault too, because I wasn’t paying attention either, but he certainly got my attention when he rolled onto my foot! Anyway, no big deal; it doesn’t hurt much, but I may have broken a toe. Tomorrow morning I’m headed to New Orleans, with a couple of days to spare before our provincial chapter starts. Quiet stretches like these past few weeks remind me how much I miss home, so I really can’t wait to get back. When I was there at spring break, I felt like I want to take a vacation in my own hometown and just go to restaurants and places that I never go to.
Finally, we just got the good news that we have a young man named Kevin Piper joining our province in the fall as a candidate. He has been in seminary for a couple of years but has discerned that his call is to Brotherhood, so he will be moving to our formation house in Syracuse, NY to finish school and do his candidacy. Hooray to Chris Sweeney, our vocation man and my friend, for all the work he has done to help Kevin with his discernment.