Again, it has been a while since I’ve written. A lot has happened since then.

At the beginning of October, I had the chance to go home (to Rolla) for a weekend and enjoy the Oktoberfest in Rolla. I saw several friends and was able to be in my family’s photos for the new parish directory. It was wonderful to get to see my family and friends and to hear a wonderful homily from Fr. Mike Murphy (I always enjoy his homilies).

Other than that, October has flown by. I can’t believe we’re in the third week of it. Last weekend, one of my dear friends from Echo, Annie, came to visit. She grew up in Indy and her family still lives here, so she invited us over to her home. We had kabobs (which were a great idea, it’s been forever since I’ve done that) and spent a lot of time talking and solving all the problems of the world. Haha. Really, though, the conversations we had were thought provoking and I have been contemplating them since.

That same night, my community helped clean up from the Elizabella Ball, hosted by the St. Elizabeth Coleman Center (our landlords), which is similar to the PRC in Rolla. It was fun to be there. It was a really nice event, as beautiful as a debutante ball. I would love to decorate for something like that (in my next life as a wedding planner, maybe). It was my first time really going to downtown Indy and at one point, I sort of forgot I wasn’t in Dallas. It made me so homesick! I guess it’s a good thing I’ll be going home to Dallas next week (!). At any rate, we got a lot of wine out of the deal, because they gave us all the bottles that were on the tables and didn’t get emptied. While I’m a little leery of drinking someone else’s leftover wine, it’s good, we’re poor, and frankly, it was a really snazzy event so it’s not like there’s something wrong with it.

Yesterday was our Fall Day of Reflection, which was for me a much-needed break. I’ve been struggling a lot lately (hence, I haven’t written) and I think that the reflection helped me to put things into perspective. A lot of things have been flying at me lately, like questions about the future and whether or not I’m really in the right place. Every day, I love my work at Butler and yet, every day I also grieve the fact that I’m not studying Greek anymore. While I know I am learning a lot and greatly benefiting from my class in Christianity in Africa, it is hardly an academic class and I yearn for a little more real exercise for my brain (I have taken to reading The Education of Henry Adams to myself out loud, imitating Dr. Susan Hanssen’s voice in order to keep thinking academically… and besides, it’s funny). Things are getting better, though. I’m enjoying the latest article we were assigned, for one. And the day of reflection allowed my community and I to come together and really talk, which was good. I’m relieved to (for the first time in a long time) be in a living situation where there is, at least a good part of the time, harmony. I’m still nervous about a few things, but I at least have good friends walking beside me.

At any rate, the day of reflection was fun and we did a lot of things, including making icons of ourselves (a practice which feels questionable, but I think it was beneficial). Which reminds me, last week as our community activity, we made a coat of arms for each of us. We each drew one large object in the center that we felt was important to us. We then passed it to the next person, who drew a background image for us. The next person made an image for behind the shield, like the knight on the Willy coat of arms (Amy drew a crochet hook on mine). The last person wrote the motto. Patrick then took all of ours and made a coat of arms for the community. I love them!

Here is a picture of my icon:

Trees are a very important part of my life, particularly in my prayer. The quill, ink, and parchment symbolize not only my gift with calligraphy, but also that God gave me the gift of being able to write and also that journaling is part of my prayer life. The three books symbolize my three loves: theology (red), philology (blue), and pedagogy (green). The elvish letters are my initials in elvish, primarily because I don't like the Greek letter for the "w" sound (the digamma) and so I can't use Greek. Note to self: Marry someone with a last name that can be symbolized by a greek letter. 

Here is a picture of my coat of arms:

I drew the quill and ink. Pat drew the tree (thanks Pat, you know how important trees are to me). Amy drew the crochet hooks. Joe, who is my Star Trek buddy, made my day when he wrote "Earl Grey, Hot" as my motto (oh, Jean Luc Picard!). 

Here is our coat of arms for the community:

The top left is Patrick, the top right is me. Bottom left is Amy, bottom right is Joe. Our patrons for our community are the Holy Family, so that's why our motto is "Holy Family, pray for us." I think this image really symbolizes a lot about us. It captures who we are while still showing our sense of humor (as in the bacon behind Amy's part of the shield... yeah, that was me). 

At any rate, the last two weeks have been a time of discovery. One interesting tidbit: the city of Indianapolis, in spite of their “go green initiative” does not actually recycle cardboard. For those of you who know me best, you know that this means war. Also, I have discovered that peanut butter tastes really good in smoothies. I have discovered that even though I’m a hippie and love nature, I’m not enough of a hippie to convert to all-natural face wash (and as soon as the Aubrey Organics bottles are empty, I’m going back to Clinique, baby). I am, however, enough of a hippie to read through the entire recycle Indy website (hence the cardboard discovery) in order to properly separate our recyclables (says the girl who once brought home a bag full of plastic bottles from academic camp because the campus we were on didn’t recycle… take that, William Woods!).

I am continuing to discern many things, including my future, and so I ask that you pray for me. This weekend, I will spend the weeked at the Woods for the Mother Guerin fest and then next week I leave on Wednesday for Dallas. I can’t wait! It will go by far too quickly, I’m sure, but it will be nice to be home for a short while. But then, it will be nice to be back at the Manor until Thanksgiving. I can’t believe how fast this year is going.