Taking a break

Every now and again, we all need a respite
Whether it is for an extended three month holiday
a weekend getaway
or a few hours to do nothing…..if we don’t, we can become stagnant, sullen, and overwrought

Last week after a long and extremely stressful summer, the three of us and the canine, took a drive to Galena, Il and had a little fun.

The scenery was gorgeous, weather sunny and balmy, and while it was an inexpensive getaway–was just what we needed to reconnect before Erin goes back to school.

First stop was the New Mellerary Abbey near Dubuque–a cloistered Trappist Monastery known for their beautiful handmade wooden caskets, wonderful jams and jellies, and other wood carved items. Stepping onto the forested acreage nestled  among the rolling hills, my soul felt comforted, my wrinkles faded and for the first time all summer, I felt that I could breathe.

Argyle and I wandered around near the stone walls, hoping to catch a glimpse of a monk or two, but only succeeded in seeing beautiful statuary of Our Lady of Fatima, Stations of the Cross, and the Blessed Mother. That’s OK, I felt their prayers in the silence.

Next stop was Our Lady of Mississippi Abbey to visit the Trappestine sisters–famous for their delectable and creamy caramels. Again, walking along the path to the small chapel, listening to water bubbling from the fountain, birds chirping calmed our souls and minds. And again, the sisters were not physically present to us, but we did catch a glimpse of them praying in the chapel. As with the Abbey, we wandered through the gift shop and placed the money for our purchases in a small ‘honesty’ box.

The immense trust in humanity offered by both the monks and the nuns gave me great hope in a society where rioting, lewding, and all sorts of evil captures the daily headlines. How my heart longs for sweeter, more blessed national and international news.

We visited the usual tourist areas in Galena, enjoyed gluten free pizza, threw a few coins in the slot machines in Dubuque, and came home to new perspectives. The getaway was not filled with lavish dining, expensive waterparks, or river cruises–but it was enough to render our hearts prepared for another year, sending Erin off to school at St. Lawrence.

The whole world is out there for you Erin!

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