The beginning of hurricane season, June 1, coincided with the tragic stories of tornados in the Midwest. With hurricanes there is forewarning; the local media has emphasized the importance of advance preparation, including evacuation plans. The billion dollar effort to strengthen the levee system ensures that storm surge can still go over the levees, but the levees have been strengthened so they will not give way. There is then a need to be ready to respond to a mandatory evacuation if so instructed. While we live in an area that does not flood we did lose power for several days after Isaac last September and the heat was awful. The height of hurricane season is the beginning of September; the season lasts until November.
On May 30th John attended a professional development day for coaches and schools participating in the Discovery Walk Program sponsored by the School Leadership Center. Approximately 62 schools voluntarily participate in the program aimed at supporting leadership for school academic improvement. There are 15 high schools involved; John coaches four of them. The program has experienced great growth over the last few years.
On Friday, the 31st, John Petrullo flew to Florida for the weekend. Matt Beben was away much of the weekend; it fell to Travis Wain to go with Br. John and purchase a new washing machine for the guest wing. With Travis in charge, the washing machine [he got such a deal—almost half price at Sears] came home in the back of the van and Travis wrestled it onto the first floor. On Sunday, Travis drafted Matt for a brief time and they moved the washer up to the second floor and eventually into the guest wing. Whew!
Monday night, Travis drafted Matt to get the old washing machine downstairs and [having lost Matt to one of his many phone conferences] Travis and Br. John got the new machine into the laundry room where Travis hooked it up. Wow! It is a new type—using much less soap and water. It has no agitator, but seems to do a great job. A few new rules are in order—Travis went over them slowly with Br. John so the latter would understand—including soap in first, because the top locks when you begin it. The machine weighs [!] the clothes and knows how much water to use. And the energy cost is modest. Are we a lucky community, or what?
Because of his travel over the weekend, John Petrullo switched cooking duty with Br. Charles and cooked on Monday night. Dessert was Betty Crocker’s “Mississippi Mud Pie.” While there is no nutritional or socially redeeming value to this dessert it was a moment of jubilation to ALL the ‘chocaholics’ at the table. [Br. John had used some overripe bananas to make banana bread on Sunday and acknowledges that as good as the banana bread was, there is no comparison. None. Betty, you go girl!]
Over the weekend Br. Bob continued his work on the railings for the ramp and porch on the side of the house. It is hot work, but is coming along. Bob is using a special gloss paint that is supposed to last 60 years. He is talking about coming back to check on it. That is a quote.
It was in the high 80’s and very humid today, June 4th. John Petrullo at Lantern Light, Matt at United Saints and Travis Wain with Helping Hands work most of the time in the heat. Br. Charles has AC in the office, but is out and about a good part of the time. One really appreciates air conditioning and at present virtually the entire house at 4219 Constance is air conditioned and thus usable year round.
A Reflection from the poet,Mary Oliver, as the Brothers prepare for Province and Congregation Chapter Meetings looking to the future.
Song of the Builders
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God -
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
from Why I Wake Early (2004)