Monday, August 22, 2011

Vee and DS' Excellent Adventure

Day Two


DS had to work this day so I spent the morning relaxing and recovering from the trauma of the previous day. :P At lunch she, along with her co worker, picked me up with and we went for Mexican food. It being Friday and me being Catholic I had the spinach enchilada plate. DS is some kind of heretic and had green chicken enchiladas. Heretic. Then again I do think she claimed that it, being the feast of St Mary Magdalene, freed her to eat as she wanted and was NOT a heretic. I liked the restaurant and enjoyed the company. They then dropped me off, went back to work, and I went back to relaxing.

In the evening we met up with one of DS' brothers and a few nephews and nieces (a nice bunch, I dont know how DS ended up being related to them :P) to go watch Captain America. He's cute. End of review lol. Oh before the movie we stopped at Eskimo Hut (why they dont call it "Igloo" I'll never know) to get margaritas which we smuggled into the theatre. Drive through booze vendors like that amuse me because such a magnificent invention doenst exist in my lame country. After the movie we grabbed some crazy bread from a pizza shop, and made my first visit to Walmart Texas. Whats so great about that? Its Texas, they have beer, unlike my Walmart, and the staff are friendly. We then prayed the Rosary and called it a night because tomorrow we were headed to Carmel.

DS: After my work day was done, i went to the hotel to pick up vee and take her to "The Eskimo Hut." Its a place that sells sammiches, soups and cocktails...through a drive thru. Now, they put you on an "honour" system, where you won't touch the alcholic beverage until you reach your destination. Yeah. Right.

After loading up on margaritas, we placed them inside my back pack and went to the movie, Captain America. (Yes, I'm 14 years old.) If the theatre workers knew i smuggled that stuff in, i'd be banned for life. The movie was ur typical Marvel Comics Super hero tripe. But man o man, was Chris Evans drop dead gorgeous in that film! Heck, when is Chris Evans NOT drop dead gorgeous???

In between handfuls of popcorn and swigs of margarita, I looked over at Vee to make sure such American patriotism wasn't wearing her out. Its too bad there is no such thing as Captain Canada, but then he would probably be wimpy and effeminate. hahahahahahhaahhaha

After the movie, we grabbed a bite to eat and called it a nite. Tomorrow was to bring us face to face with a Carmelite Nun. (the horror...)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DS and Vee's Excellent Adventure

Part I
DS' perspective of the first day:
Vee arrived in Texas on a hot Thursday afternoon. I think it was in the 100's. Not exactly the kind of temps she's used to. I was parking my car in the short-term when I received a text... "Where are you, I'm scared"
Scared cos this was the first time she was meeting me in person. I was scared too. We had grown to know one another through the website Phatmass, and we think we are friends... we think we would get along in real life... now here she was: to spend time, drink beer and travel with me in the span of 17 days!!! What if we HATED each other??
It was too late for that...

Vee's perspective:
Waitaminit! Why is this titled DS and VEEs excellent adventure and not VEE and DS' ??? <_<

I left Canada as the sun was rising on a clear summer morning. The Texas summer had the familiar heat but lacked the humidity Id lived with overseas so I liked it. A short lay-over where I would spot a Dominican Sister would prove to be a precursor of things to come. (Things meaning Id see waaaaaay too many OPs on this trip.) I landed in Texas 30 mins late but I would find out that DS was 30 mins late too. I waited for my checked bag while looking around, where was she? I got a text saying she was at the curbside pick up, so with luggage in hand and my heart in my throat I walked out the airport doors. I called DS, she told me she can see me and I finally spotted her across the road semi hiding beside a pillar. <_< Looks like I wasnt the only chicken. I crossed the road, set down my bags, and the voice and words were no longer a pixel.

DS: My first impression of Vee was... well, she is a bit taller than me... in fact, my neck would eventually suffer from the constant strain of having to look up to talk to her. Also, she was much darker than me. I think she should be the darker one in our header...

Vee: After having verified, that we each were in fact the person we meant to find we headed off on our first adventure. Finding our way out of the parking lot!

DS: It isn't my fault that the airport's short-term garage only has one path out! I'm sorry for driving us around in there for 20 mins, though. You would think I knew my way out of that airport! I've only been there dozens of times!!

I was 30 mins late because I had blown out a tire on the way to the airport. So, Vee's first stop in Texas was an exciting Discount Tire Shoppe. What a way to start a vacation!

VEE: Shoppe? You British now?

After getting her new wheel we headed into DS' home town looking to pray the Rosary and attend Mass. We went to the first chapel she had in mind but had to leave during the first decade because someone else came in to pray and we were laughing too hard and couldnt stop. Parish number two had a couple of people praying but we knelt in the back and I stifled my laughs in my arms so it probably looked like I was crying. I dont know what was so funny but we did finish our first Rosary together. We then went to another parish that had evening Mass yay! There I would see someone who hasnt left me alone for two years and probably thinks its funny. Can you spot her? The cage looking thing on the left is the crying room.

By this time we were ready for some drinks and food.

DS: yup, go to Mass and then the bar afterwards!

Vee: At the pub I would experience my first of many ID checks to verify that I am in fact waaaay over the legal drinking age.

DS: It got annoying after awhile. Okay, i'm just jealous cos I wasn't even carded when I was illegal!!!

Vee: The beer and food were excellent (yum Shiner!) although the company left something to be desired :P Im joking. DS was great company and I was relieved that, as far as day one went, we got along. Pictured is a pint of Guinness and a bigger Shiner Blonde.

DS: I had the Woodchuck Amber Cider, which had a fruity sweet aftertaste. It was very yummy. I ended when an amaretto sour, which took the sweetness of the beer from my tastebuds and raised it a notch. Despite its name, its not sour at all. I also introduced Vee to this bar's famous hamburger, which is one of the best hamburgers in the whole wide world. The bun has a honey taste to it, so, along with the ground beef patty makes for an interesting combination...

Over all, the first day of our adventure was not disappointing at all. It started with a tire blow out, and a delayed flight, but over all ended on a very positive note.

I found myself feeling like I've known this person all my life! And I looked forward to what tomorrow would bring. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Little Things With Great Love

VEE: For the past several days Ive been helping my mom move and it has been especially trying because she doesnt like moving and is in a bad mood. Good thing she doesnt know about this blog! :P Yesterday in the midst of the final load (we still have to unpack, oh joy) I started to understand more what St Therese meant when she said to do little things with great love. Here I was in the midst of unavoidable and seemingly unpleasant work yet through the grace of God I realized what He sees is my heart. He wants me to first focus on Him then to do whatever job out of love for Him, or as the Jesuits put it, for the greater glory of God. It deosnt matter what task I or anyone else is doing, from sweeping the floor to open heart surgery, if one doesnt have that love of God there. Its so easy to get distracted and carried away in the work and not even think of such things and thats why Therese's little way is so hard. At least for me.

At the same time some people may have trouble because they think they have to consciously be thinking "ok Im doing this with great love, Im doing this with great love" and if they dont think that then whatever task didnt count to God and thats not the case. God is not an accountant! A simple morning offering with the intention to love and please God is enough. He understands if we forget, mess up etc during the day and He isnt going to smite us for not loving Him enough with each task. It is by His grace and love that we are able to do anything good or pleasing to Him anyway. Alone I cannot write even this. Alone I am wretchedness and sinfulness but with God because He loved me first He gives me the ability to not offend Him but rather please Him.
DS: I have just the "little" love to perform this exercise. I feel like I need God more and more to show me how to love. One of the questions I first asked when I began my discernment into religious life was, "God, how does one as small as me, love One as great as you? And really really love, not just with mere words?" I believe now that God is showing me how to love by placing in my path people to love. The love of neighbor is intrisically and profoundly bound to the love we have for the Almighty God. At the same time, St. Terese's "little way" cannot be done as perfectly as when you have another to share your "little way" with. I am grateful to God for those he has put into my life to love and cherish. I feel if I can love my family and friends, I am definitely learning every day how to love God.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Feast of St Teresa Benedicta

VEE:  Yay Edith Stein!!!!!  What stands out to me about her right now is how she had to wait TEN YEARS to enter Carmel.  TEN.  If my memory serves me correctly she didnt convert until she was around thirty years old, therefor entering Carmel around age forty.  Most popular Carmelite saints entered and died very young but Edith gives comfort to people in their thirties like me.  As pope Benedict said recently in his address for the world day of prayer for vocations "The Lord does not fail to call people at every stage of life to share in his mission and to serve the Church in the ordained ministry and in the consecrated life." source 

For more about her life I like this video (27 mins long) presented by Fr Charles Conner, who may be recognized from EWTN.  Sorry I cant get it to embed so here is the link. click