and time to pray?

So we have been three days without internet access. Over the weekend, we had booked ourselves into a quiet place outside Bologna–an old villa, in the middle of the countryside, where we could rest, and recoup our energy before tackling the big tourist sites of Venice-Florence-Rome. Great idea, right? and yet, when we arrived, we found ourselves in the middle of a large Italian wedding. Not the simple country celebration–think more the wedding scene from The Godfather. Elaborate. And then there was another . . .and another. .. .and we realized our quiet retreat was a major event venue for Bologna. As the only–repeat only–guests for the weekend that were not affiliated with one or another of the weddings, first communion parties, corporate meeting, etc–we found that every space was filled, every night had music echoing, and since we needed to eat, our dinner was woorked into the catering schedule. No time to reflect when “New York, New York” echoes through your room at 2 a.m.
On the eating front though, the grandchildren ventured away from the pizza/lasagna rotation and ordered steak. The 11 year old girl’s filet was just perfect. And for our 13 year old boy–he thought he would try the T-Bone. “It is one kilo” said the waiter. “Sure” said the boy. We now know exactly how large one kilo of meat is–somewhat over the size of his plate. He dug in with relish, and we are amazed at his ability to finish it. I’m glad his parents, not us, are footing the bill for his food for the next eight years or so!
I think, though, the weekend has shown us what we probably already know and should probably already remember. If we plan for quiet, there may be chaos. If we ask for something, we may get more than we expected. God is always surprising us. It is up too us to accept what is offered. If it is not our expectation, it is yet a gift. Enjoy!

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