Sunday, July 4
After masses were done, all the SCJ priests and our seminarian gathered in Lower Brule for our monthly time of meeting, fellowship, prayer and food. The discussion at the meeting was lively and continued through supper. We have a good and committed group here trying to fulfill the mission of our community in South Dakota.
We live at the western edge of the Central Time zone, so it’s not dark enough here for fireworks until after 10.
Chamberlain/ Oacoma always puts on a good show, and our house sits high atop a hill for a good view from our back yard without having to go anywhere. The drawback of the yard is that it’s been so wet here this year we have a bumper crop of mosquitoes, so inside was better for viewing.
I watched the first few explosions to get a flavor of the holiday, then crashed into bed because that was late enough for me to stay up.
Monday, July 5
Today was the business holiday on campus. Almost all our staff had the day off, so campus was very quiet. When I went to check on the summer home, I found out even they were gone for an outing.
I stopped by the school gym to try my had at free throws. So much of my shooting power comes from the legs, and at first, I shot like the NBA centers who get intentionally fouled because they can’t hit anything. It took me many tries even to get myself back to a 50/50 rate.
While I feel sharp mentally, physically I have a long way back. This morning, I tried some simple yoga I’ve done for years and found even that painful.
But, whether I rest or exercise, my foot still hurts, so I may as well go and exercise!
Tuesday, July 6
A couple from Portland, Oregon, who has been giving to the school many years, stopped by for the first time today.
They’d been to Mt. Rushmore and figured the extra 200 miles was worth it to see what they’ve been a part of. I answered their questions as best I could and showed them one of the homes where the students live.
They were grateful and satisfied and headed back west toward the sunset. I’m always grateful, too, for our wide and varied array of donors who make St. Joseph’s possible.
Heavy rains, some hail and tornado warnings filled our afternoon and evening.
Because we’re redoing the chapel roof, we had some water seeping through and had to get out the buckets to catch where it was leaking. That’s one of the calculated risks of redoing a roof, but the years have taken their toll and it needed doing. We expect the new roof to be lots more energy efficient and last for many years when it’s all done.
Wednesday, July 7
I tackled the hill today!
From our house to the office is just 2/10 of a mile, and the hill has a pretty steep grade in parts. I used to walk it all the time, but since surgery, I’ve had to drive.
Tonight after supper, I needed something from the office and decided to give it a try on foot. Down and back would normally take 10 minutes, but today it took me a half hour.
I huffed and puffed climbing back up, and I’m sore in places that are not where the nerves are hurting. But, it was a good feeling as I try to get back to tackling bigger hills and more important issues.
As people on campus and in town ask how I’m doing, I wish I could say “better every day,” but I’m stuck in the position of feeling about the same every day.
When the doctors told me 6 – 12 weeks of recovery, I optimistically believed I could whip it in six, but as that time nears, I know it’s going to take longer and have to deal with that disappointment.
But, I need to not forget to ask people how and what they are doing and listen with care and empathy.