It Is Finished

Sunday, August 22, 2010
I finally said my goodbyes and left behind my first full-time experience in workistry on Thursday. The boss didn't shake my hand or give me a hug as he said, "Well, see you." The associate pastor was in a meeting, so I didn't say goodbye to him at all. The ladies were much more thoughtful in their goodbyes, giving me some lovely gifts and hugs as I departed.

On Friday, I along with a wonderful team of movers packed up all of my apartment in about 4 hours. On Saturday, we loaded the truck heading for my new city in 2 hours and then drove to the new city within 5 hours. Today, we unloaded the truck, reloaded the truck, then unloaded the truck again (long story) and started assembling my new life. It's starting to feel more like home now, especially since I'm typing to you from my very own computer desk and desktop graciously set up by H.

And so it goes. Tomorrow is the first day of my new workistry. I await new challenges with a little trepidation but a lot of excitement for all that is shiny and new.

Final Sunday

Sunday, August 15, 2010
One of my first thoughts upon regaining consciousness this morning was, "It's my last early Sunday!" Much to my delight, I won't be rising before dark this winter on cold and rainy Sunday mornings to trudge over to open up the church.

I opened up the church, then planned to attend Mass at 8am. Lo and behold, no readers showed up, so I offered to pinch-hit. Unfortunately, the same thing happened at the next Mass and I was very grateful when the pattern was broken at the third Mass -- I don't think I could have sat through Round 3 of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary!

Even though there were lots of people saying goodbyes, I held it together very well today until a young man with Down Syndrome threw his arms around me and said, "I'll miss you so much!" -- after that I got a little teary. Another little girl in my youth group gave me a gift from her family, a beautiful handmade glass moose, and a very touching card. Above all, I'm really going to miss the young people in the parish. They've been wonderful, fun and hilarious, and I will remember them forever, I'm sure.

After work I scooted out and started on the packing and cleaning again. Four days left. Tomorrow: The final chapter of Summer Camp.

Strip Tease

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
This afternoon, after having some keys cut, I went over to the hall to test them. I discovered the custodian cleaning the gym without his shirt on. He explained that, because of the humidity, it was unbearable in there.

At the end of the day, he came by my office and knocked on the door.

"Can I come in?" he asked.

He laughed when I replied, "Okay, but only if you promise to keep your clothes on."

Loose Ends

Sunday, July 25, 2010
I have been tying up a lot of loose ends at work and making sure that as many programs as I can have people to continue them at the parish. Just because I am going, I don't want to see the children go back to having absolutely nothing at the parish. Hence I was delighted today when I got in touch with a possible volunteer coordinator and she agreed to come in - immediately! - and find out what she needed to do to run one of the programs. This is one of our largest and oldest programs at about 45 years and still running, so I am relieved that someone has finally agreed to take over. It was the one worrying me the most. The other smaller programs I created now have great volunteers to run them, and I hope that before I go, I can find someone to do a simple task - altar server coordinating, which shouldn't be too time consuming. I am going to ask one of the senior high school girls who still serves for us.

I came home from work this afternoon and started some cleaning up for the move. I have two giant garbage bags of clothes, some of them virtually new, to go to Goodwill, and I got rid of some broken things that I have had hanging around but haven't had the guts to throw out yet. The next step is to see what things are residing in my locker in the building; I'll tackle that when boyfriend is down to help me load the useful things into his car.

On a totally unrelated note, if you've got some spare time on your hands, I've been reading a fantastic book. It was last year's Giller Prize winner and I haven't been able to put it down: The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre.

Nearing the End

Monday, July 19, 2010
I have been away for a while on a vacation to visit a lovely part of our continent. The views were incredible:

This gave me a good opportunity to evaluate various circumstances that began to emerge in the past month and shortly before I left on my trip, I notified my boss and a few close friends that I was resigning my position at my workistry.

I came back today and started to inform the parishioners as well. The kids took it fairly well though they were obviously very surprised. I don't imagine it will be an easy few weeks as I bid farewell to so many good people.

So ... big changes. What this means for the blog is that it has run its course, and I will let it rest in peace once I complete my few remaining weeks at my workistry. In the meantime, I would ask you for your prayers as I plunge into this new phase of my life and thank you for your support!


Sunday, June 27, 2010
The boss was commenting that there are flags from all over the world being represented on cars in our city, but he hadn't seen a Canadian one. I explained that's because our soccer team sucks and that the others represented teams playing in the World Cup.

He replied that he would like to get one Vatican flag and one Canadian flag. He meant for the church, but I pictured him with the flags on his car driving around and honking to support "the team".

A Typical Workistry Moment

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The cook relayed a story from earlier to me, when she mentioned she wondered why she had discovered scratches "on one arm only" to the secretary.

The secretary replied, "You only scratch there when you're lonely?"

The cook tried again, emphasizing, "One arm only."

The secretary responded again, "You shouldn't do that when you're lonely. You should try eating or something else."

The cook got very close to her and enunciated loudly, "ONE ARM ONLY!"

The secretary laughed as she finally got it, but not before the cook added in her usual blunt way, "I scratch other things besides my arm when I'm lonely!"

Oh my.

Field Trip

Sunday, June 13, 2010
I took the youth group on a field trip this afternoon to play laser tag.

I declined to play myself, preferring instead to sit with the pile of sweaters and bags the kids left at the door, all the while checking the score of the Germany-Australia game on my cell phone.

Some of the kids wondered why I didn't want to play. I responded, "I'm actually a professional laser tag player, and I'm currently the national champion, so it's best that I don't play with amateurs and besides, if I did, I would take every single one of you down."

They looked at me, mouths open, and didn't bug me about it again. :)

Four of them surprised me with a bouquet of flowers and a thank you card at the end of the meeting; I was really surprised and touched by their kindness.

Interesting Couple of Days

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
It has been an interesting couple of days in the old workistry.

We had a collection container for the youth ministry programming stolen right from the secretary's desk this week. The thief stole the plastic collection container, ripped it open, threw the pennies on the ground and kept the rest. I had told the boss we shouldn't put it there but he refused to listen to me, so my group has now been victimized twice in the past two months.

Today was my birthday. The caretaker was the first to come in, give me a big hug and say, "You're the only one who is nice to me." Aww. I was surprised by a huge arrangement of roses and a balloon from my beau, and the cook cut a couple of roses from the garden and put them on my desk.

I made cupcakes for a lunch we were supposed to have - I felt like a grade 1 student bringing cupcakes to my birthday party! The boss, however, ruined the lunch by failing to take his scheduled day off, so I put the cupcakes in the kitchen for the others to enjoy. When I went to get one after my lunch break, he asked me, "What are you doing for your birthday?" I said I had already celebrated on the weekend with my family, so I had no plans for the evening, but, I added, "I'll take a cupcake, though." He said, "Oh, go ahead," like he was giving me permission, and I pointed out, "I made them, so yes, I will, thanks!" He apologized, thinking the cook had made them. Oh well.

Later in the day, a visiting priest tried to take a resident priest's bedroom when he arrived for a week-long stay. The poor cleaner was ready to pull out her hair.

At the end of the day the cook and I laughed as we noticed the homophobic priest coming in with a huge rainbow umbrella.

And that's just a small glimpse of why it has been an interesting couple of days...


Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The pastor left a shopping list with one item on it for the cook to procure for him:

"Oak meal".

The cook told him that the grocery store didn't carry it and he was out of luck.

(Head shake)
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