Where agrarian life was common, summer’s end was celebrated with harvest festivals. Even though farming is now the occupation and life style of a fraction of the population, compared with a few hundred years ago, we still feel called to celebrate in some way, the changing of the seasons. A last visit to a theme park, enjoying the warm weather one way or another as it subtly changes.
Ramona and I had been talking for the last year about driving out to the Benedictine Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania and to a shrine down in Carey, Ohio at the Basilica of Our Lady of Constancy. When we both checked the internet for activities we found none at the Monasteries of the Heart, which I thought used to feature its cabins and retreats in their online news letters. Perhaps they’ve changed and now everything seems to be online aside from the huge volume of spiritual books they sell. Instead we decided to go down to the shrine in Carey which Ramona’s uncle used to go to every year and she was always curious about it and wanted to go there.
The wind was very strong and buffeted the car along the highways as we got closer, the air felt cold. The buildings were very beautiful and the stained glass windows and statues, woodwork inside were all lovely. We lit some candles and visited the gift store and headed out of town when Ramona spotted a tavern called Splinters, where we stopped for dinner. Glad to get into the warm dining room we both ended up getting a bowl meal with mashed potatoes, pot roast beef, grilled corn and diced green onions. The waitress had to then tempt us with homemade pie and of course, the foodies succumbed. My choice was blueberry crumb which was served hot with whipped cream topping and Ramona ordered peanut butter pie.
By the time we got back onto highway 71 heading north, darkness had settled in but we were content. We were glad we got the visit in before the weather gets difficult and since it was a long drive, it is not a place we’ll go back to.