On the first Saturday of each month is a meeting of The St. Padre Pio Prayer Group of Cleveland and is always a source of both spiritual strength, but a source of social enjoyment for me.
It is difficult for me to haul myself out of bed at least by six a.m. to be ready to roll out the door by seven-thirty a.m. for the thirty minute drive through wild turkey and meandering deer areas safely. Thankfully there is very little traffic, which makes the drive easier.
I wore a red shirt since this was to be our Christmas gathering. For all the years that my cousin, Maryann has joined me, I did the driving. She drove to my house and I drove from there. Now that she lives much farther away, she stepped coming, so I was pleasantly surprised when she called to say she was coming and that she would drive. To her surprise, she made it in only a half hour since the traffic was so light.
We arrived shortly after the prayer service started and found Diane already seated there, so we joined her. The wind had been very strong for the last couple of days, so I was not surprised when all of the lights went out during the service.
The group director invited us all to file into the meal room for a grand festa, which included sauerkraut and kielbasa, in honor of her late father.
Everything was delicious and, as usual, I wandered around taking pictures to remember the event by. This gives me a chance to say hello to many people and this time there was a lovely lady who reminded me she had been to Poland with us and then I recognized her smiling face, but asked, didn’t she have long hair then and she said yes, but then she had chemo therapy and lost all her hair and this is what grew back. She asked if I remembered a little man she brought along, a vitamin specialist, and I said, happily yes, I remember him from our one week trip to Italy in 2015. I remember that in the family style restaurant where we took most of our meals, she and I were the only ones at our table who ate the mussels. The festa went on until we were ready to take our leave and step out into the blustery day. Looking at the pictures on my computer was almost as much fun as being there.