Week 2, Day 0

What are the odds, really, of landing at a Latin Mass two weeks in a row, especially if you don’t plan it or even realize that it’s going to happen? Today I stopped in at the Monastery of the Holy Cross for their 10 am Mass. It went much better this week than last week.  There was a gentleman who caught my eye as I came in, handed me two booklets and said “It’ll go much better with these.” And he was right. The mass was a mix of about 50 percent Latin, 50 percent English, 90 percent chanted (only the first and second readings were not chanted – the gospel WAS, though), and I could follow along. I’ll never understand how they decide the Latin and English parts – the intro to the our Father was in English, but the prayer itself was in Latin. Good quality hosts (thicker and firmer than most, with a good texture – who thinks about these things?), too, and they are definitely not shy with the wine. Overall, a great experience. I had half an idea to visit a different church each week I’m here, but this casts some doubt on that.

I’ve included a couple of pictures of one of the handouts I got today (mostly for Alice – click for more detail) . It was printed with today’s date, and there was just the one mass scheduled, so I felt OK bringing it with me (that is a euphemism for stealing, I know). I left the one that was clearly reusable. The brothers have a bed and breakfast in the monastery (hint, hint Mom and Dad).

I set off this afternoon for a farmers’ market up in Logan Square, about an hour away by either bike or public transit. I chose public transit, since two hours of riding was more than I was interested in. I’d have made it sooner if I rode my bike: the fickle hand of CTA fate seemed conspired against me.

Google Maps is indispensable if you take public transit.  It  generally gives you several choices for getting to your destination, with travel time for each. It even factors in walking time, and tells you when to leave. It told me that there were buses I could catch in 14 minutes and in 28 minutes, with a six minute walk to the stop, the first bus was entirely doable. I gathered my stuff (I carry a lot with me in my backpack – a book, glasses, Splashy, who is my camera, an umbrella (which has been magnificent at keeping rain away since I purchased it – it hasn’t rained once while I was out) plastic bags, reading glasses, band aids, gum, napkins and probably a bunch of other stuff. Most of it stays in the pack all the time.

I walked to the stop, only to have that event every transit rider fears happen: the bus passed by about a minute before I got to the stop. No problem, there should be another in about 15 minutes, so I did what I always do, I started walking in the direction I was going, planning to catch the next bus at a later stop. This is how I get to know the neighborhood: four Chinese restaurants, four Mexican restaurants, a bakery, an organic restaurant, a bike shop, a coffee shop and various other businesses. I walked, and walked, and walked. I stopped and got two tamales from a street vendor – she’s there every day, all day selling them (warm) out of picnic coolers. I figured they must be good and safe because lots of people stop and get them and she’d be out of business really quickly if they weren’t. Then I kept walking.

After half an hour, I got to the Orange Line station. I looked at the electronic bus schedule (it tells you when buses are due), and one was due to arrive in 28 minutes. Really? I waited for it to scroll, and saw there was another bus in 18 minutes, but a train in just 8 minutes, so I opted for the train. As I was standing on the train platform, which overlooks the bus stop, I saw the bus I wanted pull away. Needless to say, there were delays on the Blue Line by the time I got there. I did eventually make it to the farmers’ market, but it was closing down. I did manage to score some blueberries, good cheese, fresh bread and lunch, including cucumber limeade, which is yummy.

I plan to bike the the fireworks tomorrow night – there are lighted bike lanes all the way once I get to the end of my quiet street. Maybe I’ll take pics, but I don’t plan to get too close to the madding crowds downtown, so I’ll be a couple of miles away at the beach.

 

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