The last few days have often found me behind the wheel of my car off on various errands and visits to the northern and western reaches of the state.
Thursday I made the drive to Chicago to stop in at The House of Hansen, an ecclesiastical tailor shop. I had a vest in need of new lining and the Bishop asked me to pick up a few items for him, as well.
They had a busy day that day, particularly with telephone orders. After I saw to my tasks I spent a few moments browsing – which is always risky there – and bumped into His Excellency Bishop-elect Alberto Rojas, who will soon be an Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. He was on the formation faculty at Mundelein Seminary when I was there. It was good to see him again. Do you keep him in your prayers.
I also had the good opportunity to visit with my college roommate. Since I had never been to Navy Pier ( despite living in the area for five years) and he hadn’t been in some time, we decided to spend the afternoon there. We ended up on an “extreme” boat ride on Lake Michigan; thankfully it was enjoyable, but too extreme.
When we parted ways I went to visit a classmate of mine who is now the pastor of St. Anne Parish in Lansing, Illinois.
All in all, the errands were run and, despite tremendous traffic because of construction, an enjoyable time was had.
Yesterday I went back to Quincy to celebrate my nephew’s fifth birthday. As it turns out, I seem to have a knack in choosing gifts he enjoys, probably because of my many years working in the toy store.
For Christmas, I bought him a plush Mario, when he clung to instantly. As he gets older, though, his gifts become a bit more a challenge, mostly because his mother doesn’t really care for the all of the fun gifts: drums, dart guns, etc.
I settled on, first of all, a collection of stories of Winnie the Pooh and, secondly and in his eyes firstly, two pull back Mario and Luigi race cars. They were a hit!
I was particularly surprised at how well they work and how much power they have. If you have a young nephew, or a particularly nerdy friend who needs a goofy toy for the office, I recommend them.
Today I will drive to St. Louis to visit a friend from high school who will drop me off at the airport and collect me again upon my return from Hawaii. For the next two weeks I’ll be in the car a lot again, but this time driving around Paradise.