Having packed the night before I got up early, made some last minute packing changes, kissed Nancy, and got on the road by 7ish. The trip was long but satellite radio and G.K. Chesterton in the IPod were good companions. I finally arrived at the Abbey at about 2:30 PM.
The Abby is in the middle of nowhere and is very Spartan. I poked around the greeting center (closed on Mondays!) and ran into Brother Stephen on his bicycle. Brother Stephen is an older man with a pleasant personality. He asked me If I was a priest. I told him I was a pastor. He playfully asked me what the difference was. I said, "You tell me!"
He showed me the lay of the land and I found my way to my room. I am staying in a little retreat house w/4 rooms, a common bathroom, kitchen, and living rooms. A single wall unit cools the whole house. My room has a single bed, chair, desk, and small chest of drawers. Simple but clean.
Supper consisted of PB&J or cheese sandwiches, salad, and fruit – all self serve. Again, very simple (do I detect a theme?). I went to Vespers and Compline and fumbled my way through the services. The monks chant nearly everything, except the scripture reading. Very beautiful grounds and a river which borders the back of the property. More later!