It was a pure joy hosting the Beane Family for a couple days last week. In a sense, having them as house guests is like hosting family. Master Leo even calls me Uncle Latif. Ruth regrets having to miss their visit because of her librarians' conference in Saint Louis, though she was able, thankfully, to see the Beanes at Holy Hill on Monday, along with the others whom we were blessed to see from out of town.
All in all, last week went by much too quickly. I was blessed to get four days in a row off work (which I'm kind of making up for now), so that I got to enjoy most of the week undisturbed by thoughts of the hotel. The first half of the week was devoted to the Third Annual Retreat of the Society of Saint Polycarp, which took place out at Holy Hill, a monastery north of the city. (Incidentally, I am reminded of the opinion Lutheran bureaucrats hold of me, that I would be "more at home in a Benedictine monastery than in a Lutheran seminary;" to be sure, Holy Hill is a Discalced Carmelite community, not Benedictine, yet I did feel at home there.) After the retreat wrapped up on Wednesday, I had the honor of hosting Father Larry, Madame Beane (or Miss Grace, as some say), and young Leo for two and a half days at my place in Riverwest. For any not familiar with Milwaukee, Riverwest is one of those far west suburbs. Just joking; it is about as "East Side" as you can get, except that it is the neighborhood on the west bank of the Milwaukee River. If anything, it is more diverse than even the UWM environs. So with the little time we had together, I gave the Beanes a tiny taste of Milwaukee culture, as much as time, and a night auditor's salary, could afford. One of the real spiritual blessings of the week was to celebrate Mass together five days in a row, Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday at Holy Hill, and Thursday & Friday at Saint Stephen's. Much more to say, surely, but this will suffice for now (my brain is not exactly in top performance condition at this point in the graveyard shift).
Thank you, Fr. Beane, for blessing my week in so many ways, not least being that you allowed me the honor and pleasure of hosting you and your dear family in my home.
By the way, there was a plentitude of pictures taken, many of which are worth viewing. Only, they were not taken by me, so I must direct you elsewhere. In fact, they seem to be already up at the Beane's Flickr site. So do check them out. The good looking guy in the beret is my friend Leo.