Roma: First thoughts, aka the wonder of a room with a view…

Well, it actually happened, surprising those skeptics among us. It required a monumental push, including some triage-like decisions at the end. We were determined to not miss the plane, as has happened before. At the final hour, our house finally looked empty enough to leave, and our various pieces of luggage each managed to meet the 50 pound weight limit.

Our first stop was South Bend, where we off-loaded much of our kitchen’s pantry on to Claire. We said goodbye to John and then drove on to O’Hare.  It was surprisingly difficult to say goodbye. Our flight was ovenight to Copenhagen and then on to Rome. Our travels occurred without a hitch, unless you count our sleepless night and the absence of complimentary water on the second flight. Diggy and Sr. Angela perfectly coordinated our pickup at FCO, including loading our massive amount of luggage into an Italian-sized station-wagon, similar to a Subaru Outback.

The photos are taken of what will be our home for the next two months during our stay in Rome. We are situated in the VOICA house on the grounds of the Canossian convent, about a 20 minute walk west of St Peter’s.  An added blessing is that the property is next to a huge park that Rory ran in this morning. 

We jumped right into formation on Monday with a moving visit, indeed a commencement, at St. Peter’s. We had time for a short nap and then on to what will become a weekly soup kitchen stint at the Roma Caritas, near the Termini. A standout feature of the evening was the bus ride there and back. Bus 64, which handles the route between St.Peter’s and the Termini, included the following: wedging room only, with new passengers to take on at every stop, and no AC. We were glad to hit the fresh air, I can tell you. At the soup kitchen, I did bread and Rory handed out fruit and parmesan. It would have been nice to talk with the nearly 400 people who showed up, as there were many comments in Italian (including compliments to Rory, ravishing in her hairnet and plastic apron.)

All in all, God is good and we are having a wonderful beginning to this adventure. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. (posted by David)

Rory here.  And now for a little Italian flavor regarding events! Life is very good, more than good here in Rome.  To wake up to an immediate visit to St. Peter’s on Monday morning and to end at a soup kitchen with three hours of standing behind the fruit (I learned the Italian for plums, peaches and apples and that the spot I took normally was the salt station which lead to much consternation by its absence and much gesticulation on my part to say that we were out, fini, kaput, nothing), was much more than I could possibly have imagined.  Needless to say, having not recovered yet from jet lag, we were exhausted.  But it was all good.  Our second day (can that be possible?) we have made the walk to the local markets and food stores that will become essential to our daily lives here.  We share food expenses, cooking, cleanup and household chores with two lovely American women, Katie and Megan, and the lay leader, Diggy, who has many and fascinating stories to tell of her life of faith. We have also had our first real formation meeting, including a beneficial airing of views (younger women care about night life in ways that old people do not).  Enough for now.  Please write and pray for us!

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8 Responses to Roma: First thoughts, aka the wonder of a room with a view…

  1. Gayle Somers says:

    David and Rory,
    Sorry to be so out of touch as your extreme retirement unfolds, but Gary’s mom has been in very poor health for the last 6 weeks and is now in hospice care. That has absorbed all our time and emotion. But we are staying up with your adventures and are keeping you in our prayers. At some point, we’ll come up for air and will be more clued in. The photos are so wonderful, bringing back many of our memories of Rome. What an exciting new journey in your lives!

  2. Barb Strong says:

    YAHOO! You made it. I was praying that your trip would be seamless and you would be met quickly. Sounds like you are already having exciting adventures (I can see you using your hands to “explain” about the salt, Rory). Can’t wait to hear more.

  3. Janet says:

    I am vicariously living xtremeretirement! (That was the right name to choose!). Prayers coming your way!

  4. Linda & Neil Slagle says:

    Thank you for sharing pictures of your son’s wedding…everyone looked handsome and beautiful! And compliments to Rory for looking so “ravishing” as Dave put it… while distributing fruits “of labor” (sleep deprivation) 🙂 You are both in our prayers daily and will continue to be always with much love from the Slagle family! We look forward to future communications with you and sharing your adventures.

  5. Bruce says:

    Great to see that you made it safely adn in one piece. Great opportunity to soak in all the wonders around you for a while. Looks like a great place to call home for a couple of months and get one’s bearings.

  6. Tom and Mary Beth Valli says:

    Glad to hear you’re getting your bearings re: jet lag, Italian language, packed buses and all! Have some espresso!
    How wonderful to be so near St. Peter’s and the lovely Italian people. I was surprised at so many in need at the soup kitchen. Will pray for guidance during your formation.
    Rory, so grateful for our recent conversation. God bless you both!

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