Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Little Background

I grew up half Baptist, half Catholic. That's our family joke. We were Baptist and attended a Baptist church. But my parents worked for a Catholic monastery. You know... nuns. Twenty-four of them, to be precise. We lived on the grounds in a house provided by the monastery. In exchange for rent and utilities, my father handled the custodial issues and my mother handled transportation. She drove the nuns to doctors appointments, to the shoe store, and, on the rare occasion that one traveled home to visit family, to the airport. They quickly became my other family, and they doted on me just as if I were a nephew or grandson. Most people will nod and smile when I tell them about it—you've seen it, the I-don't-believe-a-word-you're-saying-but-I'll-go-along-just-in-case-you're-a-psychopath nod—but I assure you that I could not make up anything nearly as entertaining. We moved there when I was about two years old, and I lived there until I got married at twenty-seven. I know, I know, I lived with my parents too long. But even with all the crazy things that happened there during those twenty-five years, I wouldn't trade it. I was exposed to a whole other religion, a whole other culture, and I have some great memories. Most of the folks that visited the monastery on a regular basis were, as you might imagine, of Italian descent. There were the Giaccottos, the Bellacerras, the LaBrascas, and many more I don't remember. A lot of them worked for businesses that donated items to the monastery on a weekly basis. The next post is about us picking up those donations every Saturday and all the beautiful people we were privileged to know.