July 24, 2011

From Chutes and Ladders to Notre Dame University Basilica





     “Will you play a game with me?”

     Hmmm. It was eight in the morning. My four year old grandson was leaving soon for preschool, and my husband Monte and I were leaving Cleveland Heights to head for South Bend, Indiana, a stop enroute to our final destination, Libertyville/Evanston, Illinois.

     We chose to add an extra day to our trip so we could see our son, his wife, and the two grandchildren. Immediately on our arrival I found myself on the losing end of a game of air hockey, being outdone by a six year old. Later I played Candy Land with the four year old, and an electronic golf-like game (on television) with the six year old. I also threatened them that their granddad and I would move all out stuff into their spare bedroom and move into their house—which really only threatened our son. All in all, it was a good evening.

     The four year old wandered into our room after we opened the door the next morning. We had a slight wrestling match before heading downstairs to the kitchen. It wasn’t long before we were spread out on the living room floor, engrossed in a game of Chutes and Ladders.


     It was over all too soon, as Monte and I climbed in our car and began our journey and he continued his family routine.

     That’s how our day started. It ended at the opposite end of the spectrum, on the Notre Dame University Campus.

     After a leisurely day of travel, with beautiful weather—sun, blue skies—we arrived at Notre Dame’s Basilica. Monte often “attends” its Sunday morning services via Internet, and wanted to see the structure first hand. We both reverently strolled through, knowing we were short on time. I, of course, had my camera, and was attempting to snap photos of the elaborate Basilica interior. We were the only ones there. I walked to the front, noting the elaborate décor along the way. I snapped pictures of the architecture, the stained glass windows, the statuary…overviews of the Basilica as well as close-ups. I was very relaxed, experiencing the Basilica’s peace and beauty.   




     Almost immediately, a cleric entered from the front and sat down in a pew.

     I noticed him but didn’t think much about it. Monte came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered in my ear.

     “I think we’d better leave now,” he said.

     We’d only just arrived.

     “I noticed a sign that said the Basilica closes at seven o’clock.”

     It was already after the turning-into-a-pumpkin time. Why, I wondered, were we just arriving at locations at (or near) their closing time?

     We left, walking across the Notre Dame campus at sunset. Before we left I was able to take pictures of a mural of Jesus at the end of one building.

My son-in-law Michael and my daughter Sandy had challenged me not to return to Pennsylvania unless I had done so. Mission accomplished.

     The day ended, sandwiched between the elementary and the basic, both profound experiences. Not many days offer this ying-yang experience. It makes for a great twenty-four hours.



Chicago’s Cloud Gate: a.k.a. “The Bean”

Have Visions. Dream dreams.

Mayflies & Blisterflies: Summer Pests


1 Comment »

  1. It gives you a great sense of the cycle of life. You have to learn at each step. Your grandson is learning the progression on Cutes and Ladders, so that maybe someday he will be attending Notre Dame. The beauty you see through your grandson eyes is just as emotional as seeing the murals. Thank you for sharing this glorious day you experienced.

    Comment by June — July 24, 2011 @ 8:13 am | Reply

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