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finally met

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I had dinner with my Dominican liason this evening. It was very nice. So I finally communicated what I wanted to communicate weeks ago when I asked for a meeting. It probably took all of ten seconds.
With no solicitation on my part, I was given a "book" to read. I look forward to it. I was also challenged to meet my spiritual director's recommendation: spend quiet time in prayer daily. Specifically, the challenge is 15 minutes daily. Not sure I'm accepting the challenge at this time.

well ok, more details...
My liason had been out of town, arriving back only the night before. So the morning of the meeting we hooked up via telephone. My liason suggested meeting me halfway. However, having traveled to the Dominican place to meet with the volunteer rep just last week I knew the traffic pattern. It would be horrible for her to drive in my direction, but no problem for me to drive there.

So I had selected a restaurant near them. She was concerned that it wasn't conducive to a private conversation. I knew that not to be true but because she seemed less than enthused, I started scanning the reviews. A recent review left me a bit concerned about the food. Plus it would be cool to find a place that's new for both of us. I then found another place very nearby. It had a reputation of being rather quaint, a good spot for a date, and a slow pace that allowed you to linger. OK, hold your horses, I wasn't dating; it translated for me that it was a good place for private conversations.

I had a dental appointment that same evening. By rare occurence, the dental office was running late. By the time they finished with me, it was time to run straight off to my meeting. I got to the Dominican place just a few minutes early and picked up my liason. (This is when I was loaned the unsolicited book.)

We got to the restaurant in less than ten minutes, just shortly after six. We were escorted to a back room; and at the time, we were the only two in the room. This place is small; the room had maybe 3 or 4 tables total. A guitarist came in a few minutes later, settled into a back corner and provided the music. As luck would have it, neither one of us were very hungry. I then suggested that we split an entree and my liason agreed. It came with only a small side salad and we split that as well. That is just too cool when you can split a dinner.

Conversation was light and easy. I was filled in on a few of the other people who were considering the order and some of the upcoming related activities. We talked a bit about the volunteering thing, a bit about my journey to the Catholic church, reminisced on my first encounter with this Dominican community and also on some of my past discernment experiences. She asked if I thought there were other obstacles and honestly, the only one I can see right now is my finances. I told her of my intention to finish out the finances within 5 years, provided there are no hiccups along the way. We talked about a variety of stuff, none heavy.

We finished off with her having a cup of coffee and I, a flan cake ... long after the entree was finished. The food was good. By that time, the room had filled with people. She didn't take me up on my offer to split the bill. She did agree to let me take care of the tip. I had to ask her how much to leave because I didn't know the total figure. She finished her second coffee before we left; and I got her back before her bed time. In all, I would guess that we met for two hours.

It seems to me that good things always happen after I meet with the Dominicans. On this occasion, on the drive back I saw a faint rainbow among the dark gray clouds. (Yeah, it had rained just about every day that week). Last week on the way back from meeting with the volunteer rep, I stopped to get dinner for both Yoda and I. Lo and behold, I had exactly the amount of money for dinner, minus the pennies. Two factors: (1) dinner cost more than I expected and (2) I had less money than I thought. What I thought was a $20 bill was only a $10. So after pulling out all that I had, minus the pennies, it was the exact amount I needed.