Happy early Halloween! Tonight Maricia and I went to the Motherhouse for an early Halloween celebration with their older sisters. There were around 90 sisters gathered for the 23rd annual halloween party! Supper was held in a festive hall complete with table decorations and flower arrangements. Many of the sisters were in costume too...bakers, witches, clowns, and even a moose hunter from Alaska! As I sat down to join a group, another sister tapped me on the shoulder--"Will you help carry plates to the table?"--I guess it doesn' t matter where you go sisters will put the youngest to work!
After supper a four part band struck up a lively set of polka music. This group of older gents had quite the combo with a tenor sax, drums, guitar, and an accordian. Suddenly, there were groups of franciscans polka-ing around the room. Some of the sisters wheeled some of the 90 to 100-year-old (and plus) sisters around the dance floor and others danced in their chairs. Then nearly the whole room got up for the chicken dance! I would like to remind you all that this was and is an international order...the sisters from Milwaukee were chicken dancing right along with sisters from Taiwan, China, and Africa. By now I had been asked to help clear tables...no chicken dancing for me. After the chicken dance, small gamming groups started to gather...the hand and foot group in one corner, poker in another, garbage players by the stage, and rummy cube near the door. I can assure you all that these Franciscans know how to enjoy a celebration.
The news that a sister from South Dakota spread through the gathering. Sr. Noreen from Parkston called me over to ask about sisters from the old academy. She remembers Sr. Jane, Radagund, and Leonarda in particular. Our Sr. Mary Kay's "aunt" Sr. Francella called me over to hear what her niece had been up to lately (I reported only good things). They have good memories of our sisters in school. It will be a few weeks before I go again, but they are very welcoming at the Motherhouse.