Two weeks after visiting my father’s mother, we bundled ourselves off to Sparks’ parents as a starting point for visiting my mother’s parents, who are another two hours of driving beyond.
It was the third time I have been down there, but always before the house was stuffed to bursting with visiting family, and Sparks and I were assigned to sleep either at his grandparents’ house or in the back study. As a result, I hadn’t seen the upper storey of his parents’ house.
The front section of the house is the original part of it, and was built in the mid-19th century. An extensive renovation in the early 1970s doubled the size of both levels. It looks like a very little house from the outside, but when you go into it and mount the narrow stairs, you discover that there are no less than four bedrooms and a bathroom up there. Each bedroom contains a double bed. When you count those, the bed in the downstairs study, and the master bedroom, you find that this “little” place actually contains six bedrooms. Sparks suggested that the house was very much like The Burrow from the Harry Potter books, and I had to agree.
Between his parents and my grandparents lies the small town of St. Meinrad, home of the St. Meinrad Archabbey, one of (so the website says) only nine archabbeys in the United States.
Besides the impressive twin-towered cathedral, there are a number of huge stone buildings to house the 100 monks who live at the abbey, and to accomodate the classes, conventions, pilgrims, and businesses that the abbey hosts. I don’t have to tell you that the place looks like Hogwarts, do I?
Look for a little magic in everyday life. Don’t depend on other people to narrate it for you.