It was a sweltering 90 degrees at the Abbey today. Of course we have seen warmer, and during most summers, we would regard 90 as nothing special, but it has been a cooler summer, so it feels downright hot and humid today.
Thunderstorms caused some havoc in the area, mainly with the electricity toward the end of the afternoon before Evening Prayer. A storm rolled in rather quickly and there were fierce bolts of lightning. The power flickered several times, then went off completely for a few seconds before turning back on. That happened several times. The monks went to prayer in the Basilica, and the rumbling of thunder rattled the stained glass windows. One phase of the electricity went out when we were chanting the Psalms. The organ temporarily cut out, but the monks kept on singing. At one point a power surge caused the fire alarm to go off. We kept on singing. Two of the monks had to exit choir in order to take care of the alarm and check things out.
I hit the road on my bike today, but my adventure turned out to have an added twist. While descending the first hill on Highway V V, I saw another cyclist on the road. Riding alongside, I said, “Hello,” and he introduced himself as Chris Davis, one of our new seminarians from Manhattan, Kansas. I told Chris that I was planning a 27 mile ride, and he was welcome to join me and I could show him a good route. After talking to him, he said he had wanted to pick up a few items at Wal-Mart in Maryville. So, I told him I would accompany him and show him the way.
Chris and I rode into town together and chatted along the way. It was a lot of fun having another person to bike with, especially someone who could keep up. We stopped at Wal-Mart so that he could pick up a few supplies before heading back. It ended up being a 35 mile trip, but I might have some company cycling in future rides.