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There is a lot of excitement as the monks finished choosing which room they will occupy when it is time to move into the newly renovated monastery.  How are the monks choosing rooms?  It is based on seniority.  There were three rounds of room selections. When I mention “rounds” you might equate it with some sort of boxing match or NFL Draft style, but it was less dramatic.  The first round of the “older monks” (or those who entered monastic life earliest) were able to suggest their “top 3” rooms to the Abbot.  Then, the next day a list was posted on the bulletin board showing which monks were occupying which rooms.  The second and third rounds followed in the same way.  But, for those younger monks (like myself), subject to the 3rd and final round, our top choices may have been selected already.  So, we were able to see which rooms were still available and who is staying where.

The great blessing is that each room will now have a sink and some built in storage.  We are all grateful for the little things, and I don’t really think there is a bad room in the house.

Amid all the excitement, I decided to scope the monastery out on Saturday and see how well things were progressing.  July 1 will be here sooner than we realize and it will be time to go through the big move again.

1st FloorIMG_0443 IMG_0444
 Monastic refectoryIMG_0446 IMG_0451
Nice new wood floors!IMG_0452IMG_0453
Above:  New stairwell on the northwest side of the monastery
2nd Floor
Below:  Monk room with new storage closetsIMG_0457 IMG_0463

This is perhaps the most fascinating part of the monastery deconstruction.  On the northeast side of the monastery, looking from the 3rd floor, the old stairs were taken away, so you can see all the way to the ground level.  A new fire-safe stairwell will go in here.IMG_0476 IMG_0477 IMG_0482

Below:  Monastery courtyard with a new sidewalk IMG_0494