I'm sitting in a McDonald's, drinking a diet Coke (with lemon!), across the street from the Coyle Theater. From all appearances, the town--nestled in the Monongahelia River Valley south of Pittsburgh, just off I-70, a few miles before it becomes the dreaded Pennsylvania Turnpike--has seen better days, and the theater looks the same.
Vacation officially began as I pulled away from the rectory at St. Mary Parish around 8:30 am, after taking the 7 am Mass. This was my first stop (not counting the McD's drive-through in Piqua for coffee and a biscuit). I was rushing around the last two days, tying up the loosest ends and getting my gear together. As I drove the tedious section of I-70 through Ohio, I thought of the things I forgot, as I usually do: a hat and a small cooler. Oh well.
Where am I headed, you ask? Ah, well, let's say I'm headed somewhere east of here. I plan to see some sights, see some family and friends, and spend a few days on the beach. I brought along plenty to read and I'm more grateful than you can imagine that my parochial vicar, the retired priest, and the staff all have things well in hand. If they can't handle it, I wouldn't be able to, either!