Sunday I took off for parts east, being rather cryptic with everyone where I was headed. In fact, I was headed to D.C., planning to surprise the Piqua Catholic 8th graders during their trip to the nation's capital. Indeed, they were surprised when I walked up to them at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, to join them on their tour. One of the teachers asked me if I could offer Mass for the group, and I happily went off to set that up, joining the children for part of the tour around the shrine. We had Mass in one of the larger side chapels--we had about 50 total folks, including the teachers and parent-chaperones. Then the kids just that fast had to board the bus for the next stop; their itinerary was pretty tight. But it was fun seeing their looks of surprise and wonderful being with them.
I arrived in D.C. on Monday evening, having stopped in West Virginia on the way; the trip straight through isn't that difficult, but as I left Piqua on Sunday afternoon, I didn't want to arrive in D.C. after midnight. Monday night I got to see some friends over Vietnamese food and beer. Tuesday night, I had dinner with some friends, including my godson, and his younger brothers and sisters.
But another surprise--well, not exactly a surprise, but a twist; a funeral back home that I took a chance wouldn't happen until the end of the week. In fact, it was scheduled for Wednesday morning, and I decided that I would regret missing it more than I would regret making the trip. So, after a nice dinner--no wine or beer!--I drove back from northern Virginia on Tuesday evening, arriving home around 5:30 am. After a bit of sleep, I was at the funeral, then spent yesterday afternoon in a semi-vegetative state. A good night's sleep and I'm back to good energy.
Insofar as they weren't expecting me in the office today, I decided to leave it as planned.