At Sunday evening recreation conversation turned toward the subject of clutter. Yes, in every monastery there is at least one pack-rat! Our community pack-rat takes our teasing and admonishing with a great sense of humor. For some reason, she most graciously declines our offer to help her clean up her piles!
There are those in the community who love to clean out and Friday morning (when Ed goes to the dumps) is their favorite day of the week. They have developed tactics worthy of General Patton on how to get rid of stuff without a Sister who can't bear to throw anything out see and reclaim what's slated for the dumps!
Sister Mary Elizabeth
Sr. Mary Elizabeth then recounted a humorous story from when she was bursar and in charge of the Procure. The Procure is a room in the basement that could be described as a cross between a yard sale and SPAGS 19 . (Only our readers from MA know what SPAGS is!) While a cabinet might have boxes of extra socks, underwear and slippers, another shelf will have fans, heaters, light bulbs, old window shades (good for something!) and an old towel rack. Not uncommon is a sign taped to an article that says, "Broken. Can it be fixed?" Or, "SAVE FOR PARTS".
You get the idea, right? Well, Sr. Mary Elizabeth told us that once she was doing a periodically clean out of the Procure. She came upon an electric clock. Does it work? No. Wait, maybe it does. She stared at it, shook it and turned it upside down. Hey, it works if you turn the clock upside down! Well, that's not much good. In a box the clock goes.
Not long after, Sister walked into what we call "the Little Community Room". It's a room off the kitchen that had been the lay sisters' community room long ago. Now, it has a few sewing machines, a table, and a desk. It's sort of a catch all room. There on the recipe book bookshelf was the clock ticking away—UPSIDE DOWN! All you had to do was pick it up and turn it around to see the time or you could put your head down and twist your eyes up, right?
Sister Mary Elizabeth got rid of that clock but she's not saying how!