Saturday, November 27, 2010

what happens in the hole?

Torah portion
Genesis 37:1 thru 40:23
(Joseph the dreamer finds himself in an empty cistern)

One week ago we checked into a lovely villa deep in the country of Umbria, Italy.  Most challenging was renting a car, reading the signs in the roundabouts, then navigating via Auto Stratia 45 minutes on back roads.

That night, we had our first 5 course Italian dinner.  My my mamamia!!!

Seated next to us at the long table, two Italian couples on weekend holiday from northern Italy..who spoke English, thankfully.  (Our Italian has progressed to skooosi, chao, bonjourno, and banyo, with a few other useful handmotions thrown in.)

At dinner, we heard about the proposed plan for one couple to move to New York city, where, years previous, the man had a couple of Italian restaurants.  He loves NYC and is navigating the possibility of returning.

Enter commentary from my traveling partner.....who asked, sort of out of nowhere, "do you pray?"    His answer, "only when I am in trouble!"

Torah portion correlation?  OH YES, of course:

My husband shared a short story about our arrival in Sorrento the previous Sunday.  November is off season, and the bus we took from the train station was 2 hours later than we expected.  Our backpacks become VERY heavy as we stood waiting in what became CHILLY fall weather, and the bus arrived in a nearby town at 9 pm.  Hungry, not sure what to do in the deserted town, and discovering busses were done running for the night, we asked at dinner for help calling a taxi.

No answer at the taxi station.

All is dark and quiet in this little village on the coast of Italy.

Frankly, we are in the well, as Joseph was.....


Joseph is portrayed as a cocky younger brother, known to tattle on his older brother and to brag of his dreams....he finds himself in the cistern,  and I imagine he prayed.

Which is exactly what we did.

Trying to be optimistic, I said, "God could send a taxi cab as soon as we walk to the taxi stand, if He wanted!"

We walked across the street, down to the deserted bus station and area marked taxi....

not a soul in sight.

There was a phone number at the stand, and an empty van.

But the restaurant had already called for us and there was no answer.

Out of nowhere a car appeared, and the driver rolled his window down and said, "do you need a taxi?"

The car was plain, no sign, no meter.  Tour books said ONLY ride in taxi cabs....

To make a long story short, we glady accepted a (bargain!) offer to take us to the monastery where we had reservations.  The driver said 80 euros, about 112 U.S.   Our other option would be to find a place to sleep in this sleepy town on a Sunday night....

The Amalfi coast of Italy is famous for sheer cliffs and hairpin turns.  We trusted our driver even when he dialed his cell phone a few times, even when he had to call the Sisters a few times to ask WHERE the monastery was...

Sister Josephina smiled graciously as we arrived with our heavy backpacks around midnight.  We were out of the well and had a new story to share about answered prayer.

Empty cisterns are ok, especially when they cause us to pray.

God is so able to answer our needs.  We are very grateful.

Thank you for reading Saturday Chores.


  1. Hi, Kate--
    I just read your last two blogs and am really enjoying your commentaries. Thanks for sharing your joys and challenges with us. Not only do they have a good message, but I like the literary style. I'll keep reading!

  2. Thank you for the encouragement! Every week we find some awesome link in the portion and send it "out there" not knowing who (if?) our readers may be....keep reading please!

  3. miss you barnfuls.

    remembering one of my favorite quotes by author john o donohue as the italian responds: only when in trouble:

    why is it that we have to be in trouble to remember what is essential?
    i love that.
    can't wait to do coffee on the veranda.

  4. bonjour dandelion
    every morning (especially in the monastery this week) i put the bracelet on and think of my most creative friend.

    you would appreciate the art - me, getting weary of the Renaissance 'greats'...

    cappuccino in the sunshine!!!

  5. Just letting you know I love the commentaries and the chance to travel with you via this blog. Keep them coming. By the way... I really miss you two.