Our Daily Bread

By far the most satisfying moment of yesterday’s Frank Lloyd Wride happened at our stop at the Monastery of the Angels between visits to Lloyd Wright’s Sowden House  and his dad Frank’s Freeman House.

It didn’t begin well. Arriving at 12:20 to discover that the gift shop was closed between 12-1 p.m. for lunch, I was disappointed that I would be leaving without my requisite loaf of the nuns’ famous pumpkin bread.

Then a be-robed diminutive priest came out from a side door as we stood about the parking lot and he jovially welcomed us. Introducing himself as Father Lopez, he inquired as to what brought us to his place. I told him I was here for some of their delicious pumpkin bread but alas the place was locked up for another 40 minutes. He told me to ring the bell to see if they would open up, but if not he’d come back out in a few minutes and take care of us from his own “private reserve.”

I did as instructed and rang the bell — hesitantly, not wanting to incur any nun wrath — but none wrathed. They just ignored my intrusion into their break time.

True to his word, Father Lopez reappeared and I was pleasantly surprised that there were four others in my group wanting loaves. He then exited around the back of the building, returning shortly thereafter with an assistant carrying bags with the bread — and “a little something extra at no charge,” the Father told us.

So I paid him my $9 and looked inside to find a bonus bag of trail mix in with my loaf, which I thanked him for. Father Lopez then went on to tell us that with the help of coupons and arrangements with local grocery stores he was going to be able to turn the $50 we spent at the monastery today into $1000 worth of food to be distributed to the needy in the area. I was a bit skeptical that so little could begat so much, but as if sensing as much he produced photocopies of past receipts that featuring multiples of  $5 discounts down the right column that together effectively whittled the total waaaay down.

In short order we headed out and I was pleased not only to be in possession of the pumpkin bread, but also by knowing that my purchase of it went on to benefit others.