Taciturn announced on Thursday last week that he planned to do nothing but watch football over the weekend. After all, it was Wild Card Weekend!
So I decided it was a good time to drive an hour and 45 minutes north from where we are staying and visit MLE of Kirkepiscatoid. While we were at it, we thought we should include our mutual friend JML, who was a close friend my freshman year of college in 1976-1977. MLE and JML became friends a couple of years after I left that particular college to marry Only Son's dad, and they have been friends ever since.
MLE reflected on our visit yesterday. I was too tired when I got back last night to write anything coherent, so I waited until this am.
First--Kirksville, the place both call home. I would never have known I lived there for a year--I recognized NOTHING. As often as I had made the drive in my late teens back and forth, nothing at all looked familiar. That certainly was odd.
Her parish home has a lovely building, old but solid, lit candles in each of the stained glass windows. For a town the size of Kirksville (small) as well as for a mission church, there were many more people present than I expected.
I think you learn much about a person by learning about their personal piety. MLE is pretty Anglo-Catholic (as I am) in her practice. I was struck as she was by our mutual sense of worship timing, and by how we both spoke very loudly and clearly. I try to mindful in my worship; she does as well.
I was pleased by the use of gender neutral language in the worship. As many churches as I've attended over the years, I've not heard gender neutral language in the Creed--instead of, "was made man," it was said, "and was made one of us." I do like that. I plan to say something to my rector, who is all about gender neutrality, when I get home.
We chatted on the way to lunch about the cyberparish of the Mad One, and how we pray he is called to a physical parish soon. I smiled when I saw him mentioned in her post.
When you meet an old friend whom you have not seen for 30 or so years, you essentially are meeting a stranger. I was much more nervous about seeing MLE's and my mutual friend than I was about meeting MLE, as I felt like I knew her from visiting on the phone and from online. But JML's and my contact had consisted of rare emails over recent years and a brief phone call to set up lunch for the three of us yesterday. She was really comfortable and easy to be around, though, and generously offered her house for further conversation after our lunch. We looked at photos, discussed our lives, and I met her lovely teenage daughter, who was quite charming and poised.
All in all, a wonderful day! These strong, vibrant women are both people I wish to see again! We truly are surrounded by a wonderful cloud of witnesses, in many different ways.