Well, last Saturday night I got home from our Episcopal General Convention, held every 3 years. The trip from Tennessee to Anaheim, California, is a big one, on a number of levels. It was overwhelming, amazing, hard work, but with a bit of time to play. I didn't expect to go, as I was a 2nd alternate deputy, with only the regular deputies and the first alternate having a paid spot. But the first alternate had to drop out, and I got an expense-paid trip, with 5 days' notice. Everything fell into place in the most remarkable way: dog care, supply clergy, kitty care, and all the rest). This is my fourth General Convention, but the first one where I haven't been a visitor, and actually felt some responsibility to do some work! There was a lot of work to do, though I had the easiest end of things, being an alternate, and only called into duty when deputies needed to be off the floor of the legislative session. Still, there was a lot to do, a lot to learn. I admit, I only got to the health club once, and didn't get to the pool or hot tub a single time. I went to committee hearings and legislative sessions. But I was only an alternate -- it was our deputies, who also had committee responsibilities, who worked so very hard. I loved it, and did also work hard myself, and saw my friend Fran, and we talked and talked and talked. I haven't seen her in 7-9 years, but I think we had even more to say to each other, more to share about common interests and activities, than we did back when. Oh, I finally counted and figured it was close to four hours we were together, but it felt like 1/2 hour. For anyone who thinks folks on the internet are axe-murderers: neither Fran nor I seem to show any proclivities for that.
But after 2 weeks away, it sure was good to get home. I've loved being with my dogs again. I've loved sleeping in my own bed. I've loved being back in the weekly routine of office hours, services, bible study, and the people I love here in Tennessee. It was great being with colleagues and our dear bishop in California, but home is always best, isn't it? I know I won't be here in Crossville for the rest of my life; but right now, right here, it feels absolutely right.
I spent the week debriefing from the time away. The Convention did enact some controversial resolutions dealing with openly GLBT people in the discernment process for ministry -- ordained or not. We made the news in those places where people find religious news. This had to be presented to the people here at home, the people in the pews. But I didn't really get fully caught up on what happened here while I was gone, both at work and at home, and now I'm heading out again! I'm going to Buffalo (where, I'm sure you remember, I lived for 24 years), and will see my best friend's new house. I will spend a few days by the lake, where I can just unwind and get back to my true self. I'll see lots of old friends. I've taken care of all the details I need to take care of, and now can do my laundry and re-pack my bags, and I'm out of here soon.
I'll miss my garden, I confess. There are beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes (finally!) to pick, weeds to pull, and grapes to watch. I've recently (finally!) transplanted annuals into pots and containers for my porches. They need watching and watering. There's always more to prune and burn and spray. I don't use a lot of poison, but just today I attacked my bumper crop of poison ivy. I've watched it uneasily for long enough -- now it needs eradication!
But I will enjoy the cool of Buffalo (I hope -- it can get hot there, but on average is lovely in the summertime. And when we go out to the lake, in a camping trailer on the Rez, near Silver Creek, it's bound to be even cooler and more refreshing (though sometimes rainy, right there 100 yards from the lake). I can't wait. I need this time to rest and revitalize, before a 6-week return to work, and then my 3-week trip to Italy. I know I will be nourished by the love of my friends. My best friend Cheryl and I are truly soul friends. Despite each of our tendencies for self-preoccupation, we always listen eagerly and offer free, unsolicited advice to one another. I know Cheryl holds me in her heart always (as I do her), and that kind of acceptance allows for deep rest and re-creation.
How is travel for all of you?