One Week at a Time

In the Episcopal church the reverends are also called “priests” and yesterday I went to the ordination of the new assistant priest at “my” church. I put “my” in quotes because it feels phony to say it since I’m a newbie. I’ve gone about six weeks in a row. Does that make it my church? I don’t think so.

I really do love the Episcopal church service. The service I go to is at 11 and is not that well attended. That’s fine with me because I’m still figuring out which book to use. When to stand, sit, and kneel. One of these days I’ll start attending the 8 a.m. service where they use “thee” and “thy” etc. And incense. The service in the middle is mainly attended by families.

Today the church was decked out for Christmas and they used incense. And other priests and a bishop came from all over Oregon. The new assistant priest is strikingly dignified looking in his priest gear (collar). He’s tall, slim, and quite gay. I love him.

He doesn’t know my name yet, but I’ve chatted very briefly with him twice. Today as I shook his hand after the extremely moving ceremony, I said, “Congratulations. It was such an honor to be here. What a beautiful ceremony.” He shook my hand warmly, he said something cute and witty but I can’t recall it now. Mainly I was trying to convey to him how touched I was by witnessing his ordination. I had tears in my eyes and I wasn’t the only one — it was a powerful thing.

I went upstairs to the dining hall and made sure the dish I had made looked pretty. It did. And several ladies had clucked over it earlier so that made me feel good.

I made these:


From this website. It’s not like I had to cook anything. I have a very large white platter and bought some cute fancy skewers. To my relief no one else made them. I also bought a spendy bottle of balsamic vinegar and wow it was good.

I got into the line to go down the buffet then went to stand by two ladies who were standing at a tall table. Turns out they were priests from another area and soon the little table was filled with people who knew one another. But not me. I know no one.

I heard the lady’s name next to me and so I introduced myself to her because I knew she was in charge of the reception and very active in the church. The few people I introduced myself ask right away, “Which service do you go to?” “Eleven o’clock.” I say.

I said hi to the head priest and picked up a glass of red wine which I only had a couple of sips of. Then I grabbed my platter and walked in the rain to my car. I’m very much alone there. No one is rude to me, but I am only just starting to recognize a couple of faces.

Next week is the pancake breakfast for the homeless again, and I hope I can be given a job to help. I just want to feel useful in some way. The rest will come. I just need out of my own head.

We all need to feel needed.

It’s very difficult to do all this because I can be painfully shy when I don’t know people. I feel self critical because I’m not a social butterfly. But I’m okay taking this slowly. All I know is when I’m sitting, standing, kneeling in that church, I feel peaceful.

In time they’ll get to know me. In time I’ll find my niche there. I’ll just keep making myself useful. It was really lovely to see how many people came to support the new assistant priest. I know he’ll be an incredible asset to the church. I’ve heard he’ll be teaching some education classes so I’m looking forward to that.

Oh, I remember what he said now. It wasn’t cute and witty. He said something about his deceased mother, Mary, who was looking down at his ordination and she was proud of him. Made me tear up again. He’s so likable.

I feel it’s good that he’s relatively new there and I’m brand new there and so if I see him next Saturday I’ll tell him to keep me in mind as he works on new projects for the community.

On another note entirely, while I was making those skewer things my dad held up his iPad and said, “Look, doesn’t she look like the spitting image of her mother?” And he was showing me a new photo of one my sister’s daughters. I said, “Oh my gosh, yes. She’s a beauty.”

My mom walked by and looked at it and said, “She didn’t turn out to be the beauty I expected, though.”

And I’m so tired of these awful remarks she makes about her own flesh and blood. For once I said, “Oh, mom. What a terrible things to say. She’s quite breathtaking especially when she’s all dolled up.”

She was really pissed that I said that and she quickly added, “I didn’t say she wasn’t beautiful.” I said nothing more. I’m glad I called her out on it. She was pouty for the rest of the morning. In a perfect world she would have said, “You’re right, it was rude of me. She’s a lovely girl.” But, aside from my daughter, the first grandkid,  she only likes the males in our family.

Her disgust for the girls is painful and it reminds me often of ugly encounters I had with her as a kid. She made me feel bad about having my period. She made me feel bad when I found God in sixth grade. She tried to make me feel bad about needing a bra and about pretty much everything else.

PTSD much?

I’m going to re-double my efforts to find work right after the first of the year. I feel ready to move out and have a place of my own.

The only bit of real news, and I’m trying not to get too excited about it, is that my sister is finally ready to move to Oregon. She and two daughters and one granddaughter should be here in February. She’s not a great sister at keeping in touch from a distance, but when she’s here we get along fine. My sister is usually overwhelmed because she’s a mom to five kids — all of them out of the house now. So she is usually too absorbed in her own worries to ask about other people. It’s something I’ve accepted about her.

But I hope it happens. I hope she moves here.

On a parting note, I looked back and saw that my first blog post was December 14, 2013 so I passed my one year anniversary without noticing it. This is my 250th post, I think.


3 responses to “One Week at a Time

  1. I think what you are doing for yourself is incredibly brave. You are getting involved in church and that is good for the soul. Churches do so much for others and that is great to be a part of even aside from religuous beliefs. This may be the first post that you have not mentioned that dick of an ex. You are heading in a great direction. You will make friends in that church soon and feel a part of it. Merry Christmas to you and I think 2015 will be a new beginning for you.

  2. And your hors d’oeuvres look delicious, beautiful and creative.

  3. Charlotte, thanks so much for your kinds words. I noticed that I hadn’t mentioned him in this post and thought, yeah, that’s some sort of milestone, isn’t it? He’s not worth the space here or in my head or heart.

    I can’t take credit for THOSE hors d’oeuvres. I stole that photo from the site where I heard about them. But mine did look nice!

    Thank you so much, Charlotte. I hope you have a wonderful holiday. My best to you and yours.

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