October 16th, 2005

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Church and More Coastal Fun

Wow, am I having a good time! Sometimes when I come home I'm disappointed because things happen and we never leave the house much or I don't see the things I want to see, but this time things are going very well!

First up, there was church. Where, yes, a 90-year-old lady, Mrs. Maruzzi, announced she remembered me as Baby Jesus. (This was back in 1974). Met lots of people I grew up with, though we are all much older now. Old Mrs. Bacheldor said I was beautiful and old Mrs. Mattheson said "There's a true young lady!" Since I was an usher I got to meet and greet just about everybody who came to the service, plus collect prayer cards, send out the offering plates, and pick up afterwards. The service itself was OK. The minister, who I'd never heard before, reminded me of Garrison Keillor, only less annoying (an easy feat, IMO). Afterward we had fellowship down in the hall and I bought some apple turnovers at the Guild bake sale. A lot of people came up to talk to me, after Dad had gone around and boastfully introduced me to everybody -- he's sooooo proud of me it's almost funny how he'll stop anybody and say, "This is WENDY, my YOUNGEST daughter!" Awwww.

After going home again for lunch, there was a brief break and then we went out for a jaunt up the coast. I'm so glad my parents know what I like!

We left around 1 and for four hours, went out for a ride. Mom decided to drive up the coast road (Rt. 2) the whole way to Portsmouth, so we went alllllll the way along the New Hampshire coast, around every cove, harbor, and by the dozen different state parks. We stopped 5-6 times so Mom and I could get out and look at the coast. (Dad stayed in the car again, as he's afraid of the cold, getting blown away, etc.) It was great! There were seagulls and cormorants wheeling around, whistling, grabbing clams and cracking them open. It was low tide and the beaches were strewn with seaweed and thrashed lobster pots. At one beach some crazy folks were surfing. Surfing in October in New Hampshire? Eeeek! I took a lot of pictures of gulls, beaches, lighthouses, windswept sand.

Finally we got up to Portsmouth. I like that city, always have, although it's easier to enjoy when there aren't 40 mph winds. Mom and I walked around Prescott Park, this charming little park right on the river by one of the big bridges. There are piers you can go out on and watch the incredibly swift current. The birds there just sit on the water and use it like a train, instead of bothering to swim or fly. There are sculptures there too and a lovely English style walled garden. Strawberry Banke, a historic village, is right there too but we didn't go since Dad was in the car. We were cold but walked anyway, then I helped Mom lure Dad out of the car on the pretext of showing him a "Red Nun" (giant red directional buoy) that was being pulled under by the current.

At 3:30 it was time to turn around. We went the way we came, only instead of looking out so much toward to ocean, we looked at the houses. Like along most coastlines, there are big houses and beachhouses and beachfront hotels. This one giant old Victorian hotel, which for years was vacant and looked haunted, has now been renovated and is run by Marriott. I thought that was cool. Anyway, we glided down the coast and I half-drifted off to sleep. Mom turned on NPR and there was a great spoken word show we listened to on the way back.

The last thing we did was stop at a farm/harvest stand in North Andover, where Dad and I picked out a pumpkin -- a 20-pounder. Dad really wants to carve a pumpkin with me :) I also got a pint of apple cider. Yum! I think dinner tonight is leftover roast beef and potatoes or something. Should be good.
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"Family"-oriented Church

OMG! I just remembered one of the funniest episodes of today. While Mom is busy making dinner, let me recount:

This morning while serving as ushers, we got to meet and greet everybody coming in. This gave Mom and chance for me to do whisper "commentary" about everybody, so I would be "informed."

Now before I mention a couple of the FYIs Mom gave me, I have to mention that about ten years ago, the church joined the ranked of United Methodist churches which are "Open and Affirming," meaning they welcome GLBT folks, host PFGLAG meeitng, offer shelter and support for queers as much as anybody else. Some of the people at the church were not happy with this decision, but for the most part people (including the old women) adjusted. Their atttitude is that keeping people out is mean and the church needs members anyway.

So, back to my mother, who's there filling me in on people -- including the gays.

Incident #1:
Woman walks in with (to me) dykey looking 10-year-old girl. I meet and greet and they move on. Mom sidles up to me and says: "See that woman... and that other woman outside about to come in? They're gay and adopted that girl." I am non-plussed.

However, Incident #2 cracked me up:
Two hefty women in loose clothing came in and sat in one of the back pews, near us. They were there for a few minutes when mom comes up to me and says: "See those two large women in the back right pew?" I nod and she goes, "Well, they've been married for years and years, but last year he got transgendered." Again, I appeared non-plussed, but inside I was cracking up. Got transgendered????? I'm glad "transgender" is making it into the mainstream language, but using it as a verb is so Mom.

Oh, and on a related note, I met two three gay men at the service, including one with a large silver earring. Personally, I think our church is likely a good pick-up joint.
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More Good Stuff, One Bad

Four more good things happened today:

1) Dinner. I ate too much of it, but it was goooood in that "Oh, I need this 'home food' but if I ate this every day I'd be a blimp" kind of way. Dinner was: reheated roast beef with gravy, rice, carrots & brocoli with butter, and salad. For dessert I had pound cake a la mode... with Breyers vanilla ice cream.

2) Called up my official "best friend from home" Marialana (a.k.a. Dee) who lives in Bradford, just a few towns over. We talked for an hour and then arranged to go out tomorrow night. She's coming to pick me up and then we'll go to dinner, to a bar, or something. I think I want to go to Friendly's or Denny's :) She sounds good, we still click as always and I haven't seen her (actually *seen*) her in five years, so I'm looking forward to it.

3) Dad and I carved a pumpkin and made an awesome jack o'lantern! He had me sketch the face ideas while he cut the top out and scooped out about half the goop. I scooped out the rest, then did all the carving on the face. Even though Caleb called me half-way through, I did it really quickly and it came out great. Dad helped me figure out how to get it lit and all three of us put it in the window. We set it out in the dining room on a little sewing cabinet so it shows in the window.

4) I went out to look at the pumpkin from outside and noticed the Hunter's Moon was visible. It was basically a very bright full moon with a gold/brown ring around it. I then took some very cool pictures of it (some using the cam's night fuction) and pics of the pumpkin too. Mom and Dad went out and looked. They say the jack o'lantern is the best in years.

One bad thing:

1) While watching TV after dinner, had one of my "dizzy spells" only a MASSIVE one. I thought I was going to pass out, and it kind of felt like my vision and brain and everything was imploding. I'm so glad I was there and not out somewhere because I would've keeled over. Mom made me lie down and asked me questions about it. She wanted to have Dad take my blood sugar but he said it was probably my blood pressure. I recovered from the spell after about a minute but felt lousy for a good ten minutes so I went up and checked my pressure, which was 117/77, actually a bit high for me but normal. I don't know what causes those dizzy spells but I hate them. It's not the Lexapro either because I've had the spells since before I started on that. I hope they don't get worse.