In many respects, yesterday was the sort of day that tends to happen quite often, and greatly to my pleasure as well. It certainly was an odd day, though, and one that well deserves the sort of discussion I will seek to provide. A day like today is emblematic of the sort of life I live, and is something that is worth recording, at least so such days may be easily remembered. After all, on a day like today where I woke up feeling a bit tired and uninspired to do much of anything aside from a single book review and some reading, it might be somewhat surprising that today should end up being so productive, but such ironies are all too present in my existence, I suppose.
When I dragged my backpack, sidebag, garment bag, and viola out of the house today, my roommate had been unaware that it was Bible Study day, and so as I drove off to church listening to an audiobook about the Trail of Tears, I already found it an odd day. It would get more odd, but in a good way. I got to services for the Bible Study and found that I was able to answer a few of the questions despite not having been able to print out the Bible Study notes before even though I did some study for it. Yet, despite the fact that the lesson was easier this time than it has been usually, few people were participating, only a handful of people spoke up, myself included. It would be nice if more people spoke up. I am an amazingly shy and timid person in many aspects of my life, but when it comes to sharing what I know and understand, or in performing, I am much less shy than I would be otherwise. I suppose we all have our own quirks and that is part of what makes us enjoyable company.
Immediately after Bible Study I went to choir practice and after some waiting for the rest of choir to show up and chatting with the director and the other people a bit, we practiced a fairly easy piece that we are working on for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, and our director made plenty of comments about remembering dynamics and working on breathing enough to get through the very long phrases in the song. As is the case with a few songs that I have sung recently, breath control is the hardest aspect of the song. After that was done I chatted a bit before services and soon it was time for them to begin. Since there was a Bible Study, there was no sermonette today, and many of the announcements were prayer requests, which I kept note of because I had the closing prayer and wanted to be sure to mention each one individually and their concern. After that there was a sermon that dealt with prophecy, and I took notes about matters of judgment for nations, churches, and individuals. I wondered if some of the comments made about people reading books from mainstream Christian sources was being directed pointedly at me, for although I read many such books I do not fail to critique them when they fall short of the biblical commands and worldview nor am I the sort of person who likes to talk up and advertise other products at services. It is sometimes hard to be sure if one is the target of a given comment or not, particularly one that is given with such heat.
After services there was a choir practice that went on until one of our sopranos had no more voice and the performance had gone well, and then we scattered. I got some snacks and chatted with some people, and found much to my consternation that my choice of conversation partners brought a great deal of unwelcome observation. In the main hall I chatted some with a couple of the young ladies of our congregation about touring a local restaurant chain that advertises a passport, as one of the young ladies’ parents had taken a date night and her original plans fell through, forcing her to spend the evening with one of the other families in our congregation with whom she and her family are close. My chatting, though, brought over the attention of a watchful person who I chatted with. Shortly thereafter I walked towards my car and was interrupted by a reasonably lengthy conversation that drew more observation from other people leaving, before it was time for me to drive out to the country for dinner club.
The dinner club meeting went enjoyably well. Observing a detour sign along a road I had only taken once, I managed to avoid some blocked roads in downtown Estacada, and found myself in a pleasant drive through mostly unfamiliar countryside before arriving at our host house for the evening. The other guests and I took a tour of the house, which has had a lot of work done to it, and which I have never seen the inside of the house before despite having visited a few times , and though the bedrooms of the young ladies of the house were not clean enough to tour, I got to see and admire a fair bit of the house, which had the feel of one of those living museums where people dress in old fashioned clothes and show off historically significant architecture and furnishings and the like. Given that the house was built about 1890 and is inhabited by at least some of the more strikingly old-fashioned people I know, it is not an unjust comparison to make.
Once everyone had arrived and the food was in a tolerable condition to service, we had a dinner club that left no one hungry afterward. I had missed the first meeting of our group’s dinners this year to go to the Tacoma weekend  and was curious to see the group dynamic. Our group featured the people in charge of the dinner club, a couple I serve with and get along with generally but find to be somewhat critical of me from time to time, a single mother and her two teenage daughters, who were our hosts in rural Clackamas County, and myself. The evening went well, though, even if it was a striking and unusual mixture of people. The food, with a Greek theme mostly, was very tasty, even a bit richer than my usual bill of fare, and the conversation was sparkling. Conversations discussed ranged from affordable housing and the struggles to find it to the job plans of one of the teens to matters of music and art and education. From what appeared to be the case, everyone had a good time and those of us who had yet to host a dinner chatted about what schedule would work the best for the next dinners and what theme wanted. I set out for a weekend in June and the other one will likely be the Sabbath before Mother’s Day, when four of us who were at dinner will be at the coast and not at services, and with that half of the party agreeably left before it was too late.
I stayed. I may have stayed a bit too long, but it was time enjoyably spent with the ladies there, two of whom I talked with more. One of them had a bible in which she recorded what verses speakers had given in services and camps and teen Bible studies over the course of the last four or five years, and we spent much time picking out passages and chapters and books that we were particularly fond of, finding that most of what I was most fond talking of and writing about were areas of the Bible that no one had looked at even once. I was struck over and over again by just how odd and unconventional and unusual my choice of passages was compared to most other speakers. Perhaps I am the only person who would use such a most unusual resource for coming up with messages from places no one else ever goes. We chatted about the importance and the rarity of discussing the biblical importance of women, the most awkward passages to speak to a young woman from the Song of Solomon  (ironically enough, both me and the young person chatting about it thought of that book’s comments about breasts being like twin roes or towers. I suspect that few people appreciate awkwardness more than me. After having spent more than four hours chatting with them, even to the point of scaring some not particularly bright dogs with the vacuum cleaner, it was certainly time for me to go, and so I drove a few miles and went to bed.
 See, for example:
 See, for example:
 See, for example: