Lilya and I got up fairly early, grabbed some breakfast, and headed off to my church. She was really impressed with the pastor and the congregation, and got a better idea of what my church means to me. She said she finally understood another piece of me, and what’s important to me. There are so many different things people could mean when they call themselves “Christian” and seeing first hand the church I call “my family” she was impressed, and wants to come back again some time. Talk about a huge compliment, wow! She also hit it off with Craig, the pastor, and they’ve already started talking about things on their own—she’s planning to teach him to read Hebrew, he’s loaning books to her that’s she’s always wanted to read, etc.

Donna and I also made some specific plans about the sign language chapters we’re going to work on next, and I’ll be going over to her house in a few weeks to help her with her computer. She’s really excited about getting back into her studies to also become clergy, and I’m going to help her sew a few stoles and things for her clergy wardrobe.

After church we went back to Dayle’s, packed the car again, and heard a little bit about her crazy morning. She lives in the Historic District, and in preparation for the Home Tours this fall, some guys dropped by to see the house. Unannounced. Seems her real estate agent kinda forgot to mention she actually gave them an appointment day and time to come over. So poor Dayle had to clean the house in a flurry, and I felt bad that (a) I wasn’t there to help, and (b) my stuff from the tournament was filling her living room. But the place looked gorgeous, so I’m sure she impressed them in her ever-efficient way, as always!

Lilya and I went to hang out in the park, where normally the local guys have “fighter practice” on Sunday afternoons. This is where people learn to fight in armor and heavy swords (made from solid bamboo) or where they practice a form of fencing from the middle ages. But since it was the day after the local tournament, turns out that practice had been cancelled. So the only people who came out were the folks who *weren’t* at the tourney the day before.

This was kind of nice, too, since it meant I got to see some friends I *really* hadn’t seen in a while. And of course, Lilya hit it off really well with everyone here, too, and it’s a given that if she decided to move here, she’d be immediately part of the family.

As if my weekend weren’t full enough, another college friend has finally caught up with me again. “Moose” has been a friend of mine since my 2nd year in college, although we hadn’t heard from each other in nearly ten years or so. He didn’t even know I had been singing with a band or recorded two CDs, it had been that long! Lilya and I went over to their place, and we all went out for the local salad-bar-and-soup restaurant. Carl is almost four now, and Timmy just turned 18 months. *Again* Lilya hit it off with them, and carried most of the conversation. But then again, some of that was a self-defense mechanism because of different opinions about fundamental Christian missions overseas. So she got to talk at length about Judaism, and I was fascinated to just sit back and listen. I made Michael (Moose) and Connie promise to help me not let ten years pass until we see each other again. And so I’m going to try to come back again in another three weeks or so. We’ll have some alone time to talk about Michael’s plans to go to Uganda for a summer mission trip, and we’ll see how that discussion goes. But most importantly, I’ve just missed my “little brother” from college, and was glad to see we could pick up where we last left off.

And again, Lilya really got to see yet another part of my life.

We decided to take the coast for the drive back, and continued our weekend full of deep conversations. After so many hours of such intimate conversation, we were easily given to tears. But shared tears are a good thing sometimes. She’s definitely one of my closest friends now.

Finally, back at her house, she and I played Tablero while her husband watched “Attack of the Clones” on tv. She’s just completely engrossed in the “Known Worlde Handbook” that she was able to get at the tournament, and the rules for Tablero were in there. I finally had to leave even before the game was over, because I was so tired, but all in all a wonderful weekend.

It was slightly embarrassing that when I got home, I didn’t have the energy to unpack and go inside, so I just napped a little in my car (to keep my things safe). A nice young police officer came by to wake me and see if I was okay. And she chatted with me for a while about all the gear in my car that I needed just for a little weekend trip with friends. Once my contacts were back in, I was awake and alert enough to unpack everything and crawl in bed.

That wraps up my weekend!