Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Visit To Eau Claire

I'm going out of sync today because I don't want to wait to share my weekend here in Eau Claire, WI. I got the weekend off from my "duties" as my friend's caretaker and drove the 2 hours to the place I lived before moving back to Idaho. Trust me, I never doubted I might visit again, but I never dreamed I would drive my car back here. I can't believe how much I'd forgotten about how to get around the town, but it is coming back to me. Above are my quilting friends Cindy and Bonnie, having dinner with me at Panera Bread Company. Cindy has given me a temporary home while in town. After dinner we walked down to Coldwater Creek & ended up laughing and cackling in the dressing rooms as we tried on tops and showed them off to each other. I really haven't laughed so hard in a long time!

Today I attended church at the Episcopal Cathedral where I helped fund restoration of a chapel ceiling in memory of my late husband. This is the first time I've seen it since the plaque went up.

The chapel was built in 1935. Of the several restoration professionals we had come look at the ceiling, none could figure out exactly how the original stenciling had been done.

In the end, the ceiling could not be cleaned so the designs were painstakingly copied and repainted after a protective coat had been applied. Very close to the original and a solution we could afford. Wishing we knew more of the original artist and the symbolism behind the motifs chosen.

I was particularly excited to be at the church today because our Presiding Bishop was visiting. As the first female primate, she has caused quite a stir in Anglican circles. This is the first time I've heard her speak. She took questions and answers in an informal forum that preceded the service. I was duly impressed and now understand why she was elected to serve.

Much of her sermon highlighted happenings at the recent national convention, things she said the news media would not bother with because they prefer to focus on more hot button issues. But she said there was a lot of effort to keep the dialogue going on issues that are causing divisiveness in our ranks. So important, she noted, to keep talking rather than insist on a decision one way or another. As we all know and she acknowledged, we have enough unwillingness to come together and compromise in our political arena. We don't need to create the same atmosphere within our church.

The church was packed and the choir augmented with the addition of members of other churches in the Diocese. A brass quintet added to the pomp as did the use of "smells & bells." I was in my own bit of religious heaven with all of that!

Afterwards, I got a chance to chat with a few members I'd been particular fond of when I attended there plus meet the new Dean. Then I was whisked away by another quilting friend, LeAnn, whose husband decided we should not fight the crowds at the brunch following the service but let him fix us lunch at home. It was an excellent suggestion - Bob is a great cook. And it gave LeAnn and her daughter, Gen a chance to show me all the quilts and other projects they'd been working on since my last visit. 

Stained Glass Windows in Chapel
All in all, a very pleasant day.


Andee said...

I am from Eau Claire (small world!) though now I live in Arizona...glad you had a good visit!

Cathie said...

What a special time for you.
Meditate on it, appreciate it, savor it. Such a wonderful person you are.