It's about time...

Wow. It's been nearly 3 months since I last posted - I can assure you though, I have still been having tea, I guess I've just been finding it difficult to make time to share my stories with all of you. Time to get caught up...

It was a Thursday morning. I was feeling tired; lethargic - as I generally am in the mornings. I took a quick walk to the post office to mail some things home to Canada, and I passed it again. The sign that Lou had noticed a few weeks back. The sign inviting me for tea. It was too perfect - I had to join them. And for only 30 pence a cup- the deal was too good to pass up.

Now, I am not a member of the Windsor Reform Church, or, well - any church at all for that matter - and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about walking through those doors. Who would be there? What would we talk about? Would they assume me to be a lost soul, in search of answers and purpose... I guess in a way, that's what I am - but maybe that's what we all are? And, certainly, I wasn't out searching for answers of the spiritual kind. With my heart beating a little faster than it normally does on a Thursday morning, I walked in. Actually, I almost walked in - and then I turned and walked quickly away, around the block, and back again... and then I walked inside the church.

The room fell silent as I appeared in the door way - their wise eyes fixed upon me. There were eight of them in total, 9 if you counted the dog.

"I...errr... thought I might join you guys for tea. If that's okay?"

Jackie sprung up from her seat like a lady 30 years her junior.  "Of course you can dear, let me fix you a cup!"

And with that, I was in. I had some explaining to do of course - but not about why I had just walked in for tea, nor of my religious beliefs, but about where I was from, and what I was doing in England; what I did for work; whether or not I called my mother as often as I should... I sat with Jackie, Gwen, Heather, Norman, Eric, Fahtima, Naomi, Peggy, and Chip (the Dog) for nearly 2 hours. Norman shared stories of his time in the military - of the time a dog whom he had adopted had saved his skin when he fell asleep at his post, almost to be caught by his commanding officer. Peggy spoke fondly of her family, and not so fondly of her former son-in-law, and Naomi shared her frustration about her bank, in that they would not allow her to open an account for her grandson, as he is not a British citizen. And Eric and I fed Chip our biscuits underneath the table...

(From Left to Right - Eric, Chip (the dog), Heather, Jackie, Norman, & me)

(From Left to Right - Myself, Peggy, & Naomi)

These were real people, with real stories to tell - and the thing that made the difference is that they knew how to tell them. Each and every one of them grew up in a time when communication was respected, when it was praised. They live now, in awe of the way world has experienced such a social deterioration. They don't understand it, and they want nothing to do with it. So what do they do? They have tea. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning. And they talk, with whoever decides to show up.

The funniest thing of all... I don't think any of them were members of the Windsor Reform Church - they, like me, were just there for the tea and conversation.

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