1. I find (and have found) sanctuary in many places in my life: home, with family, in the tavern, in the classroom, and, as you would expect, church. Today, I returned to the sanctuary, the peacefulness, the comfort, the sense of belonging I experience at St. Mary's Episcopal Church and it was deeply satisfying. St. Mary's has been my most consistent source of sanctuary over the last thirty-five years and I was sad to leave it behind when we moved to Maryland. Today, with Father Ted as the celebrant, the parish's new assistant priest, Rev. Brad Toebben, preaching, with Father Bingham Powell sidling next to me in the pew during confession, with Tom Tent singing "Comfort Ye My People", I felt enfolded into liturgical dignity, pastoral comfort, prophetic and intelligent preaching, stirring music, and the many years of history I have experienced in this church, this parish.
2. I attended church with the Troxstar and I told him afterward that I wanted a Hammerhead beer before I left Eugene, so after a beer at 16 Tons to commemorate that we both got started there after an 11:00 service back in 2011, and then went to the High Street Brewery and Pub and enjoyed a Hammerhead. It's still, of all the beers I've ever drunk, the most reliable, both in taste and in its power to bring back great memories of days back in the late nineties when I began drinking beer again and of trips to Edgefield and of great sessions in many McMenamin's pubs around Oregon. See what I mean? The tavern is a sanctuary to me.
3. I enjoyed the foggy environs down by Autzen Stadium and near the dog park as Russell and I went on a photo stroll which turned out to be less, for me, about photos and more about watching dogs, enjoying the fog rolling in, and having more time to be with Russell.
4. Jay and Sherri and I had, through a small flurry of text messages, decided to meet at Tap and Growler and I got to meet their friends Andy and Tracy and we had some great conversation about beer and food and hockey and a host of other topics, including the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D. C., where Andy used to live. He confirmed many of my first impressions of the Greenbelt area, including the sad reality that the taproom movement has not yet reached much of these suburbs, just yet, but the Deke and I have been to Franklin's in Hyattsville, the joint that several of Andy's friends texted to him as a good place to go -- it was fun having these texts fly around about the place I live while enjoying a couple of sour ales with Jay, Sherri, Tracy, and Andy.
5. I just had to have a dinner at Jade Palace. I overdid it, but it was sure fun to go back to this place where I've enjoyed Chinese food for nearly twenty years and have a small bowl (it was huge) of Won Ton soup and a plate of Lo Mein noodles with beef, chicken, and shrimp.
6. When the New England Patriots are on television, I have had fun over the years watching them with the Troxstar. The Pats are his home state squad and so their games take on a heightened importance in the presence of the Troxstar and I had fun watching the last hour or so of their game with the Chargers over at Chez Trox.