The past few weeks England has had some of the worst rain storms of this summer season. In fact a month’s worth of rain fell in a 24 hour period in parts of the UK causing horrible floods and creating a number of problems in those places. But today, here in Lincoln, it is clear blue skies, sunshine and warm weather (20C / 68F) giving me that “Naturally High” feeling and lots of positive energy ready to enjoy this beautiful day.
I walked downhill through city centre to my first stop – The Friends’ Meeting House – where the Quakers meet. The Lincoln Interfaith Forum, an organization that I belong to, has an event there once a month, but this week I missed it. I went to pick up a book written by my friend who was speaker for the evening, that they put aside for me. When I arrived there was a small group of people sitting around a table casually talking and drinking tea. It was their weekly open house. They asked me to stay for a cup of tea and join in the conversation. It was so awesome to just sit down with a group of people that I did not know and have a lively discussion about all sorts of things – many of the same issues facing both the USA and the UK healthcare systems, taxes and the economy. The conversation ended on a happy note – today’s beautiful weather.
I left ready to tackle the walk up Steep Hill to the Cathedral – It is one of the steepest streets in England. As I entered the Cathedral my friend John, the Dean’s Verger, sees me and welcomes me with a kiss on both checks. We commended each other on how well the Olympic Torch photo of the two of us turned out. Then off to the Cathedral’s Wren Library, where I volunteer as a steward, to meet with Joan who is stewarding today. Joan offered to have a look at my cross-stitch kit to see if she will be interested in doing it for me. I bought it four years ago when my friend from America, who was living here in Lincoln, said that she would do it for me. She wasn’t able to, and eventually moved back to the USA. So now I am in search of a cross-stitcher.
While I was in the Cathedral I went over to the Chapter House to see an exposition by a local photographer. He had his photographs hanging all around the circular wall. I stopped to speak with him and tell him that I am also into photography and how much I liked his work. He smiled and began to talk about the different techniques that he uses. After learning a new photography tip it was time to head home.
On my walk home and of course with camera in hand, I stopped to take a picture of a church. Now I have taken many pictures of St. Peter in Eastgate but all from different angles and during different seasons. However today I noticed that the gate was open a crack so I slipped inside into the garden area to get it from another angle. A couple walked up and saw me and asked if I had seen the inside of the church. I explained that I pass by this church regularly and take pictures of the outside of it but I had not been inside, so they invited me in. As we entered they turned on the lights to show me the beautiful sanctuary and told me that I could take some pictures.
They took me into a small room where there were five round tables of senior citizens sitting around talking and being served fresh strawberries with cream and tea and coffee. Dorothy introduces me and asks me to join them for refreshments and conversation. So again I say yes and end up staying for dessert and tea. It was their “Over 60’s Strawberry Tea” that I was now part of. I met so many nice people including Jane and her uncle John who came to sit at our table.
Dorothy told me that the “Over 60’s” meet once a month for tea and that she realizes that the people in this group are much older than me but still wanted to invite me to join them again next month – I think that I will drop in even if to just say “Hi” to all of them.
There is so much to learn from senior citizens, or OAPs (Old Age Pensioners) as they are known here. Many of these people have been around 75 years or more, and most have incredible stories to tell about their life experiences. Since I was a young girl I have always had a respect for older people and enjoyed having conversations with them and appreciate what I have learned from them. Remember to respect your elders – hopefully one day you will be one too.