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Saturday, July 02, 2005

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m.

Anne is such a wonderful writer. Both my wife and I have enjoyed her books, and I frequently give Traveling Mercies as a gift. Also, Anne is a wonderful person and as quirky as she describes herself.

You see, my wife and I previously lived in the Bay area. We were still dating at the time. I was a "spiritual" (Christian) person and my wife... well, she was from Mendocino, which is to say the redwood forest and the beauty of the coast is where she found her peace. My wife was an avid fan of Anne, and we both read Traveling Mercies when it came out. I was looking for a church in the Bay area, and as my wife describes it herself, she was looking to disprove my beliefs. It was originally my wife's idea to visit St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Anne Lamott’s church home. She reasoned that she might have the chance to meet Anne while simultaneous coming up with ammo to shoot down my faith and evidence it as a bunch of hooey. Anne was present at our first visit to St. Andrews. So was Pastor Veronica. The church is as Anne describes.

To shorten the story a bit, my wife took, as Anne describes, a “lurch” of faith and became a “spiritual” person, originally nursed through her experiences and learning at St. Andrews. We also came to be well acquainted with Anne and her son, Sam.

We no longer live in SF. When we visit on occasion, we always attend St. Andrews. It’s in Marin City, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. We are always greeted with hugs from Pastor Veronica and Anne and the other church members.

Still, we can’t be there every weekend as we would like. When I miss the spirit of that place, it’s nice to have Anne’s books handy as she frequently has described the uplifting sound of the choir or penetrating words spoken through Pastor Veronica. It brings me back…

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