I can't sleep, so I decided to write.
There are some things that I truly wish I had pictures of. Example, how every outfit I wore matched my cast. How I made a white sock with Victorian buttoms and silk rosebuds to protect the cast and later my foot as it healed. The purple nail polish I had painted on my toes or my collection of white and ivory dresses (most of them I still have)
Before the surgery, I was part of a Swordmen group. Yes, real swords. We had a true swordman training us how to use them. It was part of our Banner Team. I learned much during my time with the Swords men. Jerry, the leader in the group was the one who pull a training pipe in my hand. He was the one to invivte me, the lone woman in the group. This was a problem for the Banner troupe leader, a woman. Jerry felt that I was a "Deborah" and that I did belong with the swordmen. The leader had other ideas. There was one dance that did involve swords and while the guys fought for me to dance with them (there were other women dancing, but not holding swords) the leader stood firm and said no. Jerry trully felt badly, but it wasn't his fault. I remember one day jokely saying: "I wonder if Xena started out like this?" Jerry answered, he didn't know, but the Bibical judge Debovah would have trained with the men. With both sword and Torah. For to be a judge in Israel, you had to know how to handle both.
I never forgot that.
We went from drilling with pipes to wooden sticks to actual swords. One indeed must take great care. Like the Torah, one needs to handle her with care, skill and respect. Otherwise, can you harm others and/or yourself. When you pick up the sword to do battle it is indeed kill or be killed. Our serve was to out the spiritual warfare in our lives, we also pictured the warring angels who both did battle and yet worshipped the Almighty. But when I was ban from a dance, Jerry dissolved the group. It appears it was going in a direction the Banner leader wasn't ready for and Jerry wisely allowed it to die. But he encouraged me to make the sword part of my dance.
I need to get back to my sword work; would help relieve my tenison.
Jerry ordered special wooden swords for the group and soon after my return to church, and by this time I was off the crutches, our swords came it.
Picture it. It is almost the end of the second service. I have been given my two oak pratice swords and I am dressed in a long white dress, a prayer shawel draped over my shoulders. I walk into the service that is about to end. I take my place on the pew and I notice the expressionon Mark's face as he sees me standing; white dress, prayer shawel, and two swords. He could barely wait for the service to end when he came over, laughing, motioning his hands over this lady holding a sword...
"What is this!" He asked, taking one. Of course being military, the sword would catch his eyes. I just smiled and said my swords arrived. I also drew the attention of every little boy in the church, each wanting a turn with my sword.
I remember still doing Show and Tell as Mark and I left the building for 7-11 for coffee.
We did a lot of coffee during this time. I remember one Sunday, I slipped out the service for a cup of coffee. By now, I realize, Mark had a pretty good idea my movements. Soon, he was in the Fellowship Hall with me getting coffee. We were spending more tme together. But often, he still had to work in the afternoon.
One morning, the coffee was truly awful. We dumped and like two teens, we sneaked out of church and crossing the field, we went to 7-11 for coffee. So our relationship slowly began over coffee.
I knew he was serious when he took me to Starbucks.
I didn't push, but I did wonder. Cleanly he liked me. Of course he was both working and going to school so right now all he could afford was coffee. My busniess was beginning to take off, so he would allow me once in a while to treat. Whywas he dragging his feet?
I would learn later that because of Mark's upbringing, he wasn't going to court me or anyother woman until he was in a posistion to truly court her in style.
He was and is indeed an officer and an gentleman.