I did get my house cleaned up, with a bit of help from my boys. Good thing, too, because no sooner was I ensconced on my couch with Hopkins (that’s a sweater, for those who do not possess total recall), but one of the Methodists came to my door.

Toby the stupid dog (I am not being unkind here, I’m just distinguishing him from Fiona the glasses-wearing dog) went into his Cujo imitation and had to be removed from the room. I invited the nice lady to sit down, feeling extremely thankful that we had done at least some of the needed housework — and then there I was in a very constrained state.

While I would have enjoyed discussing Toplady and Wesley, and I would really like to know the theological specs for Methodism, and I am dying to know about their music program — I did not want to tell her that I am a member of another church and not happy there. Since she was wearing an eyelash-yarn scarf (bright pink), I also wanted to ask her if she was a knitter, and learn more about their knitting ministry — but without making it clear that I am engaged in church shopping. In short, there were lots of things I wanted to ask, and many lively discussions that could have resulted, but I was carefully avoiding telling her anything. So all her polite questions, which carried the under-message “Why did you come to our church and are you coming back?”, I treated as though they were small talk on a bus. I didn’t even offer the woman a cup of tea.

With some advance warning, I could have done better. However, at my church, a person could visit any number of times in complete anonymity. No one would ever come to your house, for heaven’s sake. Does this mean that my church is stuffy and unfriendly, or that Methodism is more evangelical than Presbyterianism? It did make me want to go back to her church.

This experience will not cause me to give up my scientific approach. Today, I am going to the 8:30 service at my own church (this is my solution to the whole guilt problem — I am singing at the early service and then conducting my search), and then I will go to the country Presbyterian church. This church has the advantage of being within my current denomination, and has a charming old building and a really nice pastor. It has the disadvantage of being rather far away — in fact, I am not sure I will be able to get there without getting lost. It also has the disadvantage of being a praise-music church. Praise music is okay, it’s fun to sing and all, but it isn’t Bach, is it?

I’ve done the armhole shaping on Hopkins’s front and am heading up to the neck. By the time I get there, I will I hope have decided how to pattern the back.