We have concurred, adopted, amended, heard millions of points of personal privilege or clarification, moved to suspend the rules, moved to change the rules, probably moved to ignore the rules forever and still finished all of the remaining business by 4:30 pm on the last day.
I have carefully weeded out my five inch wide three ring binder and thrown out all the now useless paper. My Blue Book is about to be deep sixed here in my room. For those of you who are concerned about the environment, this area sorts and recycles anything that can be recycled, something I wish more cities, counties and states would consider. So all of that paper as well as the cardboard cover of the notebook and the metal binder will find itself becoming something else.
It is now time to pack, to discover just how much I can get in my suitcase, how much will go in my backpack and what "extra" bag I can pass off as my purse for boarding purposes. I don't think there is much more I can throw out at this point and I have done my best not to pick up and/or buy too much in the exhibit hall while I was here. Okay, there are those two bags of books from Church Publishing but no one who knows me really expects me to pass a book display and come away empty handed. ;-)
For all the times when we wished people would stop talking, when tempers flared and we found ourselves taking sides even if we didn't express that out loud, the tenor of this General Convention has been reasonable. We weren't always quiet in expressing our opinions but, with only two exceptions that I know about, no one was rude or out of line - both times it was the same person.
We do have fun. The rules are a good thing but we tend to break them appropriately. One of them is that we do not applaud; however, when someone is introduced, we usually applaud before being given permission. We sing together in the House. We do laugh, especially the last two days when the president and secretary kept referring to each other by the wrong title and then getting the giggles. And we have been blessed this year with meditation and prayer twice a day done by The Rev. Frank Wade of the Diocese of Washington, a deeply insightful man who has an incredible way with words.
Despite the fact that most of the deputies are over 50, our young deputies are increasing in number and also in voice. They speak well and passionately and I am very proud of them. Since my first General Convention 24 years ago, the number of persons of color has increased dramatically as well. The Episcopal Church is not monochromatic or geriatric as we are often led to believe.
And so dear friends, I bid Anaheim a very fond farewell. I have seen old friends, made new ones and look forward to getting back home to friends and family and my animals.