Quakers are Friends,
Written by Lila Line on January 12, 2008
I found Third Haven Friends Meeting through Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland, where I was teaching a class in writing. When summer came, a student asked if we could continue the class out-of-doors in the sunshine and fresh air rather than an air-conditioned school room. When the college approved, Alice and John Ayers of Oxford, Maryland, offered their porch.
During one of the sessions, a woman arrived carrying a small sack with the words, "Quakers are Friends". Curious, I asked what that meant. She suggested that I visit Third Haven Quaker Meeting in Easton, Maryland.
The following Sunday when I entered the Meeting House and sat down on a hard bench, I glanced around and noticed several initials carved into an antiquated column. I looked out a window that overlooked a large tree laden with white blossoms. At once, I knew I had found the place for which I had been searching since moving from Washington, D.C. to Maryland's Eastern Shore over twenty-five years before.
Soon I learned the Meeting House was over 300 years old and thought to be one of the oldest wooden structures of worship in the nation. After attending Third Haven Friends Meeting two years, I joined the Meeting. Not too long afterwards, I was introduced to Pendle Hill in Wallington, Pennsylvania, a Quaker religious educational community. I attended a number of sessions until I discovered a book shop where I located "The Directory for Traveling Friends". I knew I had found another place that would entice me further into Quakerism.
Sometime later, I won a prize for a book I wrote. The prize allowed me to travel. From 1982 to 1997, I visited twenty-five Friends who were listed in the "Directory for Traveling Friends". Twelve returned the visit and several came to my water-front cottage two or three times, bringing children, tents, and grills in which to cook out-of-doors.
In Coeymans, New York, I visited Thereaw [SIC] Raymond twice. Later, I located Betty Peterson in Cape Briton, Canada, and Jim, Josie and Stephen Scotts in Blacksburg, Virginia, who were instrumental in helping me find a trailer to purchase. The Scotts and I became good friends, who helped me realize Blacksburg was close enough to the home of my oldest son in North Carolina, where he, his wife, and two small daughters lived. Chesapeake College allowed me to take summers off to enjoy my family as well as my new Quaker Friends.
Each Friend I visited wrote a kind note along with their names and addresses, and expressed how much they enjoyed the class I taught in Dream Interpretation, which I shared with them while we visited, and which one of my favorite students and friends, Phyllis Howing, now in Winterville, George, taught me to teach Dream Interpretation and who also taught classes in Dream Interpretation, and continues to help others how to interpret their dreams, one of my favorite activities when I can manage to remember my dreams...
I value the Friends I met in my travels, and the Friends who shared their homes with me, as well as my many Friends in and around Maryland.
After leaving Royal Oak, where I lived for nineteen years, I moved to Chestertown, Maryland, and continued to teach and write. One of the functions I attended in Chestertown, which I will long remember and value, was a memorial service for 12-year-old Lucy the Goose, where the Mayor of Chestertown delivered a heart-rendering sermon in honor of Lucy she delivered beside a bridge laden with dozens of visitors, a service I shall never forget. My dear friends, Susan Claggett and her children, Evan and Katie, attended Lucy's services as well. Evan and Katie are a few years older now, and so am I, but I hope they remember Lucy the Goose and her lovely memorial service.
A statue of Lucy the Goose was built near where Lucy made her home. People from all areas continue to visit Lucy's statue regularly. I look forward to visiting Lucy's statue as soon as this article is published. I trust some of my Quaker Friends will accompany me!
NOTE; On a recent visit to Third Haven Meeting, I ran my fingers across some of the antiquated columns next to the chairs. Perhaps it proves a Friend has left his or her prints on Third Haven Quaker Meeting. It is obvious many Quakers and Friends have left their prints on Third Haven Friends Quaker Meetings.