I don't think I've yet posted a reply on here, but thank you all so much for your comments. They have been very enlightening.
And the very day after I posted this, there were two ladies who stayed after class, and I was drawn into their conversation. That gave me quite a bit of enlightenment as well! One of the ladies who attends the catechumen class is actually lifelong Orthodox, and I did not know this. The other was the woman who basically keeps all the nuts and bolts of the church running, and was involved in everything
. They were both very sweet, and helpful, and I have been invited to all sorts of things now.
I love people anyway, but certain ethnicities really endear me to the way they are. There are so many Greek women at our church. I love to be around them. They love to talk - I'm quiet by nature and I have a feeling I'm never going to get to say anything, LOL, but that's ok.
Some of them seem to love to teach, and I love to learn, so that's good.
And I enjoy helping. I'm sure I don't know how to cook the recipes they use (and a lot of cooking goes on at our church) but hopefully I can at least help.
(And just as surely - I have learned nothing about the Greek men - which is ok. I am happy to be with the women. But the men, other than to be polite, I hear nothing from them, and they seem to disappear to somewhere, LOL)
And I learned more in the offhand comments and a couple of quick questions asking those two women (well, more things off of my list of particular questions) than I actually do in several classes from Father, since he tends to concentrate on the same things I'm reading online while they know the answers to the day-to-day how things are actually done, as well as parish traditions, that Father doesn't speak about (though I'm sure he knows most of it as well).
I feel so much like I am home when I am with the people in the Church. It's like what I've been looking for my entire life, and it brings tears to my eyes to think that they really do exist.
Believe me when I say, I meant no disrespect at all to the cradle and longtime Orthodox when I asked the question. I just notice a difference between what I learn online and in books, and what they know, and I wanted to understand better.
Thank you all so much.