Reason #1 No Filter
Our church’s demographic is similar to most small traditional churches. By that, I mean there are a lot of old people. We obviously have found several families in our age range, too, or we wouldn’t be going there still, but honestly the old people are one of my main reasons for staying. I like the idea that I can learn from people who have lived more life than me, and I am so glad my kids can be around them since all our grandparents live far away.
One of the church’s best traditions is called Second Sunday lunch, which is when all the members bring covered dishes for a potluck. This is my favorite day of the month because it means I get to eat old lady food--fried chicken, green bean casserole, homemade mac and cheese, and deviled eggs. (Oh--and from-scratch brownies.)
Recently, Second Sunday lunch was cancelled. Someone (a very stupid someone, obviously) thought it was too much of a hassle, so Second Sunday lunch was replaced with a $5 lunch, which included sandwiches, chips, and dessert. After three months, everyone decided to bring back the traditional potluck for “Rally Day” (the annual Sunday school kick-off) in September. I had the pleasure of sitting with some ladies who were very opinionated about the Second Sunday lunch debacle.
Here’s a general synopsis of the conversation that occurred:
Me (trying to make conversation): I’m so glad we had a potluck today. This food is wonderful!
Old Lady #1: If you ask me, it was a stupid idea to ever change it in the first place.
Old Lady #2: If I wanted a $5 sandwich, I’d make it at home and save myself $3.50!
Old Lady #1: I think we all know who made the decision to change it, and she doesn’t even eat, so I don’t think she should have a say anyway!
I can not wait until I’m old enough to say whatever I want without caring who hears it.
Reason #2: Snail Mail
One of the highlights of my life is receiving something in the mail from Aunt Lucille. Aunt Lucille is Scott’s eighty-something-year-old great-aunt (his grandfather’s youngest sister). I have never met her, and if Scott has, he doesn’t remember. He certainly couldn’t pick her out in a line-up (and he may not even be able to tell you how she’s related to him). Here’s what’s great: she never misses an occasion to send a card. Every birthday and anniversary, we get cards from Aunt Lucille. She even knows our kids’ birthdays!
And like all old people, she sends letters inside the cards. Each Christmas, we gather around her Christmas letter (hand-written, not a mass letter to all) and read it aloud. Sometimes we do this multiple times throughout the Christmas season. In the past, she has included pieces of fabric (to show us what she’s using to make baby blankets), and she almost always sends those little business cards that walk us through how to be saved. (Praise Jesus!)
This year, when I saw her shaky handwriting on the outside of my birthday card envelope, I ripped it open to find the sweetest note:
I hope you have a nice birthday. I took the liberty of sending you a subscription for 1 year of “Birds in Bloom.” I thought your boys might enjoy the pictures if nothing else. Do you have any squirrels? They make a pest of themselves here. Mail time!
Happy birthday, and may God bless!
Love and Blessings,
Her note was obviously cut short because she saw the mail person coming to the door, but it was still a great representation of the wonderful person she is. I’ll post her Christmas letter--it’s sure to be rather lengthy.
Reason #3 Email
A few months ago, my parents decided to get rid of their desktop, so they gave it to my grandma who has never owned a computer. My dad took it to her house, set it up, and explained basic emailing procedures. Since then, my grandma has been emailing me once a week or so, filling me in on her fishing adventures in Heber Springs, AR.
This week, I got a forward from her. The subject line read: Fw: Penguins - NOT for the boys to see. When I opened the email, the body read: Hey--this is kind of “off color” but it’s about penguins. (I have always liked and collected penguins.)
Here’s what followed:
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go? Wonder no more!!! It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life.
If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:
"Freeze a jolly good fellow! Freeze a jolly good fellow!"
Then, they kick him in the ice hole.
Thank you, Grandma. No, really. Thank you.