Thursday, March 21, 2019

Passing the Peace

I'm doing a Lenten study at my church. It's a small group and the discussion is good. This week's topic was prayer, and a very tiny elderly lady talked about her best prayer time is in the morning, in her silent house. I could imagine her sitting quietly, feeling close to God. 

But later during the discussion, we talked about the parts of our own church service, and her response was poignant. She loves passing the peace. She loves the hugs. 

She is a widow. The mother of six children grown and gone. She lives independently in her own home. 

Passing the peace can be controversial. I tend to stay in my pew and shake the hands (or hug) the people around me. Others roam the aisles. I think of this lady, tiny and frail. If she's in my vicinity, I do leave my pew to give her a hug. She always approaches me with outstretched arms and when I hug her, she says, "Oh Debby!" in such a glad way that always makes me feel as if I am, at that moment, the most important person to her. It's sweet, and it always touches my heart. 

Some folks cannot stand the wanderers. They consider it a disruption. One woman even sneeringly referred to it as 'Howdy Doody Time' (which did make me laugh). 

It doesn't matter to me, really. I like my church and the people in it. I'm also reserved, so I see both sides of the controversy. Last night, I realized how important those hugs can be.

Her children live far away. Those hugs my friend gets on Sunday are likely the only hugs she receives regularly, so they have to last her the week.

 I made sure to gently hug her before I left, one of those big enveloping hugs. She hugged me back, and she said, with her usual gladness, "Oh Debby!" 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


It was the first day of spring. Even better it FELT like it!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Answer Me This...

Why is it that I can fall asleep soundly on the sofa and not hear a single thing? Not the news, not Wheel of Fortune, slept through a full half of Jeopardy.

It was a sound sleep, the kind of sleeping that you wake up from wondering, "What time is it?" "Where am I?" "What day is it?" 

I watched the second half of Jeopardy, trying to figure out just why the current champion annoys me so much. She won again. The woman played well and she certainly deserved to win, but gads....there's something about her. 

I blearily drag myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I nestle under my cozy electric blanket in my favorite flannel gown. I read a chapter of Howard's End (which I am enjoying as much as I did the first time I read it). I close the book, and shut off the light and stretch out luxuriously...

....and I am wide awake. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Iris and Izzy

My son and daughter-in-law have a little dog named Izzy. They got her as a puppy, and she was quite ill for a time with parvo, or something like it. She had terrible, terrible diarrhea and they were not sure that she would live.

But she did, and fast forward, Izzy is now a chipper little dog, a lot of fun. However, canine PTSD is real, because all these years later, the sound of a fart, or someone making a raspberry, will trigger Izzy to leap to her feet, sniff at her nether region, and run upstairs to her safe place beneath their bed.

Iris is 7 months old. Guess what new sound she's learned?

The dog may never come out from under the bed again.

Strange Thing

Today, we had a small party for a woman who is quitting to take a new position. I'd heard that she was frustrated with a personnel situation and I felt sorry for her, even though it is hard for me to imagine the woman she was having difficulty with as 'a bully'. I was shocked when I heard it. The woman in question talks a lot and it is plainly evident that she is not very bright. In truth, I feel a little sorry for her.

But the woman who is leaving is a nice person and I'll miss her, and so I told her that. 

She said, "It was a bunch of things, really, but the straw that broke the camel's back was when they raised the starting wage." 

I blinked. Of all the things to quit a job over! 

I listened to her vent about her 10 years with the company and her disappointment to see the new people rewarded. While the people who were there for years were given a raise, it wasn't equal to the raise in the starting pay. 

I remembered that day. We were all called in to an all associate's meeting. We were told that starting wage was going to be raised by $1.50 and that everyone there was going to get a raise as well. 

Dead silence. People were shocked. 

You could tell that the raise meant a lot to a lot of people who were struggling to make ends meet. I was very happy for everyone. So happy that I even dropped an anonymous note into the suggestion box thanking our general manager, and telling him that the raise would make a big difference for virtually everyone there. 

Not once did it ever occur to me to compare my raise with the new people. It surprises me that anyone would. 

I wish her well. It's not an easy place to work sometimes. I get frustrated too. But the company has been good to me personally, and I don't take that kindness for granted. I get 5 weeks of vacation a year. I have a very nice 401K and it provides Tim and I with the health benefits we need. I don't begrudge anyone the same.