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Season’s End

Today at Sidewalk we said good bye for the season. Here are the highlights:

I do not normally disrobe in public, but today I got naked in the grocery store. I was picking out watermelon, deposited one in the cart and when I turned to get the other, the cart kept the front of my lightweight blouse . I found considerably more of me exposed then I care to share with strangers, so I hastily tied the tear together in little knots, clutched my purse to my stomach and hurried to the check out stand. After paying for my purchases I rushed right home to change.

At Sidewalk Sunday School the kids made refrigerator magnets. I reminded them that this was our last weekly Sidewalk for the season, but that I would be seeing them soon for a Summer Splash (water party). Then I made the major announcement: I told them that I had loved my six years as their Sidewalk teacher, but that I was moving to Hawaii, and next year they would have a new teacher. No one seemed in the least bit upset or surprised. There were no startled expressions or looks of dismay. No one asked a single question. Then I was dismayed. After 6 years couldn’t somebody at least act — pretend even — to be a bit dismayed by my leaving? And then Ms. Betty stepped forward and presented me with a bouquet of flowers, and a card signed by every single child.

I visited with the children and fielded questions while they made crafts. The question they asked most was, “Will Sidewalk be back?” And the second most frequently asked question was, “How long will you be gone?” The first question was answered with an easy, “Yes.” The second answer, “Honey I am going to move there and get a job and live,” was greeted with teary eyes and sniffles. It didn’t take me long to realize that their initial non-reaction would have been easier to deal with.

Today’s craft was refrigerator magnets. Some of the kids gave theirs to me as gifts. Betty, Milli and I all brought food without consulting each other, so for lunch the kids had ice cream and cupcakes and for dessert they had watermelon and soda pop. The meal got a really big cheer. The reason they ate the ice cream first had much to do with the weather and practicality.

Finally, we closed in prayer and said good-bye. I received many hugs and a lot of the children asked me not to forget them — as if I could.

Every week we take their prayer requests and the people of the church pray for the ministry and children. This week I’d like to share the children’s prayers with you as well. These children who have very little themselves, know how to love and care for their neighbors.

MaKayla: pray that our new house is safe.

Sirenia: pray for Ms. Charlene to be safe in Hawaii.

Alejandra: I pray that MaKayla meets new friends in her new house, and that God is always with her.

Erika: pray that I will walk my friends home safely.

Hassam: pray for my cousins in California, they didn’t want to move.

Brandi: pray for my mom to keep getting better (stroke). Pray that my arm heals (minor burn).

Brittnay: I pray that my mother gets the money to pay the rent.

Raoul: please pray that Ms. Charlene has fun in Hawaii.

Juliana: please pray for my dad to stop drinking a lot.

Alejandra: pray that my grandma gets better (in hospital).

Maria: pray that Ms. Charlene has a good life in Hawaii.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. pray that Ms. Charlene has a good life in Hawaii.

    Yeah. I pray that too. And for all of them. A special thought for Brandi …


  2. I pray Ms. Charlene learns to keep her clothes on in the grocery store. (and that she has a good life in Hawaii… )

  3. OC — pray that we have a good life in Hawaii. :*
    Melli — stay tuned for further public nakedness ….
    Dr. John — God willing I will have the same ministry opportunities in Hawaii.

  4. Precious. I pray that you have a wonderful life in Hawaii and that your time in Vegas will be one that has a lasting impact no matter where you go. Just like your friendship has had a lasting impact on my life.

  5. Trying again.

    I have a good naked story. Actually I have two, but I’ll share the one that involves me and leave my husband’s story for another time.

    On my first real day of teaching after graduating, I managed to bust the zip in my pants before getting to my first class. I had to walk around the whole day with my pants held together with safety pins.

    By the way, those prayers made me teary. Must be the hormones.

  6. I’m so glad that you have a glorious new life awaiting after all these sad good-byes. I’m glad I’m a blog friend so I get to move with you instead of also having to say good-bye…you will be continuing to blog…right?

  7. Angela — what an incredible kind and inspiring sentiment. We both learned and grew in that year we spent together — and giggled a lot, too! You will always be dear to my heart.

    Mumma — I’ve done the broken zipper all day thing. It does make for a bit of self-conciousness!

    Kat — I cannot see into the future, but I currently have no plans to stop blogging. In fact, I’ve been entertaining some thoughts about a new, more tropical look.

  8. Hi Quilly…Everyday I pray for kids that are in bad situations. As I read your students little prayers, I hoped that mine would be added to theirs and that things would get better for them. The cockles (Sp.) of my heart were warmed again by your class.

    “…..naked in the grocery store.” (Hahaaaaaa!) Sorry, but I roared laughing.

    Speaking of grocery stores (I wish I had a naked story, but I don’t.)…..One day I bumped into an elderly gentleman, twice, with my cart in the grocery store. The second time we both smiled and I said, “I’ll bet you’d hate to meet me in the parking lot.” He LOL and replied, “You’d be wrong. I’d like to meet you anywhere.”

  9. oh, this is kind of moving… the kids seem so sweet…
    and lol at the grocery store episode 🙂

  10. Judy — the children tahnk you, even of they don’t know that you are praying. And, if you liked that naked story, stay tuned for my next post.

    Polona — kids are kids the world over. They all worry about the grown ups in their lives, and care about love, acceptance, and belonging. Unfortunately some also have to worry about their own pwersonal safety and where their next meal is coming from.

  11. Your departure will leave a whole in their hearts. Hopefully a twin version of your enthusiasm and light heartness will come into their world. Best wishes for your new adventure. My prayer is that you will keep blogging so I will not have to be misty eyed as the children have been … 🙂

  12. Pauline — I have no plans to quit blogging. So far, no one from my team has stepped forward and said, “I will lead,” but there are 4 of them more then capable of doing so, and one of them will.

  13. I pray that Miss Charlene will have many wonderful new expriences in Hawaii, a great relationship and new people in her life that can show and tell her how much she is loved!

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