The church sent me off in true United Methodist fashion — with a fork in my hand. We had a potluck. People stood and shared their memories of me. Told my secrets. And said what it was they would remember most.
They made me cry.
The Three Sopranos (a choir trio, not the mob) sang to me. Not only did I cry — so did a few others. Then the talks began. Lonna said she appreciated me for my storytelling, both written and oral. My Sidewalk Crew stood up — as a team — and said that the shoes I was leaving behind would be dang hard to fill. I wonder why they don’t know I couldn’t have done any of it without them? Beverly told everyone that I’d confessed I was really leaving because the church just sold and I wasn’t going through the ordeal of cleaning it out and closing it down (we worked together on the team that sorted through 97 years of storage when First UMC sold). And Carol said that when she thinks of me the one thing that stands out in her mind was a Saturday night sermon I gave. She said, “Ask me by Wednesday and I won’t be able to tell you what Pastor spoke about today, but I will never forget your story about the homeless manin the rain.”
I will never forget my Las Vegas church family because they provided an oasis of peace, refreshment and joy in this often hostile desert. They gave me their love, ministered with me, ministered to me, and allowed me to minister to them. They have helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. Because of that, no matter where I go they will be part of my future.
This is how much I will be missed. We had a big Sidewalk “Splash” event today. One kid showed up. Fifty dollars worth of food. A couple dozen water guns. One huge tub. The staff — and the kid — had a blast. At one point they all ganged up on me and I went from dry to wet in under three seconds. It was fun. Would have been more fun with a couple of kids to drown.
Oh well — there’s a reason we don’t have Sidewalk in the summer — besides the heat — it’s too dang hard to find kids. The family ships them off to Mexico for Granny daycare. As far as endings go, this one was very understated.
I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch yesterday — but I have so much to do for today’s yard sale (which I am still not ready for so why am I here typing to you?) I called and asked her if we could bump the date to Monday. She said no, that she was leaving town Monday morning, and wouldn’t be back until after I’d left. Since she has been a very good friend all these years I did want to see her — so I agreed to keep our set date.
We arrived at the restaurant at the same time. The waitress asked how many people would be eating and Jamie said, “Six or seven.” I was surprised. I had already been to several lunches with different people from school and Jamie had said she wanted to have a lunch for ‘just the two of us.” I reminded her of that. She flashed me her 100 watt smile and said, “So. I lied.”
We all had a wonderful time laughing and chatting and eating way too many chips with salsa. The drinks were iced tea and/or water. No alcohol. We chatted for four hours. We might have left sooner but our waiter was so surly, how could we leave him?
As the party came to a close I was given an envelope. Jamie said that she knew I didn’t want any presents, but just the same, my friends had wanted to give me gifts. Inside the envelope was a card signed by 20 or so of my coworkers. Inside the card was a receipt — for a deposit placed into my savings account at the bank.
I have good friends.
I will miss them.
10:10 a.m. Yard Sale Update:
It is 90F.
I have made one sale. $5.00
1:52 p.m. Yard Sale Update:
It is 100F.
I have a $57.00 profit from my yard sale. I would have $62.00, but I gave the first $5.00 to my 10 year-old helper. A bit of good news, most of the money came from the sale of my huge oak and glass coffee table. I am so glad I will not have to carry that monster back into the house tonight.
Another bit of good news, the little bits and pieces of my life have value on eBay!
I know I said in yesterday’s post that I don’t normally disrobe in public, but . . .
I spent so much time writing yesterday’s post that I was almost late for my friend, Jamie’s, Bridal Shower. I bathed, got dressed and put on my make-up in record time, then I flew out of the house. I arrived at the Bridal Shower simultaneously with two of my colleagues, and behind a crowd of other people. We walked into the house talking and laughing. I said hello to the Bride-to-be, but kept moving. She had tons of people to greet and since I see her daily, I figured I’d just get out of the way — except she exclaimed, “Your shirt!” and reached through the crowd in the foyer to grab the right side seam of my blouse. She jerked me toward her.
I was wearing my full circle denim skirt and a cute princess-style red-plaid cotton blouse with white pearl snaps. It is one of my favorite outfits and I wear it often. Jamie had seen it several times, so I didn’t know what she was so excited about.
I was quite startled by her sudden attack on my clothes and lost my balance. I almost fell into her, and before I realized she was trying to whisper something in my ear, I jerked away. At this point I had several thoughts: “Why is she pulling on my clothes?” “It’s impolite to whisper in public.” And, “I feel a draft.” At the same time what she’d said registered clearly, “Your blouse is on wrong side out.”
I looked down. Suzanne, the friend I’d come through the door with, looked down as well. I gasped in shock. She cracked up laughing. Jamie was trying to push me down the hall. She was giggling, too, and we’d caught everybody’s attention. Rather, I had caught everybody’s attention. You see, when Jamie tugged on my clothes so insistently (grabbing the exposed tags) she’d unsnapped my blouse all the way up the front.