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.
After church yesterday one of the little old blue-haired ladies grasped my arm and said, “Hey now, what’s this I hear about you running off to Hawaii with some strange man none of us have ever met? Whatever happened to that trumpet playing fellow? He seemed like a nice enough guy.”
I answered angelically, “The trumpet playing fellow is who I am running off to Hawaii with.”
She took her hand from my arm and tried to stand up taller. “Well hear now,” She demanded, “You just be careful. He could be an ax-murderer, you know. ”
I responded, “I’ve known him for awhile now and I think I can safely say he has no plans to murder any axes.”
She shook her head. “Just you be careful. You never know these things until it’s too late.”
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 have had my 24 inch RCA TV for 16 years. I got it used. It has been a good and faithful servant all these years, but considering it’s venerable age, I see no point in wrestling it to Hawaii.
I have a dear friend who has only an even more ancient 19 inch TV, so I thought I would be kind and give her my set. This is where the dilema comes in. Soon I will be heading to my friend’s house. After hooking up her “new” TV we are off for some fine dining — her treat. Obviously I need to be “dressed” for that. So, do I wrestle the TV into my car while I am still in shorts and a t-shirt, then run in the house to change –taking the huge risk that I will have neither TV nor car when I get back outside? OR, do I try to wrestle the TV once I am in my dress and heels?
I know the obvious answer. The obvious answer is a question — <i>Where the heck is OC when I need him?</i>