Photo: Hellloooooo teeny tiny little bebe watermelon! I’m gonna eat ya! I’m gonna eat ya right up!

 

The suburban church we attend here is sistered with one in the city, and that city church runs a very successful and popular summer camp every year for the children of their parish and surrounding communities. They rely on the donations and service of churches like mine to provide lunches and a field trip for the kids. This week is our week, so I decided to volunteer. Two early mornings of preparing lunches in the church kitchen, the boys playing with toys in the open social hall while we worked. I hope I can include them one day, maybe get them to come serve the lunches in the city with me. I used to do a lot of volunteering with my mom, and I’d like to make sure that the boys to learn the importance of selfless service to this world we live in.

I admit that I’ve been driven by my guilt to sign up to help with this ministry. We are a couple who could and should live in the city. We are a couple who could and should choose an urban community and be active participants in it. Sometimes I feel like we made the lazy choice to come out here, indulging ourselves instead of investing and serving. It’s a stupid thought, I know… Anyway, I thought that joining this ministry could help make me feel a little bit connected, less like a cowardly runaway. Time is precious, so giving it and my cooking skills in such a way feels good and important. Of course, it’s all so very small, maybe even insignificant in the long run. There is time yet to reconnect and find a way to do more.

I was the youngest woman in our group by decades, but I still had a lot of fun standing in that hot kitchen stuffing baggies full of goldfish crackers and spooning meatballs over trays penne. Being new to the group, I tried to be useful, keep the boys out of trouble, and listen more than speak. The time went by quickly and, in the end, it was a great feeling to see the trays upon trays and bags upon bags of healthy lunches leave our kitchen to head down to Boston. The other women were also volunteering to serve the food. I am probably a few years away from that. Hopefully, though, this is the start of something that will last a while. I wish I could do more, but one has to start somewhere.

My mother reminded me this weekend that my grandmother and her friends used to run the church kitchen during Vacation Bible School and prepped all the lunches and snacks. “I don’t know how they got anything done, all the gossiping and storytellin’ those women were doing!” I’m so pleased to take up the torch without meaning to. I hope, with time, that some of that fellowship will come around for me, too. It is a surprising and, I’m surprised to say, a delightful twist of fate to be a regular and involved church-goin’ lady. Church has been a grounding, pleasant experience, and has given to me gifts that I didn’t know I wanted or really needed. I suddenly feel bad about all the poo-pooing and badmouthing about it that I did when I was a know-it-all in college!

We go back tomorrow to help again and I just got an email that we’re preparing taco salad. Those kids are in for a treat. 🙂

Aside from the watermelon, marigolds, tomatoes and pumpkins are doing things in the garden beds!

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We are especially interested in those pumpkin sprouts because we just have no idea what is going to happen next. The leaves are as big as elephant ears! They are taking over the entire bed and shading out some of the other plants! The Husband and I seriously sat at the dinner table today and debated if we need a dedicated pumpkin/melon patch next year like crazy people! We gonna run out of yard, ya’ll! The boys joyously put in their two cents, proclaiming the need for more seeds and more garden beds next year! Who is going to tend to all of these plants? Hm?

And speaking of two little boys, a verdict has been rendered in the case of Ursa Major and the Electric Guitar: I’m going to call the music school tomorrow to set up his first set of lessons, and he and his father are going to the music store on Saturday to rent a guitar and amp. We’re going to give this a go and, if things go well, at the end of the 3-month rental, we’ll hopefully have enough knowledge to make a good purchase of a guitar for him (it’ll make a fine Christmas present). Ursa Minor is going to sit out the music lessons, but I’m going to have to find some sort of other activity for him.

So, for longtime readers keeping score, that means I’m about to be a suburban mom using her big ass mini-van as a bus that shuffles her children to competing lessons all over her suburban-ass town. How much more of a stereotype can I be? Oh wait, neither of them play soccer yet… I guess that’s coming!

Is it Wednesday already? Where did the week go!? See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

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