Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who are we???

12/10/06 Sunday
Just got back from church. It was interesting, but I find most things interesting. While we sat around talking with others in the Sunday school class someone mentioned about Baptists not allowing dancing while Methodists do. This was to describe the difference between the two churches. I had forgotten this as I have forgotten so much else so it came as a surprise. It is fascinating for be to observe these things. It was brought up that “You don’t hear that much anymore”. I kept my mouth shut as I thought of how churches decide what’s good and what’s not, putting the precepts of men as doctrine. I am getting better at not running my head.

Finally got to talk to the Pinkerton’s. Billie seemed surprised when I told her the house wasn’t all fixed up yet. When I briefly described our problem with the propane she said something about us having “All that money”. I explained that we had to buy Larry’s half of the farm so we were land rich but cash poor. That conversation highlighted how much peoples perceptions of us and our lives differ from the truth of the matter. I suppose I need to work on educating them so they have a clearer understanding of who we are.

With that in mind I wrote down our blog address on one of the donation envelops. I asked Darryl, my cousin who was Lee’s brother, if he did internet and he said he didn’t. Bummer. He is one of the prime people I want to have become familiar with us. All he knows about me is what others have told him and much of that is not good. Considering how colorful my history is I would have to think it will darken his perception of who I am. Being an ex-con and former drug addict does nothing to encourage others to greet you with open arms. Of course bad news always travels faster than good and is remembered long after the good is forgotten.

I had wanted to get the blog address to the Pinkerton’s but they were already gone so I waited for the pastor. I invited him and his wife to come visit anytime they wanted, explaining that we were pretty much strangers and wanted to become known and accepted. I also gave him the blog address saying “This way you can visit without seeing us”. I explained how the blog was a great tool for our family in Toledo to follow what is going on. “It’s got writing a letter beat cause it comes with pictures and is updated daily”. Alright, so I don’t update it every day but I try.

Today I want to finally unload the oven we got from the Habitat for Humanity store from the truck. Not sure how well I’ll handle the weight but I usually do well at figuring out an easier way to do things. If it’s too much I’ll get Cherie to help. It’s turned into a nice sunny day and will get up to the 60’s. Hope I stay sharp all day but never know. Only had one partial seizure yesterday so that’s good. I plan on doing lots of outside work while Cherie plans on lots of inside things. She went through a depression thing this morning saying she thought I might not be happy with her because of her weight, looks, and a whole list of things. I told her she needs to keep her imagination in check cause not one of those things were even remotely true. I think this is part of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with menopause so will support her as I always try to do. Some of it may be the fallout from the heart we found yesterday and the unpleasant memories it brought up.

Tonight the church is having a get together. I was asked by one of the people we’ve met (I can’t remember her name or for that matter the name of our Sunday school teacher who I think is her husband. It can be embarrassing) if we are going. I told her it would be uncomfortable because we really didn’t have food to bring. This is awkward for me cause I don’t want to be perceived as being a bum and for that matter don’t want to be one. That’s one of the reasons we declined to go with the church last week to see the nativity movie that has been just released. Kind of embarrassing to say we’re too poor. Enough of that for now. Time to get out of these church clothes and go get dirty. I think we’ll go to the church thing, mostly to find friends and get to be known.

The church thing was a Christmas program that featured all the age groups in the youth department. I’m sure that we had been told that but I really didn’t remember anything but the finger food deal at the fellowship hall. Man I wish I’d had a video camera for the program. Can’t really describe it well enough to convey how fun the kids were. They started out with the real young ones first who sang a couple of songs. Some of the kids were just having a grand old time, waving to people they knew and probably everyone in the place. Of course some were nervous but still did well.

The next age group was even better because they are old enough to be more aware of what was going on. I always love the clowns who just like to have fun. When they would end a song and we all would applaud a blond girl on the end held up her hands like a music star and took a bow. We laughed and laughed. Love it. Kids always lighten up my heart and put a smile on my face. I couldn’t help but study their faces and wonder what their lives were like and what pressures they would face as they grow older. As I did I remembered a scripture that says “To the pure all things are pure” and understood that for me with the worlds I’ve seen it is hard to just see the good. Still the innocence of youth is like a breath of fresh air after being in a sewer. Just cleanses the soul for that moment.

Then they had the play. It was impressive from the standpoint of the kids ability and talents. Of course there are always a few who stand out, who had the best voices and great poise. What impresses me more is that the ones who were less blessed with ability or even confidence were still a part of it all and had a good time. Even the mistakes were a points of pleasure, not pain. I suppose that’s because I was always the one rejected and left out. That’s why I like to see those ones lifted up and supported. Over all it was a blessing for both me and Cherie. I always love to hear her giggle and laugh and she did plenty of that.

The place was packed. The lady who sat next to me would lean over and comment about how cute or talented someone was as if I was an old friend. Then, as she and others got up to leave, she told Cherie and I to make sure we went to the fellowship hall across the street after the program was over. I guess I’m not used to that kind of acceptance being from a much colder city where most have their guards up.

We went over after the program. Walking in we saw quite a spread laid out. Finger food? This was a meal just taking one of everything without even considering the deserts. Sure everything was small bites but the variety was such that I couldn’t sample half of what was there. And it was all great. Charley and Billie Pinkerton were there serving food. They are open and friendly so I suppose I was being real insecure when I wondered if they were avoiding me weeks ago when we first came to church. Real insecure is a part of our make up after the rejections we had been through from the church in Toledo.

The pastor sat down at our table so he could talk with us. I can’t remember his name right now but will work on getting it to stay in my mind. He evidently read part of the blog cause he said “Did I read that you went to Bible college?”. I suppose I have that in the blog but didn’t remember. Ought to go read it again. I told him and when he asked said it was Christ for the Nations. He said he had heard about it. I said it was a bit extreme compared to First Baptist. Kinda worried about that cause CFNI is a screaming, tongue talking, faith healing, Pentecostal type place that doesn’t fit well with the Baptist theology. I really didn’t want us to get categorized because of that. The fact that I have long since backed away from those excesses didn’t come up. I just want to be liked and accepted, not judged for what I believed thirty years ago.

I suppose I’m being insecure again. The whole night was great. Our Sunday school teacher, who’s name I learned is Steve, also came and talked with us. He asked what I did as far as work so I had to explain why I can’t work a regular job and was mostly trying to get the house fixed up. Basically I work on my farm, just don’t do any farming right now. In the spring we’ll grow a garden but that’ll probably be it until we get the five acres out of CRP in 2008. The house will be full time at my level of ability for a while. Steve asked if we needed anything. “Sure, we need a hot water heater” I quipped. You know me, always making a joke. He said they, by which I think he meant the pastor and him, had talked about bringing some food by. I said we wouldn’t turn it down and explained how I used to never accept help but learned to swallow that pride when homeless. Still not comfortable with it but that’s tough. Am still amazed at how things work out. Blows me away.

I’m tired and just rambling along here. I took some pictures of the mess we pulled out of the bus. Here are some of the jars we got. The dressers I dismantled for the wood. Right now I am scavenging all the wood I can get so I will have material to build things we need with. No waste here.

Time to call it a night folks.

Oh yeah!! I just looked at the pictures on the camera that I took today. Here is the stove top and microwave oven we got for eighty five bucks last week some time. Don’t look too bad for the price do they? I’ll have to build the cabinets to hold them so that’ll probably be a while.

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