The Year In Review

Yeah, I didn’t have any trouble remembering this one. Last day of March and all; it’s an easy date to recall.

And as embarrassing as it was to overreact and become as frightened as I did, I know exactly what was going on. The fear of screwing up a good thing, taking grace on a silver platter and forgetting you ever had it, runs pretty deep in me, and with good reason.

Funny; I just thought of a moment when I was 19, a moment I remember vividly as being an opportunity I ran away from, and part of that opportunity actually involved me getting a silver platter. I still have it, probably.

Anyway, I went to the doctor a year ago today and got scared, sure I’d completely reversed years of trying to be a healthier person. That, or some pathology was winding its way through my system, which is really what I thought after those screwy lab tests came back. They were suspicious for all sorts of possible reasons, but actually represented a pretty simple one: I was just a little malnourished, particularly for an American of my age and status and everything else.

In fact, if you ignore all of my hand-wringing behavior and just look at the events, this is how scenarios like this are supposed to play out. People go through periods of depression, probably most of us. When you lose your appetite and sleep becomes a question mark on any given night, it’s time to see a professional.

And I understand – I’ve always understood – that losing interest in eating could be called a contemporary blessing. Nobody needs to be told that if you stop eating, you’ll lose weight. And losing weight is the American pastime.

I lost, on average, about a pound a week in 2016, although that didn’t start until the beginning of summer. A total of 42 pounds, from my visit the year before. I knew all about this. I have a scale and everything.

And it wasn’t all that scary, or it wouldn’t have been if it had happened with the intention of losing weight. Sure, ten pounds or so would be nice. Twenty would put me at what I thought was an ideal place, but I wasn’t counting on that. Or what happened, as far as that goes. Still, I had a Body Mass Index of just under 22 (below 20 is considered underweight, statistically), which is where plenty of healthy, active, and happy people live. If I’d started running and had been working toward the goal of running a marathon, it would have been nothing, just a nod in the direction of cause and effect.

This all worked out the way it was supposed to, then. I took a megadose of vitamin D for two months, then a regular dose every day, and probably for the rest of my life. I started an antidepressant that seemed to jolt my appetite back into gear and helped with sleep. I thought maybe that had some sort of effect on creativity, because I felt numb for months in that regard, struggling to find anything interesting to write about. To just think about.

But that seems to have lifted. And while you can certainly count me among the skeptics when it comes to antidepressants, this is an atypical sort and, y’know. There’s a pattern here. I’ve got a silver platter to prove it.

It was stupid. It was dangerous. I was crazy for a while, and wasn’t exactly all that intimate with reality, even though I saw it every day in the mirror.

And I didn’t get a platter, but this whole thing had a lining of the silver variety. My appetite is better but comes and goes, leading to light days and more indulgent ones; it seems to happen in weeks, in fact. I’ll have a busy week and I’ll drop a pound, then I’ll get nervous and focus on calories, resulting in the longest period of stability in terms of weight that I can remember as an adult, a sweet spot that hangs around 10 -15 pounds heavier than I was a year ago. Sweet because everything fits the way it’s supposed to, which is really the only thing I’m concerned about. The battle between too tight and too loose has been won by me, and at least for the moment I’ll take the victory and you can keep the platter, which is just a fancy word for a plate, anyway. I’ve got lots of plates. I plan on continuing to use them, too.

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Films Of Dreams

Four of my Lent dinners down, one to go, and I think my remarkable theory that, given the chance, people enjoy being with other people has been proven. Feel free to pass it along. “Idea by Chuck” or something like that would be appreciated.

And my involvement has become what it should have been, just the guy who functions as the clearinghouse for casseroles and sets up the tables. Last night we had breakfast for dinner, and I should have skipped the first breakfast I had. This was more food than I’d seen in a while, waffles and Danish and eggs and sausage and biscuits and gravy and a ton of fruit.

So one dusty idea with pretty worn treads turned out to work. If you cook it, they will come. They will also cook it if you ask nicely.

***

My little video interviews have gone well, too, although they’re personal stories  and mostly center around these people finding this little church, hidden away on a residential street in a modest neighborhood. If you watched these, and watched them many times, as I have in the editing process, you’d discover a pattern: These people are comfortable with their faith, and don’t seem to feel particularly compelled to talk much about that. What they talk about is finding a place where they felt at home, where they felt welcome, where they felt that anyone was welcome. That comes up all the time. This is the little church that did, and keeps doing.

I’ve thought for years that I had something to say, some long essay or book or something that took on perceptions and demonstrated a different reality. I wanted to write about the vagaries of faith, the different paths and journeys and philosophies that bring people into a room to do some pretty strange things. Things that feel natural and familiar.

And my experience is very different from others. Of course. I suspect anyone who visited our church who was used to attending a church would find little to be surprised at. It’s pretty conventional, if small. I belong to a mainline Protestant denomination that is considered among the most liberal, in general, and you’ll hear our prayers and concerns for all sorts of people we don’t know, including people our government is trying to keep out of the country. There’ll sometimes be stuff about our stewardship of the planet, which seems to be a liberal idea these days.

There would definitely be differences if your experience is, say, Pentecostal. Although we place a high premium on music, and we definitely do some rocking and rolling when the spirit moves. And there’s definitely a Spirit at work among us.

None of this is what I’m hearing on these videos. This isn’t about people discovering God; that journey has already, for the most part, been started. It’s about people needing a community, and how they found one.

Yeah. I think it would be hard to write what I’m feeling and thinking. I just know it when I see it, and I’ve seen it a lot lately.

Part of us, anyway, last night.
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That Arethra Thing

I do believe I’ve mentioned The West Wing a few times.

And I guess if it’s possible to have a favorite TV show (or movie, or book), which is a weird concept to me, that has to be it, just because I can always go back and get sucked into it immediately.  Let’s just say it is.

I also mentioned the podcast, The West Wing Weekly, which I’ve been listening to since it started a year ago. Just a fun hour, special guests sometimes, funny and smart hosts.

They’ve spent the last two weeks discussing the season #2 finale, The Two Cathedrals, since it’s often considered the best episode, and among the best episodes in television history, in fact. I have no opinion on that. I do remember it being pretty powerful on first viewing.

For those of you who didn’t and don’t watch, the president (Martin Sheen) has been hiding the fact that he has a remitting/relapsing form of multiple sclerosis, diagnosed four years before he ran for president. He later explains to his press secretary that he never imagined he’d have a chance at winning the nomination; he just wanted to keep the eventual nominee honest and raise some important points, as some candidates do. And then he was stuck with a secret.

And just as the secret starts to unravel and the president and his team are trying to figure out how to make it public in the most responsible way, the president’s long-time secretary is killed by a drunk driver.

All of this combines to make The Two Cathedrals what it was and is, a story of deceit and atonement and confession and sin and some attempts at redemption, but among other things we get a president who is very mad at God. And after his secretary’s funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., he asks for the building to be sealed so he can have a moment.

And he does have a moment. He addresses the cross, yells at God in English and then Latin. Pretty serious stuff, in a pretty serious show.

So they’re talking about it on the podcast yesterday, and had the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, on as a guest. He mentioned that while filming the scene, he noticed a group of priests at the back of the cathedral, so he felt it would be polite to explain what was going to happen next. He went to the first priest he saw and said, “Excuse me, father, I just wanted to let you know that in this scene, Martin’s going to get mad at God and do some shouting.” The priest smiled. “Yeah, it’s going to be GREAT.”

And that’s not the good story.

They were talking about the Latin and how they didn’t want it translated on screen, etc. And then Sorkin tells about the Sports Night episode when they all have to work late on Passover, so Jeremy (Josh Malina, also one of the cast members of The West Wing and cohost of the podcast) holds a Seder in the meeting room. Sorkin said he just wrote, “Jeremy begins Seder prayer,” because he knew Malina was an observant Jew and would know the prayer, and then they’d fade to black.

And that’s how it went (they played a little of it), and then after it aired they got complaints because Malina said/sang some wrong words. So Sorkin thought he could razz Josh about it a bit, but it turns out he was using these nonsense words some Jews substitute for the names of God when they’re not actually praying. Which he wasn’t; he was an actor playing a role. Like if someone asks you what’s in the Seder prayer, you would use those pretend names for God when you explain, because, again, you’re not really praying .  I just thought it was cool that (1) Malina knew that, (2) he was aware enough to do it, and (3) it was important enough for him TO do it correctly. Also just the whole “not in vain” concept. I was very charmed by the whole thing.

***

The charming part is the respect. I’ve long since given up expecting to see much of that. It used to be a cradle quality, instilled by parents and a culture and society in general. I’m not talking about respect inspired by fear, although there was some of that; there always is. Just general respect for others, for diversity of views and opinions and, in fact, religion.

It would be dumb to ignore centuries of religious bigotry, particularly anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic (the Mormons didn’t have an easy time, either). It just seems we used to be more tolerant. It’s understandable how a country that is still a statistically very religious society (some of those statistics smell fishy, but sometimes they do), primarily Christian and minimally Muslim, would over-react to zealots who slam planes into buildings.

This is why President Bush bent over backwards after 9/11 to point out that the U.S. wasn’t at war with Islam. This is why President Obama avoided tying the terrorists to Islam in his references; he didn’t want to give the impression that the United States considered terrorism and Islam to be synonymous.

This sounds suspiciously like there are kids approaching my lawn as I type, so I’ll stop before I get nostalgic for a simpler time when kids had respect, dammit. And drank out of garden hoses, which for some people seems to be a big deal. I’ll take mine out of the tap, thanks.

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Pay Attention

I began listening to podcasts back in early 2007, I think. The term was self-explanatory, as opposed to blog, which took a few passes before I understood. In those days, the iPod was king. These were radio shows that you could listen to whenever you wanted; that’s a pretty easy concept to grasp.

I listen to podcasts the way other people listen to audio books: In the car, mostly, or out on a walk. On a plane, certainly. Podcasts wouldn’t surprise anyone 40 years ago, even if the delivery system might seem awfully fancy.

I listen mostly to interviews. A lot of political talk, or at least in the past (I’ve cut back on those). Interviews with interesting people, authors and actors and musicians, that sort of thing. I get the appeal, even if I’m not sure why the medium has exploded in the past couple of years.

But I think about this a lot lately. What’s the best way to tell a story? I’ve always been a fan of the spoken word, but there’s a lot to be said for reading the thing yourself. News is read in this household, not watched, but I guess there’s a preference for everyone.

***

And so we come to video. I was hooked from the beginning, and I know the beginning. Mr. Emmons’ Spanish class, in which the upper class members got to make a video at the end of a semester. We’d write sketches (in Spanish, of course; sort of the point) and record them on the primitive equipment our AV department had, reel-to-reel tapes and bulky cameras.

That’s when I discovered it. We were goofing around, feeling our senioritis big time and pretty much having wrapped up the year. With the video camera temporarily not in use, and no one paying particular attention, I took it and started shooting video of the class. I just panned the room, stopping on individual students as they wrote or read or talked to someone else, unaware.

And then, before we had to give the equipment back, we played our recorded sketches to the class, and at the end, tacked on, was my attempt at vignette.

People cried a little. You have to imagine it; a lot of us has been taking Spanish from this particular teacher for four years. Same people, same classroom.

There’s even an oblique reference to my “photography” skills in a yearbook note from someone I’ve long forgotten (actually, I just thought of her name. Keep me away from Facebook), and that Spanish class guerilla filmmaking was the reference.

So I caught a little of the power. And it’s the power of images, really; doesn’t have to be a moving image. But I got a bug then, and spent a lot of hours daydreaming of being able to afford my own rig. I finally got one in 1984, just in time for my daughter’s birth.

And of course today everything is different. We’re all videographers now.

I keep trying, though, and I’m getting better. I’m doing a stewardship thing for church, trying to get people to tell some of their stories about this particular church community, how they came, what they get out of it, etc. My first subject was a 22-year-old, someone I enjoy immensely, a great sense of self along with an upbeat, witty way of looking at the world. And she had good things to say, and my new PC made editing it into a couple of minutes a snap. For the first time since I’ve started editing (which really began back in the 1980s, hooking two VCRs together), I was able to finesse this in real time, no lagging or syncing problems that aren’t caught until the film is rendered, a process that used to take serious time.

Yesterday I did a short interview with my wife, looking for some gravitas to match the millennial ambience of my first. Wandering through the footage, trying to get a sense of how to edit it, I realized I’d made a big mistake.

I’m tempted to talk about decreased attention spans, although I can’t because I’m not sure it’s a real thing. I mean, the internet is pretty much designed these days for people to read and see quickly. It’s a skimming medium. It doesn’t mean we won’t sit for longer, because obviously television is hugely popular and movies are hanging around, too. As well as the above-mentioned podcasts and audio books.

It’s online video that begins losing its grip after about 2-1/2 minutes. There’s just so much more to do, who has the time?

And 2-3 minutes of one talking head, even a familiar face telling a compelling story, begins to lose its appeal after a minute or so. This was little epiphany, and once I realized I needed to have several people speaking during these videos, and that I could edit them around similar themes, I could smell a concept.

So off today down south for more filming, then to spend the afternoon with an old friend, I suppose my oldest friend in certain definitions. It’s been too long, and a lot has happened. We’ve got stuff to talk about, so here’s hoping our attention spans are capable of conversation.

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Writing Right

I’m sure there was a period, if years ago, when I’d snark a bit on misspelled words or errant grammar (I can’t think of another adjective; “bad” has never seemed right, since it’s either grammatical or it’s not). This was all online, of course, and eventually I figured out that people tend to write quickly and sometimes carelessly, and then it became null for me. I probably don’t even see the “your” that should be “you’re” anymore, because I get it.

I also get the frustration people have, even if I don’t share it. It just aggravates some people more than others. Street signs with letters missing, willy-nilly quotation marks or free-range apostrophes; if it bothers you, it bothers you. Maybe it’s a symptom of something. Maybe you should try not to fuss so much. I have no real answers.

And I have my share, and they’re getting worse. This means something, although I’m not sure what. Lack of enthusiasm, lack of concentration, lack of something. Mine usually are the result of moving sentences around or changing them slightly in a re-reading stage. Sometimes I don’t tie up all the loose ends, so to speak.

About two weeks ago, I wrote a column and (I’m assuming) changed the tense of a sentence slightly, from simple past to past perfect. “The man came from Europe” to “The man had come from Europe,” like that. Not that, but like that.

And, again assuming, I just forgot to refresh the verb, so it became “The man had came from Europe.” I’m not even sure this is technically a typo, but it’s certainly a mistake. My bad. Also, it certainly was read by a few others before it was printed, so their bad, too.

But I got an email from a reader yesterday, once again proving that the half-life of these newspapers is about 9 days, meaning that I can get mail dribbling in weeks after the fact, confusing me almost always.

And this guy, a retired software engineer (I can find things, you know), dashed off a note to me, just about the typo.

For some reason, it just cheers me up. I know I should probably be worried if I can’t elicit any reaction stronger than grammar policing, but there was something both snarky and friendly about this that made me smile.

***

Another reminder from Facebook. I gave this reading two years ago today. It was fun, and I wish I could have done more of them. That book got lost in the concurrent news of our Bixie being rushed to the hospital in February with diabetic ketoacidosis, and all that followed. All of the air got sucked out, mostly out of me.

But the poster showed up in my feed today, reminding me, and I noted at the time that I’d never had a poster before. It was kind of cool. I may have taken it home, although I have no idea where it is.

I remember it well, though. It had a typo. Made my wife a little crazy. I was just glad to have a poster.

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That River Thing in Egypt

Denial is a real thing, you know. For a long time I rolled my eyes a little at the idea, which was solely being used in my life when talking about addiction. By then, I’d long since passed denial on my road to rock-solid compulsion. I knew what I was doing. I just couldn’t stop.

I decide to look back through blog posts this morning, though, just for a few minutes, and I saw it firsthand. There I was, mentioning from time to time that my weight seemed to be decreasing a little every week. It seemed like a fine idea to me, even healthy.

It was actually the opposite of healthy, and denial was strong in this one, since I had the numbers right in front of me. Back in June 2015, when I tried to switch my diet around and avoid so much refined sugar, a common reaction in my family once my grandson’s diabetes was diagnosed, I started keeping careful track of what I ate and what I did. More careful than I ever had. My goal was health, and if I lost a few pounds along the way I could probably stand to do that.

I knew that at certain points along that particular nine months or so, I lost my appetite completely, barely able to eat a few bites. This never lasted very long, so I just noted it and tried to find things to perk me back up. I was aware that there were some days that I didn’t eat more than 700 calories, which is nearly a starvation diet. Try to avoid that, I thought.

It was right there, though, in that careful spreadsheet I kept. I just never saw it. I didn’t have days when I only ate 700 calories. I had weeks.

All better now. But it’s made me a believer in the lengths any of us can go to hide from ourselves. The truth is harder to swallow, but then swallowing is sort of the point.

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Not A Drop To Drink

We are drowning here. It’s always awkward to refer to rain and the Pacific Northwest; like reporting a Phoenix heat wave in August. Yeah, yeah. It comes with the territory.

Our territory is really soggy, though. It was a soggy autumn and a soggy winter and since we’re essentially in spring up here, so far par for the course.

A positive is that our windstorm season is over (it can happen, just less likely past February to get a big one), so trees are pretty safe by now, reasonably secure in that soaked soil. Some warmer weather melted a lot of snow and the rivers are high, but even that seems reasonably managed. And once again, we have plenty of water for the summer in case some fool decides to water his lawn (oh, not really a fool. I’ve just never seen the point this side of a golf course, but whatever).

But the slightly, slightly warmer weather (another story) compels me to head outside, and pouring rain makes that compulsion less exciting. I did manage to run the lawn mower over the front the other day, just to keep it manageable, although it hasn’t taken off yet. A little growth. Not a worry.

***

I’m tasked this year with heading the stewardship committee for my church. Stewardship is the church word for fundraising, the season in which we ask for annual pledges so we can form a budget. This is my second go at being someone asking other someones for money, and it’s not like I’m learning how to get it right. I’m the last person on the planet for this kind of thing, it turns out.

It’s not that I’m philosophically or even morally opposed to picking a few well-lined pockets for a good cause. That’s how this sort of thing works. I just really, really suck at it.

But my job is mostly to find a way of telling stories of our little community, and that I can do. So the rest is routine, writing a letter, explain the budget simply in case people don’t care to read it or don’t understand numbers all that well, toss in a pledge card and we’re done. The rest is filming church members talking about their experiences and putting them up online, eventually combining them all into a finished film after all is done.

My film editing skills, assuming I keep an eye out for creeping sentimentality, are getting better now that I have some oomph in my CPU. Honestly, in the past I had to make edits and then render the thing, only then getting a smooth playback. That’s where the errors pop up, and sometimes I just left them, unsatisfied but doing the best I could. Now I can at least feel confident that when I make a cut, it’ll be a smooth one.

Budget cuts would not be smooth, on the other hand, as we seem to be a pretty bare-bones church and had to let office staff go last year because of pledges being down. We shall see. I have a letter to write. Send money.

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And Here We Are

I spotted an opportunity yesterday, a writing job that seems just about perfect. I see these from time to time; the last time I inquired it turned out I’d be writing blog posts and other articles to help an author sell his books. I mean, a job is a job, but it seemed a little dumb and maybe self-defeating. And the recruiter, who wanted me to continue through a long process of application, thought my samples were “light,” even if he thought I wrote in a friendly and accessible style and WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF.

So, no to that, but I need work and in my effort to avoid wearing a red coat and directing people to aisle 8, which is fine and I’d be glad to do it but the pay will be, as pay is for these sorts of things, so depressing that I wonder if I wouldn’t be looking a razor blades in an affectionate way after a couple of weeks.

Anyway. For this new gig, I was looking for samples online I could direct them to, and I found three pieces I wrote 10-12 years ago for the Seattle Times. The rest have disappeared, but I read these three, which was also sort of depressing. I used to really try to write well. I need to try again.

And probably right now, since I need to assemble some materials and write a cover letter, all for something I could do really well and probably won’t even be considered for, given the variables that can’t be ignored: A guy my age who is fishing around for freelance work tells a story about failure and missed chances and probably lack of real talent, although that story has a little more to it. Still, that’s who I am and where I am. I may be imminently qualified for that red coat. I’ll try to stay out of the shaving section.

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If You Build It

What did I say yesterday? Hoping to break 20?

Ha. We had 25 or so at last night’s Lenten meal, having to add a second table for the spillover.

My son mentioned yesterday that it was maybe an odd thing to do during Lent. He should really know better, but in a sense I get it. Some people use this season to get rid of distractions, and some will actually fast a lot. I don’t know any personally, but I hear things.

But we’re not really marking the season in that way. We’re using it to attempt community building, which is to say our particular community. And I’ll tell you why.

Call it a microcosm, maybe, although I’m not fond of that word, mostly because it’s overused. Our congregation is not particularly diverse, but then it’s small. I mean mostly white, mostly over 40, although offhand I can name a dozen people in this little church who are exceptions.

Still, it’s hard to extrapolate with such a small sample size, so I’ll just note the need. There’s a need. It’s quiet, it’s sometimes rarely mentioned, but at others it’s mentioned all the time. People are nervous, uncertain, scared, worried. We’re looking for support, for solace, for a safe place to express their feelings about the world at large. We’ve done our best to accommodate this, and the people who don’t, in fact, share the same feelings of dread. As I said, a safe place.

But we don’t need a reason to eat together, share a meal and just chat, and having a solid hour or so to do this is sort of a miracle. People are busy during the week, and the fact that we got 25 of them to come to church after work (for most) is impressive, at least to me.

 

***

I’ve never been a hockey fan. There are lots of sports I don’t care about, but hockey isn’t exactly obscure. I went to exactly one hockey game as a kid and that was enough. Just don’t get it, the way people don’t get baseball (incomprehensible to me, but they exist).

But if I only had that one hockey experience, or even if I was forced by a parental hockey buff to watch a lot, and I decided from this experience that all sports were dumb, we’d probably all grasp the situation: Small sample, large opinion.

I understand not being interested in ideas of faith, of a faith structure, of tenets and commandments and creeds. It’s an awkward fit for the 21st century, this reliance on 1st-century testimony, after the fact, and that’s just the New Testament. It’s an easy mark for those who find worthless crutches or worse in organized religion, or really any awareness of things unseen.

I mean, I get it. I know what’s happened to our country at various times when that pesky first amendment looks designed to prevent free expression of religion to certain people. These seem to be not nice people, and their ideas are awful, so I can see how people want to rely on generalizations and feel smug at the same time.

I dunno. I don’t want to convert anyone. I don’t even want to argue some of the finer points, in which I suppose I could make a case that even a layman’s appreciation of quantum physics, as sciency as you can get, can imply that this is a big ol’ mysterious universe that we barely comprehend.

But I’m not all that interested in this discussion. I’m interested in what happens when you get 25 people to sit down, share a meal with people they might know well or just in passing. I’m not sure what exactly happens.

I just know that it can’t be rationalized, or folded into a neat theory of group dynamics or even faith-based actions. It’s just dinner. People have to eat.

It’s just that I have a feeling people need more than bread alone, and a feeling that I just witnessed part of what that need looks like.

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If It’s Wednesday…

I raised my hand a few times over the past months, allegedly volunteering but I’m not ruling out just stretching a little and, you know. Accidents happen.

So that particular plate is full, and given the (church) season it’ll get fuller. This is fine with me; great, actually, at least when I consider the alternative. Too much time is the last thing I’m interested in.

Let us list, then. Monday night was a session meeting at church (board of elders), just running over the nuts and bolts of keeping a small church in the black and serving the needs of its congregation. New business, old business, budget business.

Last night, John and I drove down to Seattle to pick up his mom, then all three of us headed east, an hour weaving through traffic until we reached a sports bar of sorts, a monthly social gathering we do on the second Tuesday of the month. There were about 20 of us, which is a sizeable percentage of the active members of this church. Good food, great company.

And tonight is our second Lenten meal, my baby. I grinned like a fool last week, as everything I was hoping for materialized, one table, simple food, just conversation. No study, no lectures, no reflections or homilies. This was just breaking bread, and it broke just fine.

So now I’ve got a pork butt roast in the slow cooker, some garlic and apple cider vinegar and cumin. My daughter said I should toss a cup of coffee in there, although that seems a little cavalier for something as serious as coffee. It should be fine either way, and is only a back-up; I’ve got a couple of casseroles on the way, as well as salads and dessert. All I need is to roast some veggies, bake some bread, take the cat to the vet, and head south to set up. My kind of busy.

***

I’ve been apparently mispronouncing “cumin” most of my life, although I’m holding out for alternative pronunciations in this case just because I learned it from my mom. Mothers know things.

But I guess it’s not KOO-men but CUE-men, and I guess that’s OK. Not the way Mom said it, but life’s short. It’s one of my favorite spices, at any rate, so I cumined that pork real good.

Not that the food matters all that much. The idea was community, always was, my personal longing for a time when our little community could just sit down and eat together, not in a restaurant or an individual’s home but at church, where we have a large kitchen and need to use it more.

Last week we had about 16 (again, this is a church that has ostensibly around 65 members on the roll, although Sunday worship usually gets around 40-45 on a good day). I’m expecting we’ll top 20 this week, and while this is going to be a lot of the same people who do these sorts of things, it’s a nice percentage of our church and I’m not ruling out expansion. I’m not quite sure how we pull that off, but what faith I acknowledge is strong in the sense that there will always be enough food.

Man does not live by bread alone, of course. But bread doesn’t hurt, so that’s where I’m heading now, off to start me some dough. Let’s see if we break 20. I’m feeling pretty confident at the moment.

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