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Lessons for the church lady

Neighbors who had ties to our church — though they were not members and no longer attended — had experienced a string of “bad luck” that would have done any soap opera writer proud. It would have been funny if it was on a sitcom, but the incidents were true.

A town friend from church called me one day and she wanted to make plans to visit the family, taking me along as I knew them better and knew where they lived out in the country. Of course, we took food, as that is what church people do. The church lady thought we should take lunch and go at noon. We called the family and made the arrangements. I took a salad to round out the food she was going to bring.

The church lady, a generous hostess at her home, brought along food for three of us, the mother in the home, herself and me. The stickler was the husband, a farmer who worked at home was also present, making the portions skimpy. I was puzzled by how little the church lady supplied, yet we managed.

After we left, the church lady mentioned she wished she had known the man of the house was

going to be there to eat with us; she would have brought more food. It never dawned on me to bring up the fact that he would be there. She had been to our home several times and knew that part of my daily activities included cooking lunch for my husband and any banker, machinery or feed salesman who happened by at noon. I had to bite my tongue because I wanted to ask her where she thought the husband would eat. At McDonald’s out in the cornfield in front of their house? In reality it is 55 miles to the nearest McDonald’s and 30 miles to a local cafe.

After recalling an earlier excursion with the same church lady, we had happened upon a small cattle drive on a rural road. Two ranchers were moving their cattle from one pasture to another and they trailed them horseback. As we slowly drove through the herd, she said to me, “Is that how they always move cows or are they doing so on horses because it’s fun?”

As recollections go, these scenarios weren’t big occurrences in my life, yet the impressions seemed to be lasting and have prompted me to write about what city people should know about rural life.


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Happy Thanksgiving

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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.



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