Sunday, the day of Grace

Golly, I’m so tired I couldn’t go to sleep at all.  Must find something to do to relax.  Does that even make sense?

The whole day I was with people.  At Church.  Good Cause folks.
My usual routine of setting up the coffee and snacks for Sunday School is one of my favorite times of the week.  Maybe you don’t understand this, but I like being alone in the kitchen, doing little tasks, watching the clock.  It is my best excuse to not have to sit still in uncomfortable seats.
Yet there is a microphone feed back to the kitchen, so I can hear everything going on out in the sanctuary.
Nice, for me.
After the worship service, all the folks come through the line at the kitchen window and partake of the goodies and either go down the hall to other rooms for Sunday School, or linger and chat in the Fellowship Area.
Most Sundays, I am alone again in the kitchen to do the clean-up.  Running the dish machine, wiping the counters, leaving it clear for the next users.

Except today, there was to be a luncheon, provided by the Youth Group.
The lady in charge was sharing the kitchen with me.
It is a very nice, large kitchen, really, but somehow, I feel like my space was being intruded upon.
As I was slicing apples, I found myself wondering just why it is that I was feeling this way.  She stayed mostly in the far corner, writing up a job description list such as filling water pitchers or stirring pots of soup.  The room is set up for occasions just like this—feeding the masses.
Our building is declared a disaster relief station.
Yet there I stood, wrong in my head for somebody running water in the sink!
I probably should be seeing a therapist about this feeling, but I think I might have to be working on it myself for awhile yet.

Anyway, after I set aside my little pout that nobody else even noticed, I got going on helping the teenagers and youth sponsors put out a fine feed.
To make sure the coffee stayed full, was my official task.

There were three kinds of soup, red chili with ground beef and just the proper mix of pinto beans and onions, white chili with chicken, peppers and northern beans, and a vegetarian vegetable with a spicy broth and plenty of carrots and cabbage and potatoes.
Yesterday, a couple of the kids had baked a bin full of homemade biscuits, and with honey or jelly to spread over them they were a meal all alone.  A couple of the girls did slices of celery and carrots, somebody set out spears of pickles, and dessert was ice cream with numerous toppings.

I ate a bowl of chili while leaning against the sink, then began the washing of dishes which won’t fit into the machine.  As soon as the kids ate, they came back to help with clean-up.
One of the boys kept leaving cupboard doors open.
About the third time I bumped my thigh on one, I told him to always close the door.  He gave me this look and said he was coming right back!  Well, the person carrying a rack of hot dishes straight from the machine, or a tray full of leftover biscuits doesn’t read your mind, so shut the cupboard door and leave the space clear for moving around!
I lost my cool for a minute, but so many people working at the same time need to settle on some rules.  Foodservice folks understand this.  Later, I told his mom what had happened, but she said she was glad it came from me because she is always telling him the same thing and maybe he will take it to heart.

One of the things I told them to be careful was the silverware.  We presoaked, then put it all into holders for the dish machine.  Then I told the kid to run it through twice with detergent, then twice with rinse alone.  Then we just left it to air dry.
A great sigh of relief went through the assembly of teenagers holding towels in hand.
Technically, everything should air dry, but that just can’t happen after a big church dinner like that.
Anyway, I was 6 hours at the building 9am to 3pm.
When I got home, I took a shower so long that the water heater was giving out.  The last few minutes were getting to be a tepid temperature.

I returned to the building a bit early to put away the now dry and spotless silverware and to stay for the program.
This evening, there was a special presentation, including slide show, by a team of workers who went to Mississippi to help with clean-up efforts after Hurricane Katrina.  I really looked forward to being there, and was not disappointed.
What is it? 5 months after the storm? and still folks are living in tents.  One single mother got her FEMA trailer while the team was there, and a couple of the guys helped with set-up.

During the program, I got to hold a 5 month old baby girl for about a half hour.  Pure heaven!  She is so strong for her age—already pushing off with her feet and throwing back her head.  Her big sister, age 3, decided that the baby was getting enough attention, so she began to unwind the yarn beside me.  She pulled off maybe 12 feet, watching to see how mad I would get.  I looked over and told her that she would now have to put it back on the cone.  I handed the baby to her grandmother, then showed sister how to turn the cardboard on the post to put the yarn back.  Rather than get into trouble, she now had something to do.  She loved messing around with the yarn and cone and spindle that Husband had made for the purpose.

The evening was another 2 hours.  All together, that’s 8 hours of interaction.  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had to do that and believe me, I am worn out.
Writing about it has helped my nerves, though, so I should be able to sleep.  Husband went down the hall an hour ago, and both cats haven’t been seen for awhile.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

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