A Long Weekend

What a weekend!
Friday morning Violet and I attempted to make divinity for the band members. Instead, it turned into concrete. It took several kettles of boiling water and clipping away at the hardened stuff before the mixing bowl was finally freed of the stuck mess. I haven’t a clue as to what went wrong and hope that the next try will be successful. Divinity was one of my Christmas candy standbys until our kids left home, then I gravitated to making holiday bread for gifting instead.

Then Jeanne and I drove over to Newberg for a called meeting of Representatives from each church in the organization of Friends that our church belongs to. Friday afternoon and evening and all of Saturday was spent in discussion with all the other representations, and listening to each other and the holy spirit as we worked through a situation in which one of the member churches no longer wishes to honor our Faith and Practices, (Friends’, aka Quakers, legal document) but still wants to remain an active part of the organization. No decisive resolution was made but excellent progress was made. When we adjourned about 4:30 the atmosphere was peaceful and we had the sense that things are moving in the right direction.

Jeanne and I sped home as quickly as the speed limits and dark country roads allowed, with little time to spare in grabbing a bite to eat and rushing up to the church to set up for the Annual Christmas Sing-Along which was scheduled to start at 7. People started arriving before 6:30, as the musicians were finishing up sound checks, making sure instruments were all tuned, and shuffling our chairs to make room near a music stand for a couple more instrumentalists who joined in the fun.

I was thrilled when a young cowboy came in with his fiddle and settled in where he could share my music. Feeling exhausted and run down I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to play but having another fiddler was energizing. He didn’t read music notation but played by ear and knew chords (much of my “music” is the lyrics with chords). Having another fiddler was wonderful. Usually there are four or five guitars, a couple banjos, and mandolins. One of the banjo players brings a container of 12 harmonicas – one for each key – and a mountain dulcimer. He does have fun making music!

I forgot to take my camera. 😦

Someone said it was the biggest turnout we’ve had. The building was packed upstairs and downstairs, where all the food was laid out on tables. People congregated in classrooms and corners visiting and catching up with friends and making new connections. Scott from the scout ranch brought his crew of “cowboys”, young people from 12 on up who help almost every weekend with the cub scouts and horse program. They have a vibrant program with about 70 head of horses at the ranch. The young man who brought his fiddle is this year’s intern at the ranch learning administration skills along with running a horse camp. I hope he’ll join us if we have any jam sessions.

People enthusiastically sang themselves hoarse as they chose from over 50 songs that we have printed up in our Christmas books. People write the song they’d like to sing on a big whiteboard and as the list is sung it’s erased with more songs continually added so that anyone who wants to request one has ample chance. I have no idea how many songs we went through in those 2 hours as we sang and played non-stop.

By the time we’d said our goodbyes, straightened up the church and cleaned up the kitchen I didn’t crawl into bed until after 10:30. Within an hour I woke up to a pounding heart, tingling arms, nausea and malaise. Dysautonomia strikes again. I got up and drank some water with electrolytes hoping that would calm things down. It was a very long night with lots of praying.

I was able to teach Sunday School, while sitting down. I’m so thankful that early in October I was approached by another woman who enjoys preaching from time to time asking if she could preach in December saying that God had given her a Christmas message on Joy. The third Sunday in Advent centers on joy so we agreed that would be the perfect Sunday for her. So, not only did I not have to preach yesterday, I got to hear a good message about the joy that God gives, a message that was balm to my soul. Even when things feel out of control God is at work behind the scenes.

Between drinking over 100 ounces of water yesterday and getting 10 hours of sleep last night, today has been much better. Drinking plenty of water is key to keeping my blood pressure at a decent level (low blood pressure is one of the problems with autonomic dysfunction aka dysautonomia). I try to drink at least 90 ounces every day but with the long representative meetings Friday and Saturday I wasn’t able to drink as much water and must have gotten a bit dehydrated.

One great thing about the long discussions was having ample knitting time! I finished the hat for my son as well as some spinning with a kuchulu. I think only about five people in the same pew knew that I was doing something with my hands. 🙂

The hat is currently drying. I’ll take a picture of it tomorrow.

I’m very grateful to those who comment on these posts. Thank you! They are encouraging and help me to continue to post, even if sporadically. There are a number of comments that I plan to catch up with and reply to, hopefully tomorrow. For now, I need to get to bed.
Last Thursday this flower was blooming in the garden. The freeze that we had between Thursday night and Saturday put an end to the late autumn blooms.

dsc04643Thankful that even when life seems askew, God’s got me.

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