Saturday, November 7, 2009

Whoops


This weekend was our yearly revival. A preacher who pastored our church for over 14 years returns each fall with his wife and two grown sons who are now ministers and the three men hold a meeting. Our community loves their "homecoming" as many lives were touched while they lived here.
Rod is not only a great person, father, minister, and husband but is part comedian and has a great sense of humor. He won't mind me sharing this story with you...I'm pretty sure he won't?! ...Maybe he won't find it.
He and his wife had just moved to our community. The boys who were about 6 and 7 loved to come visit our ranch so Rod would bring them out to visit. On one occasion the threesome arrived with one of the boys wearing a cap they'd found along the road. Across the top of the navy blue cap- advertisement of "Mable's Whorehouse" printed in large white letters. My dad and mom didn't know what to do or say when they showed up at the house and the small boy was wearing the illicit hat. They didn't say anything.
Later that day they received a phone call from Rod's wife. Exasperated and apologizing. She said when her boys returned home she almost fainted. Besides being livid that he had let the boys pick up a hat along the side of the road and wear it, she sat amazed as Rod defended himself. He just couldn't figure out what the big deal was about letting their son wear a hat all over town that advertised "Mable's Warehouse" on it. Yep, he had let his youngest advertise old Mable's establishment all day long in and around our small town-thinking she sold tools.
My dad has never let him live that story down, and brings it up each year when they hold their meeting
That incident years ago didn't effect the poor guys preaching career. Tonight he shared a wonderful sermon charging us to rely on God during sufferings here on earth, and melodically recited this cute poem he had memorized.


Two frogs fell into a can of cream,

Or so I've heard it told;
The sides of the can were shiny and steep.
The cream was deep and cold.
"O, what's the use?" croaked No. 1.
"Tis fate; no help's around.
Goodbye, my friends! Goodbye, sad world!"
And weeping still, he drowned.
But Number 2, of sterner stuff,
Dog-paddled in surprise,
The while he wiped his creamy face
And dried his creamy eyes.
"I'll swim awhile, at least," he said-
Or so I've heard he said;
"It really wouldn't help the world
If one more frog were dead."
An hour or two he kicked and swam,
Not once he stopped to mutter,
But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked.
Then hopped out, via butter!
-T.C. Hamlet
Hebrews 12: 1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are...Laughing?...Jigging?

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My husband's family is Irish. This weekend we enjoyed a reunion of this robust, musical, borderline rowdy bunch. Descendants of 11 siblings- 8 boys, and 3 girls- whose legendary roots began when patriarch Augustus came over from Ireland in the early 1800's, met to carry on traditions such as the "Laughing Song" and "jigging" (an Irish dance which the 8 brothers performed throughout their lives). I had watched Brad's grandfather, W.S., perform this dance over 30 years ago at a reunion when he was about 70. This week I watched in amazement as a nephew of W.S. (a Dallas preacher in his 60's, who could also play the harmonica, bass guitar and sing) cut a rug once again.
Yesterday descendants reminisced as they viewed a film from the late 40's of the 8 brothers in their prime, enjoying life, each other, and this legendary dance. A circle of well dressed men (as in suits and ties) was formed by the 8 brothers. One brother would take center stage, do his best at jigging, then shuffle back in line, letting the next brother take a turn. It was a slow methodical extravaganza with each brother's dance a little different than the previous. In many ways it reminded me of the Irish Immigrant dance scene from the Titanic, but suited and a little less rowdy.
Memories of the "Laughing Song" included the fact that the brother's performances were improved after a trip to the trunk of their cars. Yesterday someone had a copy of the words so we gave it our best shot...no trips to the car--honest--cross my heart. It had everyone laughing...it's just an infectious song. Youtube it-George Johnson's Laughing Song. We think it must have originated here in the 1890's.
I'm mostly German. No "Laughing Songs" or jigging at our reunions. We eat, talk about the weather, the markets, and go home. I'm not complaining, that's all I knew...Until I married an Irishman.

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