It was very nice for me to be able to get out of the house today for some fun ministry. The afternoon at the "come and go" tea for the friends celebrating their 60th anniversary was, as I suspected, more of a "come" and less of a "go". haha There is something about that concept that escapes people here and it is quite delightful.
We sat at a table with several ladies of various ages, most of who we had not met before.......the perfect scenario for complete discomfort for me as I feel like such an intruder to the group. These ladies though were so easy to visit with, so interested in sharing and in listening and in laughing. Others in the crowd were also very happy to visit with us both, teasing my husband about his clerical collar, joking with me about being a minister's wife, being respectful during the short prayer my husband prayed for the celebrating couple. Yet another culture to experience so few kilometres from the town where we reside. If today was indicative of the social culture of the town we visited this afternoon, I am packing up tomorrow and moving out there!! What a friendly bunch. Each time we have visited in that town with people we have not met before we have received the same warm welcome and invitation to participate in the visiting.
Then we went to the nursing home there to see our 100 year old parishioner. We haven't seen her since before Christmas and were not sure what to expect. She has been ill the last few times we have visited. Today she was sitting in the dining room for the coffee hour, all dressed up and looking very healthy and happy. We had a delightful visit with her. Her memory was so good, she enjoyed having a conversation and a prayer together. She didn't look a day over 75! We were able to include the other ladies at the table in the visit and once again there were so many things to laugh about together.
Days like this provide the kind of pastoral and social visiting that can make ministry such fun. It was great to see new people, to have a short road trip on clear roads once the wind came and blew this morning's snowfall away. By the time we left to come home the sun was shining. That seems to make the bitter cold more tolerable.
Seeing my husband enjoying himself, not having to be in charge of anything so he was free to visit as many people as he wanted to, relaxing with the seniors at the nursing home and enjoying his tea and ice cream at the anniversary was enough to make the day worthwhile for me.
Coming home to an email from our son was a treat too. He is in Los Angeles for an art book fair, staying in a very lovely hotel, visiting friends from his home city who are in university there, seeing other friends who are fellow students at his university in New York, enjoying the energy that is LA. Always a treat to hear from The Son. It put the finishing touch on a most enjoyable day.