Today I wanted to make sure I had some time to spare in getting to services in Hood River because I had never driven there since moving to the west side of town. I happened to arrive pretty early and chat with the local brethren there in Hood River, as well as the many people who (like me) were there for the last meeting of the dinner club, which was held on the houseboat of the couple who runs the Portland congregation’s Dinner Club . With about two minutes to spare before services began, I was told by our minister that I would be leading songs, so I had to scramble to come up with some hymns to sing. Between the pianist and I, we managed to do alright, and things went smoothly in that department. One of the hymns related thematically to the sermonette, which was nice, and hopefully appreciated. I was even able to throw in a couple of humorous references to having liked certain hymns since my youth, which drew some smiles from the audience. The last hymn I picked was one that been a favorite of mine since the Spring Holy Days of 1995, and when I mentioned that, one of the young ladies in my Sabbath School classes did not know what I meant, so I had to explain it to her, as quickly and as gently as possible.
About half of us, or more, who were present at services then drive from Hood River to The Dalles to go to the marina where the house boat was located. It was a pleasant houseboat, I must say, in a sheltered cove where there are apparently otters, beavers, and a lonely sea lion who missed the mating call of his peers and stayed in The Dalles all year, fattening up on fish and making himself a nuisance while being smart enough to avoid being tranquilized or falling into any traps. Ah yes, I can definitely relate to that sea lion, even if doubling his weight over the course of a few months is a drastic sort of weight gain that happens when you have no one to encourage you to eat in proper moderation. Needless to say, given our purpose there to eat, and the fact that we all brought more food than was necessary, we were hardly in a position to teach the sea lion anything about moderation in food consumption. Thankfully, the sea lion did not wish to enjoy our sort of gluttony as he was too busy with his own. The fact that the place was a sheltered cove was also something that was noticed by my young friend/student, who asked about why the log palisade was there next to the marina, which blocked out the view, and I explained that it also blocked off the current of the Columbia, which she seemed to understand quickly. I happen to admit that I am partial to people who are curious enough about the world to ask questions when there is something that they do not understand, to seek out explanation.
As is always the case, I am curious about watching the people involved in the various dinners. There was one young married couple in our groups (the husband of whom gave the sermonette in Hood River today), there were a couple of the daughters of one of the families, who are friends of my mother and I, and one widower, and the rest of the people there were part of married couples, most of whom were there together. I wonder if that sort of statistic means anything or not. I even had a conversation with the people who organized the event about the balance of people there. At any rate, I remember the information even if I am not sure that it matters at all, and so I hope that the day was a good one for everyone else as well as for myself, aside from a nosebleed that I was able to keep tidy because of the heat, but that was unfortunately witnessed by many of the people there. Such is the life, though.
 See, for example: