It often happens that I make witty comments and then shortly live to regret them. For example, yesterday I happened to make an offhand comment while talking to one of the families in our congregation about there always being room for one more, like the VW bug. As one of the people in the family correctly surmised, I became familiar with the principle about there always being room for one more by being the one more. As one of the organizers for our Spokesmen’s club’s Ladies’ Brunch, I had to wrestle with some severe logistics constraints, namely there being only 40 people who were supposed to be in the room we rented for the brunch. As I was getting ready this morning, I received a text message from one of the ladies in our congregation saying that she and her husband would be bringing their daughter along, hoping it wouldn’t be too much trouble, to which I cheekily replied that the daughter might have to sit on someone’s lap, which fortunately did not turn out to be necessary.
Anyway, my late start meant that I missed my connection with the person I was supposed to carpool with, so, my car being at only a quarter tank of gas, I went to a nearby gas station that I have never been to, dressed in my suit and tie, and had a friendly conversation with the young man at the gas station. For those of my readers who are not from Oregon may not understand, Oregon requires full service at gas stations, which means that if one owns a car, one will always be interacting with people every time one fills up one’s tank in the state, which is something I appreciate, as it makes life a bit less lonely. On a day like today, I appreciate feeling a bit less lonely, as such things are necessary. That said, my conversation with the fellow gave him an idea to start a contest where customers at the station could guess the amount of gallons of gas they had to fill up, with a discount if one was within a tenth of a gallon. I’m always glad to inspire the creativity of others, even strangers I just happen to interact with along the course of my life.
The Ladies Brunch itself went well, even if there were 41 people there (one person did not show up that was scheduled, and two people showed up that were last minute additions because of custody and babysitting arrangements. A few of us particularly enjoyed the beef sausage, even if my stomach, sadly, did not seem to enjoy it very much. Indeed, the beef sausage was the source of an inside joke, as it was a contentious subject in some of the business portion of our club meetings , where a failed motion had taken place on whether it was desirable for us to pay an extra $3 at another hotel for some meat that we could eat with our dietary restrictions. Anyway, the food was good, and it was nice to eat breakfast for a change, seeing as I tend not to eat traditional breakfasts because of my own chronic digestive troubles. I had pondered going back for seconds, but the topics section began before I could do so, and not being the sort of person who likes to make a scene, I figured that the time for eating was done.
I was pleased with the way the topics session went, both because all of the members of club and quite a few of the ladies participated warmly (including our outgoing director, who never comments on questions until his customary section at the end of the first part of club), as well as because the topics master skillfully wove the questions into a larger narrative, where one flowed into the next. Being a person who finds such narratives compelling, this was immensely pleasing to me. After a short break, where I did some talking, we moved into the speaking portion of the meeting, where five people, ranging from a teenager to a retiree, gave a wide variety of speeches about a wide variety of topics. One of the speakers was a bit unkind on himself, far more harsh on his own success than was deserved, and one of the speakers made an off-color joke about a dry arrangement of flowers. It being a Ladies’ Brunch, there were no evaluations, but the director made some brief comments about the speeches at the end, after he received his gifts and after some of us were able to praise him for some of what we learned and appreciated about his time as the pastor of our congregation, as he is to retire soon from the paid ministry and become a pastor emeritus, even as he sits on our Council of Elders. At the very end, there was a brief graduation ceremony for the one member of Spokesmen’s Club that graduated this year, who also happened to serve as our club Secretary. With that, the meeting was dismissed, even if some of us lingered a bit long to fellowship afterwards.
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