A potato walks into a bar and asks what kind of bar it is. The bartender looks at him (?) and replies that it is a potato bar. The potato asks what they serve, and the reply is, “Potatoes.” Last night our dinner club tour  wound its way to Canby where our small group enjoyed a potato bar and a couple of hours of enjoyable conversation, although I did find that the awkward pauses from our previous meeting together continued, although I’m not sure why. I suppose many of us were thoughtful sort of people who tend to think a lot and not always say what is on our minds, something that many people would not immediately assume to be the case with me. Even though I will happily fill many an awkward silence with enjoyable chatter, there are times when I am quiet and thoughtful as well, and those moments are drawn into even sharper relief when I am with other people of like tendencies.
Sometimes the context of a dinner club meeting is as interesting as the meeting itself. At our previous dinner club meeting more than a month ago we had agreed upon this weekend, because we knew we all had busy Februarys and would have weekends (or, in the case of one of our members, a whole month) where we would be out of town. So it was that last week there was some question as to whether we would be meeting, which led me to send a message to the other two parties involved in our dinner club group after the conclusion of the ladies’ weekend, which led our host to choose a potato bar as our theme and we set up a time of 6:00PM for all of us to converge, which would require traffic to be a bit favorable for me coming from work on the west side of town to Canby. And that is what happened, with my salad ingredients and relatively favorable traffic allowing me to arrive by 6:00PM, where we had to wait another half an hour or so for the other people to arrive so that the four of us could eat potatoes with a great deal of fixings and chat, which we did until it was about 9:30PM.
I was intrigued as to what sort of subjects we talked about, and although I won’t discuss some of the personal details of what we all said, I was not particularly surprised that music ended up being a frequent area of conversation, with our discussion of singing at church camps, hymn singalongs at the Women’s Weekend, and the goings on of choir. It was also interesting to hear that our hostess sang regularly with other people who enjoyed old-fashioned hymns. This involved a discussion about contemporary Christianity and the way that appealing to some people often makes things less appealing to other people and that there are often serious gaps between generations and other segments of the population. Of course, our group was at least somewhat broad in terms of segments of the population, and we are interested in the larger matters of the church.
It was these issues that caused our most interesting conversation, which I think is of interest to larger groups of people. In a couple of cases recently, both in registering for the Feast of Tabernacles as well as for our recent leadership conference in the Pacific Northwest, there was a situation where the ability to sign up for these things required a certain amount of web savvy to find websites online in a timely fashion before all the spots were filled. The older people I was around did not find this to be a desirable sort of occurrence, as they all wanted to see more access via more ways for people to sign up of an older generation, something I can see as being worthwhile. And so we ate our potatoes and salad and desserts and pondered questions about how people are to get along and about how people can avoid falling through the cracks and being left behind by chases after the latest and greatest trends and fads.
 See, for example: