Friday, January 9, 2009

Lutheran Women

Today we had a boil alert on our water. This normally wouldn't concern me, but we have 10 furry children and I worry for them. I also cook for the canine furries, and now that the puppy is 60 pds at least, I cook 2 crockpots a day of chicken stew.
I found myself wishing that I was at least partly ODC, since then the dishes would not be in the sink this morning, and the crockpots would be clean. I walk with forearm crutches, and boiling a big pot of water and navigating it to the sink, just did not have good prospects. So I went into what I like to consider "pioneer mode" and soon you will see the connection with Lutheran Women.

I started the process with a damp dishcloth, wiping out any residue I could. This washcloth was made by my cousin, we grew up in the same Lutheran Church, with German ingenuity. Then I took a wire scour and took off all I could dry. This was given to me by a Lutheran Woman when they so generously gave me a bridal shower in Ladies Aid, even at my advanced age of first wedding - 49! I poured vinegar in next, and back to work with the scouring pad. (If you read my blog, or know me at all, I use vinegar for everything, inside and out!) After this vinegar wash, which actually worked well, I dry washed again with a clean dishcloth. This one made by a Quilter at the same Lutheran Church. The towel I used after, hand hemmed by another Quilter. They are here, in acts of my everyday life. We are here for each other.

Quilters meet Thursdays at 10 a.m. and they are the most important group in the church, ask me. I don't like church, so quilting is my service. Women in my family have quilted at this church for nigh' on 200 years now. It will end with me. These ladies were the first I hooked up with when I came to town. The first I told when I got engaged. The first invited to my wedding, and I made each and every one my honorary "Maids of Honor". They said it would be a "Golden Girl Wedding". They were there when my Dad and then my Grandmother died. They are the closest group in my life. I have never felt need for a pastor in my hospital visits, but I could recognize instantly the footsteps in high heels of my friend Charlotte, Quilter and Ladies aid, as she came to visit me. No pastor can match a Quilter. We're here for each other.

When I was a little girl, our pew was all women. My great grandmother Sophia, mom Willa Ruth, my sister Mischka, grandmother Cookie, me and aunt Dorothy. Quilters, behind us, other aunts, cousins, cousin Helen at the organ. Literally my family filled pews here. Now it is only Helen and me. There is a sadness there, but we have lasted, we have survived and we have thrived. We are here for each other.

Today I went to the church to get a new Lutheran Devotional Book. The secretary, another Lutheran Woman in my life, brought it out to the car in bad weather. We have talked much of weathering the storms in our lives. We can bitch, let me tell ya'. This last year she had a few hurricanes, but the structure is still standing. She has listened to me too, during daily downpours. We're here.

When my grandmother died, one of these Lutheran woman found her records in German so she could be buried in the church. She and another promised that if all else failed, the women of the church themselves would bury her. She would have liked that. Today one of those women, the speaker of German and Historian, lost her dear mother in law. I counted money with her mother in law - she was fun, spoke her mind and had a sharp wit. Her daughter in law and I have cooked German food in the kitchen together. My husband and I went to the funeral home - because we are here for each other, Lutheran Women, it is a given.

I play bells, which makes me go to church sometimes. One Lutheran woman, hearing of my carpal tunnel two years ago, and that I might not be able to play anymore because my bells were too heavy, just turned around and handed me her small bells, problem solved, she said. What grace, if you have been in a bell choir, people don't give up their bells, they covet and hoard them. We are here for each other.

In one week I have seen us cry for each other, cheer each other on, bitch with each other, mourn and laugh. I'm sure other people have similar experiences with other groups, but this is mine. I hope you find yours. Lutheran Women - We are here for each other.


Sara E Anderson said...

I know the wishing to be OCD thing - I've always been a bit of a perfectionist, but when someone pointed that out to me, I said, "But wouldn't I be a little more perfect?" I read a book about depression recently that said that depressives tend to be perfectionists who talk themselves out of starting projects so they won't have to see themselves fail at meeting their own too-high standards.

I thought there was a lot of truth to that. I struggled with college every time I started to lose some control in my classes, and I'd get so embarassed that I couldn't even go to class and face classmates and professors.

dalene said...

This post resonates with me on so many levels (the dishes in the sink, the love of quilters and quilting, and the appreciation for the gathering of women). Thank you!