Sunday, October 1, 2017

The "Joy" of Working in a Church Office

All of my dearest friends know one thing about me.  I have had many jobs, but my most favorite by far were the years I spent working in a church office.  I have had this great privilege three separate times, working for three wonderful churches.

The first church was located in Minnesota where I worshipped.  I worked there for about 6 years when I left for family reasons.  I loved the staff and all of the members who came to visit us on a regular basis.  The next church I worked at is just around the corner from where I currently live in Pennsylvania.  This job I left after 3 years because we had started a business and I was needed there.  It was, once again, so hard to leave because I really enjoyed working together with such wonderful people every day.  Both of these jobs were gifts from God, and I was led to each one at the prefect time in my life.  I currently volunteer at the church we now attend, and I am loving every second of it!!  I know this is what I am meant to do.

These jobs have given me much joy in my life.  I love being able to serve our Lord in this way, and have the opportunity to get to know the church staff on a more intimate basis.  I also get joy from meeting people every day that I may not have otherwise had the opportunity to do so. The church I now attend, and volunteer at, is a very large church, so it is difficult to meet a lot of people on a one on one basis.  I get to do it every day!!!!

But the joy I feel by serving my Lord, and the joy I receive from working with and meeting so many people is not the only joy that comes out of working in a church.  I don't know why it is, but my experience over the 11 years that I have worked in this capacity shows me that people think that you have the answers to all of their questions...regardless of the subject matter.  Now, this, has brought another whole level of joy to my life!!  And a few good belly laughs also!!

Here are just a few of the things people have asked me when either calling or visiting the church office.  I will list them by category.

"Where do you buy your seafood?"

"How do you cook pork chops?"

"Do you have food there?"

(I'm not certain if any of these people realized they were calling a church office and not a restaurant.  And yes, these are actual questions I was asked while sitting at my church office desk!)

"Do you know how to work this cell phone?"

"Isn't there a battery to change on a computer that updates the date?"

"Do you know someone that can fix my van?"

"Do you know anyone that cleans chimneys?"

"Do you know a Tupperware dealer?"

"Where do I get a duplicate birth certificate?"

"Does anyone know how to speak Spanish there?" (this was in

"What time does FedEx come?  I'm expecting a golf club!"

"Since you are here to serve us, do you have any dental floss?"

"Do you have the number to the local UPS?"

"Do you have (a certain woman's) phone number? It isn't in the phonebook and my wife is out of town!"  (This one is a favorite - what he meant was his wife always had the phone numbers handy, but she wasn't home to help him!!)

Caller, "I have been trying to send a fax." Secretary, "Yes, it has been ringing, but nothing has come through." Caller, "My name and number is on the fax. If it doesn't come through, will you call me and let me know?"

Post Office:
"How much are stamps?"

(A member called from the Post Office) - "Do you have my son's service address, and what is the zip code?"

Lost and Found:
"We visited your church for the first time this past Sunday, and now we can't find our dog.  It's brown and black and might be in the Nursery." all-time favorite...
"Where is the lost and found? I lost my pajama bottoms. The last time I wore them was here. I don't wear them at home!"  TMI!!!!  (The church was offering a place for the homeless to sleep, and this was one of the volunteers that had stayed one night with them.)

See...pure joy!!!!  I LOVE working in a church office!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pete and Repeat

Getting older is a very comical process. You lose everything - your sight, your teeth, your agility, your balance, your memory and yes, your hearing.

All weekend long we walked everywhere. (Other than our bike ride and Surry adventure) Carol is much like our mom used to be, and sprints out ahead. I could easily keep up with her, but I feel bad leaving Marcia behind, who only "strolls", as she described it. So most of the time we were in line - Carol, then me,then Marcia.

Now we all suffer from hearing loss - just like our mother, and our grandmother, and our aunts on that side. The loss is at varying levels, but let's face it, we don't hear like we used to!!

Carol would make a comment - and I would respond. And no sooner did I finish, but Marcia would make the identical comment as Carol.

Here's a scenario...
A sign on a building in Cape May reads Cape May Roasters (and there's a picture of a coffee cup). Carol walks by and says -" Oh, I wonder if they have peanuts?" Second in line, (me) says -"It's a coffee shop!", as I pass the sign. Marcia approaches the sign and says -"I wonder if they have peanuts?"

And so this is how it went the entire weekend!! I just couldn't stop laughing. The two of them are connected telepathically for sure, because they were too far apart for Marcia to have heard Carol's comments. Just call them Pete and Repeat! And I'm stuck somewhere in the middle!!

Part II - The Surry

Well, two days later we got another great idea!

If we can't ride individual bikes how about a Surry where we all pedal together. Sounds easy, right? 

We walked to the bicycle rental shop and said - "We'd like a Surry for 2 hours, please!" The very polite man behind the counter said -"Well, ladies, have you ever driven a Surry before?" Us -"No." Polite man -"Well, my suggestion would be to take it out for only an hour. You will thank me when you get back!" Us-"Okay." (Mumbling under our breath that he must think we are really incapable, weak, old women) "Tom" explained how the Surry worked and said that even though there were two steering wheels,  only the one on the left actually steered the Surry, and that the pedals do not "brake" the Surry, but a large silver handle (thingy) by the left steering wheel was the only way to stop the thing!

The sisters quickly took a seat - Marcia in the back (middle) so she didn't have to pedal - and Carol on the right side of the front - leaving yours truly in total command of the Surry.

As we started off "Tom" said - "Hey, the one in the back has to pedal, too!" BUSTED!!! I used the large silver thingy to stop the Surry as Marcia slid over to pitch in her man (woman) power, and off we went one more time!

One thing great about the Surry is there is no balance issues, therefore no wobble , wobble. However, there is still the pedal, pedal, huff, huff to contend with - and now we are pulling lot more weight! So... it's more like PEDAL, PEDAL, HUFF, HUFF, HUFF! I was beginning to see why one hour would be long enough.

We once again enjoyed the sights. The old Victorian homes in Cape May are just gorgeous! I can never get enough of them!

After about 45 minutes, I had to take a potty break. I'm sure it had something to do with all the giggling we did on that thing. We drove to our B and B, took the break then headed back to turn it in. And yes, Mr. Polite Man was there to greet us with - "I told you so!" 

I actually think that we may just try the bicycles again next year! Do you think we'll remember how to ride them???

Part I - It's Just Like Riding a Bike

You know the saying...the moment you think you have forgotten how to do something some wise person says "you know, it's just like riding a bike!" This is supposed to make you feel more confident because, of course, you will always remember how to ride a bike!


This past weekend I took our annual trip to Cape May with the sisters. We have stayed at the same Bed and Breakfast for the last three years, and have already booked for next year - we love it so much!

Every year we try something new that we hadn't done there before. We've toured an old estate; took a "haunted house tour" on a trolley; took the ferry to Lewes, DE for the day; and rented a Surry (for a long hour) and bicycles! You know, because you never forget how to ride a bike!  May I stop here and say it has been a good 30 years for me, and 15 or so for Carol and Marcia since our cheeks have touched a bicycle seat!

Our B and B provides bikes for the adventurous- so we thought - why not?

Just picking out the right bicycle and mounting it was a real treat! Marcia's handle bars felt "weird" - so we traded bikes. Carol's bike was too tall for her so I traded my bike (aka Marcia's bike with the "weird" handle bars) for hers. After a trial run into the curb she wanted her other bike back. So we finally took off with Carol in the lead, Marcia in the middle, and I took up the rear.  After a few false starts along with lots of wobbling due to balance issues, we were on our way! Oh, boy!

Pedal, pedal, huff, huff, wobble, wobble, pedal, pedal, huff, huff, wobble, wobble -and so it went for the next 90 minutes! The sights were beautiful, but the sight of us must have been another story!

Nearing the end we all stopped at a stop sign at a very busy intersection. Carol continued on and Marcia waited for the next break in traffic. As she took off she started to wobble, finally putting her feet down to "walk" across the street. I patiently waited for her to get on her bike and start peddling. She'd go a little bit, wobble, and put her feet down. I think she forgot how to ride her bike!!!

After several attempts she got going and I crossed the street to join her. By this time Carol was several blocks away unaware of Marcia's struggles.

We continued on and as we approached our B and B we noticed a bunch of people gathered at the end of the driveway. Uh-oh!! Carol had crashed her bike pulling into the driveway! Thank goodness she was okay! Just a bruise on her arm and leg - no blood!

Just so you know...those "wise " people are not so wise - you can forget how to ride a bike!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

FORE... or is it FOUR??

FOUR…not rain or snow or sleet or hail can keep my honey from his latest addiction!  He has become a four-season golfer.  Now, I don’t mean traveling to warm and sunny locations during the cold, wintery months…although he does that also…I mean being creative and finding ways to play year-round golf…here…in snowy, cold Pennsylvania.

Lately my honey has decided to “up” his game, so he is taking lessons AND watches every golf coach known to man on the Golf Channel or the computer.  He practices all the time.  In the house, in the mancave, and probably in his dreams!

One of his newest mancave toys is a golf simulator where he plays golf every day, and sometimes is joined by one of his golfing buddies.  He has purchased special clubs and gadgets to help correct what is wrong with his life-long swing.  He is determined to “get it right” so he can play out his retired years the correct way.

Today I looked out the window and found him standing in the driveway hitting balls towards the creek.  Not sure what happens when it is mowing time.  Maybe at Easter we can do a “golf ball hunt” instead of an “Easter egg hunt”!  FORE!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

I am almost perfect...

As I slowly descend that hill I climbed so rapidly in my youth, I realize that this side of the hill can be quite comical.  I guess having a good attitude about aging helps.  After all, we really have no control over it, so why fight it!

There are several things I have gotten really good at as I age.  Most of them bring my children to a state of embarrassment, or if nothing else…doubled over in laughter.  Hopefully when they reach my age they will accept their children’s reactions as joyfully as I accept theirs!

Things I have perfected:
Brushing my teeth while squatting…really helps with lower back issues.

Holding on to or leaning on the wall while putting on my underwear and pants…really helps from falling over!

Buckling or unbuckling shoes/boots with my foot propped on the bed…can’t seem to twist and bend anymore!

Snoring, I have really perfected this!  My poor husband spends most nights on the floor or in the recliner in our room…geesh,  get over it, already!   LOL!

Getting up in the morning - a 3 part process - sit-up, stand-up, count to 3 before moving…really helps with the blood flow so that I can move!

Talking to myself including having a two-way conversation…my daughter gets a real kick out this!  I was actually having an argument with myself the other day which went something like this “Yes”…”No”… “ummm Yes”.  At least I got the answer I wanted!!
Turning up the TV…I think the remote does not work properly, because a “25” used to be perfect and now it’s more like a “30”!  Better yet try CLOSED CAPTION!!!  Love it!

Smiling and nodding when I haven’t a clue what you just said to me…I can’t help it if a) you don’t look at me when you talk to me and b) you talk like you have marbles in your mouth!!

Tooting, you know, without warning…oh, well, what more can I say???

Forgetting everything that anyone has told me…write it down when it’s said if it’s important!  The old hard drive ain't what it used to be!

Sharing and comparing with my friends the latest and greatest medications we are currently on…somehow these I don’t forget!!

Being more patient with my grandchild, and less patient with telemarketers and uninformed customer service representatives…’nuf said.

Talking more and more about how I should a) diet and b) exercise more…talking is good, right?

Walking slowly up and down steps…my knees don’t seem to bend as easily as a few years ago!

But, by far, the best thing I have perfected is:
Spending more time with a) my honey and b) my girlfriends…FINALLY now that the kids are grown it’s ME TIME!!!

Looking forward to what else I can perfect over the next couple of decades!!  Practice makes perfect!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Merry Christmas from our Santas to yours!!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
For Carrie was bartending at a place we call DUBS,
Where one can get cold beer and some really great grub!

Jessie’s there, too, and much like Carrie you’ll find
She cooks, waits on tables, and makes all “tow the line”!
The two of them spend every spare moment there
Growing the business with responsibilities they share.

Now, Patty in her DUBS shirt stops by quite a lot
To work on the books and give hostessing a shot.
She also spends time, once a week, it is known
At the front desk of their church answering the phone.

While Lex in his golf cap looks forward to each day
That he can get out on the golf course to play!
He works hard at growing his own business also
A place that goes by a name he calls Latro.

The others aren’t nestled all snug in their beds.
Will lives in New York, works at Joe Allen’s instead.
He comes home to visit when time does allow
And sings Karaoke at DUBS for the crowd.

Little Cailyn has grown up and now goes to school
It’s first grade where she has a chance to be cool.
She loves taking dance class, jazz, tap and ballet.
She keeps us all on our toes every day!

Now Leigh, she has found her partner for life.
In September she became Nevin Brede’s wife.
So, the stockings that hang by our chimney here
Will just keep growing like our family, so dear.

While Santas may wear many hats
and spread the magic of Christmas,
may we never forget the true meaning of this holiday.
Wishing you God’s blessings in the New Year.
Love, The Wilkinsons