Life 103

Saturday, October 28, 2006

what’s a little cow bell between friends and rivals?

My daughter tried to warn me. An acquaintance from high school asked if we were going to the homecoming game last night. Newberg vs. McMinnville. We were, but only because a good friend’s son was playing. When I said we were meeting friends from Mac there, Gertrude said, “NEVER tell people you have friends in McMinnville. Even if you do.”

We found each other at the grandstand thanks to cell phone technology and took our seats with the old folks – away from the pep band on the far side of the perpetually screaming, standing students. We talked and cheered until their team did something exceptional and my friend, for whom I wore a fluffy bright blue bridesmaid dress with a huge bow on my derriere 21 years ago, stood up and rang a cowbell. While I was clapping for their son, the woman two rows in front of us turned around and calmly voiced her disbelief that my friends were sitting on “our side” and told them to go over where they belonged, pointing to the visitor bleachers across the football field.

My friend’s husband tapped her on the shoulder and quietly asked if she was serious. She was. Deadly. She didn’t care that they had been invited by us to sit there and, furthermore, she was one of the coach’s wives - all said in a very polite string of venemous words. My friends looked baffled. I was shocked and embarrassed. People around us said to never mind her, enjoy the game.

I thought about it for a moment and decided that I’d come to watch Johnny play. I’d known him since his original 8 pounds and now that he towers over both Steve and me put together, I wanted to see what he could do in one of his last games his senior year. I planned on cheering for him when he did well and I wasn’t going to sit there absorbing the coach’s wife’s negative vibes for doing so.

I stood up, encouraging our friends to move to the other side with us saying that I was certain the citizens of McMinnville won’t boo us when we ring the cowbell for Newberg on their bleachers. I was right.

A single cowbell of support from the visitor side didn't help Newberg win the game but maybe it did make the coach's wife feel better about losing (again).

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Originally uploaded by kjwatson103.
Friday after work I wandered around town taking pictures of the fall colors with new photo cards for the hospital gift shop in mind. Some of the trees are absolutely spectacular this week. They've turned and not yet been rained on.

All the while, I've been thinking about how to share my journey with my small group this year. Our LL small groups always start the year with an opportunity for each member to share some of their story. My life facts are a little boring. What lies under the surface is deeply personal, full of contradictions, and more than a little jumbled. Two years ago, I risked it and let people see below the surface. Last year I stuck to the facts - played it safe. I have until Tuesday to decide. Two more days of sitting on the fence...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

church potluck

The other day I sat for lunch with several older women listening to one of them tell about her trip to a town between here and the California border to see her best friend since 1949. The subject turned to potlucks and this lady shared a story from her friend’s church. She said that this big church used to have a sermon every Sunday evening preceded by a huge potluck. It was the event of the week, according to her.

But, alas, it was eventually spoiled. Apparently, the church neighbors found out about it and “the poor people from the apartments nearby” started coming over and eating with the church people but they wouldn’t bring anything with them (bad potluck form) and they wouldn’t stay for the sermon (bad church form).

So the church quit having the potluck. But, without the potluck not only did the neighbors stop coming, so did the church people. It appears that the sermon wasn’t enough of a reason for anyone to come…

When I told our daughter this story she gasped in shock and disgust. When I told my husband, he shook his head and said 'I've done that and worse, probably every day.' Then, later, when our daughter pointed out a scruffy (her word was scary) looking man on the sidewalk of our hometown, Steve had the audacity to say it was probably guys like that who came to the potluck. He makes a great mirror, that husband of mine.