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Year Two, Day 321: No Soup Tonight!

I am enjoying this break from teaching week. After my little office job, I took myself out for Thai food for lunch. Then I stopped at Goodwill. I was looking for a brooch.  I must be embracing my little old-ladiness. I like long sweater vests. But the one I was wearing did not have a button. So I found some lovely brooches at the neighborhood Goodwill. Today I wore a butterfly.  Tomorrow I think I will wear the dolphins. The Snoopy, I put on my book bag.

I got to the cash register and the clerk asked if I was over 55.  I said I was exactly 55.  So she gave me a senior discount.

I was not offended!

Then I headed to my neighborhood Starbucks and had coffee with my son. We chatted about his new job, life.  He gave me a hug and took off. I sat and enjoyed my latte. And then packed up and headed towards the bus. And there was my housemate/boss!

I'll have you know this is very busy SE Portland. Off of SE 82nd, which is like a freeway with lots of restaurants on either side. And yet, at times it feels like a village! I like that!

Once home, I packed my music in my bag.  I had only a few minutes before I was to meet the pastor from the church in Salem I used to play piano at.  He was driving me down to his church to play piano at an evening "vesper's" service and soup supper.

I was looking forward to it. I had not been to this church in several years.  It would be nice to see some familiar faces. And to be honest, the music "The Holden Evening Service" by Marty Haugen is hauntingly beautiful.

Ok. I was really looking forward to the soup. I distinctly remembered the potlucks from this congregation.  They are blessed with many gifted cooks!

I headed over to the church a few minutes before he was due. I took out my phone and saw a text message from him, saying traffic was horrible, but he would be there soon.

So, I did the only logical thing I could think of while I waited. I took a selfie.  In front of a lovely tree.

I wanted to see how my hair color was holding up. Since my daughter is pregnant and we are all so busy (and she usually does my hair), we have not
had a chance to touch it up.  And I have much gray.  I am seriously considering
just embracing the gray. I am going to be GRANDMOTHER after all!  But I refuse to cut it.  Long, healthy gray hair.  I can dig it! But then again, the light shining off the Viking red tones looks super cool. Ah. Decisions!

Anyway, after about 7 selfies, they arrived.

So, there I was. In the car with a pastor and his little two year-old boy.  Heading down I-5 to Salem.

Traffic was horrendous until we got past Wilsonville.  The rain was relentless until then too.

But his little boy was precious.  Very calm. He had taken off his socks and was taking great pleasure in wiggling his toes and talking to his dad and I.  I had worried that we weren't going to make it in time. But as the rain let up and the traffic thinned, I relaxed.

I looked back at the boy and counted his toes for him. He giggled.

Then suddenly, there was a big "boom", the car began to shake. The pastor had good reflexes. He slowly veered off the road.

"I think we just had a blowout", he told me calmly.  "Wait here".

He jumped out to look for a spare.  His boy looked concerned.

I told him his daddy was going to fix the tire.

"It's broken", said the boy solemnly.

Indeed it was.

Quite broken.

He had a spare. But no lug wrench.

I was getting a little worried. We were by the side of the freeway.  Little boy in the back.  He had some crackers and applesauce. But no water.

He called the church.  Apparently no soup for us tonight!

Then he attempted to call roadside assistance.  Finally got through. They were due in about an hour.  He called his wife.  She is also a pastor. And she was in the middle of a service. But she must have sense the urgency. She called back.  She said she would come pick up her son and I as soon as she was done.  She would probably arrive at the same time as the tow truck.

And you know what? It was a pleasant experience.  We were safe.  The precious boy was very charming and happy.  I very rarely have time to just sit and be.  And we sat and were. For about an hour.  Almost exactly hour after the pastor made the call to roadside assistance, a vehicle with flashing lights pulled up.

But it wasn't the tow truck. It was ODOT "Incident Response".  I had not idea this existed.  They changed the tire in a few minutes. Pastor called off the tow truck, and then his wife appeared.

"Mama!", cried her son. "The tire broke!"

She laughed and scooped him up and told me to come along. The pastor told her to get us something to eat.

And I got to know another really wonderful pastor.  We had the most interesting conversation. And she bought us dinner.  And I heard the most incredible song. One of her favorites.  I wrote the title down. It blew me away. Begins with a chant like intro...Gorgeous. It is called "Cathedrals".

She dropped me off in front of the church. I told her I lived in the parsonage behind. I had told her about my wonderful boss/pastor/housemate and her amazing signs.  She pulled up next to the sign and smiled.

"Very cool", she said.

It's funny how an unexpected event can alter your life. This one had a happy ending.  Even though we didn't get our soup.

But I will get to play the lovely "Holden Evening Prayer" on Maundy Thursday.  Probably won't get soup then. But it's ok.  I just hope the pastor packs a lug wrench!

Happy Wednesday!

Today's fruit of the spirit for contemplation (from Galatians 5:22-23) was "generosity".  I was the recipient of much generosity today. And I was thinking as I walked to the parsonage about all the pastors I have known.  And tonight I am saying a prayer of thanks for each one.

Talk to you tomorrow!




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