I am in the Bible Belt, let's face it.
Here, people are forever asking us, "What church do you go to?" Um. None. First of all, Marvin Gardenstein is Jewish, and if you think there are any whatever-Jewish-churches-are-called around here, you are sadly mistaken. And I was raised by Godless hippies, so I have never been a churchgoer.
Technically, though, that is not true. My parents, the Godless hippies (my mother is now very active in her church. I feel I must clarify this before she shoots off an angry reply in the Comments section, providing she can figure out how to send a comment), wanted me to live in an integrated neighborhood, which was fine until eventually I was the only white kid in my public school and all the other kids (rightfully) resented the hell out of my middle-class, white self and started beating me up every day.
Enter the Lutheran private school in my neighborhood. I went there from third through sixth grades, attended church each Wednesday morning and any time the children's choir was requested to appear. Which by the way included funerals. I was 10 and attending like two funerals a week or something.
So I was a churchgoer for four years, and to this day nothing comforts me more than a church rec room. I have all sorts of happy memories of waiting there for Christmas or Easter pageants to begin, the smells of the heater and coffee and winter coats.
At any rate, at the top of our horrid hill on our street is a beautiful Episcopal church, built in 1834 (above is a photo of it which includes horrifying snow). I always like coming to it because it is so pretty and because it means I am done climbing that hill. I thought about going to it one Sunday, but felt weird about it.
Then last week, not one but two members asked me to come this Sunday. And do you know we had the best time? Everyone was so nice to us, and the sermon was so interesting! He talked about The Wizard of Oz, Mark Twain and Mother Teresa. I'm telling you, this minster was fascinating.
And why did no one tell us there was food? Afterwards, you go into the recreation room -- my favorite place -- and have coffee and delicious snacks. Had anyone told me snacks were involved, I'd have visited much sooner. We were surrounded by the nicest people at that snacky social.
Someone even offered Marvin a biscuit with country ham. I got far away from him at that point, certain he was going to be struck down. Yes, Jewish husband standing in an Episcopal church, please have some HAM now. See you in the afterlife.
So, I think I will go back. Alone. Safer that way.
To recap the weekend: Friday night, free homecoming parade. Saturday, free German festival. Sunday, church (although I did put two dollars in the basket; it was all I had. How much are you supposed to put in there?) and later Sunday, a free pumpkin patch visit, which is a whole 'nother blog entry. Now, I know this was not dinner at 21 and dancing at -- whatever counts as a fancy place to dance. It was not a weekend in the Hamptons. But still, free, fun, and including country ham. What more do you need?