Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saturday Night Highlights

October as you may know is Pastors Appreciation Month. The amazing youth group at Brownsville Mennonite decided to host a dinner to honor their pastors.

Ben told me beforehand they need old and new family pictures, so I gave him our latest family picture, shot out by the grapevines, and that old picture of Paul and me that was taken shortly after we were married*.
*full story here

When we drove up to church, the fellowship hall was dark except for little lights twinkling in the windows. when we opened the door, a path of candles in burlap-wrapped jars led us to a gazebo decorated with the most amazing fall decor--pumpkins, bouquets of mums, cornstalks, candles, and a lot more.

Our pictures graced the windowsills and I was happy to see that the others' wedding-era pictures weren't any more impressive than ours, and Arlen had sideburns like corn shovels.

Soon three young waiters in sharp-looking uniforms [repurposed from the ACE convention choir] swept in with water for us, then bottles of sparkling cider, and plates of dainty appetizers, and salads, and the most delicious chicken bruschetta and potatoes, and later coffee and a brownie sundae with a cherry on top.

We felt very honored.

The lights went on and it was time for activities. One was a sword drill, which for unchurched people is a contest in which the leader says a Bible reference like "Micah 6:8" and the first person to find it in his Bible and read it gets a point.

We had three teams--ministers, wives, and youth--and we could get an extra point if we quoted the verse instead of looking it up. The youth won, thanks to Ben's vast Bible knowledge, the wives were next thanks to one of the verses being one I will never forget, my theme verse for at least one pregnancy: Romans 8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us," and the ministers, oddly enough, were last.

Then Dan Krabill started fiddling with a video screen and a few gizmos over on the serving counter by the kitchen. "This is a Wii," explained Justin D., "and we are going to have a tennis tournament."

Dan and Justin showed us how the little white sticks in their hands coordinated with the little tennis players on the screen. When you swung the stick, the little guy onscreen swung his racquet. And now, happy happy news, we could all try it.

Oh. Great.

Much has been written about how terrible I am with anything electronic and how completely dreadful I am at anything athletic. From high school P.E*. to youth volleyball games to floor hockey games that I got roped into in Canada to church softball games, I have a long history of swinging a hand or tool at a moving object, and missing. I know it all so well. The desperation, the determination, the wild flail, the swish of the object flying by, the chagrin and humiliation, the amusement or pity or irritation on the faces around me.
*gory details here

And this was tennis. When we were dating, Paul thought he would do something creative and teach me how to play tennis. We did this only once. He believed me after that.

So first, a practice round. Me and Rita I think. Might as well get it over with. The ball went up and I swung. And there was a nice little thunk as the ball went over the net. I was astonished.

Back and forth we went, and again the racquet made contact, and suddenly I was very into this
game, so much so that I was swinging all over the place trying to hit wild balls, and I'm afraid I came close to hitting Brandon Beach in the teeth, and later I found out Felicia was videotaping it all, which I am not going to think about, and I won the round.

Why, that was actually kind of fun.

Then the tournament began. Me against Paul. Well, judging by that ill-fated afternoon of our dating days, there was no chance for me, but I'd get it over with.

Back and forth, whack and smack, and I won.


I played Amos Kropf next and decided to just relax even though playing against guys intimidates me. I kept swinging, and my racquet somehow coordinated with my eyes and did what I wanted it to.

I won again. Was I dreaming?

The last game, and I was up against Brent the youth sponsor who had that competitive look in his eyes that guys get when they're determined to win if it kills them. Oh well, it wasn't life or death to me, that was for sure. I served and Brent figured out a way to whack the balls back like missiles, but I learned to pause before I swung and a lot of the balls went outside the lines.

Brent and I were tied with two rounds to go. I kept breathing, serving, swinging.

I won the tournament.

I thought, wait, no, this didn't really happen, because things like that don't happen to me. But the youth were applauding and Jenny high-fived me and with glowing eyes squealed that she was SO PROUD OF ME. She just COULD NOT BELIEVE that I won.

That was a high-water moment in my life.

Who knows what will happen next. I'll sit in church and suddenly be able to sing like a good Mennonite? I'll hear my family's plans for the week and remember it all without writing it down? I'll think of a snappy comeback when someone is rude to me?

Life is full of possibilities.

Quote of the Day:
Ben: I wonder why people decided to have numbers in powers of TEN.
Me: Maybe because they had ten fingers?
Ben: (laughing) Oh duh. Sometimes I think and ponder so deeply about things that I miss the obvious.

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you winning that tournament! I understand your inability to play decent in sports. I, too, was always the last one chosen when teams were formed: if you wanted to win nobody would choose me except for volleyball - I was a tad bit good at it. I got fair with this game once I started to complain about those tall guys stealing my balls!
    Yes, you have every right to feel a sense of accomplishment in winning that tournament!