The finer points of fellowship

February 26, 2007 at 3:25 pm | Posted in biscuit recipes, charity knitting, country living, dating, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, Habitat for Humanity, knitting, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, volunteerism, yarn | 24 Comments

Fireflys Winter View of Lake OntarioYesterday my husband and I went out on a drive in the afternoon to visit with some friends, Andy and Mabel, an older couple from our church. They just adopted a thirteen year old dog named Jenny from a local non-profit group dedicated to finding homes for pets in need.

The non-profit was founded by a woman who won one million dollars in the New York lottery. She was a waitress at the time, driving a beat up old Chevy or something. To this day she is still a waitress driving that same old beat up car. She uses income derived from her lottery money to fund her non-profit organization. They take in pets in crises, in need, or abandoned and nurture them back to health physically as well as emotionally. Once the pet is ready for adoption, they match the pet with a family who will provide just the right home for that particular pet.

On Saturday we held the annual Chicken and Biscuit fundraising dinner at our church. It is one of four dinner related fundraisers the church holds each year. My husband has been one of the key players in developing and running these fund raisers for over twenty years. Now that I am here with him, I do what I can to help with purchasing supplies ahead of time, setting up the kitchen and dinning room the night before, and preparing the food the day of the event.

I enjoy sharing in the activity with him, and lightening the load on his shoulders. For him I think it is the sharing of the activity and not being alone that is the biggest change for him. Last year, the weekend of the Chicken and Biscuit dinner was the weekend when he and I truly became a couple, even though we had not met face-t0-face. It was a significant weekend then, and even more significant this year because I am actually here, by his side, and we worked together and enjoyed a fine day and a worthwhile event together.

Fireflys Winter View of Lake OntarioAnother man from the church spent the entire week baking large sheet cakes, brownies, and cookies in preparation for a dessert bar for the dinner. The day of the event he also made three large cobblers: two peach, and one blueberry.

Now that I am a part of the crew, I have taken on the responsibility of icing and cutting the cakes, as well as setting up the dessert bar. As I worked in the dinning room on the cakes and other desserts, the men (my husband, the baker man, and one other good friend who always shows up to help) worked together in the kitchen. The radio was playing a variety of 80’s songs, not because that music was anyone’s taste, but because that was the first station found when the radio was turned on.

I enjoyed listening to the sound of their voices as they told stories and jokes with one another, accompanied by the soft sounds of the songs playing on the radio.

Days and moments like that are precious.

Later in the afternoon more members of the church showed up to be on hand to help serve, bus tables, and handle cleanup in the kitchen. The fundraiser dinners do raise funds for the church, but real benefit is the opportunity for fellowship with one another and with members of the community.

Fireflys Winter View of Lake OntarioI love the experience of working side by side with other members of the church who I normally would only see on Sunday mornings. Standing in the food service line we get to know each other in new ways, and learn to appreciate each other as we interact not only with one another but also with the guests whose plates we fill with good old homecooked meals.

Andy and Mabel are two of the dependable volunteers who you know will be there, no matter what else is going on in their lives. Andy enjoys washing dishes, and though he is one of the oldest members of our church, he is always there washing the dishes after fundraisers and potlucks, staying as late as anyone, washing huge numbers of dishes and pots and pans with a smile on his dear, sweet face.

Saturday morning they brought Jenny home from the pet adoption service, so Mabel left early from the dinner to go be with the new family member at home. I noticed Andy got an early start on washing the dishes and seemed to working extra fast and hard, with quite a determined look on his face.

I joined him in the kitchen to lend a hand, and told me about Jenny the dog and that he hoped to be able to leave a little early because he was excited to go home and spend some time with her. It was beautiful to me that his excitement was just as sweet as a child going home to a new puppy. I asked if we could stop by on Sunday afternoon to meet her, and he was delighted at the prospect.

Another Barn Near Fireflys FarmHe finished what dishes were available for washing, and we all encouraged him to leave the rest to us so he could go home to be with Mabel and Jenny.

What a dear man. He and Mabel are both extraordinarily loving, beautiful people. One day at church Mabel gave me a hug and she pulled back, looked at me and said, “I just think I love you!” Then we hugged again and I told her I loved her as well. She smells of roses every time we hug.

They live about ten minutes north of us, up closer to Lake Ontario. After stopping by their house we drove closer to the lake to have a look at it in deep winter mode. I found it so interesting to see the band of chunky ice toward the shore, a band of churned up slate gray further out, and then the deep blue of the lake in the distance.

We also spotted a small, old barn along the way. It will be one I feature in a painting; something about it caught my eye in a very special way.

Fireflys Mystery ProjectFor some reason, being out on a drive in the cold winter environment makes me want to find someplace to have an ice cream cone with my husband. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until summer for that treat.

Progress continues on the mystery project … this photo gives you a glimpse.

As for fellowship, the fellowship experience at church on Saturday brought to mind the fellowship experience we are all having with my blog. You come here regularly and read, comment, have a cup of whatever. We participate in creating blankets for Habitat for Humanity together. This is a community. It has surprised me, because I couldn’t have known when I started my blog last August that such a wonderful group of friends would assemble here within my words, patterns, recipes, and photographs. But here we are.

And I appreciate your friendship, this opportunity for fellowship with you all, very much.

Have a wonderful day.

~firefly

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24 Comments »

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  1. So many different hues of blue in both the lake and the clouds! Love them! Also the barn … yes, you need to paint that one! I love its worn color.

  2. Your pictures are amazing, and the barn is fabulous. I also have been surprised at the sense of community that the blogosphere has created. Honestly I don’t think I could have coped with my miscarriage last year (living so far from home and all) without the friendship and support of my blog readers.

  3. Your posts always leave me with a great feeling. 🙂 Those photos are fabulous!
    ~Nancy

  4. I met my best girl friend online almost a year ago. (My best, bestest friend is my husband :-)She and I communicate almost everyday, and we met in person last summer. It is a wonderful feeling, and I wish that for everyone!

  5. Hi there, I just found your blog. I really like it!

    I grew up outside Rochester so I am guessing not terribly far from where you are now.

    I live in Chicago now, and while I like the city I do miss more rural living. For now, I get my fix through blogs like yours.

    Thanks for sharing about your weekend, I enjoyed reading this post.

  6. Thanks for an inspirational post!

  7. A beautiful story of friendship and working together for a good cause. I sure hope the dog settles in for those good folk. It is a blessing all around!
    That looks like a child’s tea set to me!

  8. I think it is neat that the lady who won the $$$ used it to do something worthwhile! My daughter, who is an animal lover, is going to love it when I tell her this story!

  9. As always, I really enjoyed your story! I think there is some delicious variation on gratitude and appreciation that comes with milestone events that occur out of predictable order. Such as marrying mid-life, adopting an older pet, reveling in the dearness of a miniature tea set when one’s age is recorded well into the double-digits. Thank you for the narrative snapshot and lovely photos.

  10. Firefly – what a wonderful story! Here I am again, crying little tears of joy for Andy and Mabel. I, too, am looking for a companion and friend of the canine persuasion and to hear such a beautiful story of love and excitement warms my heart. Also, beautiful pictures as always!

  11. the photography as always is stunning…and thanks for sharing your story about the animal rescue program…i love hearing about these things. i am a true dog lover and wish i could adopt every single one needing a loving home.
    your church event sounds wonderful, and a nice reminder that sometimes the best moments in life are not always exciting, but are simple and filled with loved one…

  12. Truly beautiful writing, as always.

    I LOVE the picture of the red barn. Stunning.

  13. Your story and pictures are beautiful as always. I agree I love the sense of community that your blog has brought to all of us. Thank you again!
    Ann

  14. I forgot to mention, that the mystery project looked to me like a gorgeous dishcloth? or perhaps a placemat?

  15. Thanks for havin’ us!

  16. I like coming here to read your blog. You take such beautiful pictures and seem to see things in a very different light from others. That is a good thing.

    The story of how you met your husband and his obvious respect for you and other around him help to restore some faith in real romance. Not the cheap, if I let him maybe he’ll like it enough to like me too kind. The deep cherishing kind that enhances femininity and emphasizes true masculinity while allowing for humanity.

  17. I was away all weekend, but catching up now. I love the yellow mesh bag you made, very pretty and spring timey! I have a similar tea set to yours 🙂 My little tray is round. Do you like miniatures? They fascinate me for some reason, always have. The photos are breathtaking…I’ll have to browse your photos again to get inspiration for the next square. Cookin with friends and loved ones is a gift in itself, you do so much for those all around you. oxoxo

  18. I found your blog a couple of months ago; I enjoy reading it. It’s peaceful, restful. Thanks for sharing.

    Weather’s a bit different where I live, in rural south Louisiana.

    Beverly

  19. Great phoptgraphs. I love the story of the woman who won the lottery and uses it to help animals and others. Your weekend was wonderful.

    Love, Mom

  20. The Andys and Mabels are the people who help me go forward with church. They quietly serve and give at every church I have ever attended, and make all the difference in the world. But if you ask them, they are just doing what they do with no expectation of praise and recognition. Thanks for honoring these people and others with your thoughtful writing. These quiet stories of servants would make for an amazing book.

  21. I am SO glad I found comments on your Naughty Knitter post and saw the ‘recent comments’ – I couldn’t find how to comment since you’ve moved, but I guess you just have to actually go into the main post rather than from the front page – aren’t I a dope!

    As usual, you’re inspiring and have such a beautiful perspective on life – I love coming here and being able to share in that.

  22. As always, wonderful post. How wonderful that your husband’s community has welcomed you so lovingly and what an asset you are to your husband and the community where you live.

  23. Hi Firefly.
    Lake Ontario is only 15 minutes south of us, so it was a bit of a blink-blink when I read it was north of you. 🙂 Do you have google-earth coordinates you’d mind sharing so we can compare how far east-west we are from each other? Or perhaps just a town name so we can get an approximate reading?

    Oh yeah, nice entry, by the way, like always!

  24. What a lovely story about your church and the men who serve there (rare and precious!) and the fellowship it provides. I think fellowship is one of the most precious and important things we have as human beings.

    Beautiful pictures — especially the barn and the broken-up ice ones. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


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