I am not normally a morning person. For me, one of the most difficult things to do is for me to wake up early and get up as soon as I wake up and try to get moving.
Our church recently made some changes to the time of our weekly services and I'm having a bit of a tough time adjusting to them.
For many years, I have been accustomed to attending church at a service that began at 11 a.m. For a long time, we had two services at our church on Sunday morning -one at 8:30 a.m. for those early-birds and the second service was then at 11 a.m. and was pretty much for those in our congregation, like myself, who fight against falling out of bed way before necessary!
Well, since a few other things changed too recently in our church -mainly that we joined with a nearby church and share the minister, adjustments were made as to the times for our services and so, it was decided that for the first year of our new parish and minister, our church would have Sunday service at 8:30 a.m. and the other church would have the 11 a.m. time slot.
For the entire next year, that's how it's going to be and that means that every Sunday from now until the end of August of 2014, it's going to be a struggle for me to get up by 7 a.m. the latest, figure out what to wear, get ready to go and somehow also manage to make a pot of coffee and down at least one cup of that "go juice" (maybe even, if I'm really lucky) squeeze in enough time to also take Sam out for an early stroll (accident prevention at its finest there, ya know) and still be able to whiz across the 4 miles from my house to the church in time for the 8:30 a.m. start!
This morning, I surprised myself -in that I woke up about 7:15 and I did manage to get ready, have about 1/2 a cup of coffee and race out the door and across the hills to arrive just in time as the church bell was ringing!
But, boy was I ever glad that this morning I had awakened that early and that I was able to get there in time because, little did I know at the time, but there was a nice surprise seated in our congregation today!
Lo and behold, there was a gentleman and his wife and I hadn't seen this guy in well, probably 50 years or maybe more!
At first glance, I thought it was a bit of an illusion or just someone else who maybe looks a lot like him but by the end of the service as I reached for a good cup of coffee to sip on while doing a little after-church gabbing, he and I had a chance to talk a little bit. He really has changed very little in appearance and is still the nice, polite person I always remembered him as being way back when! He introduced me to his wife -who I'd say has to be the perfect match for him, as she too is open, outgoing, friendly and gave me that kind of feeling like I'd known her forever instead of some stranger I'd just met.
So anyway, that seemed to set the tone then for my day as, after having a chance to visit briefly with Tom and Janet Nelson, when I went to the grocery store to pick up my Sunday paper, I bumped into a lady from down home here that although she lives nearby, I rarely see her. So chalk up another nice but brief, friendly visit with Anna Frances.
And after her, there was a man at the meat counter in the store who used to belong to our church but has reverted back to his former church and who I hadn't seen in a long, long time too. Turns out this morning, Pastor's children's sermon was about Jacob wrestling in the desert all night and God changing his name to Israel. Well, Pastor started that out talking to the one and only little boy in church today about the name Jacob and whether the child knew anyone named Jacob. (Which brought a couple chuckles from folks in the congregation who know this little guy as his name is Jacob -and well, it just so happened that it was Jacob's grandfather that I ran into then at the grocery store and I commented to him then about Pastor's sermon and how he used his grandson, Jacob, as part of his children's sermon along with telling him what adorably cute both his grandsons -Jacob and his baby brother, Isaac -each are!
After I got home, I got the dog's walk in and got the two containers of soup from my fridge into a little box along with a couple other things my older daughter had requested and headed off to State College to deliver the soups to her for her (and her co-workers) to enjoy for their lunch or supper today. Then, while at the hospital, I stopped by to visit my cousin, Larry, who has been a patient there for the past week now and tomorrow, will be having surgery to remove 3 toes on his right foot due to infection and to prevent -hopefully -catching the infection in time so that he won't have to lose his leg at the knee! All this caused by a diabetic ulcer that Larry didn't get to the wound doctor early enough to try to stop the infection before all this happened! (So to all my family and friends who deal with diabetes, please be especially careful about taking care of what seems at first to be nothing but can easily -and rapidly too -grow into something much bigger and something VERY unwanted too!
On the way back home, I stopped in Philipsburg to pick up a couple things at a little store there and who was in line in front of me but a girl who graduated in my class in high school but with whom I never actually physically attended school with her!
How can that be, you ask? Easy, I say! Back then, the school she attended and the one I went to had been backyard rivals forever but finances had come calling and dictated that the two schools join together, along with three other local townships here and form one big school. So, although she and I attended different buildings -about 8 miles apart -we were both part of the Class of 1962 from West Branch Area High School of Morrisdale, PA. She and I often run into each other at the local grocery store on Wednesdays -which is her day, as it is mine too -when we like to shop for the specials at that store so we can qualify for our big 5 percent senior citizens discount. Yes, it's just a little joke between Sally and me although it is the truth too. Today, I teased her though that I saw she was gambling again, buying lottery tickets. And she knew too, that I was there to pick up my own "fix" of a couple packs of nicotine -which she and I have both been struggling to quit for several years (to no avail) although we've both managed to cut down our intakes considerably. Small victories count too ya know!
And then that was it for my day of surprises and opportunities to greet people I haven't seen in ages along with some I may see here from time to time, but very infrequently all the same.
And that, to me, makes for some very nice, very enjoyable, Sunday visits!