To bureaucrat is human,

to organize, divine.

there are rose petals blown across the threshold of my hotel’s hallway door

My brain is fatigued. Friday’s usual can-till-can’t of super-regional (synod) Presbyterian Women administration, Saturday’s usual additional half-day, plus the pre-meetings beforehand have left me inarticulate yet determined to set Sabbath as a day of no work, not even creeping work. Well, maybe tomorrow I’ll masticate a few more chapters of the Herzog; I enfolded two this afternoon, woop-woop! Still, I want to square away my church-class homework before I collapse in a happy-tummy coma from A feeding me tempura Brussels sprouts while her colleagues served up octopus ceviche sushi-rolls and fresh-made ramen. That’s my perq for traveling to the Dallas-Fort Worth area!

So for your day’s amusement, some observations:

  • Texas has pwned me; I now carry an edge of sadness on the days I can’t get iced tea. Not the iced tea of my foreparents in the Deep South, the kind where the sugar is dissolved to maximum saturation in the steaming hot original brew, but Leaves and Water Only. I drink a quart or more of it per day. So I am extra-delighted to be staying in this hotel by the train tracks because it has a kitchenette, a full-sized fridge, and a welcome packet with tea-bags in it. I brewed tea at 2:30pm, and so far have made it through 8 cups. I am drinking some even now. I have a lot of tea to catch up on.
  • A tells me that if I wear hiking socks with my new black Chuck Taylors for a week, they will stretch enough not to bite my heel. This my third pair of black Chucks…they are my goes-with-everything shoe. I take back some of those things I once said about aging hippies now that I am an aging New Waver, still wearing the staples of my early adulthood. (I miss my camouflage print Chucks still.)
  • I found this laugh-out-loud funny, though as a mark of respect I did not laugh out loud…I merely told, retold, and retold the tale!
    The Background: My current PW role is called Mission Interpreter. I’m still figuring out what that means IRL, but my predecessor (who died unexpectedly 18 months ago and so can’t directly help me) had begun incorporating a little mission project into our biannual meetings. This is a Great Fit; helping others is part of our 200-year-old DNA and a major reason most of my colleagues belong to Presbyterian Women. However, given our aforementioned can-till-can’t schedule, we can’t “do mission” in the ways most prefer. What we can fit into our schedule is collecting things that partner organizations need. Like the school supplies I suggested my sisters in Christ bring with them this time.
    By 10am Friday, the table next to the door of our conference room was, I would say, nearly a foot deep in school supplies. Not to mention the sacks on the floor, because the table-top pile had gotten slidey. One of my good buddies put a hand on my shoulder during our afternoon break and said, “When you get ready to box that up, I will help you. You don’t have to do that alone.” I thanked her, and added, “I’m not worried about doing it alone. When I begin, others will help.”
    I didn’t mention to you that the intermediary agency receiving these donations, Ferncliff (a fantastic outfit doing LOTS of cool things; go there!), needed the supplies without additional packaging. Safety scissors and erasers but no blister-plastic; pencils but no cardboard pencil-boxes. Now envision that table again.
    As we paused our meeting to begin supper, I stretched and mused to myself that I’d tackle the pile after our worship time that evening, before I drove back to the hotel. I swiveled to head toward the bathroom, and saw

    a swarm of women briskly unwrapping, sorting, and boxing school supplies. Their interwoven directions and queries sounded like the hum of bees.

    Did I say that when I asked, I would receive help? Silly me. My need was known, so I never got a chance to open my mouth. Such is the pragmatic, thorough, organized thoughtfulness that spurred Presbyterians to build schools and hospitals and care-centers all over the globe. With women at the heart of that effort from the beginning.

    I feel like a slacker; I feel like the elves and fairies waved their magic and poof!
    And it made my heart sing with laughter when I had to fight to be able to lug an extremely heavy box from the table to the cart to the trunk of someone’s car.

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin
—Luke 12:27a

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