it's always an odd thing to grow up in eastern kentucky and not go to either the baptist church, christian church or some sort of holiness/pentecostal establishment. being that most people are members of the former, there are not too many of us presbyterians (or episcopalians...that's for you SAS). i've heard the denomination referred to as "the frozen chosen" because we don't do all that hand clapping, hallelujah stuff. unfortunately, if they had ever been to one of the church christmas parties the old broads host for our women members, they may think differently of us.
let's just start off by saying mamaw is involved. most of you know mamaw has her golf day on tuesdays and in the winter it's card day. mam likes to take advantage of the ladies and many of them go to our church. when the party comes around every year, mam always takes the reins on the auction. (kind of like the gift exchange thing only we auction items and the money goes to the women's group to use for church related things.) mamaw can be a force to be reckoned with on occasion and these parties seem to bring out the best in her.
as the auctioneer, mamaw is usually busy with the talking and items while mom, gig, hayley, kate and sometimes aunt cheryl and i all sit in a corner (or mam puts us to work showing off the items like bob barker's girls) and make fun of the old ladies. two major happenings stand out in my mind from many years of these parties. the first one comes from a year when us girls were all making fun of a very elderly lady. i know, we probably earned a coupon to hell for doing that at a church function....in our defense, she really did look like george washington. her hair was perfect. anyway, we all got the giggles -- you know, the kind you just can't stop and the harder you try, the harder you laugh? so we're sitting there laughing at her beauty when all the sudden, she gets choked on her third plate of ham. really, seriously, hold your hands around your throat choked. since we were all making fun of her, we happened to be paying attention to what she was doing and not to the auction. maybe that was a blessing in disguise because we all jumped up and tried to help her. it really put a hold on the auction festivities....for maybe two minutes. money making must go on you know. she finally recovered on her own, (thank you jesus!) and i was so very happy....i thought for sure i was going to have to actually put my heimlech skills to use or worse, that cpr certification i'd just gotten. all i could think was "i wonder if her teeth are wooden like george washington?" as i stood there stunned. wouldn't it really stink if you made it all the way to ninety something years old and then die from choking on honey-baked ham? at least she would've gone out happy....everyone knows honey-baked ham can make any time a happy time.
now for memory number two. to some of you that don't know mrs. eversole, this will not make sense....you just have to know the relationship she and mamaw have had all these years. they love each other but sometimes they really get on each other's nerves. again, this story begins with mamaw being the auctioneer at the party, trying her best to sell a pillow (who brings a flippin' monogrammed pillow to an auction???) and was having no luck. only one person's name began with the letter on the pillow and that was the person that brought the gift...uh, can you say recycled? anyway, mrs. eversole wanted to see the pillow better and mamaw, beginning to get ticked that no one would bid, threw it across the church dining room at her, knocking over her cup of coffee on its way. the coffee went all over mrs. eversole and though it had cooled quite a bit, seemed to still be warm. overreaction was in high gear as mrs. eversole promptly stripped her pants off and gave mamaw a scowl that could have sent lucifer back to hell. again, us girls were sitting to the side, making rude, impolite and totally inappropriate comments and were shocked when we saw the lacy, embroidered pillow go flying across the room. (mam is a little like me, it was not a toss, it was definitely a throw.) our eyes went wide then quickly shut as the pants dropped. luckily, forgiveness had to be given (we were in church after all) and things ended up settling back down. the auction went on but it was not one of the better fundraisers.
i believe this year's church party is tomorrow night.....i'm not sure if i'm happy or sad i'll be missing it.
"Quit griping about your church; if it were perfect, you couldn't belong."
~Joseph P. Dooley