Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Did she really say that?!?!?

There are times when words come out of my mouth without a thought. Sometimes, in fact, I don’t just put my foot in my mouth I exchange feet. Have you ever done that? You say something completely innocent but when it falls on someone else’s ears…the meaning is totally different! Let me share a funny exchange from many years ago…

Joe and I lived in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia where he was the pastor at the United Methodist Church. On Sunday evenings, I led a group of musicians in our Praise Band for the worship services. This was before all the technology we have these days and Joe would use the overhead projector to flash the songs on the wall for the congregation to sing. In the band we had a lead guitarist, a bass player, rhythm guitar (me), a drummer and two gals who added beautiful harmonies to our songs as I sang lead. There were times when the girls would add some extra percussion to a song…maybe a tambourine or some wood blocks, etc.

During rehearsal one Sunday before our evening service, we were doing a song that needed a little something extra, so I turned and said, “This would be a good song for you girls to get your knockers out.” They both looked at me…looked down…then looked back at me. Everyone in the band began laughing. You see, I couldn’t think of what those wooden sticks that they’d hit together were called, so I called them ‘knockers.’ It’s been about 25 years and I still don’t know what they’re called! And what in the world were they all laughing at?!?!?!?

Once I finally realized what I’d said, I joined in the laughter! Just before the service, our bass player (hubby of one of the girls with the ‘knockers’) told Joe about my little ‘gaffe.’ The laughter erupted all over again, but this time my husband couldn’t stop. And then it was time for the evening service to begin. All through the announcements and the music, Joe did his best not to burst into laughter. As he ran the overhead projector, there was this perpetual grin on his face that made him look as though at any moment he would fall over on the floor laughing! After the music was done, I said a prayer just like I always did before we would hear the message.

Joe stood up at the pulpit, silent and smiling… then buckled over and began laughing uncontrollably! (Oh please, Joe…puh-leeeeze don’t tell them the stupid thing I said!) After a few moments, he composed himself and then asked the congregation, “Have you ever just been overcome with a spirit of laughter?” And then he laughed again….but never revealed what had started it.

Whew! That was a close one…

He finally composed himself and delivered a wonderful message…at least I figure it must have been because they usually are.

I can’t tell you what he talked about that night – but I can tell you what gave him the “joy” that night. And it had absolutely nothing with the fruits of the Spirit! ☺

By the way, what are those knocker things really called?

Friends…if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joe's First Wife

Joe and I just celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary!
We went to a new (to us) Italian restaurant in Knoxville for dinner, and Joe told the waiter that 37 years is the longest he’s ever been married. I thought that was pretty funny.

I love our wedding pictures. Joe looked so handsome with his long hair and thick sideburns. I never really saw his ears till we were swimming in the hotel pool on our honeymoon, but of course I'd only known him for three months! When would I have had time to look at his ears?!?

We are fortunate to even HAVE photographs from our wedding! The photographer I’d hired did not show up. Fortunately, no one told me that fact and I blissfully went through the wedding ceremony totally unaware that anything was wrong. I was so fixated on Joe at the end of the aisle that I never noticed the photographer hadn’t taken a picture of my father escorting me to my groom…a picture that was part of the package I’d ordered and placed a deposit on. But my brother Joe, who has often been my hero in different situations, had come to the rescue. When he realized my photographer wasn’t there, he quickly called a seminary student he knew (who took pictures as a hobby) and asked him to capture the wedding for us. Doug Caldwell was in the shower when Joe called, but made it to Estes Chapel in time to shoot some pictures from the balcony during the end of our ceremony. Thankfully, Doug saved the day…so to speak…and we have beautiful photos of our wedding!

What happened to the original photographer? He died the week of our wedding! His wife was so distraught that she didn’t contact any of the clients who’d hired him. Totally understandable…

In every parsonage we’ve lived in, I've had a picture on the wall of us cutting our wedding cake on May 31, 1974 in the Sherman-Thomas Student Center of Asbury Theological Seminary.

In 1980, as one of our church members, Glen, was in our home and noticed the picture…he asked who the woman was with Joe. (I was a platinum blonde at the time he saw the photo and he didn’t recognize me because by then I was wearing very short hair and a few more pounds…) I told our friend that was Joe’s first wife and she was a wonderful woman. He told me that he wasn’t aware that Joe had been married before and thought it was really nice that I displayed their wedding picture in a prominent place of our home. I told Glen that she was so wonderful that I felt it was only right to hang their picture where Joe could see it now and again.

By that time Joe came in the room and spoiled the fun.
He told our friend that was indeed his first and ONLY wife and asked if he didn’t recognize me in the picture.

Well, I thought it was funny…

Never forget…if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count.