Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

A Very Busy Sunday

But a good one all in all, but the conflagration of Valentine's Day, Chinese New Years, our church's Jazz Sunday, and the commissioning of all the folks going to Biloxi turned it very busy indeed. It didn't help that we'd been signed up for snacks for the coffee hour after church months ago, and then just a few weeks ago they found out that they really, really needed a liturgist for today so they asked me. I said yes.

There's this adage about giving a job you need to get done to a busy man.

John had t-shirts for everyone going on the mission trip, and thank you cards and things ready to thank all the people that helped out Monday at the Bash. We raised over $2500 from the whole thing, so it was all good.

the silver zoot
Two days ago I suddenly realized that for a Jazz Sunday rather than wearing some dress or something, I would wear my Zoot Suit because... well, it was Jazz Sunday. But there were just a few fixes that had to be done to the watch chain. Luckily, it still fits me quite well, as you can see here. *laughs* The extra-high waist makes it so that I have to have a completely different belt than the belt I wear for my jeans, as my jeans are low-riders on my hips.

We went to the Pacific Ocean Market Friday evening, and I realized that with it being Jazz Sunday there would be extra people, so we bought a few more things than we normally would have. Including trays of almond cookies and an extra cream roll or two. We also had pho soup for dinner as John felt like he was coming down with a cold and I knew I was kind of exhausted by other things.

Yesterday I baked a sticky rice flour cake with red bean filling, and John dug up 9 pounds of carrots from the vegetable garden. The weather is starting to warm, enough so that the ground isn't frozen as hard anymore, and the carrots, which have been sweet and crisp all winter, will start to go. So he dug up a lot and peeled and cut them for today, too. He also dug all the beds, and moved some of the dirt from the old sugar snap pea bed into the other beds to help with the nitrogen fixing. I inoculated a bunch of sugar snap peas with the bacteria that's supposed to help with more nitrogen fixing, and planted them while my fingers froze. *laughs* And then covered them with three inches of leaf mulch.

We also took time to go to Target so that Jet could spend his gift cards, and we could all get a chance at giving each other Valentine's Day Cards. *laughs* It was fun this morning to all get cards. I also read through all the stuff I thought I needed for liturgist.

It snowed last night. Three inches of soft fluffy white, and the bottoms of those shiny men's shoes were slippery in the snow. Whee...

And it turned out that Pastor Rick wanted me to read 1 Corinthians 13 from The Message rather than the standard version. Part of the reason is that the old words everyone knows so well they just kind of tune them out. The Message's version of the passage has some intriguing takes, and the emphasis is mildly different, especially at the end of the passage.

When I got up to read it, the jazz musicians gave me a little musical intro, and I waited a moment when I thought they were going to end, but the director of the little trio just nodded at me to go on and just read. So I did. It's *jazz*, it would work.

I'm glad I was confident enough to just go with it, and read over the musical accompaniment and do it as solidly as I wanted to do it. You know when you get it right on stage when there isn't a single sound from the audience, when everyone is looking right at you, and when you look up to meet their eyes with a phrase, an emphasis, and each and everyone you look at looks you right back in the eye. I know, I don't usually come across as someone that really loves doing this kind of thing; but I got into this a long time ago with the goal of understanding how to be really, really good at this kind of thing, and it's amazing when it works.

It was really fun, too, to go back and sit by the choir and have the bass boys in the back tell me, "Man, that was really, really good."

There's an analogy for the United Church of Christ that I really, really like. The analogy is that a congregation, a good, strong congregation is a lot like a Jazz Band. Everyone has their strengths, everyone has their part, their instrument, their loves, and their abilities. Each gets their time, their solos, but all the other time, they're lending their strengths, their abilities to each other. That the great ones come and go as needed, fade in and fade out as they feel and everyone goes on their faith in and with each other and in God that it will all work out and that they'll have created something beautiful.

It's not regimented, orchestrated, not rehearsed until there's no possibility it won't be anything but perfect. People don't compete against each other for First Seats; but there's also always that element of surprise, for good or bad, there's always something unexpected. *laughs*

The dedication of the Biloxi folks was fun. Everyone but me was wearing their green t-shirts. John had worn his Zoot with the green t rather than a button up, it worked well on him. *grins* But it was fun seeing a few surprised looks when I went up with the folks to be dedicated.

The reading was all unexpected, but it worked. People were complimenting me on the suit and on the reading for most of the rest of the morning. One couldn't believe that the reading hadn't been rehearsed. That was flattering.

I loved one very old man who said that he wasn't sure I was a man or a woman when he first saw me, but that he thought that the suit really looked good on me. He also touched it in wonder. "It's dead solid, isn't it?"

Others asked if I'd rented it, and I shook my head, "No, it's *mine*, fitted to me." One Latino lady admired the workmanship and gave me a small lecture on the Zoot Suit Riots, which I carefully listened to. There's a long history with these suits. Another woman greeted me with, "I've never seen a woman wearing a Zoot Suit."

I answered, "Well, now you have."

She laughed and admitted that the first time she ever saw a Zoot Suit she was far more impressionable and was amazed by them.

I'll admit that that made me feel, a little, as usual, like a crossdresser, and I guess I was, really. *laughs*

Another man pointed out all the details, the silk tie, the matching handkerchief, the silver watch chain, my pocket watch (bought in the Paris airport because otherwise I would have killed a man), the shoes and socks, and the hat. He loved the hat. *laughs* And I said that I was told that I shouldn't wear the hat in the sanctuary and four people I'd had Bible studies with laughed, "But a woman is supposed to cover her hair in church, if we go by the old laws..." I love people that actually know their Bible. *laughs* I should have worn the hat inside, and would have if I'd found the quail quill I wanted for the band.

The suit is more fun in motion than static. The pictures never do it for me, as the swing of the chain, the flash of the shoes, and the weight of the tie never quite show up. *laughs* I had to do dishes in it after the coffee time, and now I realize that, yes, indeed, ties seem to get into everything.

After all that, the couple we did snacks with decided, with us, to come over for a Chinese delivery dinner. *laughs* The eight of us (their three kids and us) had a wonderful, quiet little New Years celebration at home. The "popcorn tofu" was a big hit, it was just deep fried tofu squares with a nice little sauce on the side, and we had mushu, General Tsao's Tofu, vegetarian lo mein, and lots of relaxed talk and fun with the kids. Hot tubbing was last, and Jet went to sleep easily.

Now it's my turn. Whew.
Tags: adventure, self-esteem, ucc
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