When I was growing up, back in the 1960’s, we went to church. Every Sunday. Dad was never convinced that I should stay home because I was out too late on Saturday night. He didn’t care if I thought the sermon might be boring. We went. And we stayed afterward for coffee and conversation. With the same folks. We knew about their ups and downs in life and they knew about ours.
The same went for your neighbors. I knew my friend’s grandmas, and grandpas and their aunts and uncles. If I needed a ride home from school and mom was busy, a neighbor would be my taxi. We looked out for each other. That was just the way it was. Community. We didn’t question it.
We didn’t call it a value system or a lifestyle. It was just life. I knew what my dad did for a living and I could walk a mile and see him any time I wanted too. (Which was practically never.) He was home every night for dinner at the same time. And dinner was on the table. We were all there every night. We never questioned it. It’s the way it was. There were five of us and I always felt there was some kind of strong band around us holding us together. Still is.
The world is a little different now but, sense of community is still needed. It’s different, and maybe harder to accomplish. We need a support system, just like we always have. We need places to go where we are safe and appreciated. We need to have some fun in life without spending a fortune.
We work in cubicles doing things that no one else understands, with titles that make no sense to anyone. My last job title was “Senior Acquisitions Clerk.” Sounds like I was is the Acquiring Department. I didn’t even know what the title meant. Before that it was Senior Order Entry/Order Edit Clerk. An important sounding title if I ever heard one. Not teacher, nurse, mechanic, carpenter, doctor or anything anyone can understand.
I know how hard it is to work all day long and how tired we all are at the end of the day. And there is so much left to still do after picking the kids up from daycare or after school activities. Getting something to eat. Making sure there are clean clothes and lunch materials for the next day. Making sure the house is at least somewhat presentable. Weekends are full of chores to prepare for the week ahead. Life is exhausting.
Maybe by pulling together, we can make life a little less exhausting and a little more fun. Sharing the load. Looking in on each other. Talking together, listening together, crying and laughing together. Loving each other. That’s all there is you know. Love.
So here’s a cheer for the Sunday Dinner, and the Wednesday night bridge club. The camera club with the potluck once a month. The farmer’s market trip with the family every Sunday afternoon. The weeklong camping trip with all of the cousins, aunts and uncles and all the friends. Here’s to bringing the covered casserole when a new baby is born, or a loved one passes away. Here’s to taking the septuagenarian cousin to the eye doctor because she sat on her glasses. Then getting ice cream with her afterward. Here’s to having lunches with your niece when she breaks up with her boyfriend and is broken hearted.
We are all one. We breath the same air. We are Love. We are the World. Here’s to us.
An here’s to an old fashioned recipe to take to the church supper.
Space Noodle Casserole
1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 minced clove garlic
1 pound of hamburger
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce
1 can olives
1/2 package uncooked egg noodles
1 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper