Monday, September 22, 2008

Who Needs a Chapel?

Yesterday morning we skipped going to our Wardhouse for a three hour church session. Instead, we drove up north to the country, and sat on a blanket in the warm sunshine. We had a little to eat and drink, and got in touch with our inner natural selves. Oh, and we also enjoyed the nice strains of "Praise to the Man" coming from the portable keyboard set on organ setting.

What, you didn't actually think we skipped going to church, did you? What kind of apostate do you think I am?

Our Chapel's gym floor was recovered recently, but the smell is still so bad that all three wards didn't hold church there on Sunday. I don't know what the other wards did, but we elected to hold at least Sacrament Meeting anyway. So, yesterday morning we did indeed skip going to our Wardhouse for three hours, and instead went north to a very country subdivision to a member's home and had Sacrament Meeting (no other meetings, though) in their back yard, which was about two or three acres large.

So I did sit on a blanket, although not one that we brought, because I forgot ours in the Living Room (thankfully there was one to share, since this is a ward of camping, and every other family except the one we sat with had all camping chairs, or at least mostly camping chairs). And I did enjoy the sunshine. For the first half hour at least. Then I went to nurse Elisheva, but I didn't hear where the nursing mother's room was because our bishopric member told us at the same time that our blanket mate screamed when a large spider crawled right over her. Or was that when a leaf dropped directly on the bishopric members head, and a bunch of us were laughing, instead of listening? Regardless, I had no idea where to go, and although I normally just nurse in the meeting, sitting on a blanket didn't seem the best way, so I wanted another option.

Rather than go into a stranger's house and wander around looking for the area they set up for nursing, I just settled around thirty feet behind the missionaries translating to Spanish and the speakers, and just nursed there in the shade. I'm a very classy person.

And I did have a little to eat and drink - the Sacrament, after all. Especially exciting was when Lydia (our somewhat sick daughter) plunged her hand into some of the cups holding water as it passed by her. I quickly dumped all of them into the center well, so hopefully no communicable diseases were caught.

Which reminds me; we were all a little sick. It's a minor cold type thing that's been working its way around our family. Five days ago Lydia got a stuffy nose and couldn't sleep. Then Elisheva got a stuffy nose and had to nurse all night long. She also threw up twice, but that could have just been her inability to breathe causing it. On Saturday Avram began to feel weak, and Sunday morning he told me that we'd go to church if I could get us all ready. Since it was only one meeting, and because Elisheva and Lydia seemed to be recovered, so I decided that we should go - which despite the "living on the edge" appeal of an outdoor Sacrament meeting, I don't think was the best decision. Sure, the meeting itself went okay, but then I somehow found myself agreeing to go out to choir again this evening with Avram, so that I could babysit and he could sing. Although Avram had a sore throat, and so couldn't sing, and we'd already decided that we weren't going to go. But what was I supposed to say, "Oh, sorry, we can't come because we're sick. Yeah, sick, and I'm worried that we'd pass the sickness around if we came, not to mention that Avram couldn't sing there anyway. Oh, why are we here at all if we're that sick? Err, I have to go now...." Besides there is a level of sick that would make us miss ward choir, and a level that would cause us to miss Church completely.

It really was a good sacrament meeting though, with three well prepared talks, although one of the speakers looked like he could be a brother of Dennis, a college boyfriend of mine. Except I know all of his brothers - and this brother's last name was George, not Decker. You know, small details. But I spent the entire time wondering if they were cousins, or something. I didn't wonder enough to actually go ask if he was related to any Deckers, but that would have made sense. They even had the same voice! And Avram independently later in the day commented on it, so I know I'm not just delusional.

After the meeting it took forever to get Lydia into her carseat, because she was so cranky, and finally Avram manhandled her in, and then her diaper came off during the drive home, and she screamed from that point until we arrived home, and then she wouldn't even come in. Lydia kept on wanting to eat a banana outside with Avram, but she needed a new diaper put on (how do you even lose a diaper while attached in a car seat? Especially since it appeared to have fallen off on its own - oh, yeah, this was a disposable diaper, because we don't actually have a washer and dryer yet). And she had to be upstairs for this to happen, but the diaper had to come from downstairs in the church bag, and Avram had to get the diaper, not me. Also, the white container of diaper cream wouldn't do, she had to have the blue one. Can anyone tell me why toddlers are so OCD? A half hour from when we arrived home Lydia finally stopped crying, and at that point I decided we should have stayed home all along anyway.

The day looked up from that point on - we ate lunch, Avram took a nap on the couch, then I took a nap upstairs (Elisheva napped too, but Lydia? She thinks naps are for sissies). Avram emailed the choir directer, and told her we couldn't come after all, and we all were in bed with the lights out by 8:22 pm.

Moral of the story? Church, even church in the great outdoors is great. I felt like I was getting in touch with the pioneers in Nauvoo who always met outdoors in the grove.The Nauvoo temple as seen from the grove.

For one thing, I'm very grateful that normally we do have a building, with padded benches, and other such amenities.

The other Moral? Church when you're sick and all feeling yucky (after church I got a blinding headache, and my upset stomach carried over from yesterday, which was actually me getting sick, and not too much cake, and then my limbs felt really heavy) is not that great of an idea. Neither is still having to parent when you're sick. (Although as of this morning Avram and I feel a lot better. He's off to orientation now, and I'm finally a full blown homemaker without my husband, wherein I find I always accomplish more.)


  1. Wow...what an amazing experience!

    Our chapel is a double wide trailer that was once a country school.

    Sure looking forward to a real one someday, but this was such a lovely perspective for me to read. Thanks for putting this into words.

  2. Gorgeous picture. Sorry you're a little sick.

    In one of our branches there's a mother who is also the RS president. She will nurse her baby while she's teaching a lesson with it all hanging out. Completely, no attempt at modesty at all. She actually used to sit and nurse the baby in the same way at the back of the room right next to the only exit. She had to be asked to stop that as at LEAST the American missionaries were not very comfortable with it (BTW, she happens to be my very favorite Polish person besides my husbands and my in laws. I love her).

    Thanks for the reminder about two year olds. We're getting ever closer to that stage. The one where we offer choices about almost everything so we don't have to offer choices about the things he doesn't get to choose ("We're going to bed now, are you going to wear your green pajamas or your red ones?" or "We're eating dinner now, are you going to have a bite of your carrots first, or your chicken?") I forget about that whole thing. Can't wait!

    (Oh, and you asked why kids that age are so OCD. It probably was meant more as a joke than as a question, and you probably already know, so I'm making an even bigger dork of myself than I really am, but kids at that age are able to do so much and start to realize that there are so many things they still CAN'T do, so they try to take control of as many things as they can. Or everything, really, which is why they need to be able to make lots of choices--sorry, it's my Early Childhood Ed background coming out and I'm actually annoying MYSELF typing this out!)

  3. Yeah, Lydia was a really good two year old, but this whole move has brought out all of her latent Two year craziness. I do know why two year olds do this, but it's still good to hear it again officially, so that way I feel better about my parenting and don't think that I've done something myself to produce this monster (albeit a cute lovable monster).

    She always has to be the one to unlock the door to the car. The specific door changes each trip, and you have to get it right the first guess. And she can't even actually unlock the door, so you have to surreptitiously (I had to spell that about six times to get it right) open it. Surreptitiously because if she thinks that you are doing it for her she screams until you shut the door again and start all over.

    Thankfully this is just a stage, and I don't have to live with "Monk" for the rest of my life.