The traditional colors for October are black and orange but there’s another color that’s become associated with October: pink. It’s because, along with being the month containing Halloween, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I can’t think about breast cancer and not think about a very dear friend that lost a fight to cancer about 5 years ago. Her name was Carlene and she initially beat breast cancer but couldn’t dodge the bladder cancer that followed.
Carlene and I worked closely together for more than 15 years. I considered her to be my “work grandma”. We were always joking around and making each other laugh.
She was ornery and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind but she also had a soft spot for little kids. She always kept candy in her desk drawer for whenever any of her co-workers kids stopped by the office.
No party really started until Carlene got there and she made things fun at work by being the office bookie. Yep, she arranged a weekly football pool with NFL and college games. She also put together a 100 square for the Super Bowl every year.
That was always one of my favorites! Even if you didn’t care about who was playing in the Super Bowl you still had a reason to cheer, hoping the score at the end of each quarter would make a pay out to you.
When Carlene first got sick and it became evident she wouldn’t be back for awhile I took her ruler for safe keeping. It was one she had used daily the whole time I knew her. If it went missing in her absence I knew it would annoy her.
Unfortunately, she never did get to come back to work so the ruler stayed with me. It sits on my desk and I use it every day. Each time I do I remember Carlene.
Ladies, make sure to get a mammogram!
Harvest 2015 is in full swing and I’m amazed at how quick farmers are at getting the crops out. A field that was untouched on my morning commute today was picked clean by the return trip home.
Even though I grew up in town I was able to experience harvest on the farm a time or two with my Grandpa and Uncles. Getting to ride a few rounds in the combine was cool to a young boy.
My favorite part was watching the corn fill up the hopper, seeing the giant combine arm swing out and start to “pour” the corn into the truck or wagon. I was amazed at how a cob of corn would go in and come out in kernels.
The other memory I have about harvest is going with my Grandma to bring out sandwiches and a thermos filled with water or tea to the workers. The guys would stop for a brief moment to say hello, grab a drink, and some food. Then they were off again.
It’s from them that I learned what a hardworking bunch that farmers are.
The memory I’m about to share was sparked by a boy helping out in the the Church service we attended this past Sunday. I’d guess he was about 8 and he was working on a merit badge for Boy Scouts.
I’m not sure what the requirements were to get the badge but he helped out in three different areas of the service. He played a piano solo for special music. He also collected the individual little cups after Communion.
The other thing he did was help light the candles at the start of the service. That took me back to 3rd grade and my first turn at lighting the candles at my Church.
Lighting the candles was a pretty big deal when I was younger because it meant you didn’t have to sit with your parents. You were always paired up with a friend and after lighting the candles you sat in the front pew on the right-hand side.
That’s where you’d be until the start of the last verse of the last hymn. Then you’d go extinguish the alter candles and lead the Pastor down the center aisle and to the back of the Church. That’s where he’d do the benediction.
So as a candle lighter you were the first out of Church which meant first in line for cookies and juice!
Candle lighting at our current Church is a little less formal. My friend, Mike, and I run the audio visual equipment each week from the back of the sanctuary. We’ll usually grab the first two kids we can find and have them do it. If we can’t find anyone we’ll just light them before the service starts.
Sometimes it’ll be my daughters lighting the candles. This always makes me a little nervous but so far they’ve always done a good job. They haven’t burned the Church down which, as Mike always says, “Is the number one rule in being an acolyte!”
What do you remember about lighting candles in Church when you were a kid?