Friday, February 29, 2008

Out and about: the week in review

On Sunday we went to church and were blessed by a wonderful sermon from Pastor M. on the holiness of God and by a great anthem from the choir on the same topic: "No word but Holy, that's what I would say if I were asked today to convey Who You are, no word but Holy." Notice that the anthem is addressed to God, not to the congregation. I like that about our church; we know Who the real audience is. After church we drove to Canton and ate Chinese food. Canton, Georgia, not Canton, China. I had roast pork egg foo yung; Ellie had a spicy shrimp dish. I had hot and sour soup; Ellie had egg drop. There were no fortune cookies. Unfortunately.

On Monday I drove Ellie to her appointment at the knee surgeon's office. While we were out and about we stopped to eat lunch at The Square Bagel in Marietta, one of our favorite "hole in the wall" places. For the record, the bagels there aren't square. Our friends Adam and Ruth K. named their restaurant The Square Bagel because it is located just off the square in downtown Marietta. Adam and Ruth have two other restaurants also, the Parkside Grill in Woodstock, and Poppy's Pizza in Acworth. In his spare time, Adam is a certified housing inspector and plays on an adult baseball team. How he finds the time and energy to do everything he does and still look as young as his son is a mystery to me. I consider a day successful if I can find socks that match.

We chatted with Roberto, Adam's Brazilian Pentecostal waiter, about his new grandson and he asked in turn about our children and grandchildren. Then we dug into our lunch. I had the turkey melt with a potato pancake, and Ellie ordered a Rachael, which is just like a Reuben except that a Rachael is made with pastrami instead of corned beef. I heard a familiar voice a few tables away and it turned out to be Wanda C., a friend we hadn't seen in several years. Wanda used to play the big Allen organ at Mt. Paran Church in Atlanta. She is past 80 now, and after being single for several decades she got married again about a year ago. We met her new husband, whose last name is Fields. He pointed out to us that his wife is now W. C. Fields, and we all had a good laugh. (Younger readers, you can read about W. C. Fields in Wikipedia or ask your grandparents about him.)

On Tuesday Ellie and I, out and about again, went to St. Joseph's Hospital in north Atlanta to visit Jackie M., the friend with the new aortic heart valve. We were able to spend a little time with her in intensive care, and then we visited with her husband and two daughters, Elaine H. and Tammi M., in the family waiting area. We learned that Elaine's son-in-law Chris, Elizabeth's husband, is about to be deployed to Iraq for the second time.

On Wednesday we were out and about for the fourth day in a row, paying some bills in person at the mall and others by mail at the post office. Our daughter-in-law called in the afternoon to inquire whether we could have lunch together one day soon, and we are looking forward to that. In the evening I was the rehearsal pianist at choir practice.

On Thursday we took Jethro to get groomed, picked him up two hours later, then went to two more doctor appointments. Dinner was out again, with the regular Thursday gang of senior citizens.

Today, Friday, we had lunch (Mexican) with our daughter-in-law (Tennessean). In the evening we attended a surprise birthday party for another friend, Walter T., who was celebrating his fifteenth birthday. Sixty years, but fifteen birthdays, because he was born on February 29th and his birthday comes along only once every four years. Walter is a multi-talented man, and he and and his wife Margaret are an ecumenical movement in themselves. Walter grew up Methodist; Margaret grew up Southern Baptist. He was an Eagle Scout and a Captain in the Army Reserve. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Georgia and was awarded a master of divinity degree from Emory University. He has pastored United Methodist and Evangelical Presbyterian churches in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Currently, he is chairmen of the Department of Bible and Systematic Theology at a small Christian university in Atlanta. Oh, and he sings tenor in the choir at our church, a Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) congregation, where Margaret serves as choir director. The leaders of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination say Walter (and, by extension, I suppose, Margaret) is (are?) serving "out of bounds." I don't know anything about that, but it feels like home to me. By the way, a good time was had by all at the party.

Early tomorrow, Saturday morning, we will be making the three-hours-plus drive over to Birmingham to help celebrate the seventh birthday of our youngest grandson, Sam. Then we'll come back home and start all over again.

Retirement has turned out to be a very busy place indeed. I don't know how I ever found time to work. Our calendar is already filling up for next week and the week after. I just hope I can find enough socks that match.


  1. Wonderfully busy post! Sounds fun.

    That's interesting about the Rachael sandwich.....

    Marietta, Georgia.....aren't there famous C&W singers hailing from that city? But, I'm trying to remember it Alan Jackson? Seems like there's another one....can't think of his name, though.

  2. Alan Jackson is from Newnan, Georgia, about an hour south of Atlanta. Travis Tritt grew up in Marietta and attended the same high school as my children, at the same time. And Ty Pennington (not a country singer, but a celebrity nonetheless) was there at the same time also.

    For the record, most Georgians do not look or sound like Travis Tritt, or act like Ty Pennington, or earn as much money as either one of them.