Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Homecoming Weekend

This is our big Homecoming Weekend here in Tiny Village. Our population will more than double as people come from all over the country to celebrate our ethnic heritage. There will be a light supper on Sunday afternoon, and then the Big Event. The Big Event involves bringing in special guests and having a huge heritage celebration. The stress also puts everybody on edge.

I’ve heard from D, who has complained about Special Guest #1 and his ego. E has complained that Special Guests like to rearrange the chancel in the church, and they need to leave everything alone until after worship on Sunday. Secretary has complained that the program notes don’t make sense. D asked me if I was going to be her for Big Event. I told her I didn’t know it was optional. She admitted it wasn’t, and I assured her that I enjoy it and would be there even if it was optional. She was concerned because K planned the event, but may not be able to attend as she had chemo today. K finally called me and I’ve agreed to cover the welcome and announcements at Big Event if she isn’t up to doing it. All of that happened last week.

This morning when I went over to the church, D & E were already there. They were there to give the balcony its annual cleaning in preparation for Big Event. This It is also newsletter week, so even without Big Event, it would have been very busy. We started the morning with the discovery that the church computer (which is always temperamental) wouldn’t come on. Someone had unplugged it. Secretary and I were doing contortions trying to get it plugged back in (as Secretary said, we’re both stubby). Once we got the computer up and running, it was time to tackle newsletter and the Big Event program. Of course none of the people who’d promised to get us information by this morning for the newsletter had come through. I started writing articles while Secretary struggled with Big Event program (which has a number of very weird foreign words in it).

Our “office” is also the youth Sunday School Room. There are two desks in there, and no privacy. When other people are in the church, there are frequent interruptions.

D complained that the sound system wasn’t working properly last Sunday, so I took a break to help her figure it out. Just a note, cordless microphones don’t work when their receiver is turned off. Also, turning the volume off on all the individual microphones is not a smart idea.

Secretary’s desk top and my laptop were both being uncooperative. I’m convinced that church office equipment has a sensor and only fails on the busiest weeks of the year: Christmas week, Holy Week, and in Tiny Village, Homecoming week. City newspaper called asking for a history of Big Event for an article they are doing. E is slightly panicked because I had a phone call from a retirement community that is planning to bring a bus with some of their residents for the supper, and she doesn’t know how much food she should prepare. (We never know how much food to prepare).

D came in and mangled some inserts for the Big Event program trying to use the paper cutter on them to cut them in half. Special Guest #1 decided he had to make major changes to Big Event, so the program was a mess. I finally had Secretary transfer it to my computer so I could try to do the tweaking necessary to get it all to fit. I also had last year’s program around, and it took several attempts before I managed to make correct copies for D to take home and proof read.

I had to go pick up Daughter at 2:15 to take her to see Therapist. She had a softball game tonight at a field more than an hour from here, so we left from Therapist’s office so I could get her some supper at something close to her normal time and have her on the field ready to play by 5:30. I sat at the softball game trying to format the newsletter. I ended up cutting out about half of what I’d written this morning in an attempt to get things to fit. It’s probably just as well, since there were so many interruptions I’m not sure any of it made any sense anyway. When we got home a little after 9:00, the doorbell rang with the delivery of another newsletter article. So much for all my work formatting and making things fit.

The entire week will be filled with interruptions and mini crises. My task will be to remain calm and remind people that every year this is a stressful week, and the Big Event is always a big success. I’ll point out that this year it looks like even the weather will cooperate. (It’s no fun packing 400 people into a church with no air conditioning on the hottest night of the year.)
Daughter will complain that she doesn’t want to go to Big Event. I will be mean and make her go, and she will later admit I was right. As we sit there Sunday night all the stresses of the week will be forgotten as we celebrate our heritage and offer praise to God. We will both come home Sunday night exhausted, but full of joy and peace. Like everyone else, we will decide that it was worth it. By next month, all the people who are swearing that they are too old and someone else needs to take on their roles will be busy making plans for next year.

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