With eons of sermons stretching out before me, life looked grim. Occasionally, there was a bright spot. Sometimes the preacher told a joke. I truly enjoyed church music, especially if it was something lively, like “Onward Christian Soldiers” on the hymn list. I sung along enthusically, though lots of the words did’t make sense. For the life of me, I couldn’t fathom why we sang about laundry, as in “Bringing in the Sheets (Sheaves).” There was also a Christmas carol about laundry. “While shepherds washed their socks by night (watched their flocks by night.) I thought it odd, but so much adults did seemed odd.
One special Sunday, God had a startling surprise in store for me. Mrs. Simmons, the pianist, brought her brother Eddie, a handsome young man, along to play the organ. His boogie-woogie style hymns were a vast improvement over sedate hymns. I could see some of the old ladies exchanging shocked looks, but I was entranced. I was practically bouncing in the pew when suddenly he dropped to the floor in a seizure. Mrs. Simmons shrieked and rushed to his side. He rallied and they trooped out, along with the rest of her family. I was so jealous. The preacher made an anemic attempt to salvage the service, but his flock was clearly anxious to get out and enjoy a good gossip. I genuinely enjoyed church that day.