Monday, April 28, 2008

Sit and wonder why

Monday was a busy day.

You see, one of our very venerable congregation members died on Thursday (it's very sad. He had been ill for a long time, and his wife of 60 years was reluctant to let him go, understandably). What this meant for me on a practical level was that our women's organization would be handling the lunch after the funeral for 150+ people and providing childcare during the services for the 20+ small grand/great-grandchildren who came from this man's very large family so their parents could participate in the event. And remember how I was recently called into the women's organization presidency? Right!

Luckily, I don't have to do this sort of thing alone. There are committees and volunteers and the like, but all that has to be coordinated and the coordination fell largely to me. Think many, many phone calls over the weekend (for organists, child care volunteers, choristers, food volunteers, servers, someone to buy new table clothes, set-up and clean-up crew, etc., etc., etc. ad infinitum) just to get us ready.

Then the day arrives. Normally, this kind of thing puts me in my element. I love to organize, to cook huge vats of food, to help run errands and troubleshoot, that sort of thing. However, this was the first time I was trying to do all this and more with a small baby attached to me (literally--he spent the majority of the day in the baby bjorn so I could have my hands free). And darned if he didn't need to eat and sleep once in a while!

First, I trucked three shopping bags full of serving platters, bowls, and utensils, pasta salad, a dessert, stuff to make punch, the diaper bag, the bjorn, and the baby to the church. Then I helped tend 25 kids, three of whom absolutely did not stop screaming...for an hour and a half. At one point Jacob, strapped to me and a clearly overwhelmed, started laughing maniacally at nothing. I think he was trying to find his happy place. I know I was looking for mine.

Then we started to get the food ready: piles of ham and fried chicken, pans and pans of macaroni and cheese and "funeral" potatoes (don't ask if you don't already know--you're better off), high fat desserts, a few salads for color, and some random meatballs. Yes, a coronary on a plate. A plate piled very high. Welcome to Mormons in the South. And we set many tables and prepared for the ravening hordes to descend, which they did, an hour after expected, in huge numbers (many more than we were told to plan for, so we were running around trying to accommodate everyone and not run out of food, which we almost did).

It was, in short, exhausting, made worse by the fact that I was having some sort of allergic reaction breakdown from a plethora of mosquito bites I got on Saturday weeding the widow's flower beds at 6:30am (just part of the service package). Poor Jacob got a few catnaps and he did get fed, but he was slung around from pillar to post, and I felt horrible about it. And tired. So very tired. So. Very. Tired.

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