Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Faces of Waverly UMC

Barbara, Martha Ann, and Miss Nell  - Barbara was the choir director. She is my coughing buddy. We seem to cough in time and I love harmonizing with her. Her granddaughter was christened while we were here. Barbara is from Michigan and I love to hear her stories of Garth. Martha Ann teaches Sunday School, Frank  christened her first granddaughter and she was so precious.  Miss Nell lived right next door to the church and is a love. Need a good hug....well these are some great hugging ladies.               
Picture number 4 is Stacy, the mother of Blake (our only child). She is such a bubbly person. Stacy is a single mom who works at Rite Aid. She loves her son and Bisquits Baseball. Miss Louise is 94 and lives next door to the Community Center. She still climbs the church steps every Sunday and believe me...they are steep. She has the sweetest personality and what a spunky lady. You just want to hug her.

Jackie is the best cook. I looked forward to fruits and vegetables from her gardens and thank heavens for Southern Living...she was always trying out some remarkable recipe. I think I gained 10 pounds while I was there. When she found out Frank and I were diabetic...she switched over and made stuff for us with Splenda. Marcus and Carolyn...Marcus was a retired Commandant from Lyman Ward Military Academy, retired veteran, awesome storyteller and writer, and called me, Mrs. Preacher from day one. Carolyn runs the Senior Citizens Center....and is very involved in their lives. They love to travel and have taken some great trips since our tenure here. I love hearing their tales of the trips.

Mr. High isn't he just the cutest thing?  His personality matches too.   He has an awesome antebellum house(furnished in period), behind the Waverly Post Office. He lives alone and is in his 90's. He has an infectious smile and laugh and still drives! Mark and Marilyn have really touched us. Marilyn was a rock when my dad was diagnosed and Mark is a quasi retired pharmacist. They are both great fun. Frank christened their grandchild. What a special memory.
Miss Inez is the piano player....I love it when she pulls out the old hymns for offeratory music. One Sunday she played "Ivory Palaces" from the old brown Cokesbury Hymnal and it made my year. Sometimes it is all I can do to keep from singing out loud. She is a big historian and I have enjoyed her tales of Waverly and Tallapoosa Co.  Blake is our precious little man. He helps Frank light the candles when he is there and is just adorable. Don't get me wrong...he is all boy and strong willed....but he is such a joy. I told Stacy yesterday that we still expected to be invited to his birthday parties.
Bob and Marie Slaughter (my hat lady) are so cute.  Marie plays the organ and fills in on the piano when Miss Inez is out.  She has an infectious smile too and wears the cutest hats.  She is a fashionista for sure.  I love to see how she will be dressed each week.  Bob is a veteran and has the funniest laugh.  When I hear his laugh I want to join in.  He is a doll.  Harold and Ailene are the green thumbs.  She brings the most beautiful flowers to church on Sundays.  They spend some of their year in Alaska and bring back the most awesome Eagle pictures.  I love to hear their stories and it makes me want to visit Alaska that much more.  One of these days I am going. Harold always has the coolest factoids that he shares in Sunday School.  He is a learned man and I love hearing him share.  David and Kayla(below) are some of the youngest members of the church.  They are the sweetest couple.  David loves lighthouses....and so I so we had common ground from the start.  Kayla is a Dental Assistant and we are the shoe queens.  Kayla's mom Patsy also attends...but she hates having her picture made so I am going to honor her on that one.  She is a great cook and has a knack of always making you feel good.  She is a fashionista too and I love seeing what she will be wearing.  Patsy's sister Robin comes too.  Robin has the biggest smile and a warm personality.  I have enjoyed getting to know her.
These past three years in Waverly have been a joy.  I looked forward to every single Sunday....except yesterday.  Yesterday was our last service at Waverly UMC.  I have grown to love this sweet little town.  There is something very comforting about the clip clop road sound you get when you enter the town's space.  The road is concrete and sings to you as you go through....or it always has to me.  It has a distinct tune....duh da, duh da, duh da, duh da, duh da da da da da da da, duh da.  Waverly is a town in both Chambers AND Lee Counties.  It is located on the foothills of the Appalachian mountains.  The town population is less than 200 yet, it has a post office and the three churches in Waverly sponsor most of the town's activities.  There is a major bbq in October.  Let me tell you, the people of Waverly know how to do bbq.  I have never liked Brunswick my whole life....until I tasted Waverly Brunswick stew.  It is awesome.  There is also an artsy craftsy music thing in April called 280 Boogie and it is great fun too. The history of the town according to Wikipedia is, "Waverly was settled in the 1830s as "Pea Ridge", but saw little growth until the 1870s. In 1871, the Central of Georgia railroad was extended from Opelika to Dadeville. As planned, the railroad was to take a route roughly one mile (1.6 km) north of the town. However, topographical problems forced the railroad engineer to "waver" the route to the south, passing through Pea Ridge. The townspeople, appreciative of this "waver" which gave their community a rail connection, renamed the town "Waverly". Some say the community was named for the Waverley novels of Sir Walter Scott."  Highway 280 used to run right through the heart of Waverly and it was considered a speed trap...but when the four laning of Hwy 280 took place it bypassed the town.  Now the only reminder that it is there is a sign on the highway pointing to Waverly Business District.  But that is not the Waverly I know.  The one I know has warm and caring people in it.  The ones I have met attend the Methodist and Baptist churches and they are wonderful people.  I know this because for the past three years my husband, Frank, has been the pastor of the Waverly UMC and we have become friends with the congregation of the Waverly Baptist Church.  Yesterday was our last day in Waverly as their pastor.  We will be their friends forever.  They are like your first kiss to us both.  You know...the one you never forget.  They were our first church.  God sent us to Waverly for a purpose.  I thought it was to minister to them....but that really wasn't it at all.  God sent us there because he knew I would need them. When my father and aunt were both diagnosed with lung cancer the prayer warriors of Waverly took a stand and began praying.  When my parents were missing, when my father died, when my mom had to be placed in the nursing home they mothered me.  I needed mothering so badly and they did.  They will never know how much those hugs meant to me each and every Sunday.  The service yesterday was sweet...the Baptist church joined us for service and lunch and I have never felt so wanted in my whole life.  Before the service started....they presented Frank with an Arthur Court tray that they had engraved and I thought my strong husband was going to come apart right then and there.  I was singing "Friends" yesterday...but when we got to the church and Frank went to cue it...there was nothing there.  We had picked up the wrong CD.  I did not let that stop me.  I wanted them to know how I I sang the song accapella.  My song and Frank's sermon were both delivered with our eyes closed.  Neither of us could look at those precious faces.  Lunch was great and then the goodbyes began and I cried all the way to Dadeville on the way home.  I know this is really not goodbye...we all serve the same Lord and we will meet again one day.  I know that we will see them between now and then....but it will be different.  Next Sunday we will be at Rock Mills UMC and I am excited about the new ministry.  I don't know what God has in store for us there...but I am up for the challenge.  God Bless Your Monday!


Trina said...

You had me all teary. I know how much the congregation at Waverly has meant to you. You and Frank have made friendships that will last a lifetime, no matter where you go!

Sweet Tea said...

LOVED seeing and hearing about all these wonderful people who have filled your life. Goodbye's are sad but the future is bright. Can't wait to hear about all the new friends you will make.
Will you be changing schools in the Fall or are you close enough to still teach at the same school?