From Gloomy to Merry and Bright

Ready to head into the fog: hat, scarf, coat, doctor kit, and tiny purple monkey (not quite pictured--sorry, monkey).

“What happened to the sky?” Zoe asked when we stepped outside yesterday morning.

“It’s foggy,” I said.

“What happened to the ground?”

“It’s wet.”

“What happened to the . . . sky?” she asked again.

“It’s foggy and gray and yucky.”

“It’s foggy and gray!” she repeated with a satisfaction that must come from learning new ways to talk about the weather rather than the dismal fact of the weather itself.  Right?

It sure was foggy and gray (and let’s not forget yucky!) yesterday: supremely unmotivating weather.  After a hospital visit, Bible study, and lunch, I spent a while staring at my computer screen before deciding to take advantage of one of the perks of being a pastor: if you don’t want to write your sermon, you can go visit someone.  (The reverse may also be true, but it is not such a friendly sentiment, is it?)

So I visited 98-year-old Millie, who is always a delight.  I admired her Christmas decorations and shared communion with her.  Sure enough, I felt the gloom of the day start to lift.

I keep seeing these on my home visits, and I think I want one.

And then, I got to pick up my dissertation-writing husband and my daycare-playing daughter and take them home.  Zoe and I snuggled in the living room, listening to Andy Williams and looking at our Christmas tree, while Mike made waffles for supper.

What lifted me out of my fog-induced funk wasn’t the things I did or the places I went or the music I listened to.  It was the people: the parishioners I visited, the colleagues I talked and ate with, the family I came home with.  Which just goes to show: Barbra Streisand was right, and people who need people really are the luckiest people in the world.

Although: if you think you need Omar Sharif, Barbra, think again.  Because that guy will break your heart.  (If you haven’t seen Funny Girl, that was possibly a spoiler, but I think the real issue there is that you haven’t seen Funny Girl.  Get on that, please.)

Funny Girl (1968) directed by William Wyler, starring Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis

image via



Filed under Ministry Matters, Your Moment of Zoe

12 responses to “From Gloomy to Merry and Bright

  1. Those trees were huge in ceramics classes in the 1980s! My mom and dad painted one we still use every single year. 🙂


  2. Jen Kiefer

    My grandma made one of those in a ceramic class. It goes on Grandpa’s dining room table every year.


  3. Liz L.

    “what happened to the sky?” has got to be the best query to a gloomy day. We’ve got that going on over here today.


  4. Jane

    I always just stop the film after she sings Sadie, Sadie. It’s all downhill from there.


  5. Who can resist Omar Sharif? Those hooded eyes and smoky voice with just a slight accent. I agree with Jane – the beginning of the movie is so much better than the end. Thanks for putting Second Class Rose on my internal song loop.


    • Well, yes, he IS irresistible. That’s the trouble, isn’t it? Hey, you’re welcome! There are worse things (I have the Wiggles and Backyardigans running in there pretty regularly).


  6. Em

    🙂 Let’s meet in Minneapolis and take a ceramics class! 🙂 We will make great trees!


  7. Funny Girl is fabulous and Omar is irresistible for sure.


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