It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I don’t usually schedule my visits to the assisted living facility or the nursing home in advance. This means that sometimes, when I arrive at coffee time, I get an accordion concert instead of a visit with the person I came to see. It’s not ideal, but it’s not the end of the world. (Pro Tip: Because coffee + treats + accordion music = delightful, of course.)
But when Zoe and I arrived at Brandt Ridge on Thursday afternoon, it was not an accordion concert. It was a 100th birthday party!
The woman wasn’t a stranger to me, but she wasn’t a parishioner, either, so I felt a little awkward. But as soon as we were in the door someone was offering us Norwegian wedding cake and the birthday girl was graciously thanking us for coming. Zoe saw the cake and ice cream. We were in.
We visited with people from First Lutheran and other party guests. We sang Happy Birthday. Then, we listened while a great granddaughter visiting from Wisconsin sang a song a capella (she did it beautifully). Then that same great granddaughter performed her state gold medal winning forensics prose interpretation piece: a short story called “Blood Sausage.” She did that beautifully, too. (I mean, it was about making blood sausage, and it involved a lot of retching noises, so maybe “beautifully” isn’t the right word, but she totally crushed it.)
It was lovely to be welcomed into that gathering of strangers and friends. It was lovely to watch my daughter listen, with rapt attention, to the teenager from Wisconsin who had been welcomed, too.
This is what can happen when we show up. This is what can happen when we stay.
What wonderful (or not so wonderful) things have you walked into?