This has been the biggest frustration for me, I get started on a blog, and three days later, I get it finished. That set time where I’m goign to write is so freaking random right now. I listened to a podcast today about “deep work”, setting a time and doing the work with no distractions: no phone, no Internet sluffing off, no answering emails, you are locked into the work at hand. I love this idea, becuase my concentration has been trash lastly! So, without further ado, my Sunday blog! 😂
Sunday, our church held a “Souper Bowl” dinner. Yeah, it’s a unique name, and it is what it sounds like, 9 different varieties of soups. From chicken noodle to white rice to broccoli and cheddar, there was a lot of soup around our basement for 2 1/2 hours on a Sunday.
It most certainly was! And the best part wasn’t the soup, it was the community. Our church is aging, slowly but surely. We have no “youth”, my wife and I brought the average age down a lot, and as people pass away, there’s no one to take their place. It’s not a bad thing, it is just the way of the world for a small-town church. We’ve had some poor pastors who have driven off members and the Methodist Church is in transition as well. On top of all that, we really don’t go any more ourselves. Those poor pastors have jaded us and we are much less likely to be seen there on a Sunday.
However, it was good to see so many different people. Our church held this even in early 2020 but did not in 2021 or 2022, so the faces all were a little more lined, the hair a bit more grey, but the smiles and laughter were all genuine.
Later that day, we went over to a friend’s house of a small Super Bowl get-together. Now we’ve gone to this place for many, many years, us, the couple who live there, and another couple we know. We don’t see each other much during the year because our lives just don’t cross paths that much, but each year we catch up on kids, on the various health issues of ourselves, parents, or others in the community, and eat a TON of food!
You aren’t lying!
What I enjoyed the most there: the community. Our daughters grew up together, I coached them playing basketball, they showed at the same fair, and we’ve been in the same groups and community activities, so we know each other pretty well. That kind of community is a bit more intimate, just the friendships that have developed over time. While we don’t get together often, it’s always a good time for everyone.
The problem with all this, our aging population. *POLITICAL COMMENTARY WARNING HERE* Young people are leaving our state in droves because of the majority party and their desire to destroy all the good things that made Iowa what is was once upon a time. We now have vouchers that will be estimated to cost almost a billion dollars in four years. We have a massive tax cut, that once in place, will cut our state revenue by around 25%. We are debating a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, along with ways of punishing teachers and “re-training” them, along with banning books. Once the older generation passes on, who will replace our rural community?
Closing on the positive note, rural life isn’t for everyone, but for those who make that choice to live in areas like this, the rewards are for a lifetime. Our community is close and caring. I just wish others could see and feel this type of community, just once, to understand the need to keep our rural areas vibrant. My hope is that the community tries to grow in spite of our state government because if we can’t do that, there won’t be much left to call home.
Sorry, that’s the reality of rural life right now.
February 14, 2023 at 6:45 pm
I really appreciate this post! I feel as if I did a mini visit to your town/your state. Our church here in Maryland is also in decline; I do believe it is a common problem. Churches are being given a pretty yucky name in many places!! I love your line about rural life, “the rewards are for a lifetime.” Sweet!
February 14, 2023 at 8:20 pm
It’s hard to watch our church slowly wilt away, yet, we don’t have much to offer. There’s many choice, many with active youth groups, so is not hard to see why. We’ll see what the future brings for us! 🙂