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Revised 26 December, 2009

THE CHURCH LADY

Being a good Christian, Sunday-go-to-meeting sort of person, I naturally think of memories of some of my favorite friends. I can speak of this particular lady with impunity since she has crossed over the rainbow bridge and gone to heaven. I will not speak her name since it would be wrong to besmirch her memory, but she lives on in happy thoughts because of this story.

This lovely lady was a staid, elderly woman. She was a pillar of her faith and a member of the Altar Guild. Having said that, most of you can picture someone like her in your minds. She lived alone and was independant as a hog on ice. She was the sort who would no more utter a curse word than she would cut out her own tongue. But I suspect she had some rather lofty words to speak to God before this episode was done and I am not sure he would have been pleased to listen.....assuming he could have stopped laughing at her discomfort. Perhaps I should preface this by telling you that she related this story after I noticed her limping into the service and I had asked her what on earth had happened. What follows was her explanation.

It was a bright and breezy day. The sort that makes one want to move a little slower to enjoy the peace and quiet of the moment. Our lady had just stepped out of the shower and was gazing out the window when she discovered that the wayward wind had blown some newspapers across her back yard lawn. Being a fastidious housekeeper, and nobody being around to notice that she was dressed only in the type of snap front flowered housedress that we old ladies are sometimes prone to wear, she immediately sallied forth into the yard to pick them up. I will ask you now to remember that it was indeed a breezy, sunny day.

She no sooner reached the newspapers and bent to pick them up when she heard a resounding bang behind her and looked up just in time to see the screen door slam shut. It was then that she remembered that she had forgotten to disengage the doorlock and realized that she was outside in her breezy, sunny back yard, scantily dressed and could not get back inside.

Our friend was incredibly embarassed to be outside dressed the way she was and afraid one of her neighbors would notice and so she did, what to her, was the most logical thing possible to alleviate her discomfort. She looked for a way to get back into her house. Like most elderly people, she had taken great efforts to make her house secure. She rattled the door and it would not budge. She checked for an open window and none appeared. She then remembered that her kitchen window was partially open and that it had slats that could be removed and with that she could simply crawl through the window and back to the safety of her home wherein she could get herself dressed and pretend nothing had ever happened.

Now we all know that it couldn't possibly be that simple otherwise she would not be limping. And so it wasn't. The lady removed several, but not all of the slats from the louvered window, found something to stand upon and proceeded to inch her way into the window frame to get onto the kitchen sink on the other side. Murphy's law being what it is, she soon discovered she had not removed a sufficient number of the little window slats to accommodate her somewhat larger frame and before she knew it, she was firmly stuck in the window frame, with her back side hanging dangerously in full view of the world, at which time, our friendly little breeze came back to haunt her and promptly blew her housedress all the way up to her waist. Her arms, now fully wedged into the window frame, could not rush to rescue her posterior, which now was exposed to the world and she could in no way extracate herself and thus she hung for more than half an hour until one of her neighbors heard her shouting for help and finally called the fire department to come and get her free.

And so it is, that sometimes even the most dignified of us sometimes fall victim to our own devices. That this lovely lady would share her story and could laugh at her own discomfort placed her as yet another of the wonderful people I have met in my life and loved. I hope you enjoyed her story. I know I certainly did. If she is looking down at me from heaven, I suspect she will forgive me for having passed it on.