Friday, November 12, 2010

Daddy, the Library, and some Church Bells

Occasionally, I got to go to work with Daddy.

Now, of course Daddy's job wasn't like most jobs - not 9 to 5, not in a structured office, not in a factory, not at a construction site. He was a pastor, always on call, always available for whoever needed him.

He had a homey little study at church, with a floor to ceiling bookshelf, a few chairs, and lots of papers all over his desk. I loved the few times I went with him, partly because it meant I got to pick whatever spot in the church, (and there is such charm in an empty, cool, dark church I can tell you,) I wanted to do my school work, (once I took a blanket into the baptistry and pretended I was in a bomb shelter during WWII.) Sometimes I'd stay in the study with him, lying on the red carpeted floor with my heels in the air, watching him out of the corner of my eye as he worked on his sermon, trying to think up a deep theological question to ask, so I could impress Daddy. I don't think he was ever particularly impressed, but I was angling to become a member of the church from the time I was six, and thought that if I could prove my sincere curiosity regarding God, he would let me be baptized. (That didn't work, by the way.)

Then, about 12:00, Daddy would stand up, stretch, and my insides would happily flip and curl, because now, NOW, the best part was coming.

We'd clamor into his Ford Ranger pick-up and head over to the Library, one of my very favorite places in the whole entire world.

Daddy would sink comfortably into a chair at one particular table and peruse the newspaper, while I would gleefully trot off to the kids' section and return with an armful of books.

Somewhere around 12:10, the Baptist church next door would begin playing a recording of bell music, which I sincerely believed to be actual bell music. It charmed me to no end part of the time, and the other part I wished it would shut up so I could concentrate on my book. (Because, homeschooler.)

Today, I was in town on a quick errand, and I suddenly realized it was noon. I went over to the library, (it's obviously the best place to listen to the bells,) and had barely set foot inside the door when the whole place began to reverberate with the slightly scratchy sound of recorded bell music. Somehow, it was immensely comforting to know that the music still blasts out at noon, and that it's a tangible part of my childhood I can re-live... in part.

I sat down at Daddy's table and read the comics in the newspaper, wishing for him.


Julie McAfee said...

Well said, Katie, as always! Love how your stories "come to life" before my very eyes.

Emily said...

I love your stories about your Daddy.

elliebird said...

the library is comforting.
even with the puke green feel of the place.

Katie Larissa said...

I think, e., that the puke green feel is such a part of what we remember that I'd probably be sad if they changed it. (which they probably never will.)