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Category Archives: church

Fun at the Bazaar

Sunday morning, Steven and I had an authentic Mohawk Valley adventure: we went to a Christmas Bazaar at the Church of Sts. Anthony and Joseph, South Main Street, Herkimer, NY.

The bazaar was in the church hall across the street from the church itself. We managed to find a good place to park, which was not easy since people were going to church about then. It was not very crowded at the bazaar, but I was sure as soon as church let out it would be.

We right away put in for a raffle of a wonderful looking plate of cookies as well as the 50/50. I left Steven writing his name on the 50/50 tickets (of course we did 10 for $5) while I looked at the other tables. In a very short time I returned to him and informed him I had solved his problem of what else to get his sisters for Christmas (I can write that with impunity here, because his sisters do not read my blog).

Before we shopped, though, we got some Pizza Fritta and coffee. Pizza Fritta, or fried dough, is one of the staple treats of the Mohawk Valley. It was one of my favorite things to get at the Festival at St. John’s Church in Rome when I was growing up, or at any of the many area firemen’s field days.

What I had seen for his sisters were some beautiful handmade ornaments. Two different kinds of reindeer made with clothespins, reindeer sewn from felt with cinnamon stick antlers, and two different snowmen, one made from a light bulb. I was a little leery of mailing a light bulb, but the lady at the table said, “Oh, just put it in bubble wrap. It’ll be fine.”

Another table had a Chinese Auction, which of course Steven and I love. We took our time making up our minds what to put our tickets on for that. I’d love to win the Waterfront Grille gift certificate, but the lady at the 50/50 table said she had put in at least five tickets for that.

It was exactly the kind of fun community thing I like to attend. And you may notice I got through my entire Sunday post with my wrist nowhere near my forehead.

Rummaging Around Ilion

I headed to Ilion, NY to continue my Saturday adventure (I add NY for the benefit of my readers far and wide) (if any). I knew there was a rummage sale at the Episcopal Church, and I intended to hit as the Thrift Store and a consignment shop(pe) or two.

In case anybody missed Monday’s post (how often do I expect people to read, after all?), I was on a mission to find props and costumes for Harvey, the play I am in with Ilion Little Theatre. The play is to be presented in The Stables, Remington Avenue, Ilion, May 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12. Curtain time is 8 p.m. except for Sunday May 6 at 2 (it seems like a good policy to give the information every time).

As I turned up Second Avenue (or is that one Street? I get confused; anyways, it’s perpendicular to Otsego Street), I noticed a sign for another Rummage and Bake Sale at another church and said, “Goody.” The sale at the Episcopal Church had a lot of stuff, and they seemed determined to get rid of it. To that end, it was four bags for a dollar. As you went in they collected your dollar, handed you four bags and turned you loose.

I found a fancy bottle such as Steven likes to use to decorate our buffet. A nice lady wrapped it in some paper for me. I indiscriminately grabbed several evening bags for my collection, although none would work for my character in the play. I ended up giving them back two of the bags, but I definitely found a dollar’s worth of stuff.

As I parked in the parking lot of the church where I thought I saw the other sale, I saw there was no sign out front. Darn! (Not nice to use a strong cuss word in a church parking lot.) They must have packed up early. What time was it? No matter.

Then as I drove the rest of the way down Second, I realized my silly mistake. I had the right time but the wrong church. Lots of churches in that little section of Ilion. One might get confused. I am a little embarrassed to admit, I can’t remember the name of either church. Steven and I even drove by the second one on the way home from rehearsal last night but could not make out the sign.

That sale was the most picked over. I overheard a lady saying you had to get to these things as soon as they open.

“But when you come late, if you do find something, it’s a great deal,” I said.

She agreed, but obviously felt her early bird ways were better. To each his own, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.

I was out of rummage sales, so it was on to consignment shops and the Thrift Store, or Salvation Armani, as I’ve recently heard the latter called. Sounds like a good topic for another post (oh, I do love stretching my Saturday adventures to several posts). Stay tuned!

A Sweet Tableau

When we last left our heroine (um, that’s me), she had gotten to church and found it was the day of the children’s Christmas Pageant (OK, enough with the third person; how pretentious). (You know, I think I started another post in a very similar fashion. Oh well, I like it, so at least one of us is happy)

It is always nice to go to church at Christmas time. There are poinsettias on the altar. People in the congregation wear their Christmas sweaters. We sing Christmas carols for some of the hymns. My church sings every verse of every song. The church I grew up in did not do that. Two verses and done. Sometimes during the six verse songs my throat gets a little sore, but in general I like it.

Actually, the music made me feel sad at first, because the church organist died this year. He was a truly sweet man. He never missed a Sunday if he could help it, and he always had a smile and a kind word. Apparently we don’t have a replacement organist yet, but a couple of strong voiced parishioners led the singing. Also, a young man played violin for two songs, and a young lady played the flute for one. Very talented young people around here.

The Christmas pageant was in place of the homily. Of course I usually enjoy Father Paul’s talks, but there’s just nothing like live theatre.

It was a very traditional pageant. Two girls who read very well narrated. The various characters came forward at the proper times and took their place in the tableau. Then two girls each played a song on the organ. My favorite characters were the littlest angel and the littlest shepherd. The angel couldn’t have been more than two or three (I can never guess ages accurately). A pig tailed red head, she was wearing a one piece pajama with wings attached. I think the littlest shepherd was her brother, maybe a year older. As he came forward, he went into the pew with his father to sit back down. His father directed him back toward the altar with the others.

I really enjoyed our pageant. I’m sure many other churches were enjoying similar spectacles. Isn’t Christmas great?

Saturday Adventure III

To continue our Saturday doings, Steven and I made our way back to Morning Star United Methodist Church in Ilion. At least, I didn’t know which church it was till I looked in Saturday’s paper just now; we just went where we saw the sign that said Christmas Sale, with the magic acronym BOGO.

We parked in the lot across the street. I wasn’t clear on if it was the lot for the church we were going to or the one adjoining the lot, or possibly both. I wasn’t particularly worried. For one thing, there were plenty of parking spaces. For another, church people are notoriously forgiving.

The sale was huge. I think every member of the parish must have gone through their attic or closets and donated stuff. I even saw some garland in its original packaging that looked like it was from the ’60s (at least, I’m no judge of dates, but it looked like something from my childhood).

We picked out a half dozen tins, a couple of Santa Clauses, a snowman and a few more goodies. Every time Steven found something he wanted, I insisted we find something else, because after all, Buy One Get One! We ended up with a boxful (and very grateful to the ladies for finding an adequate size box) for which we paid seven bucks and change. What a deal! And we still had three more sales to go!

More Adventures in Rummage

Saturday I went running and made my blog post, then rewarded my ambition with trips to two rummage sales for $1 a bag. I was even environmentally responsible enough to bring my own bags.

I hit the one at my own church, Christ Episcopal on Main Street in Herkimer, first. The ladies there were pleased to see me. My church is great. If you don’t make it to mass for weeks, nobody scolds you. They’re just happy to see you when you do show up. They applauded my foresight in bringing the disposable bag, although I wondered if it wasn’t a bit too big for $1.

“I might end up fitting $2 worth in here,” I said.

I right away found a Norman Rockwell tin. Perfect! Steven loves tins and he loves Norman Rockwell. I grabbed a couple of Christmas tins, too. We like to put Christmas gifts in tins. “Put a present in a present,” is what Steven says.

As I poked through a box of books, a church lady reminded me of the book sale slated for the first weekend in November. I had been glad to hear about that, since I have boxes and boxes of books I really don’t need to read again. This, of course, is in addition to shelves and boxes of books that I do intend to read again. Or read for the first time. As they say, so many books, so little time. Anyways, I was even more inclined to grab a few books now, because if they turned out to be not so great, I could happily donate them back to the book sale.

When I went to pay for my finds, I showed them a (blank) I hadn’t put in the bag on account of its being delicate. I told them that (blank) collects (blank), so this would be a good Christmas present. Sorry about that silly sounding sentence, but (blank) sometimes reads my blog, and I want the present to be a surprise. Unless he or she picks up on the subtle clues and now knows what he or she is getting. Oh dear.

One lady put my find in a separate bag for protection, and they all mentioned things they or one of their loved ones collect. Collections are always such a good conversation starter. I told them Steven collects frogs.

“Didn’t we have a frog? Yes, here it is!” A lady picked up an adorable little frog made of shells glued together.

“You can tell him we were thinking about him,” another lady said.

I did not save the frog for a Christmas present, so I am able to mention it in the blog. Steven liked it, by the way.

I also returned to the rummage sale at Herkimer Reformed Church, on the historic four corners (just can’t resist mentioning those four corners again). I found a couple more true crime books, a thermal carafe, and a video of Grammar Rock. Do you remember School House Rock, those little educational videos they used to show in between cartoons on Saturday morning? Back when Saturday morning was the (pronounced thee) time to watch cartoons, because there were no networks dedicated to such a thing? Oh dear, I am old. Who cares? I was happy to find the video.

I drove home with my treasures. Time enough to walk the dog and clean the house a little before Steven returned home. Then we would set out for the day’s real Mohawk Valley adventure.

Rummaging Around

While walking with Tabby one day this week, I noticed signs for a rummage sale at Herkimer Reformed Church. The church is on the historic four corners. I’ve blogged about it before.

I made a mental note and kept walking. Tabby directed me toward our church, where she always looks for nice people to pet her.

“There’s no one there, honey,” I told her, but I was surprised to see the door open and a light on. Tabby insisted on going in. They were setting up for a rummage sale there. This is where I confess that I have not been attending church, or I would have known about it.

The sale at Herkimer Reformed Church ran till 6 pm Friday night, so Steven and I thought we’d seize that opportunity. We weren’t sure, though, because two signs said till 6 Friday, one said till 4. Steven was pretty confident, though, with the signs running two to one.

When I got home from work Friday, I remembered I had not sent post cards to my soldiers this week. Scandalous omission; I had been sending two per week. Steven pointed out that I only had two post card stamps left, which worked out, because I’m currently sending to two soldiers.

“The post office closes at five. We can get there by five and buy more stamps,” I said. Of course we had to walk to the post office. Tabby had seen me writing the post cards, and she knows post cards mean walk to post office.

When we left the post office, it was an easy matter to walk home by way of the historic four corners and confirm the rummage sale was still open. It was. We got our schnoodle home and hurried back to rummage.

The Herkimer Reformed Church is such a handsome building. It is a pleasure just to walk through to the basement where the sale was going on. We did not peek into the sanctuary, as we sometimes do at church sales, but I will do that one day.

I made a beeline for the books (actually, that’s a funny word: beeline. Most of the bees I see make kind of an erratic pattern). I found a true crime book by Ann Rule I had not read. She’s the best. I also grabbed a couple of biographies. Then I saw a John D. MacDonald. I could tell by the title it was not a Travis Magee mystery, but MacDonald is always worth a read. When I picked up the book, I saw it was a 75 cent paperback with a pulp fiction cover. I collect those, so I was quite delighted.

Another lady was looking at the books with equal delight. She told me she was stocking up for the winter. Good thought. She showed me a history of Lawrenceville she had found, an old book.

“If I had seen that first, you wouldn’t be getting it,” I told her, to express my envy. She immediately offered it to me, which I thought was very gracious of her. I refused with thanks. There is no reason to be greedy.

Steven found a shot glass for his collection, a tin and a wooden box. We got everything for two dollars. What a deal!

“It’s Friday night,” the lady working the sale said. She invited us back for Saturday’s bag sale. Steven has to work, but I am tempted.

It would be a good idea if I went to the bag sale at my own church today. I’m writing this Saturday morning as Steven prepares for work. Will I go? As they say, time will tell. That time certainly is a blabbermouth.

Saturday Spaghetti

I love church dinners. They are a great way to eat out, not spend a lot of money, and support the community. Saturday my church, Christ Episcopal in Herkimer, held a spaghetti dinner.

I must confess (and what better place than a church to confess?) that I have not been attending church lately. But they still consider me and Steven members, so we got a call earlier in the week asking us to donate a dessert. It was the first I’d heard of the dinner, and I said, “Yay!”

We attended last year’s spaghetti dinner with a sister and two nieces. It was the same weekend as Little Falls’ Garlic and Herb Festival, so we made a real weekend of it (alas, those were pre-blog days). We’ve also attended roast beef and ham dinners there. We’ve got some good cooks in our church.

We made brownies from a mix, adding chocolate chips, just to be a little fancy. We responsibly taste tested them once they had cooled. Then Steven wrapped them thoroughly to discourage further tasting (full disclosure: it was not completely effective).

Saturday afternoon we walked to the church to drop the brownies off. Tabby was happy to walk with us. Tabby loves our church. They do a Blessing of the Animals in October, which she has attended, and she has gone with us to drop things off for rummage sales or get prayer shawls blessed. She always meets nice people there who want to pet her, so the church has earned the Tabby Paw Print of Approval (more full disclosure: Tabby is a very nice dog who often meets people that want to pet her).

The sauce smelled enticing, and we could see a number of delicious-looking desserts had already been dropped off. A sign was posted warning one dessert per dinner. I wondered if they’d sell me more dessert for a further donation.

We could hardly wait for four o’clock when the dinner started. We left Tabby home this time and were among the first to arrive. We sat down with our generous servings, and Steven went to get us coffee. He needn’t have gone. There were a number of very nice kids offering to get people drinks and ready to take away plates when they were done.

Some other church members sat with us, so we had a nice visit while we ate. The spaghetti was cooked just right, not overcooked as can too easily happen at these large dinners. I confined myself to one dessert, per the sign, and that was quite sufficient after the generous serving of spaghetti (I knew I should have told that guy to stop when he was heaping on the noodles).

They were not doing a Chinese Auction as they do with some dinners, but they were doing a 50/50 raffle. We bought tickets but did not win.

Good food. Fun evening. Church dinners, check them out. Even if you don’t go to church, you probably eat food. And you can find church dinners anywhere, not just in the Mohawk Valley.