Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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There’s a Hoedown in Town

the-girlsOne of my favorite things about my Small Town World is my church family. A more accepting, loving bunch of people you’ll never meet.

Every year for the last 10 years FC3 has had a Harvest Hoedown. Our whole Small Town World is invited to the campus for games and food and fun.

Don’t you love the clowns? They’re a hoot, even if I did get splashed with a little squirt gun play. No fair. I didn’t have a gun so I could shoot back!

We have a train and ponies for the kids to ride, a big bouncy slide for kids of all sizes!

1-the-joy-of-the-lordAnd this year, there was a game of laser tag.

crewIt’s so enjoyable to see all ages pitch in and work together to serve our STW.

davidPreacher Dave even gets a little high as he tells us about our Father and His unfailing, never ending love for us.

nailsBig girls do little girls’ nails.


 David Cook and his wife, Jan, make about fifty pounds of chili for us each year.

Larry Brown grills about a jillion wieners,


and somebody else melts gallons and gallons of cheese.

imagejpeg_0But the best job? The most fun of all? Serving the food and drinks! (My job.) While we serve, we get to talk to people we sometimes see only that one time a year, and catch up a little. We see kiddos and costumes, we see babies and babies who aren’t babies anymore.

Some of us get a little cold, a few backs get a little stiff, but if at all possible, we don’t miss this get together. At least I don’t. It’s just fun to get to be with friends and neighbors and God as the central reason for it all.

The Harvest Hoedown is the best hoedown of all! Of course, it’s the only hoedown I’ve ever been to. How about you? Ever been to a hoedown? What did you like best?


We Had a Party!

Happy Birthday

So we had Dad’s party on Wednesday, and Murphy came. Uninvited.

Which Murphy, you ask? The guy who made up “the law”, so everything that could go wrong, did. LOL!

After a summer where we counted the drops to see how much rain we got, we finally got a good soaking . . . the early morning of the party. So the party had to be moved indoors.

No problem. We’ll have it in the church fellowship hall. That part was great. But the ice maker didn’t work, so we had to buy ice. And while I waited at the office with the pop for the ice to come, the ice went to the church.

I finally caught up and conned  my nephew volunteered to put the pop in to cool.

After lots of hauling and dragging and grabbing and toting, we got there and set  everything up.

Then my camera died. (Who knew one short week-long vaca could drain a battery?)

So, my apologies. Every picture I have is with my cell phone. And while I know there are people who can take fantastic pictures with their cell phones, I am not one of them.

The truth is, if there were a contest for the world’s worst picture (like there is for the worst sentence)I’d take top prize.

But the food was great! The kind your grandma used to make. I can’t even begin to tell you how good it all was.

Baked beans to die for. (Brother Jeffrey’s recipe, made by Jane, the blonde in the picture above.) Super delicious charcoaled chicken, sweated over by Brother Jeffrey. (The man knows his way around a kitchen–or a back yard, as the case may be.)

Two kinds of slaw, potato casserole, bbq from Dari Diner (thanks David!) potato salad, pasta salad, carrot cake, dump cake, brownies, ice cream, coconut cake (the Baptists call that cake Better Than Sex) and a chocolate cake.


We got everyone to sign Dad’s card, then forgot to give it to him. But when he got it, he loved it! Here’s how I can tell. When he gets something he doesn’t like, he says things like, “What’d you get me that for?” or “You know I don’t like things I have to pull over my head.”

Sometimes he doesn’t say anything. He just starts looking around for someone to give his present away to.

This time, though, when he saw his gift, his eyes lit up. “Now THAT’S something I can use.” It was a gift certificate to a nursery. No raised eyebrows, no handing off. The man loves raising things, and we all love the results.

When they’d eaten, the guys went back to work. And the ones who’d brought the food started the clean up. Ever notice how that happens? 🙂

Then Mr. Cranky Pants showed up. Our little buddy got there from preschool and was just a little unhappy, the way he is when someone wakes him up from a nap. And when he wanted “Woo-Woo” (I kind of like the name he’s given me) I took him.

Following his directions (pointed finger) we found

a place he wanted to be. When he saw this little playhouse, he yelled, “Mine!”

Funny how those frowns can turn upside down

until it’s time to leave.

I kind of felt sad, too. Little Deeger-Boy is a lot of fun. The only trouble is, he’s about to get too fast for me. Hopefully, by the time that happens, he’ll be better at understanding that what I want is best. 😉

After the party, someone said something about him being a year older, and I answered, “Not until Sunday.”

The guy didn’t quite understand that. “I thought your birthday was the day you were born.”

“It is,” I answered while I thought, “Duh.”

“Why did you have it on Wednesday if it wasn’t his birthday?”

“‘Cause we wanted to live dangerously.” LOL.

Many thanks to Sister Debbie and Brother Jeffrey. The party just wouldn’t have happened without you guys.


It’s a Popcorn and Snitting Day

There were warnings we’d have a bliz (2nd in 2 years) but we hoped it would miss. The stores were all crowded, eggs gone by noon, Wallyworld, Ace Hardware, everyone busy, busy, busy.

And it was a hit. Looking like 11.9 inches in the backyard right now 😉 and it’s still coming down. I’ll be staying in today.

Which makes it a popcorn and snitting day. Snow makes me hungry for popcorn–and not the healthy, dry, air popped variety. I want it popped in oil with salt and (sometimes) butter drizzled over it. To make matters worse, I eat either chocolate or redhots as part of my “snack”. To level things out, though, I drink Diet Dr. Pepper with it. Ü

After I write a little while, I’ll get out my knitting and work on a scarf I started a while back. Or I might get the short-sleeved sweater I started last fall and work on it some more. (I like having a choice.)

All this snow brings to mind Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Little House series. In one of her books she talks about a blizzard winter they lived through. I wish I had that book now–if I knew which one it was in.

I might have to get my Kindle and see if Laura is available there. Then I’ll have to figure out which book it’s in. Little House on Silver Lake? Anybody know?

(BTW: After looking on the Internet, I think it could be THE LONG WINTER. LOL.)

Of course, I might have to download the entire line. I’ve always loved those books.

They hold a special LIW-sized place in my heart. They warm me and make me feel as if I’ve come home and settled into a chair where we can talk over old times. I have no idea what Laura really looked like, but I think I’d know her if she rang my doorbell. LOL. 

Did you read Laura’s books as a kid? Were there other books that did for you what Little House did for me? If you have a minute, why not share? You might open the pages to a book that someone else would never have found.

And they’ll thank you for it!