Sunday, December 19, 2004

Here we come a'caroling 

Well, Dry Bones Lutheran Church had their annual Christmas caroling last night. It was a typical Bones' kind of night. The tradition has been that we go carol to those who wouldn't normally hear our delightful voices in church--our shut-in members or families where only one of the members attends church. A number of years back, our then-pastor knew somebody at the Beacon Tower, the Seattle Housing Authority's site in our neighborhood, and we had gone caroling there for whatever neighbors cared to come listen. This year, the ladies co-ordinating the caroling thought it would be nice to sing there again. Not having any personal connection at the Tower, it took some effort to secure permission to sing there. But they did and they sent some flyers to the contact person, so that the latter could post them and announce the event. ...you know where this is going, don't you?

Saturday evening arrives. We load up our group--about 23 of us--and caravan over to the Tower. We go to the front door and find no one waiting to let us in. (It's a secure building, so only authorized people can enter... or at least hold the door open.) Fortunately, we do have one member who resides at the Tower, so we ring her up and she buzzes us in. We go to the common room and, of course, it's empty. The carolers are here but there are no carolees. We send one person up to our member's room, to see if she would be interested in being caroled at. In the meantime we shrug and say, what the heck, let's sing. (That's what made it a Dry Bones kind of night--we've gotten quite good at adapting to unfavorable circumstances.) We belt out a few tunes, but the hoped for miracle--dozens of residents racing to the common room with tears of joy streaming down their faces--didn't occur. Well, we did get one lady who was wandering by on her way to get her laundry. She sat down for a song, then decided to go fetch her friend. We sing another tune in her absence and manage to waylay another listener. (Actually, he grabbed a booklet and joined in.) Eventually we managed to snag an audience of six including the fetched friend and one deaf woman. (And God provided there, too, as a couple of our group knew the sign language movements to one song. Not a Christmas tune, but it worked.) We had a good time, they appeared to have had a good time, and we even helped brighten the evening for our first carolee, who had just buried her fourth and final child this last year and was feeling quite depressed this season.

The rest of the evening was less eventful. We caroled for one of our members and her husband and then strolled down a few blocks in the neighborhood before arriving at "Grandpa's" house for some shmoozing and noshing. A fun evening all around.