Sunday, August 30, 2015

Just Like the Good Old Days

A couple of days ago, Harold popped a big bowl of popcorn and we settled in front of the T.V. to watch the old episodes of Castle recorded on our DVR. I pushed the “on” button, and nothing happened. After pushing on/off/select numerous times, the most I could get on the T.V. was “no signal.”

Harold tried to reset the satellite receiver without success, so it was time to call DISH. After a half hour of trying this, selecting that, and retrying to acquire a signal, a heavily accented voice said they would be mailing us a new receiver.

After some tough negotiations, Harold convinced them they needed to send a repair person to come out and set up the new receiver. They will be here Tuesday. So without any other kind of reception, we are without a T.V.

Being without a T.V. isn’t so bad. It reminded me of the good old days when we didn’t watch T.V. in the summer because all programs were reruns. So what did we do without all the extensive programming on T.V.? Well, we read books and spent time outside. Thank goodness, I had a book on my Kindle to read, and I had gone a little overboard at Books-A-Million when I was in Branson.

The spending time outside has worked well. Friday, I spent the day with my mom and sister. We visited, ate at Country Kitchen. I didn’t miss T.V. at all. The real acid test was Saturday. As it turned out, my major complaint with Saturday was that there wasn’t enough time to take a break. We were up early and fixed a big breakfast—different from our routine of coffee and bagel in front of the T.V.  After a day of mowing, yard work, and going to town, the day was over, and I hadn’t gotten a single thing marked off my personal task list. Determined to at least get one thing checked off, I worked until nearly midnight. T.V.? What’s that?

This morning, I dragged myself out of bed for early church services. I wore one of my purple Alzheimer’s shirts and picked up a copy of Broken Road: Navigating the Alzheimer’s Labyrinth to give to Pastor Jim for being the inspiration for some of my blog posts.

As I walked into the sanctuary, they had me choose a rock. “You’ll need it during the service,” was the explanation. I was hopeful we weren’t going to “stone” anyone for his or her transgressions.

I go to contemporary services at the Celebration Center. We have a band and the lyrics to our songs are displayed on a screen.  One of our pastors, Nick, brought a message about the traditional Methodist Hymnal and the “rules” for singing the songs. The rules included learning the tunes, singing them exactly as they are written, everyone should sing (take up your cross and bear it, if necessary), sing lustfully (not as half-dead or asleep), yet modestly without destroying the harmony, keep time and sing with the leading voices, and most of all sing spiritually.

Hymnals have the traditional hymns that we sang back in the “good old days.” After the message from 1 Samuel about a stone he called Ebenezer, we sang a traditional hymn, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”  The women sang the melody and the men repeated a line. It was really quite beautiful, and I think John Wesley would have been proud.

One of the lines in the song is, “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” As we sang the song, we came forward in the same manner as communion and placed our rocks on the altar. It was a touching moment that made me feel like I’d taken a step back to another, simpler time.

Maybe the “good old days” weren’t always good, but something about them tugs at the heart. It’s the place of our memories and the roots of our traditions. Those were days when we were young and full of hope.

Taking a step back for a few days is a welcome relief. Soon, very soon, I’ll be ready to return to watching my favorite programs, but for now—I’m doing just fine without T.V.

Copyright © August 2015 by L.S. Fisher

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