Just a small town girl . . . I never thought those words would apply to me. But they do. Yesterday, I, along with hundreds of others, spent time helping with a fundraising dinner for a little girl in need of heart surgery whose parents’ health insurance will not cover the cost. So here in smalltown America, someone organized a dinner and everybody came, bringing dishes and donations and hands to help. The ladies here have a long-established rhythm born of years of experience in the industrial-sized kitchen where such things happen. Yet they welcome me in and show me their ways. I become their sous chef apprentice, doing as they direct, trying to help and when I can’t, to stay out of the way. It’s a grace-filled place, that kitchen. Every now and then, someone new who comes in comes bossy. But instead of putting her in her place, these ladies just step back and make room for her ways. How I wish I had their class. At the end of the night, we all went home tired, yet most managed to make it to church this morning. Their staying power puts me to shame.
Just before I went over to start helping yesterday, I checked FB and there was a message from Tiffany, No more stop lights in Highland! I grinned in appreciation. The 18-month-long bridge project has come to an end and the temporary stop light, the source of much complaining, wonderment, and perceived inconvenience, is gone. So with a little extra time between the two church services this morning, I drove past the second church and crossed our new bridge, breezing by the now colorless stop light, took a right around the store and cheated through Obaugh’s parking lot to come back out on the road back and recross the bridge, grinning like a fool as I passed with nary a pause at the famed stop light now no more. Oh, happy day!
Yes, I am a small town gal who cruises in circles just to enjoy not having to stop for a light and who loves that she gets to help sometimes just by being there.
If you’d like to donate to the Ella fund, you can make a check payable to Hiner Church of the Brethren and mail it to Hiner Church, c/o Charles Varner, 6527 Highland Turnpike, McDowell, VA 24458.
Ella, who is five years old, has a heart defect which requires surgery. As I said above, her parents’ health insurance will not cover the surgery because they say her condition is congenital. The surgeon’s cost will be anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000. The Affordable Care Act provision regarding pre-existing conditions does not go into effect until 2014. The dinner and other fundraisers have and will continue to raise a goodly sum, but more is needed.