Good evening. Ya'll come on in and have a glass of tea for it is hot outside and I am tired. It is a good tired, though, for Roy and I have been working at the church all morning getting ready for Vacation Bible School. Talk about energy, it was bouncing off the walls of the fellowship hall today.
This is a new way of getting ready for VBS. Our energetic and creative director, Becky Wilson had a day of preparation for our school which is in June. We had people from 5 - 70's, couples, teens, mothers and children, men and children, and most any other combination you have in your church. We enlarged pictures, painted them, laminated, drew, colored, glued, glittered and had fun. Australia was recreated in South Georgia with pictures of kangaroos, koala bears, crocodiles, and boomerangs. It was noisy, fun and frantic.
The purpose for all this activity was to prepare a lot of the things you need to decorate your rooms without waiting to the last minute and many hands make the work go faster. It's amazing how much we accomplished today and had great fellowship along with the work. We were a creative, noisy, congenial bunch of children, teens, women and men. A good time was had by all.
Then came the Baptist part, we ate! John and Mr. Jack had barbecued ribs, chicken strips, salad, slaw, fried onion rings, and french fries with lots of sweet, iced tea. The desserts were varied and goooood. That's one thing we know how to do well is eat. Of course, the fellowship around the tables is always a precious and dear time, for when you "break bread" with friends, it is always a wonderful time.
It seems like I have been involved in Vacation Bible School since before I can remember and I know that is true. Mama always taught in VBS and we always attended. It was one of the highlights of our summer vacations and many times in our church not only did we have VBS in the mornings, we would a revival at night. There would be 5, action-packed, and church attending days. We would feel like we met ourselves coming and going out of the church doors.
Besides the VBS and revival, mama always took a dinner or supper to cook for the revival preacher at our house. You would have the visiting preacher, our preacher, the song leader and sometimes the wife of our pastor. She would spend weeks before hand cleaning the house and cooking was done for days. You had to have a spotless house, clean children, perfect table manners and delicious food. Mama made sure we had all of the above. Never could figure out the spotless house for the only rooms they went in was the living room and the dining room and maybe the bathroom. Whatever, our whole house would be sparkling clean and mama would be worn out when it was all over.
After I was married and with children, we were living in my home town and attending the church I grew up in. So, of course, it was expected I would be "Little Tootsie" or just like mama. Now those were impossible shoes to fill, but I tried. She had taught me how to cook and entertain, and my home ec teacher, Miss Leacy had expanded on it so I had no excuse to not be the good, Southern hostess.
Once I had "the preachers" for lunch during revival time and had fixed a good, Southern, light lunch. Supper was always a huge meal at someones home, so you could go a little light on dinner. Now if you go "light" in the South, chicken salad is always a good choice. Of course this means you cook the chicken, cool and debone it, chop and keep cool until mixing it with the chopped hard boiled eggs. Now I add chopped celery and dill and sweet pickles. If you really want to be fancy, you add some chopped apples and pecans (pe-cahns not pee-cans) to the salad. Mama always made her own mayonnaise to mix with it but I would cheat and use store-bought and you would serve it on a platter lined with fresh lettuce leaves.
To go with it you always had sliced tomatoes from your garden, homemade yeast rolls and a good dessert. Your dessert could be pound cake, or your speciality pie, or a congealed fruit plate. I usually went with the congealed dessert for Jello is always good if you add some fruit cocktail and canned pineapple and top with whipped cream.
The dinner had gone wonderfully well, my salad was pretty and delicious, the rolls were light and perfectly brown, the tea was cold and then came dessert and coffee. I had served these and was refilling the coffee cups and Brother Jack held up his cup which as I poured, I missed the cup! Thank goodness he had it over the floor not his lap or we would had a "hot" catastrophe. They laughed and I wanted to crawl under the table and never come out again. Needless to say this ended the "light lunch" and the preachers made an escape. My reputation as a hostess, was talked about for a while, for this was certainly too juicy not to share, even if they were preachers.
Those were good days and I still look forward to VBS. Now we have it at night and have supper and we always had Kool-Aid and store-bought cookies. Now we have daddies helping and then it was all mamas. Now we have rock music and dancing to go with it and then, oh my goodness that would have sacrilege. Now we reach many children for Jesus and then we did also. So basically, we still have VBS for the same reason, to tell children about the Jesus who made them, loves them, and wants to be the Lord of their lives.
If it all possible, find a VBS this summer and make sure your precious children have one of the most wonderful times of their lives.
The Georgia Peach