Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Welcome to the Fuzzy Borders Ward!

Yup, I admit it. I live in the weird ward in our stake. You know the one, every stake has one.

In days past we were the "Newly Wed - Nearly Dead" ward; an interesting cacophony of crying babies and loud talkers. On any Sunday you could hear a particular sister "whispering" to her husband about her take on the speaker, or wonder just when those parents would finally give in and let that poor infant have a cheerio.

If you live anywhere else in the stake and have lived here for more than five years, chances are you were in our ward before a split or relocation. Most people buy or move to our ward first because of economics. Also, at one time our ward was the hub for the entire stake, as we grew the stake grew, one division after another. This is great, because most of the people in our ward know everyone in the stake.

On the one side of our boundaries we have folks who live in the typical tract home, 2-3 kids, sahm, 1/2 acre, middle income, and a dog or two in the minivan. These are they who show up to every meeting in their Sunday best, teach Primary or another auxiliary and are the first to sign up for the talent show. They do their home teaching and bake bread and their kids give the other kids rides to all the meetings.

On another border you'll find the lower middle income family of 8-10 kids, modest home, two small sedans about the same age as their oldest teen, 1/2 acre, and way too many cats to count. This is the family that show up every Saturday to clean the building, they are the first ones to arrive with funeral potatoes and a home made cake, they sing too quietly but cheer exuberantly for everyone else.

To the south you may find a family who bought a house on the hill overlooking the valley. They moved here from some other city or ward hoping to get lost -only to find out no matter how far out you go the middle of nowhere is still a mile off. Eventually they'll need socialization and they'll set up a rescue fire and we will come.

Heading east are the die hard cow pokes and stubborn mules who live on several acre ranches full of weeds or horses or both. They are the self reliant-s, they keep to themselves mainly, but they come running in the storms and fill their pick up trucks with broken hearts and bones and lend their hammers and muscles in repairs.

In the middle we have struggles and illness and concern. We can't stop smoking, we still have our hair too long and what am I supposed to do with that tattoo now that it's there? We also have eyes that can look away or be blind to weaknesses. We are the ward with little financial resource but keen creativity.We only have one person who can play the piano with any ease. We are lucky, she is a retired concert pianist. However she also is in advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease, so when she begins to play "Lord, I Will Follow Thee" and in the third verse switches it up for "I Stand All Amazed", we really aren't, we just go with the flow and are grateful she can play so beautifully.

Somewhere somehow we grab everyone and anyone we can. We love that you are here because we want your company and help. Sometimes you stay, sometimes you feel the need to move up or out and we miss you when you go. Sometimes you move in, and we rejoice because we have literally prayed you into the ward. We need you. We want you. Although we may forget to visit you on a scheduled basis, say hello in the hallway as you walk by with your brood of children, or offer to help, but we will grab our coats as we head out at 2:30 a.m. when you call.

Our leadership is goofy (read: actual humans) but they try hard to lead with the Spirit. Our scout program could be better, and our activity, well, if everyone came we would have to make another two wards!

Friends are immediate when you live in the Fuzzy Borders Ward. Our acreage is as expansive as our love and need for you. Our numbers are small, but we do mighty work.

We are the ward with more people on assistance, the one with the crazy lady and the nutso family. We are the very definition of eclectic and diverse. Swing a cat and you will not hit two people who think, act, or live the same. We have loud Democrats and even louder Republicans... don't get me started on the Independents! We have home school-ers, tax dodgers, gardeners, old hippies, a tech specialist, a district attorney, teachers, bikers, a mortician, a union business agent, hot rod enthusiasts, (SERIOUS)base ball and BYU football fans, small business owners, dancers, singers and someone who throws and annual Faery Party each summer solstice. Artists, athletes, homestead-ers, nurses, rail road workers, septic tank service-rs, police and firemen, and a school lunch lady. Retirees and singles of every age bracket. Home builders, home wreckers, and a homeless person who hangs out at our building. Managers and delivery boys, one suspected millionaire and too many poor. We have long time marrieds, newly weds, divorcees, remarries, single parents, large families, blended families, and childless couples. We have White, Black, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Nordic, Native American, and probably a few other races/places/countries represented well.

Hey wait. Isn't that the same as your ward?

add to sk*rt

16 comments:

Willis Whitlock said...

Hey! That IS just like my ward.

S'mee said...

hehehe! You're awesome Willis!

Alison Wonderland said...

You're in my ward? What's your real name again?

The Hobbit said...

Home Sweet Home..We're all different yet the same.Great post S'mee Your creative writing is on fire.

1stdaughter said...

Okay, so at first I thought this was my ward and then I realized you mentioned there are SOME normal people in the ward. Well, our ward has ZERO normal people. Most of fast and testimony meeting is centered around a guy who always relates his testimony to his most recent hunting or building expedition. But, it's our ward, what can I say, and only one more year to enjoy it.

Susan M said...

My ward is pretty homogenous and boring. I'd rather be in your ward!

S'mee said...

Hobbit you are soooo right! I actually got the idea for this post by reading that another blogger was moving from their perfect ward into uncharted waters...I think pretty much every where you go, whether it is a church, club, or even work -we're all nuts.

1st- I LOVE the "I shot a deer and at that moment, I KNEW the Lord was beside me!" testimonies! Amazing! hehe. Yup, The Lord loves a good hunting trip.

Susan, I have read about your posts about your ward...I agree, you would LOVE our ward. We have it all!

ilovejazz said...

S'mee, you said it so well! This is why I make road trips back there all the time. It's why I can't let go. Our ward there was the one where I truly felt loved and really needed. Each person is so important in a ward like that one. If they don't show up on Sunday, it's a big deal. It's great to be a part of something so cohesive and yet so diverse. So, gas prices go where they will -- I'd work three jobs to pay for the trip to come be in that ward again with my friends. Yay for good times!

Kathy P said...

You know, I heard it said that what you feel about a ward is directly influenced by what you put into it. Sounds like a wonderful place to be. Thanks for sharing.

S'mee said...

I LOVE I LOVE JAZZ!

S'mee said...

Kathy, I think there is much to what you say. When I first came to this ward I was so young and so very lost. I had wonderful mentors who taught me to get out there and be involved, to not take offense and #1, never ever gossip! (not because it was a bad habit, but because somehow everyone is related in this stake!hehe!)

The Pea said...

My first comment never made it!! Into the black hole it went....

It has taken me months to find a place where I can say I do love my ward. I am one in the same with you, we are few newly wed most nearly dead, but how fun are the little old ladies who come in pairs to visit with me and my kids as I sit here on my couch. They bring in lunch (hubby can do dinner) and they come almost every day!

What a perfect church run by such imperfect children of God!

Robyn said...

We only have a bit of your cross section but weird all the same.

S'mee said...

Pea, I give everyone this advice when or if asked: Get an old lady girlfriend. Some are indeed biddies, but man, when you find the right one she's a kick in the pants...so fun! I am glad you have a few of the good ones all to yourself!

Robyn, Robyn, Robyn. I am speechless. I have to admit, that on the entire planet, your little Hamlet is one of the last places I want to be, and unfortunately, some of that is regarding the church there. Too much sameness, too stuck in a wagging rut, if you'll pardon that stretch of terms. I do think, however, people such as you as the Big Guy can be leaders and mentors with new perspectives, etc. The situation there (town/church/roads!)would eat *me* alive.

Rynell said...

My husband drove me around our stake boundaries the other day and I realized--hey--we live in the ghetto ward of this stake. Hee hee.

S'mee said...

hehehe! Rynell, it's funny you use that word. Thor and I always sing that we live ...In the Ghetto! Not necessarily our ward, but definitely our neighborhood! Glad to know we're not alone!