Saturday, September 30, 2006

Time Passing

Yesterday was the fall/fowl supper, now held in Prairie Place Hall instead of the church basement. Much easier to organize, and wheelchair accessible, but some people miss the routine of sitting upstairs to wait your turn, then picking your way down the narrow winding back stairs, and finding out who would be sitting next to you or across from you at the long supper table in the basement. There was lots of deliberate visiting during the wait upstairs, and then random chance visiting with the people at your elbows during the meal. Nowadays, in the new hall, with all those tables of eight, people can sit with those they know, linger over coffee, and then leave with hardly a mingle.

I was signed up to help with cleanup, but it wasn't much of a job, because the tables were all left up for today's luncheon in honour of Joe Hengen. He passed away earlier this week. It was a shock to the whole community, because he was vigorous and active in everything - literally just about everything going, and more than just about any of us realized. He was 70, though, and had been living with heart problems for a long time, so I'd say he did very well. He was principal of our school when I was in elementary, and later mayor of the town, right up until a few years ago. He acted in the community theatre group, danced with the Scottish Country Dancers, took part in curling and lawn-bowling, sang with choirs, served on numerous boards and committees, and I'm sure he holds the community record for most events emceed. From the photo display at the luncheon, I learned that he was a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

At the two events this weekend, I saw several people that I haven't seen in many moons, or even years. A neighbour from our first years here in the Arcola area, whose family made us welcome like no others did; and my piano teacher to whom I owe so much for the joy I find in music. Her husband was my English teacher in high school. Funny, when I thought about what to post on this blog today, the first thing that came to mind was a little poem I wrote in those years - one that he particularly praised.


watch my life ticking a-
way overdue

Too easy to be wrapped up in schedules and deadlines like that. In the long run, I guess it's not the deadlines met that matter so much as the times shared in between.


Anonymous said...

Time, time, time,... autumn still has me rushing, for all I want to be at peace.

It's hard, losing someone so central to a community. Here, a couple years ago when Lois Hole died so (relatively) young, it felt like the area had lost its right arm. I was surprised at how much of a loss it was for me personally, even though I never met her. She was an incredible force, and such a typical farmer for all her involvements.

arcolaura said...

Madcap - the peaceful snow will come.

I wonder where I heard of Lois Hole. Only the name was familiar, so I went looking and found a page in her memory, with just a couple of thought-provoking quotes from her. The first one began, "Sometimes I wish we lived in a less hectic world . . ."

UncleMeat said...

I really miss those fowl suppers at the chuch. But then it seemed much bigger the last ime I was there for one. It doesn't seem so big now.
I was sorry to hear about Joe too.

Kevin Sinclair

arcolaura said...

Kevin - ever wonder whether things really get smaller, or our memories of old times get bigger?

Thanks for stopping by.