When I was in high school I spent part of two summers baling hay.
I wasn’t what you would call an expert but I got the job done and I didn’t hurt anybody, so the farmer who hired me usually would rehire me whenever he needed a little help.
One of the things I remember about baling hay was how tired I would be at the end of the day. But it was a good kind of tired — that feeling you get when you know you have worked hard. It was the kind of tired feeling you get when you know you have a right to be tired.
Sure, I have days now when I might look at the clock at 7 p.m. and say, “Man, I’m tired,” but that’s mainly a mental sort of tired — the sort of tired when you say you’re tired but really don’t have any reason to be tired. But, after a day of baling hay, I was normally so tired I didn’t have to say that I was. I knew I was tired and I knew why I was tired.
It was a good feeling.
On Tuesday, Jim Everitt said that he and his wife, Stephanie, are always “dog tired” at the end of the annual First Community Church Christmas dinner, but then quickly added that it was a good kind of tired.
I knew exactly what he meant.
But, unlike my hay baling tired, Jim and Stephanie’s tired will come with the knowledge that they did a good thing — that they reached out to other people in order to make their holiday a bit brighter.
By the way, I need to point out that Jim and Stephanie are not the only good-hearted souls who volunteer to put on the church’s free Christmas Dinner. In fact, if Jim and Stephanie had their way, I wouldn’t mention them at all. But since they were the ones unlucky enough to be asked to talk to me about the dinner, I mentioned their names.
For the record, David Mason is the chairman of the dinner committee and some 50 or 60 church members volunteer to make the holiday event happen.
This is the 39th First Community Church Christmas Dinner and if this year is anything like last year, some 800 dinners will be served Christmas Day.
“That’s what we plan each year and that seems to be the right number. Last year, if we had any food left over, there wasn’t much,” Jim said.
This year’s dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Community Church, 2007 E. 15th St. The menu will feature ham and turkey along with traditional sides of dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, salad, green beans and desserts.
Delivery and take-out orders also will be taken. Last year, some 300 meals were delivered and, with the sort of weather we’ve experienced lately, volunteers are bracing for a brisk delivery business again this year.
If you would like to have a meal, either delivered or available for take-out, you need to call the First Community Church from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday or from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday. The phone number to call is 417-781-1800.
On Tuesday, volunteers were already at the church working doing early prep work for the dinner. That work will continue through the week and then will likely ramp up next week as it gets closer to Christmas.
On Christmas Day, volunteers will start sleepily stumbling into the church kitchen at around 5 a.m. And then there will be a steady stream of foods going in and coming out of the church kitchen ovens. There will be hams and turkeys to be sliced, potatoes to be mashed and gravy to be made. There will salads to put together and dressing to be mixed. There will be … well, you get the idea.
And then, sometime around 5 p.m., those same volunteers will stumble for home and when they get there they will be tired.
It will be a good kind of tired.
Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.
When I was in high school I spent part of two summers baling hay.
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