I was sixteen when I began my first job. We didn't go to church, yet my first employment was as a church secretary at our local United Methodist Church. I worked every weekday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays. I have lots to say about this experience and did slowly learn about faith and love in God from the wonderful people I interacted with each day.
Ruth was one of our pastoral staff. She was elegant, wise, loving and I admired her incredibly. She had long, blonde hair she styled beautifully. She had a white robe with beautiful stolls. She counseled many people and gave wonderful sermons. Over the years, Ruth encouraged me to go to her alma mater, Whitworth College. I am proud to say that Ruth graduated in 1955 and I followed in 1997.
Today, Ruth is 80 and I am rounding the bend toward 40. Ruth stays in Vancouver in the summers and Elyse and I had a wonderful weekend in mid-August visiting her. I thought it was so darling that Ruth wanted Elyse and I to be in a picture with her for her church directory (pictured above). Ruth is someone I will forever admire and look up to. I told her so, saying I should be so lucky if I could be where she is today at 80 years old. She has lost three husbands, but will tell you not to feel sorry for her, "I am fortunate to have been loved by three wonderful men". I admire her bright spirit, educated mind and active lifestyle. I admire how she has stayed strong and positive midst terrible grief. She would never waste her words on sarcasm. She is thoughtful with everything she says, yet has great humor and a joyous laugh. We stayed up late Saturday night and I asked her question after question. There is so much to learn from her. Her only complaint when we woke up on Sunday, "We should have role-played" regarding some advice I asked about a difficult situation. Love that gal!
Some fun memories from our visit:
- Her suggestion of maple syrup in my coffee as sweetener. Yum!
- Ruth tasting the lettuce from her garden and Elyse watching her in disbelief.
- Ruth listening to TED Talks on her iPad.
- Visiting the chickens next door.
- Teaching Ruth how to download songs from iTunes.
- The humorous photographer that got Elyse to smile so big.
- Her telling me how much she loves Dave's Killer Bread.
- Chasing Elyse through OMSI.
- Our wonderful conversations.
Below are some pictures from our trip to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.