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God's Home column: When friends leave, a piece of our heart goes with them

4:04 PM, Jul. 10, 2013  |  Comments
Steve Raap
Steve Raap
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Old Guy and Still-Young Bride joined Rome's Woodland Lutheran Church several years ago, making a switch from our former church, where we'd been members for 30-plus years.

Woodland welcomed us warmly, as you might expect of a small country church. And the Rev. Stan Kwiecien was glad to see that his own recent arrival at Woodland now would be joined by two new members. He no longer had to wear the mantle of newest arrival.

Jumping in with both feet, Still-Young Bride and I volunteered to join the fundraising effort to reshingle the 25-year-old roof of the church. I quickly wrote a script that featured a dog named Rolf. Still-Young Bride sewed together a Dalmatian headpiece big enough for Old Guy's enormous head to fit into. That was fair, for I gave her all of the lines in the script. All I had to do was answer questions as a dog would answer them. It went something like this:

"Good morning, everybody. I see a special guest is here this morning. Care to join me up here? (Slobbering Rolf enters.) Settle down now, boy. If I remember right, your name is Rolf, right?"

"ROLF! RIGHT!"

"Well, Rolf, do you remember my name?"

"RAAP!"

"That's right, I'm Linda Raap. But say ? what happened there?" (Rolf whispers ? crying, pointing to his bandaged extremity supported by a sling) "Aw, that's too bad. Rolf says he's got no family left because some outlaws shot his paw!"

"RIGHT." (Sniffles.)

"Well Rolf ? I understand you're here to update us on a project. Which one is that?"

"ROOF!"

"The roof, yes, but say, is that an umbrella you have with you?

"RIGHT."

"Why do you need that, Rolf?""

"ROOF!"

"The roof, huh ? well ?" (Rolf whispers ?) "Oh, ladies and gentlemen, Rolf says that a real leak was detected right above the entry doors to this sanctuary when the warm weather blew through here a few weeks ago, melting the ice on the roof. What kind of shape does that leave the roof in, Rolf?"

"RUFF!"

"So, our need is greater than ever to have everybody step up and pledge to donate a square of shingles, right Rolf?"

"RIGHT!"

"Well, thank you Rolf, for bringing us this update."

"SQUIRREL!!!" (Rolf runs down the aisle and out of the sanctuary.)

Well, folks, Old Guy and Still-Young Bride made quite an impression on the congregation that day, but most especially with the kids, who still, years later, refer to me as Rolf. It was a fun performance that actually helped to raise the extra money needed.

Two of our favorite people at Woodland are Richard and Lois Briggs. We've gotten to know them a bit better in the last couple of years, and looked forward to future times together with them. So it was a surprise to hear about a month ago that they had made a decision to move to the Carolinas to be closer to family - grandkids especially. Can't blame them for that!

But, no worries; they were in no hurry. They'd put their house up for sale (which they did) and if it took a year or more to sell, no big deal. Well, you might guess by now that their house sold in about a week. And that's exactly what happened.

Which is why, as I end this week's column, Old Guy and Still-Young Bride bid the Briggs happy trails, 'til we meet again. Which we will, no doubt, as we already have received an invitation to visit them down south anytime.

The Briggs will be hitting the dusty trail early next week, so Old Guy recommends that you be at Woodland Lutheran Church in Rome at 9 a.m. Sunday. You'll hear a great sermon by Pastor Stan and experience the warmth of friends and neighbors who wish only the best for Dick and Lois Briggs.

And remember what Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Old Guy's weight last column: 222 pounds. This week: 221 pounds. Total loss since Feb. 19, 2012: 10 pounds. (Losing to win!)

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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