The marvelous season of “spent” is upon us again, and this means partaking in many of our favorite annual traditions, not the least of which is our annual feast at St. John Vianney’s. Since 2009, we’ve been dropping in to binge on fried fish, pancakes, grilled cheese, and all our favorite beige foods. This particular parish has been our venue of choice for many reasons, one of which is that the line is relatively short. (Word must have gotten out, though, because the wait was about twice as long as it’s been in years past.)
It was a great time with our friends as always — Tamra, newcomer Amanda, Mark Scheen, Jenny, and of course Lisa, who managed to win at the Meat Wheel once again. We also had one surprise guest among the crowd of fish friers — Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry, who apparently wandered in with everyone else just to buy some fish. I’m always amazed at how often I managed to bump into Terry in “real life,” who always seems to be in an amicable mood just in case I needed to give him a piece of my mind. I only wish other governmental representatives were as easy to get hold of.
Vivian and I finished off the evening at JNO, bringing little Hannah along with us to meet more new people in our group. There was a fairly large crowd, much of it made of younger kids from a local ballroom dance troupe who performed a few minutes of east coast swing for us in a circle. We did have one very unexpected visitor in the crowd of newcomers — Pastor Mark Ashton from Christ Community Church. Vivian and had attended this particular mega church for a couple years but eventually moved to Twin Valley after we decided it was too big. Ironically, I’d never even gotten the chance to shake hands with Mark Ashton before, since we only saw him on Sundays and when he wasn’t sermonizing via remote location on the telescreen, he was sharing our attention with those of a couple thousand other people. This time, Vivian got to dance with him. It was quite a surreal experience.