I was sitting in the pew waiting for Wednesday evening prayer meeting to start. My middle son, Josef, and I had gotten there early to set up for the video we would be watching. Since the rest of my family is out of town right now, Josef and I (and Kiska our fierce German Shepherd), have been eating lots of ice cream, watching old movies and keeping a pretty relaxed schedule.
So, Josef and I are sitting there enjoying the quietness of the church building as the warm summer sun streams through the windows, (which I really ought to get up and clean – I forgot to bring the Windex again?), waiting for the others to arrive. Josef declines to play a game of ping pong with me.
Seven o’clock comes and goes. I am wondering what is keeping everyone and begin to think about becoming irritated. I really appreciate punctuality.
Then, slowly, I come to the realization that I must consider the possibility that I have not merely arrived early for Wednesday prayer meeting, but that it is not Wednesday at all. That it might be, in fact, Tuesday.
How can I verify this? I do not have a cell phone. I could walk across the street to the library and check on one of their computers, but, if it is Wednesday, then the others might come while I am gone. Plus, I might have to answer a lot of questions over at the library. It completely slipped my mind that if it was actually Tuesday, the library would not even be open. A closed library would have proven it to be Tuesday, but I did not think of that.
I could go outside and ask a passerby what day it is. But that would just confirm any latent suspicion that might be floating around regarding my state of mind.
I am beginning to feel a little foolish now. If today is Tuesday and not Wednesday, how will I explain to someone from church who might spot me as I leave and ask me what I’m doing at church on a Tuesday night? I am getting uncomfortable as I think about my daughter finding out. Would she become concerned about me being out without supervision? No, she would not. She would laugh. Very hard.
I am finally forced to admit to myself that I do not have any idea what day it is. I have narrowed it down to Tuesday or Wednesday, but it is a ten mile drive back home so I really need to get this pinned down rather soon.
I cannot go wandering the streets asking people what day it is. There is no land line at the church. No radio. I do not wear a watch. Do I start packing up the DVD player? What if it is Wednesday and somebody comes while I am coiling up the extension cord? Or getting into my car to leave?
I really need to know right now what day it is.
I look around the auditorium. Pulpit, piano, pews, bulletin board, hymn books, oil heater stove. Aha. The timer on the oil stove will have the date on it, but will it tell me what day it is? I squint over the top of my bifocals and bend over to read the digital display and, what do you know, right next to the date and time in the lower left corner of the little, tiny, wonderful screen, there it is: “Tu”.
I straighten up, push my glasses back, pack up my stuff and, after promising Josef ice cream when we get home, try to decide if I will share my funny little story with the folks at church tomorrow night.
That is, if tomorrow is Wednesday.
UPDATE: Wednesday morning, June 14, 2017 – I can’t find my purse.
UPDATE: Wednesday night – Found the purse. I left it at the church on Tuesday.
Originally published June 13, 2017