August 14, 1973 - President Nixon was still in office with Spiro Agnew, the average cost of a new home was $35,500, and a gallon of gas was only 39 cents (compared to the $3.59 my local gas station is selling gas for.) That particular week was also when Roberta Flack released her album Killing Me Softly.
Life was surely simple...at least for me, anyway. My mother, however, was busy with not only caring for me as a curious 1 year old, but also my brother - an ever adventurous two-year old. I don't remember the actual home we lived in when I was that young, nor do I have any memories from that early on.
What I do know is that my parents had me in church from the time I was born, or as soon thereafter as my parents could manage to get us there. And it was the only church I ever went to for the next 18 years. Not that we didn't EVER attend church elsewhere. There was the occasional weekend away from home visiting cousins, friends, grandparents that led to my exposure to the Lutheran, Methodist, and the Catholic church. But for the most part, I grew up ultra conservative with my Church of Christ background.
I have fond memories being a kid at that church. I can tell you every minister that I sat under at that church (it was only 3 different men)...but I remember their names and their faces, their families....it was a close-knit church in a small community. We were there Sunday mornings, evenings and Wednesday nights. Dad was a deacon in the church...I never quite understood what that meant, other than he got to serve communion and sometimes that meant he would get to sit in one of the two ceremonial seats that were on each side of the communion table. Almost like he was presiding over it. He was also the Sunday School superintendent for a number of years. This meant that he did the weekly attendance, the teachers' curriculum was delivered to our house and we got to sort it out for the various classes, and he also had a section in service when he would relay announcements to the congregation.
In this church, I attended Vacation Bible School every summer (eventually teaching one year!), went on more hayrides, sat around a ton of bon-fires, participated in "Western Night", the Mother/Daughter Tea (there was no tea involved) and helped my mother decorate for the Father/Son Banquet. There were numerous Christmas programs that were performed as well as Sunday morning music specials which mom thought it would be cute to have both my brother and I singing together, and eventually (horror of horrors) when we both began playing musical instruments, there were Sunday morning duets together. A flute and a trumpet - I can't even imagine what that sounded like to their listening ears....thankfully, I eventually ventured out on my own and began the Sunday morning solo gig with my finale occurring when I serenaded my bestest friend with an emotional version of Michael W. Smith's "Friends" shortly before she moved out of town.
I was baptized there, I witnessed my grandmother's wedding there, and I sat there at the funeral of my childhood friend's father when we were in 6th grade together. There were softball games and youth rallies with other churches in our denomination, youth leaders, youth group, and youth ministers - all which had a dynamic influence on my life.
For all of these reasons, and many more fond thoughts that will often pop into my head and make me smile - the Columbia Church of Christ will always remain a part of my memories.