Monday, August 17, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 08/16/15: St. John's in Beltsville, The World Comes to Costco, Evelyn Brings Over Lasagna

1. The Deke and I hadn't been to church together, I'd say, since Jack was baptized back in 2011.  Last Sunday, an Episcopal Church deacon preached at St. Andrews' in College Park. I wanted to know more about him and discovered that he serves St. John's in Beltsville. I either didn't know (or had totally forgotten) there was an Episcopal Church in Beltsville. It's a much smaller church than St. Andrew's and much closer to our apartment home. I mentioned my discovery to Debbie, told her St. John's priest was Haitian, and said I thought it was a mostly African-American parish and that I was going to attend services there on Sunday. Immediately, Debbie said, "I want to go." So we did. We were warmly welcomed. The service was beautiful, moving at times. We went to the parish hall for coffee hour, and, to our surprise and delight, a tasty potluck lunch was being served. We met the Marshalls who sat with us at coffee hour and told us about the nearly forty years they've been coming to St. John's. We'll go back next Sunday, I'm sure, unless, for some reason, Patrick's arrival and visit creates a conflict.

2. After church, we shopped at Costco where the Deke knew there were some handy food items for her daily lunches -- she starts back on Monday, August 17th. If I ever need evidence, right before my eyes, that I don't live in Eugene or Spokane or Coeur d' Alene or Kellogg any longer, the Beltsville Costco is the perfect place to go. The Beltsville Costco feels like an international bazaar or food market. As the Deke and I made our way up and down the Costco aisles, I couldn't begin to count the number of languages spoken by shoppers and because I am ignorant about the wardrobes of people from African countries, Muslim countries, Pacific Island countries, and India and other Hindu countries and because I do not have a keen sense of what countries different people from East Asia or Latin America or Europe come from, I couldn't begin to say how many people from how many different nations were in the Beltsville Costco today. It's a wonder to me I live here. I never imagined I'd ever live in such an international setting -- and whenever I want to experience how international Prince George's County in Maryland is, all I have to do is visit the Beltsville Costco, especially over the weekend. It's invigorating.

3.  A family from Ghana lives next door to Molly and Hiram.  Evelyn, the family's matriarch, is a cousin to one of the Deke's fellow teachers at school, and the Deke will unfold to him that she knows Evelyn on Monday when she returns to work. Around five o'clock, the Deke and I went over to the Diazes and just as we arrived, Evelyn popped over unannounced with a surprise lasagna -- she, like many other generous people in Molly and Hiram's life, was helping them out with food because they have a new born baby at home. Evelyn stayed for a while to visit and told us about her daughter who went to Spelman College and then worked in the Teach for American program in D. C. and helped out in Bangkok as Teach for Thailand was being formed and how her daughter is about to begin her first year at the University of Maryland Law School. Evelyn's theme was how much she admired people who go into school teaching and that her daughter decided that if she were going to affect change in the world, she would need a law degree.

By the way, the lasagna -- known to David and Olivia as pizza noodles -- was awesome.

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