Church and Chickens
Unless otherwise noted, the Kathryn Tucker Windham blog is written by her daughter, Dilcy Windham Hilley..
Maybe Church Street United Methodist Church in Selma had a nursery. I don’t have any memories of being in it.
What I remember is being a squirmy, ill-tempered child in church. Church is something of a pastoral prison for young children and not in the bucolic sense. It’s boring, it’s long, it’s paralyzing confined. The pews are hard. The only bearable chapters are the offertory and the monthly communion service. And, of course, the benediction when the prison doors open. (God forbid you have to sing every verse of “Amazing Grace” as the closing hymn.)
Mother found a way to settle this prisoner during worship. In her purse, my mother brought little treasures she’d slip discreetly to me when the sermon started. She would hand me a little brown, hinged box that held a miniature family of chickens---rooster, mama hen, and three baby chicks. This treat was reserved for Sundays only.
I would make a little barnyard in the Methodist hymnal where the chickens could scratch until they quietly flew over to the offering envelope racks.
If I tired of the chickens, Mother had a little green box that made my three-year-old heart spasm. It held the tiny bisque girl-and-boy dolls she played with as a child.
The chickens are long gone. I found the dolls in a box in the basement last week. The tissue in the box if fragile. It smells of love and anticipation.
1/18/2020 12:24:46 am
Grandmothers have their best attention keepers in their Sunday pocketbooks. When mine opened her purse in church, the smell of Wrigley Spearmint gum filled the air. She would give me two packs of gum and I would take the outer paper wrapper off of each piece of gum and carefully fold them to make a chewing gum wrapper chain. I have two of her purses that still smell like spearmint. ❤️
1/18/2020 01:54:59 pm
I love that story, Donna. Thanks for sharing!
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Dilcy Windham Hilley
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