Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Singing

"We'll be having the singing tonight" Daddy announced one Sunday on the way home from church. John, David, and I looked at each other in the back seat and smiled. It was always special to have the singing at our house. The families in our district took turns opening our home to the youth to spend an evening singing German hymns. Since the only time there were singings was on the Sundays we had church our turn to host came only once a year.

Once we got home we had our usual after church lunch and once the dishes had been cleared away we all went to take a nap so that Mom and Daddy would hopefully let us stay up until the singing was over.

As evening approached Mom made a simple supper. Daddy went to the attic to find our backless bench and set it behind the table that had been opened to it's full length. Mom spread a table cloth over it and set out one of her pretty water sets and several salt shakers. Before long we could hear buggies drive into the lane, the girls came inside while the boys unhitched their horses and then stood visiting in the barn until it was time for the singing to start.

Once seven o'clock arrived everyone came and found a seat at the table. John, David, and I sat on our own little chairs a little distance from the table with Mom and Daddy. For the next two hours there would be no talking as one song after the other was announced and sung. After an hour or so they would pass the salt shakers and who ever was feeling a little hoarse would make a little pile of salt next to their songbook or in the palm of their hand. They would moisten their fingertips and then lick the salt which seemed to do the trick and they continued singing.

I loved singing and was always sad when after two hours the closing hymn was announced. As the boys went to hitch up the horses again and the girls stood chattering until their ride drove up to the house I looked forward to the time I would be old enough to go to the singings every time, but I made up my mind I would never lick any salt.

25 comments:

  1. What a fantastic memory. You write so vividly.

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  2. Wow, I never knew that about the salt. I bet the singings were fun. I was youth leader years ago and it was always fun to have a youth rally and get together with about 6 other churches. Fun times! Good memories!

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  3. what a wonderful thing to do on the Sabbath. such great memories you have!

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  4. I'm going to try the salt trick. The singing sounds wonderful - especially the simplicity. When we get together with our friends to sing gospel songs, we have to have drinks and snacks all the way around because that is what is expected. Nobody would sit without talking. Your memories are great.

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  5. And did you use the salt? Now I'm curious!

    I love your stories. Thank you for sharing them. Keep up the great work. I admire you.

    Jen
    Audience of ONE

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  6. In your district, did the youth use this as a courting opportunity and pair up for buggy rides afterwards? I don't know much, but I've always wondered if what I'd heard was true. :)

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  7. so this only happened once a year? That makes for a very nice memory. I love hymns. The singing of them is so powerful! Do you still carry on this tradition with you family now or do you sing more often with them?

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  8. Just began enjoying your blog, and I can relate to it in so many ways. I grew up being a pastor's kid AND the church pianist, so, hymns are an everyday part of my life....thanks for sharing your ♥

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  9. Yeah- so I'm also wondering if you ever did use salt? ;)

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  10. What a great memory for you and I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing.
    I,too, want to know about the salt.

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  11. Thank you for your comment recently and this story was of a beautiful simplicity that I needed today. Was interested in what brought you to my blog?

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  12. That's something new to me - I didn't know families would host a singing if they didn't have teens (or kids that age). I bet you loved being there and listening and feeling like one of the "big kids"!! ♥

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  13. I don't think I would have licked salt too but that does sound like a good time everyone gathering a singing their hearts out, thanks for sharing :o)

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  14. I never knew about the salt licking, although I have seen butter swallowing. I once was at a wedding in a neighboring state and whenever one man got hoarse from singing he would swallow a slice of butter to grease his throat and continue singing.

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  15. I love this story! I wish very much my daughters could be raised with a community of people who would look out for their best interests along with me. I have often thought of what is lost in our modern society. Our church has a youth group meeting and the kids sit around with varrious cell phones and ipods, they don't really care that they are at church and I don't know really how effective it is. I hope somehow to keep life a little simplier for my kids, do you have any suggestions?

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  16. This is so interesting. I cannot imagine sitting in a room full of people and just singing one song/hymn after another with no talking.
    I would, however, love licking the salt!

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  17. How very interesting! You tell your stories so well.

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  18. I so enjoy hearing your stories about growing up. ~
    Thank you for sharing!

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  19. I so enjoy hearing your stories about growing up. ~
    Thank you for sharing!

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  20. brings back so many memories....I had almost forgot about the singings and salt licking. love your stories.

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  21. brings back so many memories....I had almost forgot about the singings and salt licking. love your stories.

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  22. Aloha,
    I know that singing ,especially hymns is an immediate connection to the soul, comforting ,peaceful, and a way to elevate the spiritual atmosphere. I am so grateful for the blessing of music, Thank you for sharing
    Brandi

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  23. I so enjoy your stories. You have a wonderful knack for making them come alive for your readers.
    Marnie

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  24. What a great story...I never heard of the salt either. I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of your stories as well.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.