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November 19, 2005: Open house

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I have been baking bread all week, so the house has smelled marvelously of pumpkin and cinnamon and ginger and allspice. I do this every year - fill up the freezer with loaves of pumpkin bread, and then thaw them out the night before, just in time for the church craft and bake sale. It's been especially nice to have this, at least, to look forward to, since I no longer have any good reason to do the massive holiday cookie baking that I used to be able to do.
Along with the baking, I also decided to toss in a little knitting. I usually don't bother contributing anything to the craft table, and unlike the past two years the young adults never got a chance to get together and cook up copious batches of pomegranate jelly, but this year, on a whim, I decided to whip up a few more snowmen, since the one I made last year turned out so cute. So I made these guys and what do you know, they sold. In fact, when there were only two left someone asked me if I could make one more, since she wanted three. It was rather a relief to know that they were cute enough that people were actually willing to buy them - so often with craft sales these days not much gets sold.

In years past the annual event has been a craft and bake sale that starts in the morning and stretches through the early afternoon, followed by a dinner in the evening. It's been like this for as long as most people can remember, so it's understandable that some people were getting a little burned out by the sheer amount of work. So this year we decided to do things a little different. We condensed the whole event into only three hours, tossed in a rather expansive brunch buffet (with pastries and ham and egg frittata, and even an oatmeal bar with all the toppings), created a 'bake shop' with all the pies, cakes and cookies displayed on pretty plates, so people could pick and choose what they wanted (and the baked goods were then boxed for transport), scheduled a few musical performances and set up a number of rather impressive displays around the church, in the form of an open house, so that newcomers could learn about the history (which, since our tiny little church building has been around over 100 years, is extensive) and the various programs that take place. So instead of just showing up in the morning to drop off my bread and browse the crafts before escaping for the rest of the day like I normally do, we actually ended up having to stay a lot longer. Richard was slated to be the information person for the bible study displays, while the recorder ensemble, for which I'm the de facto leader these days, was scheduled to play at 9:30 in the morning. And then there was really no point in me going home after that because the choir sang at 11:30, but we gathered to run through our songs at 10:45, and somewhere in there we had to fit in time to actually eat breakfast and browse the craft tables, and also snatch the very last jar of pomegranate jelly (because someone else *did* have the time to make it, yay!).

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