Secret's in the sauce

Since my parents moved back to the farm a few years ago, I've heard all about the hard work, effort, and fun involved in the annual church BBQ. Our church is a small one, way out in the country, with membership in the double digits and an average Sunday attendance that's way lower than what it was when I was a kid. Yet over the past few years, this annual fundraiser has managed to sell some 1000 tickets for its BBQ lunch. That's BBQ, not barbecue, neither of which is a verb, thank you very much. You do not BBQ (or barbecue) something. BBQ is something you eat. Specifically, it's slow-cooked pork that's been shredded and mixed with a delicious if questionable sauce that contains vinegar, hot pepper flakes, and various other secret ingredients. At least, that's how we do it in eastern North Carolina. :-)

Anyway, the church BBQ was yesterday, and I volunteered. Of course, I had no idea what job I'd be assigned. Admittedly, I was hoping for something glamorous, such as serving plates or whatever. But, you do what they ask you to do, and they asked me to be in charge of the jams and jellies. OK, so I was mildly excited, since my Mom made lots of the jams and jellies being sold. I tried hard to sell Mom's brand, but sadly, her products were not quite as popular as those of the local Renaissance Man. I don't know what's so great about a man making jams and jellies, but this dude is really popular, and everyone was asking for his products. Perhaps I should have fibbed and pointed to my Mom's stash whenever people requested Renaissance Man's. But it was church, so I was honest.

In the end, however, the jams and jellies (regardless of maker) sold very well. So did the quilt raffle tickets. My cute little cousin Anna (age 7) was selling the quilt tickets for $2 each, so I bought 5 from her, but she didn't have change for the $20 I paid with (yeah, right) so I offered to buy her 5 tickets. And darned if she didn't win!!! She was so excited because one of the quilts was sort of pink and she wanted it. Actually, I think she deserved to win, because she sold quite a few other tickets . . . . which makes me wonder if maybe someone else could have possibly bought the winning ticket? Hmm.

Another highlight of the event was seeing my third grade teacher for the first time since . . . well, third grade (not really - I think I was a freshman or sophomore in college when I saw her last.) "Mrs. S" was only in her second year of teaching (meaning she was about 23 years old) when I was in third grade, and she was a true hottie back in 1973. In fact, the story goes, on the first day of school I told her that my Dad was "going to die" when he saw her.  Because she was so hot, that is. OK, really, I don't know if he thought she was hot, or if she was even really all that hot, to be honest. But apparently I thought she was when I was eight years old. At least compared to my second grade teacher, who was old enough to retire and not hot at all.

I saw a couple of people I went to high school with, and couldn't help but wonder if I looked as old to them as they looked to me. Some of them have grandkids. Sheesh. And to think that I didn't even think about having kids until a few years ago (and then, I only thought about it for maybe 15 minutes). Who do I blame for that? My third grade teacher! After all, she was the teacher who gave the lesson about zero population growth that so affected me. Too bad I forgot to mention that to her when she asked me if I have any kids!

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