Church basement women an interesting bunch

Who are church basement women, and what exactly do they do? There was a book written many years ago that was all about these women. It had recipes and poems, and took a humorous look at them and the church basements, which were their domain. Their main thing was making funeral lunches, and sometimes even wedding meals.

Eventually, the book was adopted into a play that toured in the Midwest. I saw it in the Minneapolis area, and then went back again to see “Church Basement Women, a Second Helping.” It was funny, as I saw glimpses of my own ladies group at my church as being much like the play. After all, humor is only funny if it has an element of reality.

In fact, years ago, I wrote my own story about church basement women, and used to talk to groups about how much things have changed for women’s groups in church, and yet how much it has stayed the same. Most still serve at least funeral luncheons, some continue to sew quilts to be sent to missions. My group used to be called the Ladies Aid. We have modernized our name; however, most still call it the Ladies Aid.

I don’t mean to brag, but I would miss being part of this group. We are concerned that we are all getting older, and it is difficult to attract the younger ladies, but still, it amazes me how much we get done. Last month, we made paper cutout ornaments that will be used to decorate the Christmas tree at Tigerton’s Festival of Trees, for Tigerton Main Street.

Someone had a pattern for a paper cutout of Luther’s seal. Just the process of folding the paper correctly seemed impossible to us who hadn’t done paper cutouts since childhood. Two of the ladies folded the paper, some followed the pattern to draw on the cut lines, others cut the patterns out. In the end we made several cutouts, in different sizes, and much to our joy, they looked impressive once they were unfolded and are looking even better on the tree.

Our November project is the birthday party at Homme Home for the Aging in Wittenberg. We have been serving that for as many years as I can remember. We always bring pie for the occasion, because it seems the residents enjoy that. There were five residents with November birthdays, so we brought a gift for them.

Of course, the Sweetly Addled Sinners and Saint’s Kitchen Band entertains. The band is made up of our ladies group, we don old-fashioned hats and aprons, play pie pans, a curtain rod trombone, an egg-cordion, and even a hum-strum. We need a piano player to keep the time, and somehow I am the leader.

At one time, this band got a lot of requests, and did quite a bit of traveling. We even played at a convention at one time, but now we are retired, except for one time of year at the Homme Home. Our rendition of the “Hokey Pokey” always brings a lot of laughter.

I am not sure why, but when we contemplate getting it all together to do this party, we tend to moan and groan a bit. However, once we arrive and see the residents, and talk with them, our hearts are warmed, knowing we helped to cheer them, just for this hour or so.

Church basement women, may they never be confined to a basement, let them go forth in love, spreading cheer along the way.