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Nooksack, Washington parsonage

Nooksack, Washington parsonage

A Room Remembered

Granddad’s study
is a modest room
off the living room
in the two-story Nooksack parsonage,
a half block from the wooden country church
where he preaches every Sunday morning.

Its scents fill the air
and remain with me to this day —
wood paneling,
serious books,
mimeograph ink and paper.

In this room every Saturday my granddad copies bulletins
on an aging mimeograph for the next day’s worship service.

At the tender age of five
I am his able assistant.

We watch as sheets of paper fly rhythmically through the machine
and are caught in a tray on the other side.
Then he and I fold the bulletins,
careful to find the middle of each one,
and I am again swept up
in my imaginings of being him.

I imagine standing before a congregation someday,
with a stain-glassed Jesus holding a lamb tenderly in his arms
on the wall behind the pulpit,
and daring to tell the truth about God’s ways in the world.

I am no mere admirer gazing upon my granddad’s noble calling.
No, I love him with eager childlike devotion –
my heart full of wanting to be like him.

Words (c) 2004 Mark Lloyd Richardson

My Granddad, the Rev. Norval Sweet Richardson

My Granddad, the Rev. Norval Sweet Richardson