Thursday, September 18, 2008
Close to Nowhere
Giving her roses
After our quilt guild meeting Saturday, Jane and I went by the hospital in Oxford to visit a much-loved, former pastor.
Pat Elmore first came to Free Springs UMC during a time when a pastor had abruptly left and a former, much-loved pastor came to fill in and then retired again.
We were Pat’s first church and we were also in turmoil and as sometimes happens, it was a rocky start.
But time passes and congregations wise up. Pat began serving the Red Banks-Victoria Charge and the three church congregations referred to ourselves as “sister” churches -- with the congregations visiting back and forth for special occasions. Several of my favorite recipes come from some of the meals our congregation has shared with the Red Banks/Victoria churches.
Pat has retired several times -- she was a professor at Ole Miss for 25 years, teaching textiles and clothing; she was a pastor and retired at least twice from that.
I’m not sure how old Pat is and she’d kill me for even guessing, so I won’t, but I will tell you that she was one of the last Americans to leave Cuba when Fidel Castro took over the government there. Pat was a missionary in Cuba for several years and wrote a self-published book about that experience.
She also wrote a textbook for the textile/clothing classes at Ole Miss. She loaned me her only copy when she was pastoring at Free Springs.
Visiting her the other day, we talked about that book -- I came home that afternoon, scoped out Amazon.com; surprisingly found the textbook, ordered it and I received it in the mail Tuesday morning!
I spent lunch looking and laughing at the photos, etc. And I am once again amazed at the fact that I know someone who has written a college level textbook! And the book discusses fabric! How lucky can one person be?
I do have to admit there is more in that textbook about polyester than I really wanted to know, but to be fair, it was published in the 1970s.
Pat is seriously ill. When she is able, she has an apartment waiting for her at Azalea Gardens in Oxford.
Jane and I plan to visit her as often as we can. Pat came to Free Springs’ rescue several times and was a true friend and valued pastor. We want to be there for her now, when she needs a friend.
I hope Pat knows how much she means to us.
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