Friday, February 24, 2012

All In A Day's Work, Part 2 - Turn off the Light

This is part 2 in a series.  If you'd like to read part one it is here.

As I continued to juggle home schooling and working as the youth and children's director, my pastor approached me one morning to express concern over the electric bill at the church.  Evidently there had been a substantial increase in this expense and the finance committee was concerned and wanted to take every step possible to reduce it.  He asked that I please make sure that all the lights were turned off when I left the building.  I assured him that I would make that happen and I assumed that this would be the last time we would discuss this issue.  

I was a bit shocked and somewhat ashamed when he pulled me aside a few weeks later to remind me of this situation and inform me that I had made a habit of leaving my office light on.  He restated the need to reduce our electric bill and asked that I not leave lights running.  I walked away from our conference a bit disturbed and quite disappointed in myself, as I was not in the habit of ignoring the requests of the church leaders.  I then made signs reminding me to turn off the lights and asked the youth to help me in completing this task.

The following Friday evening I met the youth at the church so we could pack the van and head out on a weekend camping trip.  Now if you've ever met a large group of children who are about to embark on a weekend get away, you know that describing them as hyper squirrels is an understatement.  They are loud and usually active in a way that is not acceptable inside of a church building, or any other structure designed for adults.  I was trying to get our bags packed, retain some sense of order, and constantly thinking, "Don't forget the lights!"

After herding all of the youth into the van I returned to the building with my son and one other boy to survey the building for damages and to turn off the lights.  As we walked through the building picking up small bits of trash and returning chairs to their upright position, we also turned off the lights in an orderly fashion.  When we reached my office I made a joke of it and said, "You saw me turn this off, right?"  They assured me that they had witnessed me turn it off, and we ran down the stairs and out to the van that was jumping and swaying to music and loud voices in a way that is typical to a fifteen passenger van, full of teen-agers.

I hopped inside the driver's seat and had the before-we-pull-away-from-the-church speech.  If you've ever been on one of these trips you know that it takes a few minutes to cover the basic rules of riding in the bus.  Assured that I was in control and we all knew what was expected, even if this was a delusional assumption on my part, I proceeded to get buckled up and ready to drive.  As I started to pull away from the curb, the youth began to quietly chit chat and the sound of various chip bags and goodies being opened, could be heard.

Suddenly one loud voice from the rear of the van exclaimed, "Your office light just came on! Oh my gosh! Look! Look!  Her office light is on!"  The bus jerked as all of the youth turned in their seats and strained to see my 2nd floor window.

My blood ran cold and for a few seconds the bus got uncommonly quiet.  And then the riot of questions and ghost comments began.  It took the two and one half hour drive to get their attention off of this unusual event, and focused on the purpose of our camping trip.  When the youth returned on Sunday the pastor was awaiting them.  I am sure that he expected to hear about the highlights of our trip, but instead he was greeted with the story of the ghost in my office.

This is not the end of the queer incidents.  More to come, later.

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