Pink frosting on yellow cake was the order of the day today immediately following mass. We were marking the retirement of Deacon Claire and the leaving of our organist and choir director, Clyde, and cake has never been such a mix of sweet and bitter without involving chocolate or coffee before.
I never really had a chance to know Deacon Claire. She seemed merry and smart, and warm, if not quite as immediately gregarious as Fr. Young. She has a lovely speaking voice, a bit gravelly from age, but still easy on the ears. It was mentioned today that she’s a Franciscan, and for the second time I commented to Fuzzy that I hadn’t realized the Episcopal church had orders, the way the Catholic church does. He merely smirked and said, “You said that last time.” And I never resolved the lack of information. Not very good on my part.
Clyde, on the other hand, is someone who I’d count as a friend. He’s funny – even snarky at times – warm, engaging, and amazingly talented. Consider, he not only plays the organ and acts as cantor but ALSO directs our balky and sometimes extremely amateurish choir. Directed. Acted. Today was his last day. Everyone tried to bribe him to stay, while also trying to respect his wishes, his needs – he lost both parents this year, and work (his day job) and family are demanding more of his time. You can’t really argue with that.
And so today after mass, after singing Christmas carols (because it’s still Christmastide in the church), we met in the parish hall and toasted these people, and laughed with them, and hugged them, and marked their leaving with plaques and cake with pink frosting.
I hope they got the corner pieces with the slightly salty sugar roses.
The corner pieces are the best, after all, and they deserved them.