I came across this little book while browsing the shelves at the library. What a treat! It’s the stories from a Quaker preacher during his first year after moving back to his small hometown and becoming pastor of his church. It’s like a lovely mix of Garrison Keillor and Jan Karon. At first I had a hard time getting into the book and thought it was a poor imitation of Keillor and Karon’s beloved hometown series. However, at about 1/4 of the way through the book I was hooked. The author’s voice, faith and humor began to shine through and the characters really began to leap off the page.
At the end of each chapter, Gulley leaves us with a testimony and insight that can really get you thinking. A few that stood out to me:
In the end, that is what we all must do. Stand where we feel led. Stand straight, stand tall, and try hard to remember that other folks might be led to stand elsewhere.
We don’t think people will love us as we are, so we pretend to be someone we’re not. Fat men sucking in bellies. Poor people putting on airs. Sinners acting like saints. All of us keeping pace with our companions, stepping lively in this dance of deceit. It is so hard, in this world, to be who we are.
The small town humor is delicious as well. I laughed out loud at so many parts my boys would come running to see what could be so funny. The author opens his fall chapter with a story about the 14 school buses, all “driven by the Lefter family, who cornered the Harmony bus-driving market before I was born.” He called the head of the family, Morey, “the kingpin of the Lefter bus cartel.” LOL! :)
There was a penciled-in note at the front of my obviously donated library book:
To Carl & Dorothy- This is pure enjoyment reading…when you feel like a good laugh, this will fit the bill! I love you & appreciate all you do. Ann
Couldn’t agree with you more, Ann.