Joan’s birthday party

Following services at Central and Atlas United Methodist Churches last Sunday, Marina and I headed to Dancing Dragonfly Vineyards for Joan Solum’s 80th birthday party. We’d not been to this nice facility before and, aside from the noise generated by high ceilings and hard surfaces, we found it to be a nice place for a large venue. Such places are difficult to find around here. Dresser’s Pizzeria catered the food, which was up to its usual good standards.

I did speak about Joan and called her a person of integrity and generosity. Integrity? The story I told went back to 1997 when I was first appointed to the St.Croix Falls/Wolf Creek charge. The St.Croix Falls church’s cleaning lady–I’ll call her Phyllis, just because–wanted a raise (at least I think that was the issue) and Joan was the only woman at the table while the topic got brainstormed. One idea was to give her the raise but cut her hours (the budget was thin). Another idea was to have Phyllis clean upstairs every other week and downstairs weekly–cut the time, in other words. Someone else wanted to work a tax angle that would save the church money. One slick idea after another got tossed out for discussion. Finally, Joan spoke: “We need to do the right thing for Phyllis,” she said. “We need to do the Christian thing.” All the men at the table sat shame-faced; Joan was right. Phyllis got her raise but left soon after to cut down her weekly workload.

Further, anytime I’d go into the laundry Jim and Joan owned in town, Joan would be there, folding someone’s laundry–a bit of extra service for customers. She was a worker, too.

Did I mention that Dragonfly’s “Cha Cha” red wine was quite good?