Last night, we said goodbye to #1 Daughter and Son-in-Law and headed off to the high school scholarship awards ceremony. You would think that an evening involving the giving away of $4 million would be more interesting than that.

Part of the problem, of course, is the lack of suspense. At the bingo night, they would hold up a mixing bowl set and everyone had a chance of winning it. At scholarship night, you already know if your kid has gotten the appointment to Annapolis or the Elks Foundation Grant.

There were some surprises, actually. I didn’t know that some of those scholarships even existed — the Saudi Embassy Scholarship? Pom Squad Scholarships? And a fellow grabbed my kid at the end of the night (he received the Freshman Award from the Horticulture Department) and told him that he had also received the State Flower and Garden Show Award. I looked that one up, and found that it is given on the basis of “dedication to horticulture.”

But mostly it was dull. Someone would stand at the podium and say “I represent Altrusa” or whatever, “and we ar proud to give the So and So Memorial Scholarship Award to So and So.” So and So would go up, be hugged if a girl, and take away a bit of paper, and we would all clap. Then the next one would come up.

It takes quite a while to give out $4 million in this way.

5When I got home, the excitement began. First, The Empress and That Man had given #1 son a little refrigerator, and it leaked. Not a small leak, but a soaking-the-carpet leak. We now have a sodden carpet in his bedroom, his bed is out in the hall, and he is sleeping on the sofa bed. All the guys tried to do something about the carpet with the ShopVac, but to no avail. I said to aim a fan at it all night, but they disagreed with me. It is still soaking wet this morning.

While they coped with that, I dealt with the sinks. Our laundry room and kitchen are hooked up together with their plumbing somehow. I know this because the kitchen sink seemed stopped up, and then the laundry room sink had standing water in it. When I cleared both and started a load of laundry, the aforementioned sinks had water backing up in them.

So today will include plumbers and efforts at drying out the carpet, and I suppose at battling mildew. Any advice will be warmly welcomed.

Today will also include church visits. Professional visits, that is.

I started off on that yesterday pleasantly enough. We live in the Bible belt, and it is almost literally true that you can5 find a church on every corner. Here I am standing in the playground of one and you can see the next one across the street.

So I walked into each one with my catalog of Christian Education materials and identified myself, if I didn’t already know the person I found there, and said “You buy your bulletin board stuff from us, but we have closed the store in this town and I wanted to make sure you knew where we were now. You can find us online, too, or order by phone or fax, and we deliver.” Sometimes there would be a bit of chat, but that was the thrust of the thing.

Hardly a tough job.

However, not all churches have someone there on a Tuesday morning, and when there is someone there, they may not be easily found. Church visits involve a lot of wandering about, upstairs and along walkways, into prayer gardens and little parlors, in search of the offices, or alternatively, the place where there are actually some people.

5 Pleasant as this is, it takes time.

And we had heavy thunderstorms. So after the first half-dozen churches, I looked like a drowned rat. Wandering into the rector’s study or the second-floor office, having taken in the sanctuary or the kitchen on the way, I felt that I was perhaps not making the best possible impression.

So I returned to my computer.

I am getting ready for next month’s workshops and doing the daily lesson plans at one spot and product reviews at another, and continuing the links campaign and so forth. In the course of this, I found a contest for a lesson plan, with a cash prize. I was flabbergasted. It was not quite as surprising as the State Flower and Garden Show Award or the Saudi Embassy Scholarship, but then I would not 5be eligible for either of those. I may try my hand at the lesson plan contest. #2 daughter and I also must finish up our entry for the writing contest.

Today, however, if the rain holds off, I will try to finish up the church visiting.

I wanted to share with you this nice pole I encountered over at the Episcopal Church. It has a prayer for peace in different languages on each side.

Serendipitous pleasant discoveries await us everywhere, I am persuaded, if we keep our eyes open.