God Bless this Lousy Apartment
I grew up having my Great Grandparents. (Blessed, I know!) My Poppa was the pastor of a precious little country church for 40+ years. My Mawmaw took her job as Pastor’s wife dead serious. She spent the days wrapped in a long phone cord, tangled throughout her kitchen, counseling one then another. Their little home was filled with treasures. Poppa collected clocks, and there was a dozen tick tocking on the wall. Mawmaw was a collector too. Any blank wall space was shelved and home to her eclectic variety of salt and pepper shakers. I remember that happy home so well, but there is one little trinket that stuck out to me. Centered in the doorway, and hung on the trim was a little plate, it said, “God Bless This Lousy Apartment.” I stared at that darn plate every time I was at their house. I can just see my scrawny, stringy headed self, turning back and forth in a pleather swivel recliner with a spitoon siting beside it, trying to figure out that little plate. “What does lousy mean?? This isn’t even an apartment.”
I don’t have to explain the fast forward of years, because you already know how they fly. Both of my Greats had gone on to glory and I had grown up. Well. Mostly grown up. A salt and pepper shaker connoisseur myself, my Papa had given me some of his mothers collection. In the box with the shakers, was the plate. I had a fit! I said “Papa, I have wondered all my life, why in the world Poppa and Mawmaw had a plate hanging up that said God Bless This Lousy Apartment!” Finally, along with the plate, I got the story.
Every Christmas the church members gave my Great Grandparents gifts. Every gift was proudly displayed in their home. There was a little old lady in the church who could only read a few words here and there. Two of those words were “God Bless.” I bet you can figure out how the rest of this story goes. Sure enough, the lady had given my Greats the little plate for Christmas, and from then on it adorned their living room, the hub of their home, right center of the room, for all to see. God Bless This Lousy Apartment.
They never had a second thought about the heart felt gift. They never mentioned the story. It just was, without question, a gift that was so loved and appreciated, and displayed, for all to see, without explanation. A Christmas gift that was purely given and purely received.