Sunday, March 25, 2007

China Moon

Moon over St. Mary's Church, Nanticoke, PA, March 25, 2007, 2:39 PM

I love seeing the Moon in the daytime, particularly when there are a few wispy clouds in the sky. The bright parts of the Moon take on the appearance of the clouds, while the dark parts appear to be the blue of the sky. Through binoculars the Moon looks like a delicate piece of china or porcelain hanging in the sky.

My parish is holding a "Spring Fling", very similar to the Fall Festival they held back in November of 2005. Even after combining with several other parishes, ours is still in pretty dire straits financially. The old folks are dying off one by one, and there are fewer and fewer young folks stepping up to take their place. Our Summer Festival used to be a thing of legend, a three-day bazaar the first weekend of August that would bring in people from miles around and would bring in revenue that paid many of the bills for the year. (It also served to signal the beginning of the end of Summer.) But no more; there were not enough people available to run it anymore. And so we are reduced to spaghetti suppers and bake sales and Chinese Auctions. And this is probably just holding off the inevitable.

Oh, well. I bought $20 worth of chances, 100 individual tickets that I spread around among the thirty or forty individual prizes. We'll see if I win anything!


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

It is sad but a lady that I work with at the Red Cross brought up the subject of the current generation dying off. The younger folks don't seem to be stepping up to help volunteer either.

Anonymous said...

What's a "Chinese Auction?" I lived in China for eight years (Shanghai and Beijing) and their auctions were the same as ours, just without the "howmuchwoodcouldawoodchuckchuck," auctioneer delivery.

As for young people not stepping up to replace the dying generation: well, the church is antiquated. They've failed to reach the youth and instead, simply pushed them away. That is moral failure not on the individuals they want to reach, but of the church itself.

You can't catch 1980s/90s fish with 1910 bait.

D.B. Echo said...

A larger part of the problem for us is that many members of the younger generations are moving away. It's not necessarily that they are leaving the Church; they're leaving the parish, and there aren't very many people coming into the parish to replace them. Those who are left behind to do the things that need to be done are generally the old folks who have been doing them all along.

I don't know the derivation of the term "Chinese Auction", and I wouldn't be surprised if it had the same racist root as "Chinese Fire Drill", meaning a chaotic situation. But I know there are other forms of auctions, like the "Dutch Auction", that are actually based in culturally specific ways of doing things.

A "Chinese Auction" isn't an auction at all. It is a sort of raffle, where there are many prizes that can be won and each contestant has many chances to win a prize. For us you could buy 25 tickets (chances) for $5. You could put all 25 tickets on a single item, giving you 25 chances to win that prize, or you could spread them out amongst numerous prizes, so you have a smaller chance to win multiple prizes. How likely you are to win a given prize depends on how many total tickets have been bid on a given prize, and how many of those are yours. I took both approches with my 100 tickets, placing many tickets on a few prizes and a single ticket apiece on many prizes.

It looks like I won 3 dozen pierogi!

dee said...

3 dozen? Are they saurkraut? Potato? Cheese?

You know, they freeze well and if packed with dry ice could even be FedExed overnight.

D.B. Echo said...

I've never had the "sauerkraut" variety, though I've heard them spoken of. The traditional three for me have beem cabbage (finely chopped cabbage with lots of pepper, cooked), potato (mashed potatoes), and cheese (farmer's cheese, like cottage cheese.) We also sometimes have potato-cheese, which is mashed potato mixed with, I think, cheddar cheese. I've seen things like prune, cherry, chocolate chip, and so on, but I try to avoid them.

Well, maybe while I'm shipping the pierogi (from Rentko's), I should throw in half a dozen rings of kielbasi (3 fresh, 3 smoked) and a few pounds of chocolate from Diamond's.

Dee, you have to get up here sometime!

hedera said...

A group of technicians I used to work with had something they called a "Chinese auction" at Christmas. Everybody brought a wrapped (gag) gift, which were numbered; and everybody took a numbered ticket. (One year we had to restrain one of the senior techs from numbering in hexdecimal.) Ticket number 1 got gift number 1, but the fun started with ticket number 2; when the guy with ticket 2 could either take that gift or take the gift away from number 1. The higher your ticket number, the more people you could take gifts away from. Some gifts were very much in demand; some people couldn't give theirs away...

I've never heard of d.b. echo's version; you learn a new one every day.