We all want to belong. We long for that place where everybody knows our name and they are glad we came. Thanks, Cheers.(I know, now you’ve got the Cheers song running through your head too. Thanks, Beth.) We were born to live in connection with others and you do not need to see the remake of The Lion King to know this.
Growing up in small town America, connecting with others was woven into the fabric of everyday existence. And into everyday fun. I often tell people that I grew up in a gas station and in a bowling alley. Sort of a combo of Gomer at Wally’s Filling Station in The Andy Griffith Show and Laverne and Shirley and their Shotz bowling team. True connection. Competitive fun!
Spared from Boredom
While my mom and her Elk Oil Company bowling team practiced and competed on Wednesday mornings, preschooler me would play with a “star” bowling ball in the seating area away from the lanes. I’d try to fit my dinky fingers and thumb in those imposing bowling ball holes. I’d play with the mini pencils and scorecards and try to walk in a pair of slick, oversized bowling shoes.
I loved those trips to Tecumseh to hang out with the girls. We all want to belong. We long for that place where everybody knows our name and they are glad we came. As adults, we may not verbalize this need well, but we all need the camaraderie of a bowling team. We need this social connection especially when life roughs us up and we feel like we might break from the never-ending decisions and disappointments.
Gutter Balls Keep You Humble
In tribute to Mom and her teammates’ 1965 championship win, I recently posed with some of my girlfriends after we bowled a couple of games with the guys. What a fun way to get some exercise and laugh at yourself for a gutter ball or two (or three)!
Did you know that the earliest forms of bowling date back to ancient Egypt around 5200 B.C.? Maybe even then they were onto something with combining sport with socializing. Burn some calories and shoot the breeze.
What time shall I meet you at Lane 7?
This one’s a strike! and was written just for me, I think. God love ya, Beth!
Edie, I’m glad this one bowled you over in a positive way. Thank you for your encouraging words.
My daughter works at her Uncle Ron’s bowling alley in Tecumseh. You nailed it with the social connections made there. Hannah enjoys her patrons and enjoy her. The need for a third job in their household, (her husband works F/T, she raises 3 acres of pumpkins and produce daytime and works at bowling alley 3 evenings/week while her husband takes the kids,), helps her interact with the local farmers and people of the surrounding area. She is also becoming known for her plant wisdom, since she also works for us at Stone Ridge Farm all year raising the vegetable bedding plants for us and helping with everything. We watch in admiration as she waits on customers with easy camaraderie.
Our need for meaningful social interaction has been built into us by God. He’s a social being too, as a Trinity.
Christy (Bartels) Lade
Oh, Christy, I love hearing this about Hannah. Good for her! The bowling alley in Tecumseh is such a social hit and has been for decades. Hannah is a dedicated wife, mother, horticulturist and recreation employee. I can see why you are all so proud of her. And, you are absolutely right about God designing us with the need for relationship, particularly a relationship with Him.
Can’t think of another bowling pun right now but loved this! 🙂
Thank you, Nancy. I am SPLIT over which bowling puns and terms to use in this reply. You always BOWL ME OVER with your wit. 🙂