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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

July 10, 2009

The "New" Horseshoes

I am writing this just as the 4th of July is coming to a close. Rev. Tussing headed off to South Dakota with a group of 18 youth from DCC to do mission work on a Sioux Indian Reservation for the week. I headed to Lima to visit my parents for the holiday.

I observed something on this 4th of July that causes me to make the following statement: I think that "corn hole games" (tossing bean bags) have become the "new" horseshoes.

OK, those of you 50 and older, do you remember when people used to play horseshoes? If you are younger than 50, horseshoes is a game you play where you throw heavy iron horseshoes and try to "ring" them around a stake in the ground. I remember as a kid that no family picnic was complete without a rousing game of horseshoes. I recall many, many family picnics and summertime gatherings where horseshoes were played.

My most vivid memory, however, involves a 4th of July picnic when I was only four or five years old. My young cousin decided to run across the yard just as her dad, my uncle, tossed a horseshoe. Seeing that she was running into the path of the heavy, iron horseshoe, my uncle called her name in an attempt to stop her. But upon hearing her name, she turned towards him just as the horseshoe struck her squarely on the forehead. I remember lots of blood and chaos and my uncle gathering her up in his arms and running with her to the emergency room which happened to be directly across the street. The story has a happy ending in that my cousin was and continues to be fine. But the horror of it traumatized everyone at the picnic, and I rarely ever see my cousins when we don't bring up the "horseshoe incident."

So, why am I talking about this? Because horseshoes used to be one of those things families did to bond and have fun together. It was a part of culture, like baseball and apple pie. And even though I don't think horseshoes are played much any more, what I noticed this past 4th of July was that nearly every family gathering that my family and I passed as we made our way to Lima involved people playing corn hole games. I bet we passed at least a half a dozen picnics and gatherings where people were tossing bean bags and cooking out and laughing and generally enjoying time together. THAT much hasn't changed. Families still want to bond and have fun together on the 4th of July.

And I bet the ER is a lot less busy now that "corn hole games" are the "new" horseshoes.

Shalom, Pastor Lisa Bowersock

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