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rituals and traditions

May 25, 2013

Rituals and traditions are important.  When something happens frequently enough that it becomes a ritual or tradition, it can add consistency and order to ones life.   I think the true value of rituals and traditions comes when your life is chaotic or rife with change as they can be a source of stability and predictability.

One of my rituals/traditions is to attend the Mennonite Relief Sale in New Hamburg each year.  I think I first attended in high school and while I can’t guarantee I have gone every year since, I can’t think of why I might have missed a year.  For those of you not familiar with the Relief Sale, officially the main attraction is the quilt auction.  However, for most of us ‘locals’ its about food and friends.  The food is fantastic and widely varied.  Everyone has their favorites: the foods they are willing to wait in line for, the foods they consume more than once while at the event, the foods they anticipate for weeks in advance.  The Relief Sale is also a place to connect with people.  There are people I can count on seeing at the relief sale, and when I was younger I stayed for hours in an effort to bump into as many friends as possible.

For many of us, the Relief Sale is also a reminder of the Mennonite tradition of sharing skills and the simple things around us to help others.   From potatoes, milk, flour, and yeast (and a few other ingredients) and time and muscle you can get wonderful tasty donuts.  In an era when it is easier to share money than time, the Relief Sale calls many of us to share our time.  To remember that working together with others, over several hours, to produce donuts to be sold is a great way to build community.   I’ve had a lot of great laughs and conversations over the years while kneading dough and washing dishes and trays.

Rituals and traditions are good.   My annual Mennonite Relief Sale traditions and the entire event is good.  What are you traditions and rituals?  What good do they bring your life?

For more about the Mennonite Relief Sale read this news report or visit the official Relief Sale website.

Sky Report at 10:00 – as I predicted with Cliff around 8:00 am, it was a clear blue sky at 10:00

Yarn Strands: the two blues


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One Comment
  1. sue permalink

    You’re right Megan, traditions and rituals, very unique for different families, are precioius! My memories of the Relief Sale, about 39 years ago; I came to the Sale and then stopped in to see “the new baby”! There you were in your Mother’s arms, (with 2 1/2 yr old twins also seeking Mom’s lap). . . that was a precious sight! How you’ve grown into your own unique woman, with an appreciation of those traditions that keep us grounded and connected as families and communities.

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