Many people recognize the statement "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times," even if they don't remember these words as the opening lines of Charles Dickens' novel A Tale of Two Cities.
This week (as I write, not as you read) could fit into that category.
The folks attending campmeeting at Lumpkin Campground will weigh in on the side of “best of times,” particularly relating to the weather.
“The Lord has really blessed us this year,” one regular tenter said. “I don't remember when we have had such great weather.”
Of course, some of those "regular tenters" now have air-conditioned eating and sleeping quarters, and all of them have fans to create cool breezes when nature fails.
But old-timers well remember using “funeral home fans” to attempt to reduce the effect of blazing summer sun on uninsulated tin roofs.
This year's worshippers are also enjoying a completely reconstructed arbor with extra rows of ceiling fans and new, more comfortable benches.
They will also tell you that the three daily services are filled with spiritual sermons, music, and testamonies, as well as evidence of prayer meetings, children's activities, and youth assemblies between services.
And nobody, but nobody, will question the excellence of food and fellowship.
Although not a tentholder, I have attended many of the services and agree with the assessment that this is indeed an outstanding year.
I also agree with the Dawson County Commissioners' assessment that Senior Center Director Margie Weaver is certainly a county treasure.
For 14 years I helped deliver Meals on Wheels and for at least a decade served on Margie's Advisory Council; I still participate in some of the center's activities.
So I have rejoiced in watching the center grow and bloom as it moved from the old quarters in the basement of what was the doctors' offices on 53-East to the new (1991) building in the Park and its more recent renovation.
Like the Lumpkin Campground facilities, the comparison makes one appreciate the present and be grateful for those who have helped bring the transformations.
The week, however, has not been without its low moments. I have been saddened by the realization that foreclosures and job losses can happen to my dear friends and neighbors — they are not just statistics reported in the daily news.
Unfortunately, illness and death do not take a holiday just because campmeeting services reach a high. I commiserate with a couple of friends whose current health problems prevent their attending services, and I deeply sympathize with another friend whose son is buried.
Even as I pack my bag to go for a visit with relatives in Florida, I am aware that, because of age and physical condition of two of those (and myself), this could be a final joyful visit together.
Before I leave, however, I have wonderful fresh-from-the-garden vegetables to enjoy, thanks to some generous friends and neighbors.
Knowing the work involved in planting, cultivating, and harvesting such goodies, I appreciate being the recipient of the fruits of those labors.
So I add fried okra and squash, boiled corn, and ripe red tomatoes to my list of the week's blessings.
Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.