Living in a church parsonage, or “manse” as some would be more familiar, presents some interesting situations. Some of my pastor friends shared stories of people walking into the parsonage unannounced. After all, it was the “church’s house.” We did not encounter any of these instances in the two parsonages we lived in. We did enc0unter an interesting circumstance when we moved to N. Central Texas twenty years ago.
I had been accustomed to caring for the yard at our former “church house.” In fact, I enjoyed mowing the grass. Mowing has/had never been an issue. I mowed my first lawn at 9 for “Nannaw P.” During the summer months while in high school I ran a mowing business with my brother Paul and later Patty joined the team. We cared for more lawns than we cared to and often covered for Joe when he was on vacation as he did for us.
When I began talking about the yard in our new “church house” I was told, “Cordell mows the yard.” Now Cordell mowed the church yard. He also mowed the parsonage. The church paid him to mow the church yard and we paid for him to mow the parsonage. I have to admit at first this just seemed strange.
We lived in that “church house” for four years. We got to know Cordell and Arty Myrtle. Great people. Ornery. Fun. Opinionated. Hard working. I would pay for Cordell to mow my yard again and again given the opportunity. He loved my family. He loved me.
Ronnie called while we were out of town. I returned the call last night. Ronnie is Cordell’s son. We got to know each other a bit while we lived in Milford. Cordell had mowed his last quite a few years ago. He was near 94. He had outlived Arte Myrtle. He outlived his brother and sister in law – Crockett and Miss Thelma. His body gave way. I will always remember the words, “Cordell mows the parsonage.” I am glad he did.