I had a triple last week. No, not on the softball field, but in the field of blessings.
I had the blessing of meeting some Daily Journal readers — yes, the ones who actually read through to the Accent section on Saturday mornings and after reading Ryan Trares’ spell-binding features on local giants or geographical wonders, they look down to the next column, take a sip of strong black coffee and hesitantly think something like: “Well, I’ve read this far, I might as well keep reading.” (Thank you to the few and unashamed).
The second blessing was being asked to share some stories about two of my favorite subjects — faith and family — to the Double-Nickel group at Providence Christian Church. The January email invitation I received also contained an alluring note: “My name is Connie Pevler Clark and I am an elder at Providence Christian Church, southwest of Bargersville. Before I go on any farther, I would also like to share we are distantly related — my grandmother Lakie Hommell Pevler and your grandfather Ralph (Hommel) were brother and sister.”
(Yes, thanks for noticing that there is an added “l” or loss of “l” in the last name depending on one’s viewpoint — but that’s another story.)
Now just in case you might be wondering, “Janet, how have you not met family who lives mere minutes from you in Johnson County?” I will suffice by reminding you that great-grandfather Alonzo and Margaret Hommel(l) had 11 children. My great-aunt Lakie was fourth (I think) of the 11, while my grandfather Ralph was the youngest. My dad, Frank, is the eldest of Ralph’s brood of 11 — while I am the third of seven of Frank and Betty’s team.
Figuring out the Hommel genealogy can be as complex as reading the genealogy in the book of Numbers. Now I don’t like to brag, but I did use a big white-board to map out the genealogy to show how Connie and her sister Linda were my second cousins. What I’m most proud of — and again, I don’t want to brag — is obviously impressing their pastor, Steven Sorensen, by using the Biblical term “begat.” I’m fairly certain I uttered these words: From the descendants of Alonzo — the son of James, begat Ralph, who begat Frank. If you think about it, we really don’t use the word ‘begat’ enough.
The third blessing was not only meeting my two second-cousins Connie Pevler Clark and Linda Sandlin, but also meeting Sorensen and listening to stories about my dad from the always-spunky Lorraine Sloop, whose husband O.J. was my dad’s high school basketball coach.
I also got to meet a straightforward woman named Pat Gillett, who is a retired English teacher from Franklin who complimented me with this: “I always read your column — and then I edit it.”
I love the people of Johnson County.
Happy Easter, and if you don’t have a church home check out the family at Providence Christian Church. They have Easter breakfast at 7:30 a.m., Sunday school at 9 a.m. and Easter worship service at 10 a.m.