Pam and Guy Wyche attended separate boy’s and girl’s schools in their native Macon GA. Their parents, who shared adjacent desks at a local business, decided their children ought to meet, so Pam’s father invited Guy to go fishing. A few expeditions later, there was Pam. Fifty years later, it has proven a solid arranged marriage.
Guy inherited a crystal punch bowl from his grandmother. “As far as I know, it had never been used.” After they moved to southern Alabama in 1999, Pam decided to put it to good use. “I was a newcomer, still am by Alabama standards. Every year I have a punch bowl party. I invite all the newcomers in the area for coffee punch. They each bring a covered dish.” Over the years the range of ‘newcomers’ in this small town has spread to encompass the entire world. Pam has hosted women from Argentina, Bolivia, Korea, Israel, and India. “This a very nice neighborhood. We have neighbors who are Black, Iranian, Hindi, and Greek.” The melting pot that is America continues to stir, and in Alabama they rub shoulders over coffee punch.
One gallon strong black coffee
Two pints half and half
One gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
Three Tablespoons vanilla extract
Adapted from Glorious Goodness Cookbook, published by the Junior League of Macon GA
How will we live tomorrow?
Pam responded by presenting a portion of a Christmas letter she received from Claire Cox, a longtime friend from Macon:
‘Recently, we were privileged to hear Jannise Ray, a Georgia author, naturalist and environmental activist, speak at the Biennial Longleaf Alliance Conference. She responded to the question, “Are you hopeful for the future of our world in terms of the environment and our ability to care for, restore, and protect it.” With my apologies to Janisse for my inability to relate her beautiful words from memory, she responded she does not depend on hope. Hope rises and falls with losses and wins, with small steps forward and devastating blows to progress. Janisse said her work and life’s passion are based on love, for when you love something you can’t help but give yourself to it completely.
‘This thought resonates as 2016 draws to a close. We feel that this country, its environmental resources, people of color, those who have been displaced because of war and lack of opportunity, women, those created by God to love in ways our world shuns – in other words, people and places in this country that we love – have received a devastating blow. How do we celebrate the joy of Christmas when our hope has been shattered? At the thought of that question, Janisse’s words come and remind us that love is what Jesus brought to earth. Love is what he showed us in flesh and bone. Love is what he taught in action and word.
‘So, when elections, leaders, and even fellow Christians fail us…when pine tress die because rains don’t come…when jobs are uncertain because leadership changes…when people around us suffer discrimination, sexism, and lack of opportunity… We plant more trees. We search community to put love in action. We work with groups who protect our natural resources. We fight harder for justice in our courts. We find what God calls us to do.’