Did you know that laughter is good for your health? We’ve all heard that “laughter is the best medicine.” It’s true. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, laugher can:
- Enhance your intake of oxygen-rich air
- Stimulate your heart, lungs and muscles
- Increase the endorphins released by your brain
- Activate and relieve your stress response
- Sooth tension
- Improve your immune system
- Relieve pain
- Increase personal satisfaction
- Improve your mood
With that in mind, I must be one REALLY healthy gal!!! Why? Because last night I had not only the Monday MmmMmmMmm, but I also had the Monday HaHaHa!
You see, Jeff and I were invited to attend a reunion of team members from the missions trip Jeff went on in May of 2012 to Biloxi, Mississippi. I was not part of the team; however as a spouse of a team member I was honored to attend and to “eavesdrop” on the reminiscing!
Andy, one of the team members, and his wife, Maureen, hosted the group. The reason for the get-together was the debut of the new food network show, The Shed. The Shed is a BBQ and Blues joint in Ocean Springs, MS and was one of the stops on the missions team’s itinerary during their trip. In honor of the debut, Andy and Maureen served some rockin’ Q with some sauces from Central PA and from The Shed.
In addition the beef brisket, pulled pork and ribs, they also served macaroni and cheese, chips and dip, and baked beans. Being an “outsider,” I came with food in hand to earn my place – I made a new coleslaw recipe.
After a great prayer to kick off the evening, we dug into the food. There’s something great about the atmosphere created when you serve BBQ and beer. People seem to roll up their sleeves and automatically relax. The group talked and laughed and ate and ate and ate. Once you’ve bonded with folks on a missions trip, it seems you’re no longer self-conscious about eating heartily or shy about taking the last of anything!
Before the 10:00 PM kickoff of the shed, we watched the sneak preview aired by food network on Sunday. Not only was it a great intro to the show, it was really neat for me to watch the group interact and remember the funky place they had been. The team members recognized folks on the show, talked about what they ate when they visited The Shed, and laughed about the time they shared as though it was just yesterday.
After the sneak preview, there was still time before the kickoff show aired, so Andy broke out his journal from the trip. Each team member (and even us non team members) who attended last night’s reunion was interested in hearing Andy’s recorded memories. It was cool for me to learn that Andy is quite sentimental at heart. He saved pamphlets and menus and other documents from the trip and carefully shared them with the group. The following are scanned images of The Shed menu Andy saved:
Of course, those who were not in attendance were remembered as well! Not only were they fondly remembered, but they were also lovingly teased as well – please remember, I wrote ‘LOVINGLY’! They were not the only ones who were mocked for their eccentricities – those in attendance took their share of ribbing too!
At 10:00, when Andy tuned into the show, a hush fell over the crowd and all eyes were glued to the television set. We watched the show and had a lot of laughs. The Shed (the place) seems like a fun place to work and it seems like the family who runs it is living their passion. The Shed (the show) on food network is kind of like Duck Dynasty, but with a loose focus on food. I couldn’t help but think it would be great fun to assemble the group every Monday night to watch the show, but real life will prevent that from happening.
Jobs and kids and commitments will get in the way; but for one night the group got to reassemble and remember – and I was honored to have been a part of it. When Jeff returned home from his trip and told me what an amazing group of people he travelled with, I believed him but had no frame of reference. Since the trip, I’ve gotten to know some of the team members better and had a little better understanding. But last night, seeing them in action, I got a first-hand look at how well the team had bonded.
Take a look at some photos of the night:
It’s interesting that I find myself writing about a place I’ve never visited and that makes food I’ve never tasted (well, that’s not EXACTLY true, I DO have a bottle of Shed Sauce in my fridge). Typically I write reviews about places I HAVE eaten.
I cannot comment on the food, but I can tell you that the group shared a term with me that they coined at The Shed – ‘audible eating.’ Audible eating would probably give Emily Post nightmares if she were still among the living. Audible eating comes from using no silverware and eating amazing food – it’s the sound of finger-licking and mmm’ing and slurping. Perhaps it is the sound of utter culinary satisfaction!
And I can also tell you that the group I hung with last night included many “ShedHeds.” In fact, this group and other groups from Daybreak Church who have been to The Shed have been known to mail-order Shed Sauce. Fortunately, it’s now available in our area so that’s no longer necessary.
So I can tell you for certain that if I ever find myself in Ocean Springs, MS, I WILL visit The Shed. And I can tell you for certain that having a Monday HaHaHa does for the soul what having a Monday MmmMmmMmm does for the stomach. I hope you have a group of folks with whom you can simply laugh – those rich, deep belly-laughs that will improve your health!
Share a laugh with others…what’s your favorite joke?