A BOUNTEOUS SUMMER - A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO LIVE
|Summer Kitchen - Buy at Allposters.com|
And kind of like me, who decides a half hour past my bedtime to begin a new post. Here I sit, looking like the last rose of summer and tired as August's last onion, but feeling exceedingly grateful for all my blessings. And grateful for all of yours, whether or not you know about them. The fact is, if I have the time, electricity, and ability to sit and write this, and you have a way, and the ability to read this, then I would say we are both blessed, wouldn't you? The Internet is the oracle, bringing much of what has ever been known or discovered along with all of our stories right into all our homes, and we are just the happy go lucky recipients of all of it. Wow!
But tonight I am also thankful for some pretty good lab results, and (not necessarily in the correct order) for my four cats, the dog, the faithful high school sweetheart who is still hanging around my living room just as he first did in 1970 when I was fresh out of tenth grade, for my beautiful children, and for all the work I have to do. Especially tonight, I am thankful for the work.
Tonight I rejoice that tomorrow there are floors to be swept and mopped, bathrooms to be cleaned, furniture to be dusted, and a front porch to be swept. I know that with time, soap, water, a few tools and my effort, I can make this place shine and sparkle for the weekend. Some people have no home, some are grieving, some are laying weak and still in a hospital bed, so many are alone, but I am blessed to have a home, a family, and the physical ability to work every bit as hard as I could when I was twenty. Probably more so, considering what a little princess I was back then! Yeesh!
And isn't it wonderful how God can still change and grow us no matter how old we get? For instance, I used to be so overwhelmed with knowing that I could not finish all my work or projects, so in a sense, I was never really done at the end of the day, or ever. So I would just work myself all up into a tizzy or else just kind of drop out and not attempt much of anything. Finally, I am realizing that life is a process and when we show up for it every day and give things a good try, then we have been successful.
So I think that we should be happy with ourselves when we know we've tried our best, and when we haven't, we should just ask God to help us be better, and then forgive ourselves and start again in the morning. So in the morning, I hope to get up early enough to make my 30 minute Irish oatmeal, load it up with berries and walnuts, a dab of butter, some milk and a spoonful of maple syrup, and delight myself in the awesomeness of it all. Then I'll head off to clean the church, and return to clean the domestic church, our house.
And then of course, there are the late summer food chores to be undertaken. I have a huge zucchini squash still sitting on the counter, half of which I might cook and mash with butter and have for lunch along with some leftover rotisserie chicken and cold Bartlett pears, ripe to perfection at this moment. Now the other half of the squash will make a healthy batch of sweet zucchini bread, some to have at tomorrow's afternoon coffee break, and some to freeze.
I also have a bag full of crabapples, which I spied in the large yard surrounding an old farmhouse. Because I am a shameless peasant, and my friend JoAnn, another shameless peasant, was with me in the car (we had just come back from getting some eggs from a farm down the road), I backed up, pulled into the driveway, knocked on the door and asked the lovely lady who answered it if she'd mind me picking a few crab apples. She seemed surprised and said, "Are those any good to eat?"
"They might make some good jelly", I weakly responded, as if I wasn't sure myself. As if!! I simply did not want to seem too enthusiastic, lest she decide to hoard them for herself and take up jelly-making on the spot. I should not have worried about that, however. It turns out Renee (she was generous enough to offer her name along with the crab apples) has a real job and a real career doing some kind of social work at the children's hospital and thus probably hasn't the time to make jelly, and certainly neither the time nor inclination to drive around spying out lonely fruit in the yards of strangers, like some people I know.
So Jo and I jumped at the chance. I took the egg cartons out of the plastic bag they were in, and used that for the crab apples. As we were finishing, JoAnn mused as how she would have loved it if the lady had a fig tree too, for that is what she truly had a hankering for: ripe figs. Well, I thought this was rather nervy of her to go wishing for something else for free when here we already were getting something for free, and for figs of all things! Perhaps I should just wish for a money tree, then, hmm? But all I said was, "Yeah, uh-huh".
Well, guess what? As we came back to the car in the driveway, what should we behold, but a large fig tree!
I should have guessed as much, because those old farmsteads pretty much had everything but a super Walmart growing around them back in the day. Well, JoAnn got really excited, and all I said was, "Well that is wonderful, Jo-jo, and when you knock on the door to thank Renee for the crab apples, you can ask her if you can a have a couple of figs". And she did!
And Renee said, "Why sure! You can have all you want because we don't eat them at all!" What a doll. God sure does make some cool people.
And that is just another example of how ridiculously blessed we are and most of the time we forget to notice. Because wasn't He simply awesome to plant that hankering in my friend's head probably exactly 120 years after He planted the fig tree right where she could see it a century or so later? Well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that JoAnn was effusive in her thanks, but I just smiled, and all I said to Renee was, "Do you have a bag, then?"