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The Bible Tells Me

I’m not the Bible scholar I should be. I know some verses; not as many as I ought. Still, I find most of my experiences can be framed or underscored, explained or illuminated, by Scripture. Or maybe a hymn or a worship song, a devotional or a testimony. Frequently, I have those “Oh, yeah” moments when I see God clearly in an event. Or realized that I should have seen Him.

These are the moments of “The Bible tells me.”

These essays reflect that. Do know that I can proof-text as well as anyone. I have a concordance, and I know how to use it. Well, truthfully, I do all of that online now, where I can quickly find a passage, see it in many versions, and choose the one I like best. I try not to be narrow, but instead broad, as I apply Bible words to my experiences. I know that your interpretations and understanding may be different than mine. But I also know that our God is big enough for all of us.

I have a friend who, in her prayer time, likes to tell jokes to God. “I know He knows the punch line,” she says. “But I tell them anyway. He likes it when I laugh.”

He likes it when I laugh. I’m going to hang on to that. It’s Biblical. The Bible tells me.

Our mouths were filled with laughter then,
and our tongues with shouts of joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord had done great things for us;
we were joyful.

Psalm 126: 2,3 (HCSB)


So Long, Old Friend

This cookbook was a wedding gift to me from a couple of Baylor friends. Looking back, I wonder if they asked my mother what would be an appropriate gift, and Mother, a little afraid that David and I might starve to death or go bankrupt always eating out, suggested that a good cookbook would be useful. And it was.

 

Instead of sections of pages of recipes for Main Dishes, Vegetables, Salads, Desserts, etc., each page or two-page spread had a suggested menu and all the recipes for those foods. And there might be a cute little line drawing, or, like this, a nice full-color photo of the foods, which might or might not have been a good idea. Sometimes what I prepared looked similar to the pictured foods. Sometimes no one would have recognized what I cooked.

There were sections for casual meals and special meals, simple meals and when-guests-come-over meals. And, if a recipe made more than one meal’s worth of food, there were suggestions for how to use those leftovers. There was always a main dish, a vegetable, a salad, a bread, and a dessert. I certainly didn’t prepare all the foods. Sometimes the recipes were for things like seafood. And beets. And salads/desserts with coconut.

It’s where I learned about Snickerdoodle cookies.

The cover came off ages ago. And a few of the first pages (introduction, table of contents, etc.). But it’s been on the cookbook shelf, wherever that shelf happened to be, since 1971. I got it down a couple of days ago, needing that Snickerdoodle recipe, and discovered that the back cover has now disengaged. And I thought, maybe it’s time. I don’t think I ever get it out except for the cookies. I went and copied the recipe, trimmed it down, and glued it onto a page in the “Cookie” section of a three-ring binder where I put recipes that I’ve tried, with success, and written down or cut out and glued down. The homemade version of a Family Favorites cookbook.

I thought I should go through the Dinner for Two Cookbook and cut out recipes that we liked and I should keep. But frankly, the things that we liked are things that I made again and again, and I don’t really need those recipes any more. I’m going to look again, just to be sure. But I think that there won’t be many that I need to keep.

 

   … yet I will not forget you.
 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.

Isaiah 49: 15b-16

 

There are precious things we remember. There are many, many parts of our days and weeks that we consider once and never think about again. Sometimes, we remember the things that aren’t very significant and forget things that should have stayed with us. But no matter what, we never become insignificant and unimportant to our Heavenly Father.

When It Rains, It . . . Just Keeps on Raining

The latest hand-washed dishes, sitting on a towel on the counter, because I don’t have a dish drainer. And I’m not getting one; I don’t want the house to think, “Oh, it’s okay if the dishwasher doesn’t work, she has a dish drainer she can use.” Nope. Nope, nope, nope.

Two years ago, we got a new dishwasher. The old one had developed a leak in the door, and repairing it was a little iffy (expense-wise), so we opted for a new one. And, I made the decision in a hurry, because we’d been without one for almost a month, and I was growing weary with handwashing the dishes. I didn’t do any research, other than walking around the store and talking with an employee who might, or might not, have had all the information. Anyway, the thing isn’t working properly now. No water seems to be going in, and the dishes aren’t clean and the little soap packet is just sitting there, undissolved, in the bottom. The repairman is supposed to be here, right now, Thursday afternoon, as I write this. He called to say he’s beginning to feel sick and running a temperature, and didn’t think he should come. But, he’s planning to come tomorrow.

Maybe.

We’ll see.

 

Meantime, I was putting dinner together for David. I had a frozen vegetable thing to microwave and add to some fajita chicken meat that I had also pulled from the freezer. I sat it on a plate on the turntable in the microwave and set the timer to the appropriate length of time. It was supposed to sit for a minute, and then I should take it out and carefully open the package and pour out the nicely heated up corn and vegetables.

When I pulled the microwave door open, the handle came off in my hands. The microwave oven’s last hurrah.

You might notice that black X on one end of the handle. That’s the lower end of the handle, and, years ago, that part came loose. David put that X on it to remind people to not pull at the bottom. Even so, I guess the years of being the only part of the handle to take the pulling pressure finally became too much, and POP, it broke.

I’ve always been a little unhappy with myself for not doing better research on dishwashers. And I’m not making the same mistake, now. I went online to get information about microwaves, but all I found was lists of them, and prices, and features. The only place that had information about how they were rated was the Consumer Reports website, which is restricted to subscribers. I caved. For $6.95, I purchased a month’s subscription. In minutes, I found the information I needed. I checked online to see which ones were available, and, later this afternoon/evening, I’m planning to go get one.

The next problem is that Kevin and April installed the microwave for us, more than ten years ago. I’m guessing they’re not going to drive down here and put it in for us. And I’m quite confident that David and I are not at all in shape for that sort of thing. So, I’m getting Part One taken care of, we’ll have to see about Part Two.

 

God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

1 Peter 5:7 (Contemporary English Version)

Later on Friday: We went to see about a new microwave. They have the one we want, but not in white (which I do want, so it will match the other appliances). It’s on back-order and won’t arrive until February 3. But they will deliver it and install it. And David says it is possible to pry open the microwave.

AND-the microwave salesman says I should check the dishwasher filter. Maybe the dishwasher problem is that easy to solve.

Some Glad Morning

We’ve lost a couple of friends in the past month. A good friend in California, earlier in December, and a kind woman, on New Year’s Eve.

It seems hard to have dark emotions at a time of year when we’re accustomed to feeling excited and happy. As those anniversaries come, year after year, facing them takes strength, a different understanding of the term “Missing Person.”

And this brings me, in a sort of convoluted way, to a conversation I had with a friend Thursday morning.

This friend is pretty good at dream interpretation. He doesn’t like to do it, though, because, as dreams are the way our brains work on problems and issues and knotty situations, the explanations can sometimes be sober and difficult. I haven’t asked for help with a dream in years, so I thought maybe I could get a response. He agreed, and I launched my story.

“I dreamed that Donald Trump had asked me to come and make a public service announcement. So, we all went: me and David and Kevin and April and Peter and Jeremy and Sarah … in our white station wagon. As we were driving down our street, we saw Sarah’s family, in their blue station wagon, and they had turned the corner and were going the wrong way, and we said, ‘This way! Follow us!’ When we arrived, the building was enormous, with huge rooms, and everything all gilded, the way you see in photos of Trump properties. The place was full of people, and Secret Service agents kept coming up to me with photographs and asking me to identify the people in the pictures, and were they were my friends. A bunch of preschoolers came by and I talked with them for a little while. Then, a church friend came and brought me a book, and we decided to go the to restroom, to see what the Trump restrooms looked like. They also were all golden and everything worked really well. Then we were in a banquet hall, all seated at tables, and a Secret Service man brought me a cardboard carton and put it in my lap. When I opened it up, I saw that it was full of toy plastic guns. And I said, ‘Ohhhhh. They want me to tell parents that children shouldn’t play with toy guns because they may find a real gun and not know that it’s dangerous and hurt themselves or other people.’ That was my dream. What do you think?”

And, an astonishing thing, I had remembered the dream. I don’t usually remember any of my dreams. And, I got up in the night for a restroom visit. When I went back to bed and fell asleep, I picked up the dream where I left off and it kept going.

The interpretation I got: “I don’t want you to feel anxious and worried, but this seems like you’re concerned about dying. There are streets and buildings made of gold and people that you know and love are there. And, it seems like, in heaven, you will be a teacher, like you are now. And the guns? I don’t know. You might be worried that people in your family are going to get shot. Maybe.” (Apparently, dream interpretation from a friend is not an exact science.)

“I’m not worried at all,” I said. I am pretty compromised, from a health standpoint. As far as I know, I’m not at death’s door just yet. But, I’m not really a candidate for becoming a centenarian.

 

Hear what God says!

    In the last days,
    I will offer My Spirit to humanity as a libation.
    Your children will boldly speak the word of the Lord.
    Young warriors will see visions,
        and your elders will dream dreams.

Acts 2: 17 (The Voice)

It sounds like a wonderful eternity–a beautiful place, people I love, a nice banquet hall, little kids. And, if there are some folks there that I don’t care for so much, that will be Someone Else’s responsibility.

Here’s a link to the song lyrics for Some Glad Morning.

 

Christmas Perfect, or Christmas Memorable

If all your Christmases run smoothly, and everything’s perfect–just like it was so carefully planned, how do you remember one Christmas from another? Do they just blur together, in one big holiday collage of red and green and a tree and lights?

Not at our house. We live in RealWorldLand, where the best laid plans stay lying around, being balky and uncooperative, which means that we are often, at holiday time, remembering previous disasters/missteps/etc. Like, “Remember the time Mom put Snickers bars in the toes of our Christmas stockings, and we had the fire going on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning, and when we dug the candy bars out, they were all melted in their wrappers?” Stuff like that. Nothing particularly serious. Just memorable.

Jeremy and Sarah arrived the Friday before Christmas, from New York. They rented a car and drove to Waco from DFW airport. (Even though Jeremy really appreciates the public transportation in New York, he seems to have missed, a little bit, being able to drive.) We had a pretty relaxing time, doing some cooking (there were still some apples left over from Halloween, and they crafted some homemade applesauce, which was yummy, and for Christmas dessert, they made Apple Crisp). Memorable.

Jeremy dug through the game closet and pulled out games to play.

Jeremy and Sarah and I played a round of Ticket to Ride. Then we played again with David. I was in last place, seriously in last place, both times. Then, we played again with Kevin. I won. By a lot! Which proves that, while a little bit of skill is important, luck plays a significant part in this game. Memorable.

Also memorable this year, April wasn’t able to come. Peter had been sick, but was well enough to come (if you don’t count that fact that his ears were still stopped up and he often appeared to be ignoring us). April, however, was pretty sick, missed her own family’s celebration, and stayed in Fort Worth. We’ll remember that Christmas without April, but we hope it doesn’t happen again.

As I planned and prepared for Christmas dinner, I kept thinking, “Oh, I should have  . . . .” And I bought the ingredients. (And, I had actually baked and sliced two small turkey breasts for Christmas dinner ‘way back right after Thanksgiving, and put them in the freezer. Unusually ahead of time.) Quite memorable.

Kevin and Peter were arriving late afternoon on  Christmas, and we were cooking and getting ready for a good part of the day. The counter just kept getting more and more crowded. Just as I was putting some of the final dishes out, I suddenly felt really weak and shaky. I plopped into the rocking chair in the kitchen and said, “My blood sugar’s low.” “What do you need? What do you need!” “Juice,” I said. “There’s white grape juice in the fridge door.” They brought it over, and kept putting out food and arranging things. The turkey was heating up in the oven, and they kept asking what else was supposed to be out and where was it. Finally, it was just the turkey that needed to come out.

Some nice, sliced turkey pieces, lying artfully amid the glass pie plate shards.

 

Jeremy picked up the glass pie pan that was holding the turkey slices and carried it to the serving area. About three inches away, the pan slipped from the pot holder in his hand and crashed to the floor. Turkey and glass shards everywhere. Fortunately, some of the turkey was still in the oven. On another pie plate.

Jeremy looked down at the mess and said, “Was that plate special?” “Well,” I admitted. “It belonged to my mother … but I have the other one. There’s another one!” There was enough turkey for everyone (well, for the everyone who’s not vegetarian). Pretty memorable.

 

The kids worked on a desk/bookshelf for David’s office. Then they erected a small enclosed (plastic) greenhouse sort of thing, for me to use to keep my plants safe during the winter. Mem.Or.A.Ble!

And some things aren’t all that memorable; they’re just traditions that we like to keep up!

We went to the Christmas Eve service. Maybe we won’t remember the exact details a few months from now, but it was good to see family members who have come back for the holiday to visit. It was good to sit in the dark with my own family, and hear the songs and the story. It was good to see the candlelights all around the room. It was memorable.

 

Mary, too, pondered all of these events, treasuring each memory in her heart.

Luke 2:19 (The Voice)

Wishing you many memorable moments to treasure in your heart.

 

Growing My Own Christmas Dinner . . . Sort of

If you’d told me, years ago, that I would find plant nurseries to be places where I have no self control, I’ve have been skeptical. But you’d have been right.

am trying to be better about not looking at every cute plant and assuming, “I can grow that!” I’m getting more responsible about paying attention to light needs and water needs. And reality.

A while back, I found some seed packages at Calloway’s Nursery in Fort Worth. “I can do that,” I said to myself, and bought them. Microgreens. The idea is that they sprout and grow right inside your kitchen, and you just snip off the leaf tops and add them to your nice, green salad. And I thought that, yes, that would be a fun, interesting addition to Christmas dinner. One of the packages said, “14-20 days” until ready to harvest. I’d waited too late. The other one said “5-10 days.” Just right.

 

I planted them over the weekend.

I’m watering the pans with a spray bottle, to try to avoid completely drowning the little plants. The bottoms of the pans (which are cardboard) are slightly damp. I don’t want to get the soil all water-logged. But, I don’t really know how deep these roots go. So I’m keeping the surface damp, too.

The way things look now, there’s going to be a nice crop of MICRO-GREENS for our Christmas Day salad. Surely I can keep these things alive for three more days.

 

  Then he taught them many things by using stories. He said:

A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was scattering the seed, some of it fell along the road and was eaten by birds.Other seeds fell on thin, rocky ground and quickly started growing because the soil wasn’t very deep. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and dried up, because they did not have enough roots. Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. But a few seeds did fall on good ground where the plants produced a hundred or sixty or thirty times as much as was scattered. If you have ears, pay attention!

Matthew 13:3-9 (Contemporary Version)

I have to figure out how to take care of my own seeds. I have to figure out how to take care of my own deeds.

Meantime, while I don’t have any holly, the halls are decked, food’s been purchased, some of it prepared, and some tiny sprouts are waiting to be harvested. Have the happiest Christmas!

 

That Problem Finger Nail

Back in September, I described the removal of wart from a fingernail. When I went back several days later, to have the stitches removed, they said that it was a cyst and the biopsy results said that everything was fine.

This week, I went for another checkup, and the dermatologist explained more about the cyst. “It’s a digital myxoid cyst,” she said.

It seems that some of the fluid that lubricates the finger joints can leak out, and when it does, it travels toward the nail and can cause a cyst. And it can keep happening. Sometimes it doesn’t, but sometimes it does.

If it happens again, then there should probably be some surgery to keep the fluid from leaking and traveling from the joint up to the nail. And that, says the dermatologist, requires a hand surgeon.

The hand surgeon goes in and finds the source of the leak and repairs it. It’s pretty significant surgery.

“We’ll find you an orthopedic surgeon,” she said. “And we’ll send your biopsy results to them, so they’ll know what the situation is. And I really like your jacket.”

I had really thought it was all over and done with. And, it may be. But it might come back.

“And if it comes back, what if I don’t have the surgery,” I asked.

“Then, you’ll have another cyst. And you can decide.”

The cyst never hurt. It didn’t impair my finger’s ability to bend and work. I guess we’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, the nail, which had been growing all lumpy and bumpy when the cyst was present, is now growing out all nice and smooth. It’s still got several more weeks of growing for all that bumpy growth to reach the end of my finger and to get trimmed off. It doesn’t hurt at all. It just looks a little bit, um, not quite right.

But really, I don’t think that all that many people are staring at my hands and saying to themselves, “Whatever happened to that fingernail.?!?!?

Meanwhile, if you’d like some more information about digital myxoid cysts, you can go here.

 

You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you
    because of the wonderful way you created me.
Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt.

Nothing about me is hidden from you!
I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below,
but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed.
Even before I was born, you had written in your book
    everything I would do.

Psalm 139:13-16 (Contemporary English Version)

 

This doesn’t mean that the way is always going to be smooth, never rocky, always easy. It means that we’re going to have the capacity to deal with what comes.

I’m Trying to Become a Weather Believer

I know that weather forecasting is an imperfect science and those weather folks are doing the best they can. But, because it is an imperfect science and they are sometimes wrong … really wrong, I’m bad about discounting their advice. For example, I’ve killed trees and lawns by trusting that the expected rain will actually fall. Conversely, I’ve sent perfectly good plants to their early demises by not believing that the temperature will drop below freezing. NOT THIS YEAR!!

Many of the plants on my back patio are new this year, having been purchased to replace those that didn’t make it through the first freeze last year. I’ve tried to be a wise and good plant mother to them, and they all look pretty good. So I’ve been following the weather rather closely. And, according to the weather app on my phone, Thursday night the temperature was supposed to drop to 30. Actually, it’s not supposed to get down to 30 until 6:00 a.m. the next morning, but the high temperature for the day was at 9:00 a.m. (low 40’s), so I bundled myself up and dug out my long cuffed gloves and went out.

Everything else has to stay outside. We have a garage, which can keep the plants from freezing, but there’s not enough light, even if I keep the garage door up.

Several years ago, in our previous yard, I had some upright, white bougainvillea (yeah, I really like bougainvillea). Before a freeze, I went to the nursery to ask about how to protect them. “Put plastic over them?” I asked. “First,” the nurserymen said, “cover them with a sheet. That helps heat stay in. Then, cover that with plastic. Plastic alone can damage the plant.” I did that, but those plants aren’t really meant to be in the ground in Central Texas.

But, I remembered the “sheet, then plastic” advice, and went with that.

Sometimes, I can get away with just moving plants close to the house, because it’s a little warmer there, out of the wind, so I started with that.

Everything’s nestled all snug in their beds. The temps are supposed to be in the low to high 50’s for the next two days, but the overnight temps in the mid to low 30’s. And in a week, the high is supposed to be 70 with a low of 51. I think it’s just the beginning of my winter plant dance.

 

Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said
    will never change.

Isaiah 40:8 (Contemporary English Version)

 

Things like:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Luke 2:10-14 (New Revised Standard Version)

That Special Grandparent/Grandchild Bond

We went to a family wedding, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We were seated at a table with a couple of my cousins and their husbands. There were also a couple of empty chairs.

A cousin pointed to those chairs and said, “Bill and Karen couldn’t come. Karen’s sick.”

“Oh, no,” I said. “I’m sorry to hear that.”

“She kept the grandkids,” she said. “They were sick. And so she got sick.”

“Ah,” I said. “Been there. Done that.” And I explained how, last February, I went to Fort Worth for a couple of days to stay with Peter. The whole family had been sick, but Kevin and April were going back to work. Peter still had a temperature of 99, while meant he could not go back to preschool.

“Sure,” I had said, when they asked if I could come up to stay with Peter. He wasn’t really still sick.

But, he was. I came back to Waco on Friday afternoon. By Sunday morning, I had a bit of a scratchy throat and thought I shouldn’t go to be at church with little children. By Monday, I was truly sick. By Tuesday, I left my bed for quick trips to the bathroom. Otherwise, I was in bed.

My cousin related how she had stayed with her grandkids a while back, and picked up something they had. After she was back at home, she felt like she really needed to go to work, and did. And gave whatever it was to the rest of the office. She said her boss, not happy, said, “Next time? Stay home.”

Ha, ha. We had a good laugh.

The next afternoon, Kevin and April and Peter arrived. They were going to stay until Wednesday afternoon, and we were going to put up the tree and decorate it. And have fun.

Monday, Peter took a nap (unusual) for a couple of hours in the afternoon. That evening, we tried two thermometers to try to determine if he had a fever. We ended up not being sure. And, he didn’t really seem sick. Tuesday afternoon, he took another nap. At one point, he came in and said to Kevin, “I’m cold.” “Then go put your pajamas on,” said Kevin. Peter returned, carrying his pillow. “That’s your pillow,” said Kevin. “I know,” said Peter, putting it down on the floor and lying down on it.

Kevin scooted Peter so that his body was on his pillow and his head on a little square pillow he sometimes brings. Kevin covered him up with the comforter from his bed. And Peter slept another hour and a half. At one point, Peter opened his eyes and said, “I’m done with my nap.” And closed his eyes and went back to sleep.

Wednesday, he was all perky, and we all went to lunch together and they headed back to Fort Worth. On Friday, I felt a little throat-scratchy and head-achey. On Saturday, I was sneezing and blowing my nose. On Sunday, I stayed home from church. By Thursday morning, I felt much better. I had only woken up in the night a couple of times, when I needed to take Tylenol Super-Duper Cold and Flu, and I slept well for the first time in days. By Thursday afternoon, I was back to feeling achey and blowing my nose again.

Tiny kids with mighty germs.

 With all my heart
    I praise the Lord,
    and with all that I am
    I praise his holy name!
With all my heart
    I praise the Lord!
    I will never forget
    how kind he has been.

The Lord forgives our sins,
heals us when we are sick.

Psalm 103: 1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

And once again I am grateful for tissues in a box, and particularly for the Cool Touch Kleneex brand that feel so good on my red, problem nose. I’m glad that I can go to bed and not have to launder, hang out to dry, and iron any linen handkerchiefs.

 

 

‘Tis the Season–at Least We’re Getting There

It’s been a rather long and rather full couple of months. I’ve had a big writing assignment and been spending lots of time at the computer. And, well, there was Thanksgiving. Ish.

One of Peter’s favorite places to play is “behind the pillows.” It’s a hideout, a home base, or, this day, the library.

We’re fortunate to have Kevin and April and, of course, Peter, nearby, and therefore get to spend some, and sometimes quite a bit, of the holidays with them. This year, we had our holiday time earlier, rather than later. They came on Sunday afternoon. Peter and I spent Monday together, while Kevin, who was having a work-at-home day, and April, who had some accounting homework, went off with David to have a quiet, boy-less place to work. And the boy and I played (and I did some work).

He’d come with a runny nose and congestion and a cough. The sort of thing, I suppose, that’s “going around.” All morning, we took turns playing together, and then him playing alone while I did some work I needed to finish. After lunch, I kept hearing him hacking away, and then it got a little quieter. When I went to investigate, I found he’d created a nice, soft napping place, just right for little boys somewhat under the weather.

We’d already decided that, if we wanted them, well, Peter, to be able to help decorate the tree, it would have to be Tuesday evening, before they left to go back to Fort Worth on Wednesday afternoon. We planned a festive pre-tree-decorating dinner. Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup.

April and Peter put the tree together, and then I remembered that there’s an order about where things go and how they go. So I had to send April back out to the laundry room for Box 4. (Box 6 has the ornaments, and the tree’s in a big cardboard box.) Box 4 has lights.

First, the lights that go in the window have to go in. But, you can’t plug them in, because they’re the kind that turn on at the same time each evening and stay lit for six hours. They get plugged in at 6:00 pm, usually, but we forgot, so they went in at 6:30. Now, they turn on automatically each evening at 6:30.

Next, the lovely, lighted swag goes up, around the window. That can get plugged in, and it has a little metal snowflake that, when you gently touch it, makes the lights turn on (or off).

So April and Peter got all that up and ready. Then Peter took another nap. And, then . . .

Often on Christmas Day, we have crackers to open. Kevin and April had found some Thanksgiving crackers in Fort Worth.

Jeremy said could we not put everything on the tree, and leave some of his meaningful ornaments in the box, so that he and Sarah could add them to the tree when they come in December. So we sort of get to do this again. Meanwhile, the window lights are coming on each evening. But, I’m waiting a few more days before turning the tree’s lights on regularly. Even though I don’t think I’ll be growing tired of it all any time soon.

 

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Isaiah 60:1 (New Revised Standard Version)

Time to dig out that recording of Handel’s Messiah!

To the Grocery Store . . . and Beyond!

Maaaaaaany years ago, when the boys were kids and teens, and we got paid on the first of every month, I found that we ran out of food AND money by about the 28th/29th of the month. To combat that, I started making a month’s worth of menus and the grocery list for the whole month. That took a couple of days. Then, I spent the better part of an entire day grocery shopping. I’d go one place for a whole cart of non-perishables, which I then packed into the trunk. And then I’d go on to another store for a whole cart of cold and frozen stuff. I’d rush home and haul everything into the house, and put things away. And then, it really was nice to know, every day, what I would be preparing, and knowing that everything I needed was there.

I don’t do that any more. First, we get paid every two weeks. Second, I’m way older now and the very idea of shopping that way makes me have to go lie down whenever I think about it.

So, now I’m at some grocery store a couple of times a week, if not more, when I’ve forgotten something or changed my mind.

 

It’s really irritating when folks do this. This guy has parked his cart while he’s searching for something. But, instead of keeping a pathway clear for other shoppers, he’s standing beside his cart so that now, between him and his cart, no one else can move up or down the aisle.

When we were first married, David was in the Air Force. We did our grocery shopping in the commissary on the Air Force base, and occasionally in the nearby Navy base commissary. There was no funny business like this in either of those places. The aisles were one way, and there were people patrolling and making sure that things were going smoothly and efficiently. The center, horizontal rung on each cart was painted red, all the way around. There were “half-cart” lanes, and shoppers learned how to wisely pack their items so that they wouldn’t peep over that red rung, or they’d get gently, but firmly, moved to the full-cart lane. Military precision all the way around.

One food store-related thing that I think I’ve finally learned, the hard way, of course, is the inadvisability of purchasing plants at the grocery store.

I really love Cyclamen. I’ve not had lots of luck with them, but I keep on trying. The pink flowered plant came from a very nice nursery in Fort Worth. The other ones, which had white flowers and red flowers, came from the grocery store. I understand and accept that it might be my fault. But it seems a little suspicious, doesn’t it. And, really, I think I should stick to buying food at a store whose main purpose is getting good, nutritious, wholesome food (well, and the candy bars and chips) to people. And, if I want beautiful, long-living healthy plants, I might should stick with places for whom that is their specialty, the thing for which they are trained.

My new mantra:

Groceries from the grocery store.

Flowers and house plants from the plant store.

 

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good

Genesis 1:11-12 (New International Version)

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Luke 12:27 (New International Version)

Okay, it guess there is a little bit of crossover here. They’re both growing things, and they both nourish, in usually different ways. But I think I’m sticking with my new attitude. Things grown for the nutrition of my body should come from the grocery store. Things  grown for beauty should probably come from the nursery. But, those big, fat, orange pumpkins are pretty attractive. And big red apples. Hmmm. What a conundrum.