Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't Eat the Raisin Bread

Okay, so my Mama makes homemade bread and sells for a little extra money. There's a couple of places in town and a place in Trade, yes there's is actually a place here called Trade. She's done it for years and gives all the money she makes to missions at her church.

So every Thursday, Dad and I make a run to Trade, hey don't make fun of the name especially all you people from Blue Ball. We pick up the money from whatever they've sold for her that week, and switch out the old with fresh baked.

Yesterday, there were four older loaves we brought home and set on the kitchen counter, two sourdough and two raisin. As usual Mom tells me to take the old loaves and just toss in the creek for the fish. It makes the fish fat and happy, and ticks off the fishermen who "trespass on our prop'ty".

So after supper Mom tells me to take the bread and feed the fish, which I went right ahead and did. I lobbed the four loaves off the bank and into the creek and stood a while watching them float off.

So, just a few minutes a go, I decide to stretch my legs and walk along the creek. I get about oh, fifty, sixty feet away from where I usually lob the old bread and I notice that three of the loaves from last night have gotten caught on branches or whatever. I figure the fourth has either been eaten up, sunk or is on its way in various sloppy pieces to whatever tributary Forge Creek meets up with.

I get a few more feet, where on the other side of the creek you can see a little path the critters have made into the mountain brush. I can't help but notice that a deer has nabbed one of Mama's loaves of bread and gobbled half of it up.

I know without a doubt that it was a deer eating Mama's old bread simply because the critter has DROPPED DEAD, uneaten half still in it's mouth!

So, do I tell Mama, or do I just drag the carcass out of sight and keep my mouth shut?


I spend quite a bit of time these days sitting on the front porch of the house. The weather here has been nice, but I enjoy the front porch because I can sit out there and listen to the creek and breath the air even when it rains.

I love the rain. I'm not sure why. It just gives me peace, and an odd pang of joy. I used to get in trouble as a child for sneaking outside and playing in it, actually got in trouble once for doing it at work, too. Maybe it just has something to do with the oddity of it, now that I am back in the mountains of Tennessee.

Many times you can see it coming, reminding me of my too few days in Africa, and there are even times when it rains in the front yard and not the back. I like how God sometimes draws that line you can see with it--here, but not there.

According to Biblical verse, the first time it ever rained was when Noah had the ark completed. I guess having water fall out of the sky for the very first time would certainly drive you to start pounding on the door screaming "Sorry I made fun of ya, dude, can I come in now?", but that's another story.

When I worked at Sandy Cove, which is right on the Chesapeake Bay, I would always call my staff together before each meal shift and have a little "pep talk". My little monsters, as I called them, would always roll their eyes when it rained because they knew that some variation of the "dreaded" Noah story was coming.

I guess I just see the rain as a promise. If you believe in Biblical promises, it means that evil has been washed away, and forever after the rain will give nourishment.

If you don't or don't care, rain simply means life. Without it we'd have no rivers, no oceans, nothing to grow crops or to drink.

To me, it simply stands for hope. Regardless of the day, the time or the mood, rain gives me hope that there is power in the simple, power in the things we take for granted and power that is above and beyond control.

And these days we can use a little more hope.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Garage Sale Life

It's still up and down. Difficulties swirl one minute, the next I am content.

I feel like my head is one of those toys that were popular when I was a kid. The one you put a piece of paper on, flipped a switch and then squirt color all over. It whirled around and made this odd, fascinating mix of whatever colors were chosen, all swirls and curly ques slung over the paper.

It always looked so pretty, but when it dried it was rough to the touch and the paint flecked off. The machine itself became an unusable mess very quickly.

I kind of feel like that machine these days. Something that brought so much excitement, you couldn't wait to get home. Once it was used a couple of times,it became a disappointment to be tossed in a closet and forgotten.

Well, if I'm lucky. I'll wind up in a garage sale and someone will buy me for a quarter. Hopefully this time be a little more enthused by the designs of color I am allowed to create.