Monday, April 30, 2007
I don't like to be one who recalls and compares to the old days ... but there is something to be said for a pause, a "selah," so indeed, one can pause and meditate. Yes, in the old days, after a prayer, for instance, there would be quiet, the rustling of pew sitters changing position, while a quartet or soloist made its way to the pulpit to sing (yes, a lot used to go on "behind" the pulpit). Back then they even had a book to sing from, and, I might add, the harmony was beautiful.
Technology has probably enabled crammed-full worship services. There is just so much we can include. And we are almost out of breath by the time we settle in to listen to the preacher. I think my vote, not that anyone is asking, is to slow things up a tad and have room for more "Selah."
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Or so Spouse use to say when I made quiche for a meal. But it's been a long time since I made one. So long I had to phone Lydia Grace twice for instructions. Thanks, LG! And Boniface, now that I have practiced, you may see this next week!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I love the sound of sweeping (like I love the sound of tires on gravel, sister). I remember the sound of sweeping early mornings in Ghana when people were getting their houses or front doors in order for the day. Now when I sweep I can't help but think of my father and how he loved to sweep (or it seems he did, for he used his broom a lot.) He taught us to sweep the front stoop before guests arrived. "Do you want them tracking dirt into a clean house?" he'd query. So it's almost inborn in me. When the meal is ready for guests, the last thing I do is go out and sweep the porch. And remember my dad. Apron on, of course (was I not born for another time?)
Which reminds me that tomorrow is "National Hang Out your Laundry Day" ... even in the better neighborhoods where it might be against "community guidelines." There could be a whole lot said about hanging clothes outside on a line and what it can do for a person, as well how it saves a ton of energy resource.
Does any of this have anything to do with the tragic events at VT a few days ago? Probably not much, though it does take us back to a simpler time when life was not as complex. We knew our neighbors and spent time with our families. Slowing down enough to do these simple chores allows us time to think––to mull, process, wonder, pause. And one person and then another and then another, doing that, could in time ripple* change for the better in our mixed up world. I really think so.
*I may have just made a new verb. I love it!
Friday, April 13, 2007
I love a quote from Brother Lawrence that was in my devo reading today. "The time of labor does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and, in the noise and confusion of the kitchen where I am at work, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Sacrament."
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Favorite recipes are like family heirlooms, in a way. I love it when I have a recipe from a friend or from my mother. Making the recipe brings them to mind. Sometimes I remember the meal we had at a friend's house when I asked for the recipe and then made it a favorite of my own.
I always think of Betty when I make strawberry pie. The recipe is in her handwriting. Thinking of Betty then makes me remember the morning I baby-sat her little girl, and later realized it was the exact time number one son was being born. But more than that, strawberry pie takes us right back to northern Ghana.
We had left our southern city and gone up to the "bush" to visit a good friend. While there we piled into the pickup truck and went across the border to shop. In Burkina Faso the markets were plentiful (compared to practically empty stalls in Ghana, at that particular time). I always enjoyed visiting Ghana's neighboring French countries...there were potatoes for one thing. They had become a rare treat for us. They also sold apples...another thing we never saw in Ghana in those days. I remember coming up to a market stall where there were fresh strawberries! A wonder to the eye! We had to have some. So we bought them, put them in the cooler, and never thought about the trip home over bumpy roads and what damage might come to them.
We got back to the mission station. No electricity and an outdoor shower and toilet. No other houses around for many kilometers. It was a "Little House on the Prairie" experience for us. On the way there from B.F. we talked excitedly about making this strawberry pie. Our host thought he had a package of strawberry jello.
Sure enough he did. It was in a sad state of affairs, rather old, brought from the states a few years ago. When I opened the package it was no longer red, and rather a big lump. But we crushed it into granules, found some sugar, margarine, and flour (though the flavor was distorted by weevils). I went to open the strawberries and was dismayed to find the bumps on the road had turned them to mush. Never mind, it would work. And it did. Maybe not to the standard of taste we might expect today, but it was delicious to us and a work of art.
When I saw strawberries at the grocery store this week it seemed the time to make one again. So at our Easter dinner today, as we celebrate the resurrection, we will enjoy the pie ... and the memories.