Thursday, January 8, 2009

Theola...Part of Chapter One

This is a purely fictional story by Donetta
The Introduction and the preface is in preceding posts

Chapter One

Forest Repose

It is so quiet. I’m here! How crisp this linen is against my cheek. With my toes smoothly rubbing over the warm fabric, what the heck oh man the comer of the sheet came off the mattress. Oh my back is rested that’s so nice to awake to. After that long drive I am amazed that I’m not in muscle spasms. Light is dancing on my eyelids. That’s strange! What am I seeing? It’s that window oh the leaves oh that is so beautiful. That is so beautiful. Those leaves, maybe they are silver dollar eucalyptus. I have so longed for this time in the woods.

I wonder if they miss me. Theola I love you, I love being who I am. How hard it is for me to hold on to that. Painfully challenging is it to love my own heart when I face constant conflict within me and around me. But that is why I came up here. I must have a rest for my exhausted soul. Abyss a chasm raptures me. Revered, you are at this juncture. “A delightful morning to you, Divine Spirit” I love you. I love your breadth on me. Do you see me enhanced in purpose? Do I gratify you with my appeal? Do you consider me? Why do I feel so deserted? I know I have those who are for me and for the job you have set before me. There are individuals who should know you and understand. How it pains me that, they are my greatest nemesis. Why can’t they see this path you set before me? Why is it they set so many obstacles in my path. How could they be so hurtful as to give such an ultimatum? In gratitude there must be some great conclusion to all of this agony. Can I make it to that end successfully? Oh my heart does pain me so very badly. All of this is for the children. All of this, the pain the rejection the threat of dismissal it is all for your progeny

The existence of relationship to cause and effect, have evaded the understanding of so many. Have I lived to just fill the air? It seems that few if any have recollected the moments of past exchanges. It amazes me how people were bent toward personal destinies after our interactions. It is to be kept our sacred secret Father. A silent knowledge, all of my own like the beauty of this moment. Continuance and the permanence of my place in these times prove so complex. I am in two worlds at once. As a member of one, and I am an outsider in the other. There are few even have ears to hear me. This silent scream of mine has caused my thought to wax sour. Yet the rest afforded me will refresh me. It must resuscitate me for I have but a few short days before I return to the other world where I will walk again as an outsider. This however is my charge sent to live here on the terrestrial Earth. One who has a gift to offer to “others”? Like each one of “His”, I too have an adventure all my own. Only perhaps it appears I may see it clearer than some. This One who is guided by Him who is the Divine, I choose to hear.
My great desire is to be called by God a friend of God. I long to see and to understand all that is mine, and mine alone to pass through. This is this charge that is to be carried out in my times to come. A journey not exclusively my own. I go in search of my given quest. I offer the view I have been shown to those whose eyes and ears want see and hear. They may only be open for a brief moment in time so I must keep abreast of the silent one. It is he who speaks softly. The visions are only given for a time and times.
What am I to think in this? There must be others like me? Surely I am not alone in this. So I will search them out. I must use caution here. I think there may well be tricksters in the mist those who pretend to be able to see and hear. Why do they pretend? Why would anyone settle for a counterfeit when they could have the real thing? How could the depth of such a journey be conveyed through the articulation of the written word? Even the spoken word is to no avail.
How can I posses the courage that will secure me the honor and the right of passage I so long to gain? I long for that moment when I can hear the approval of the one who sent me more clearly than all the criticism and correction of those who are so seemingly short sighted. I wish Yvette could understand the impact of her words. She is so full of venom and discouragement. The death that seems to hang over her head a murdering vacuum that follows in her wake. She causes such difficulty and discord. Working with that woman is like combat she attacks the unexpecting who have no arms to bear. This always happens at their weakest moment. I am so tired of her opposition to the peace of our patients. To her they are a liability. In their faces is a threat of non-payment. She has to wait to release the patients from admission until she is sure that they won’t default. Hello is replaced with what kind of insurance do you have? She is always in eye for the welsher. One would think that it was her purse strings that were held by Trumann General. While in fact in many ways it actually is. She is assessed on her reviews under the category of non-payment and she gets chewed out when it occurs. She is blamed for the defaulter. Her words hurt me too. Perhaps this is why Yvette is so defiant and contentious? I hope that I can see clearly to love her beyond her armor. I long for her to be free from the shell of rage and anger. She is so offensive to everyone. It is as if she wants to be hated. It is as if she was made to believe that she deserve it. Will I be willing to blanket my own heart in the warmth of this great and noble purpose? Can the sacrifice that will be requested of me be accomplished? I choose to love her. I must exercise strong boundaries with her yet show her the love she so desperately needs. This adventure will be and has been one fraught with the most risk. I fear her. I have seen the spirit of violence over her. At times I think she wants to kill. I see in her a frightened wild animal rabid with wounds of some major extent. I have to fight for those with whom I will be investing my time and energy. The reactions and actions I choose will be governed by my choices as to how I will react. I have such an obligation to attempt to free them. This is my mission to free the captive by either blowing out the prison bars or turning a key in the lock. What is the key to Yvette’s’ lock? What of all the others? Where can I find the answers I need to help all these people? I am only a Hospitaler, a Chaplin a simple servant to the world at large. I don’t want to just peddle hope and courage. I want to instill it.
The pain, fear and pride get in the way of the evidence of faith and trust. The loss and desperation evoke people into deals being cut with God. Promises as if He could be bought off, the ostentation of it all makes me ill to witness. So many times I see with only my eyes and judge these desperate souls. I need to find more understanding and wisdom for this job. It is no wonder that the insolence looks like arrogance but these people are facing the greatest hardships of their lives.
Here around me and within me my battles are waged and will be hard to see and fierce. The truth can be so allusive yet I must keep in pursuit of it. Oh Theola, Oh my heart, can I really be this Elder. Am I really a healer or just a woman with good intentions? Can I hold fast to humility? When they look upon me will they see through to the heart of a friend? Will they ever see me afraid and modest?

The sunrise is shining I must get up! The showers warmth will do me good. All these contemplations fatigue my mind and pull me back toward sleep. I see the faces of all those souls that are depending on me. I have to just let them go all of them the children and parents of the Casmir family, Millie Mae, the staff and the Doctors. Their faces filled with pain and fear they long for hope. They look to me to give them courage. God you are the hope that they need. Every one and everything else will let them down. Oh God please help me to trust you and to rest. I’m so tired. The flow of desperation seems to never stop. I see one family after another facing, broken bones or broken dreams. I have stood beside so many who see me at times like I was the ghastly reaper himself. I am numb from so many visits to the hospital mortuary and so many deaths to tend to and so many dead to bury. There are funeral arrangements to be made. Weeping I wash my hair clean. This smell of coconut and pineapple takes me to the islands in my mind. I wish I could just melt into this soothing ease. It is so quiet here with the absence of the air traffic. No rumbling of the helicopter pad and its’ desperation. This year has been so hard at Trumann Kendall General Hospital. We have children drowning every other day. I try to imagine that the water was as soothing to them as they passed into the embrace of all holiness. Dear Perdita her eyes are so empty now. Once they were full of wonder and hope. Imogene just sits beside her little girl’s bed and weeps. I do not know how I could endure seeing my child in such an abyss. How can I find a way to reach Imogene her heart is so broken? My mind is racing. Please help it be still a while. I am just melting into tears flowing like water, misting like the mountain clouds as they engulf me. Weep my heart for the tears within me have been caped like ice. Frozen while I have to embrace the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters of those I’m serving each day. Numbness now and I am still. With the water off it is now truly quiet. I am motionless in space at this moment. Hold me God. Hold me.
Cotton soft absorbs the tears and the warmth on me drying my weary body. My skin so olive I love my skin I was the girl who always had a tan a glow of a sun kissed face. The mirror is fogged but I see you Theola. I see your kindheartedness in my eyes and that’s what others perceive in me. That’s what I offer them. Present it now to me that rest in my arms patience. I need that consideration now. I am tired. I am resting in the tenderness within my eyes. I want to be pleasing today I wish that someone could see the beauty that is I. I want to inconvenience no one and be troubled by none. Gently I glide the comb through my hair, long and brown. I have always loved my long hair it is so familiar. It is a constant and never changes. Eyes so hazel reflect a refreshed moment in time. My eyes are so full of everyone’s sorrow. I don’t even find a place for my own. Heal me. Refresh me. Fill me with the joy I so long to play in. Give me time without anything pulling our pouring me out. I wish to lay down all the concerns that are so distressed and have peace without any torment. My mind prays thinking of how great the love I have for the presence of my friend my God. My thoughts are so full of amazement at all the things I have seen and how the miraculous has been the norm in my daily life. Death with the bargaining I see every day can have a rest.

Even though it is so chilly in here, this little cabin is a real sanctuary. An old cast iron potbelly stove sits center stage. It demands the attention my efforts will afford it if it is to get any warmer in here. Without having much to work with the fire is tedious and small. The kettle could use a good rinse out. So many years and lifetimes have passed since I have even seen an old pump in the sink like this. It must be well water. After a lot of effort the water ran clear and the handle on the pump loosened up a bit. It stopped rubbing metal after only a few squeaking heave hoes. The kettle warmed water for the tea. Warm orange spice tea will be nice with some of the organic blueberry muffins I brought from home. Those muffins would go well with butter but without it they will just have to do. Theola be still. Take it easy a while. This will be a wonderful morning here alone. No morning theology or pious moral reasoning with Egan today. He is always on time to attend that last moment of my desired solitude. He seems so close to knowing God but in all of our deliberations all I hear is what he knows just about him. He is unable to formulate any ideas that differ from those absolutes that we were taught in seminary. Being separated by our religions the intimacy is spoiled by defensiveness. College and the university gave us absolutes and defined reasoning’s so we could in theory respond to any given situation; the business of the Clergy has replaced personal relationship with God. It hurts so badly to be in an employ when it is so far from the foundational reasons I pursued in it. The exclusions and restrictions Egan sets for me are heart breaking. Can I continue to work under this repression by a brilliant yet misled man? He never really was in favor of a female Chaplin. I have invested so much into college and the university loans. I know I am doing the task that was set before me. I see it every day in the faces of those whose path I cross over. How can a cup of tea so delightful become so embittered? I am so overflowing with anger at the contemplation of Chaplin Egan Seraphine! He is so zealously pious. I just wish he knew God and not just generally speaking about him! I just wish he were free from the regulations of business that Medwin Bryant in administration constrains him up with. I wish he could understand how hard it is to listen without responding to the words only. I must become more able to here the hearts of those who seek out my help. How am I able to help them if I am not capable to meet their needs? I know he is not my adversary nor is the hospitals administation office, but it is so hard not to desire to put up a fight in opposition to them.
My rival is not flesh and blood. The ignorance just caused so much loss.
I think the tranquility here gives me the space to give consideration to all of this, but I just need a weekend away from it. I need to stop thinking about work.
I want to be relaxed today no impressive work clothes. I’ll dress and go down the road maybe there is an adventure today out there for me.
The air is crisp; oh the awesome clear pure air of the high country. It is so pleasant to be out of the city. I need to drive a while with an open sunroof and the heater on. As I pulled in last night the sun was just setting. There must be a beehive around here. My goodness I could honey my toast off of the windshield. I hope some farmer didn’t loose too many bees. As I rounded the curve in the road the little country store with its single gas pump was to the left. I’ll pull in here.

“Hello Mam” what can I do ya fer”? Asked the man with the careless hair.

“Good Morning, how are you?” I replied politely with reserve.

“I'm just fine and dandy”. Was his response?

“I’m grieved to see that I slaughtered some honey bees on the way in last night”. Pointing to the glass covered with the goop.

“Oh ya, that does happen up here from time to time. May I ask, are ya passin through or staying a while? Don’t mean to pry just we all look out fer each other on the mountain. My names’ Dwight Mam, Dwight Roscoe. I’m the keeper of this here general store. Would ya like me to clean those bees off there fer ya? ” He offered.

“How thoughtful of you, yes please. My name is Theola, Mrs. Theola Cole Tallu”. He was dark with the wind in his hair his skin was beautiful. He was kissed with the sun and covered with its glow. Gentle eyes held a calm demeanor. He was so pleasant to look at. He looked so wise somehow like an old friend you could trust.

After some pregnant pause Dwight said “Theola, now that is a name I could never forget. Nice to have you up here on the mountain Mam”.

Did Dwight understand that the privilege was mine? I do really hate to have to deal with dead bugs. The irony is lost to him though. He has no idea I have to deal with death every day.
“Well Mr. Roscoe I am in the Cabernoff cabin up the hill. I will be here for a few days rest.” I said nodding with appreciation for the clean windshield.

“Dwight, Mam if ya please. If there’s any thing I can help ya with just bang the steel.” I’ll come to you.

“Pardon me Dwight what does that mean bang the steel?” I asked

“Well Mam when you get yerself back to the cabin you just look round the porch you’ll be seeing just what I’m speakin' of. I can here ya from here. We use different ways up here on this hill. Ways will make sense to ya by and by. Just give a look, see and you’ll know what I mean. Well there’s for the morning honey. Up here there's a sayin' that honey on the glass means there's a sweet heart inside.” Then he tipped his head and humbly smiled.

“Thank you Dwight for your kindness and your help.”

“Pleasure is all mine, sweet Mrs. Tallu”

That man looked right into my eyes. His words and gestures were so deliberate and concentrated. Wow I think he actually saw me. I felt like he was so aware of me the within me. He had a way of making me feel like he was moved deeply by meeting me. It was so strange, I can’t get that I know you look of his out of my mind. Maybe those honey bees were another one of my sweet adventures. I’m looking forward to seeing Mr. Dwight Roscoe again. It was so fun to be treated so kindly and with such style. He made my heart race. He was so unusual.
The winding of the asphalt sparked with the dancing shadows as the beams cast shine and shade through the pine, cypress and aspen. The wind in the car was chilly and fresh. With the heater on my feet were toasty, yet my face all but shivered. I felt so awake and alive. Winding along gave a calm to my soul yet my mind was beginning to race back again. All those stressed faces and bleeding wounds being addressed in the E.R. The voices of those exhausted men and women whose’ profession, like mine, took such a great toll. The adrenalin pump of the ambulance bay doors keeps the thirty –six hour shifts at a constant started state. They have no existence beyond medicine. The penalty they pay to gain a profession in the end leaves them with huge educational loans to pay off. They hope someday perhaps to have a practice of their own. Meanwhile they earn what can amount to a minimum wage. Their young families are in stress. Often they face loss of the noble goals they originally set out for. Is it any wonder that Doctor Brie Sydney has been left with such an angry inflexible heart? She blames God for all the confusion around her complicated life. How can I make a difference to her? She sees me as her adversary. After the way that Egan treats her I don’t blame her a bit! I wish she could only comprehend the consequences of her own choices. What if she knew she really did have an opponent and that it wasn’t some human being or God? I wish she knew how very much the God who she blames really does care about her and wars on her behalf. She has said she feels so betrayed. In her search for answers she has said that religions often dump God with the blame of mans ignorance and misconceptions.

The Cloud cover is getting very dark. I don’t know this part of the country too well. I am approaching the pass. The beauty up here is so amazing. The people up here must feel like they live in the clouds. I think it would be a true pleasure to stop at the pass and get a nice lunch at the restaurant. To make sure everything is all right; I’ll call home from there and let everyone know I am O.K., and that I found the cabin just fine.
The Restaurant is closed but I can get a meal in the bar. I was unable to get through upstairs so I called down to the E.R. sure to reach them. Brie answered and was rushed and bad-tempered as usual. She said that the unit was under a significant load with two fatalities to manage. She said she would pass on the info to Egan if she saw him. Back there nothing has changed. The voices remain and weeping continues. Orders rang out behind her as the work continued while we spoke. I left her there as I said good-bye.
The view of the falls is amazing and the sound of the pounding white waters must be so deafening outside. In here it is silent I am the only customer. Being here reminds me of my very early childhood. We must have come to the mountains a lot it seems so familiar to me. I think I see a little snow. While waiting to order for some time the powder was dusting the benches and tables outside. I want some pacific Salmon today none of that farm raised stuff. I miss the salmon that I remember was once a staple to me. Nana Oona and I had Salmon together. I remember her face when she would clean the fish she was so grateful. I remember the respect that she gave to the things we had. Sometimes I feel like I lived another life.
After confirming the catch as Atlantic I ordered the meal, which was, to my budget a real extravagance. Coffee warmed me as the very development of the snow gave me a chill. I sat still as the tons of waster flowed through the screens of time filtered by the recollections of day’s gone buy. It was so silent. I had my grilled fillet and steamed mixed vegetables with the rice pilaf. Eating slowly to savor each bite I thought about the salmon run. Was it a memory or just something I read somewhere? After two more refills of hot coffee I asked the waitress for the check. It seemed an eternity to wait because she really was not on duty in the bar. I paid my bill when it came. I thanked her and tipped her well. After paying the check I pushed in my chair. I walked to the rest room and refreshed myself. Flowing freely the life leaves me. How wonderfully made we are. The water felt so wonderful on my hands short of hot. The reflection I saw was so beautiful to me. I wish I saw myself this way more often. I used to see this beauty in Malcolm’s eye sometimes. I miss his eyes. My pause in time embraced me. It feels so nice just to pause and take in this sorrow that belongs to me alone. Within me I weep as I remember what it once was to be held by him.
Then finding my way out I braced for the breeze. My light jacket was not going to be warm enough to protect me from the cold. Opening the outer door I knew I had better make quick pace back to my car. I bundled up a little and returned to my bright red rental car. When I reached it I unlocked it in a hurry and tumbled in. After starting the engine I turned the heater on full blast. Laughing at my self I rubbed my hands together. Now this is different. I think that the drive to the falls was a good thing but with the elevation so high I think going back now would remove me from facing some weather hazards. Perhaps I better head back closer to the cabin. The road is a beautiful challenge with the dust of white showing the paths left by those cars ahead of me. This is very rugged country. This ferocious country is so like I feel inside full of the desire to be dangerous and courageous. I wish sometimes I had someone to share an adventure with.
There will never be anyone like that again. Not ever. I had it once. I am rich. My Malcolm has been gone now for some time. He was so giving, so free, and spur-of-the-moment. I used to get so frustrated with him for that at times. Now oh how I miss him. He was and is the love of my life. Oh, the way he pursued me. I remember the first time I saw him looking at me. He had such a wonderful look of satisfaction on his face. He just stood there looking at me. I felt a rush of blush cover my face. He just stood there looking. When I asked him what he was doing he just said I am looking at you. The way I felt when my reflection was in his eyes. I had never felt so beautiful. He touched me so gently so tenderly I could stop the world and live only in that moment. When we were together I had him to call if I was away. He would warm me with his dry humor. His excitement would match mine whenever I shared an experience I was having with him. I knew if I was late he was praying for me and he would wrap his arms around me. If he was angry his temper would melt away when he held me. When we loved his embrace would cover me in his warmth. Touching my face he would look into my eyes. He was so gifted my Malcolm. My dear friend, I miss you. We would pray together as we stood in our little kitchen. He would tell me to take a stand for what I believe in. He would remind me to take courage and do what was right no matter whom or what obstacle got in my way. Malcolm was a good provider for us too. I could risk more easily knowing that our needs would be met by his income. He would have given me the moon if only it was attainable. If my heart had a desire he would do everything he could to attain it for me. He lived to bring me pleasure and happiness. His support toward my goals left me more accomplished. I could give to him and his gratitude was genuine. I never knew that a life like that was possible. I have been a widow now so long but I can never forget Malcolm. Those mornings shared were the best of my life. Coffee for two is just as easy to make as for me alone. He loved my wild side he called me free spirited. I would stop and give a bottle of water to homeless man. He would tell the man that truth offers the freedom they try to find. Would any one ever really want to live with a woman like me? I love to fight for a good cause. I like a good respite, but the ecstasy of affecting lives… of making a real difference pounds in my chest as if I am fully alive. I want to be fully thriving. I want to see risk pay off. I long to see brilliance, as seen; in the eyes of someone who just saw for the very first time how greatly they really mattered in the world. Like when a patient sees, that God is not punishing them with affliction or infirmity. That sometimes there is no one to point the finger at. I really don’t think that there could ever be another man like Malcolm. So even if someone had the faith in me to take me on as a partner I really don’t think that I could ever expect to experience that again. I am grateful for the chance I had to have him. I wish you were still here Malcolm I miss your loving way.

The hours passed quickly as my mind so full of thought let go of time and just drifted into the memories I treasured.

I’m getting famished. I guess I get to pay a visit to Dwight again. The weather improved as I curved down the road. The elevation diminished, as did the snow and the bitter cold, as I arrived in the little community of Red Hollow. The dust floated up as I pulled into the parking lot of the little store. Those clouds are following swiftly. Let’s see what this store has to offer me. Wow this is so out of the ordinary. I see only one brand name of each item. That’s sort of fun. I guess that shows Dwight’s favorite. For I’m sure he must get all his provisions from here. It is four hours farther down the mountain to the town of Greenville with little in between. I found a can of chicken, some rice. Is there any fresh produce I wonder?
“Hello Mrs. Sweet Tallu…. Did ya enjoy your drive? No more bees I hope”
“Hello Dwight, no more bees. I guess I’m sweet enough.” I Replied.
Do you have firewood Mam? I sell small bundles of firewood if not”

“I had very little this morning and used it up. I haven’t been back to the cabin yet today and I am sure it has a cold chill inside. It was dark when I came in last night. So I don’t know if they left any outside for me. I better get a bundle just to make sure.”

Then Dwight asked me “Mrs. Tallu do you know who I am”.

Well you’re Mr. Dwight Roscoe the kindest general store keep I have ever had the chance to meet.

“Thank ya kindly Mam. Mam, please call me Dwight”

“I wanted to say well now Dwight that hardly seems mannerly of me unless you call me Theola, but I just didn’t feel safe with doing that. I have lost that capability to be so informal. In the city that is just not the way it’s done. I am so accustomed to having very strong boundaries. It may be better said, fortifications. Who would think to be at ease with an unfamiliar person, especially a Man, being so forward, but up here in the mountains it all seams so inoffensive and so at harmless and kindly? I am not so threatened by Dwight. Perhaps in another time and place I might have been able to relax more in my exchanges with a stranger.
“Dwight” I said I’m not accustom to such forwardness no offense, but we have just met.

“Well now Mam don’t that just beet all” He said.

“How’s that?” I said.

“You don’t remember me do you? I’ll let you think on it tonight and if you don’t have it figured out on the ‘marrow’ just hit the steel and I’ll come up the trail and tell ya. But we have met before“. Dwight insisted.

“Is that so Mr. Roscoe?”

“Indeed, Mrs. Sweet Tallu” Dear Lady, no offense taken. Now let’s get you rung up.

Fearful I might have been too harsh, “Dwight I asked, and do you have any fresh greens or vegetables I might enjoy with my rice and chicken?”

“Yes I do Mam. I have some leeks and a few carrots left. Would you be wantin' some of each? “He asked.

“Yes please.” I replied respectfully

“Well I'll include them in you tally then. That will be twelve dollars and thirty-three cents with the wood.” He said.

Handing him a twenty, I inquired, “Where do I find them, the vegetables, that is”?

“I’ll be getting them for you from the earth.” He replied

I put my change into my handbag, “Thank you.” I said to him as I smiled. From the earth, now that is fresh!

“They still be in the ground just take me a minute of two to pull them up and shake the sand out of the leeks. Have you used leeks before now?” Dwight asked as he handed them to me.

“Yes, I have always enjoyed there; mild onion flavor. They are wonderful in a stir fry dish I make with beef and broccoli.”

“Then you know to slice them open and rinse them well before the cross cutting. Onions have layers ya know and leeks have sandy ones.” instructing me as to how to cut on the horizontal.

“Do they grow well up here do they? “ I asked him as I looked at his hands and saw the labor they revealed.

“Oh some say I can grow most anything. It’s all in the knowin' how, I say. Some men are smart in business matters. They ware suits and have soft hands. I know the earth and the ways of it, where they find it a foreign thing to study. It seems to bore them somehow. I could never fathom that though. The earth holds so many mysteries. I see more than most do on any given day. I think they miss out on the real wisdom. Like the simplicity of a sunrise and the effect of a strong breeze.”

“Mr. Roscoe I think you have made a powerful point sir. When I was a girl I loved to walk in the forest, my folks just stopped going out into the woods. I always wondered why they just kept to the city. Keeping a lawn is not like growing the food you eat. It is more eye candy than real sustenance. I always love to pick the foods and then eat them. This is a real privilege to visit a garden.
Your garden is so beautiful! Oh Mr. Roscoe these boarder stones are so amazing where did they come from? What is this plant here with the purple berries? “I questioned

“The stones are a part of my past; they are from the places I have walked too. I bring home a stone from each hike. Many hold the very memory of the lesson I learned during that days hike. Well that small tree is a favorite of mine Mam it is a Mountain Laurel some call it sweet bay. Pick a couple of tender leaves and toss it into your rice for a treat. Just pull out the leaves and toss them to the trash before you eat it though. A little goes a long way. The seasoning is great for chicken dishes and some European recopies. You know they are a great way to keep the bugs out of your kitchen pantry too. Toss what’s left of the bunch you don’t use to cook with under the sink and in the cupboard. The Cabernoff family will thank ya fer it. It is said that the ancient Greeks and Romans crowned victors with wreaths of laurel to honor them. It’s an evergreen, a pretty hardy one too. I just have to cover him over when the deep winter freeze comes though. You want to try your hand at pullin' your own carrots?” this amazing gardener asked me?

Is it hard to do, I thought? But felt too foolish to actually ask him. “Sure I would like that very much.” said this city gal hesitantly.

“Get a good hold on the leaf bunch at its base and then just pull straight up. Shake it off a little. Pull as many as you would like for your supper and perhaps a snack” His generosity extended was spoken with joy.

Ding! Ding! “That’s the gasoline pump Mam; help yourself to the carrots while I tend to my customer at the gas pump, if you don’t mind please. As he walked away he said “what ever you can use for your supper feel free to pick. I have an open garden here. I love to share it, and don’t mind a bit, excuse me” he said and off he went.

After a moment or two, I noticed it was becoming colder quickly looking up I saw pewter covers above wanting to chase me along the path amid the flower balls of lavender/white garlic heads with the strong aromas of an Italian bistro. Reaching down I cupped the ball and smelled the healing herbs intensity. The carrots came up all too easy. It was a good thing that they did my back gives me grief if I over extend it. The carrots looked softly hairy with the root threads stretching into silken strands. I stand dazed in this little mountaintop paradise. I like it just fine it is windy and cloudy. I love the quiet here I can identify at least five or six different birds. A songbird, a crow in the distance a thrasher is digging for grub by the carrot patch. He has two hummingbirds fighting over the feeders’ sweet nectar. They are competing for a quick energy drink to warm them against the coming cold. There is so much life in this one small paradise. This man must till in a lot of sand into the rich black soil. The paths are kept so groomed. A chill is coming over the ridge top for supper. I had better get back to the cabin and start my evening fire. Although I hate to run off I think not saying farewell would be fine given the coming storm. My car is still close up near the front door of the store. I’ll be able to fetch my supplies if I hurry before this rain cuts loose.

Dwight is still filling the tank of the car at the pump. That customer is in all probability just passing through. I have noticed it to be true that few stop or slow down. I remember Dwight saying that to me and I do see the case to be so. The man inside his fine car appears to be in a nice suit talking on a cell phone. I heard him bark out the orders to Mr. Roscoe then close his window against the chill. Not a Hello or a please did he offer. He sat warm and fancy allowing another to meet all his needs while he stayed in his shelter. Funny how it reminded me of an isolation booth I once saw in college. I wondered about his lack of good judgment. Will his life ever be affected by the results of any thoughtful deeds repaid in kind? Or will he only go though life expecting and demanding his way with no thought to any one else along his path. I saw Dwight pulling up his collar as he stood there shoulders shrugged against the cold. How kind this man has been to me. I am a stranger. Yet I suspect him and respond very cautiously with him. Just because of my gender I am expected to be afraid, how the state of evil has taken away the gentleness of a woman and replaced it with the necessary defensiveness of self-preservation.

I ran into the store and upon seeing my groceries with the firewood still on the counter I scooped them up. The wood was a little heavier than I had anticipated. I almost dropped the bundle. I slowed down and then put each item into the bag and got a better hold on the whole thing. It was a little too heavy for me against my better judgment I strained a bit as I lifted it. As I pushed on the screen door it opened as I cleared it the door slapped hard behind me. The bell above it gave me my send-off. The jingle of it was so pleasant, smiling I thought that this was so much fun. Bracing myself as the cold air and massive drops of rain stung my face, I ran for the car. Why I locked it seemed a mystery to me now. At this moment in time I felt the reality of two distinctive worlds. I liked this one so much better. This world called to me and I wished never to leave it. Getting my sense of balance, just so, I perched the wood on my raised knee and thigh. I used my key bob to unlock the trunk. Then lifting it up, plopped in the logs and set down the bag. The smell of the earth on those vegetables and herbs intoxicated me. Getting into the wet driver seat I was mortified to see the open sunroof. Hurriedly I started the engine and pushed the button to close it. I’m so cold it hurts! This is too invigorating, yet in some strange way it seems this is for my own good. The driver seat is so drenched how am I going to deal with that I wondered? Perhaps I can use a towel from the cabin on it. I tapped the horn lightly and Dwight gave a nod. I mouthed a thank you to him and smiled. What an uncommon man. If I met or have known him it is beyond me. Yet he is so sure of it though. I think that it must have been a nice meeting if so he shows no ill will or offense. Ha! That’s nice.

Older women likewise teach the younger women...

• how to love their husbands
• how to love their children
• how to be self-controlled
• how to be pure
• how to be keepers at home
• how to be kind and submissive (not subservient) to their own husbands. (See Titus 2:3-5)

Blog Archive

By Maya Angelou

'A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not shouting 'I'm clean living,'
I'm whispering 'I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven.'

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say.. 'I am a Christian' I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I still feel the sting of pain...
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say... 'I am a Christian' I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Words have power. Here are a few of my favorite sayings.

  • A warm cup of tea is like a cuddle with a friend.
  • The North American Indians have a more eloquent word for ‘friend’ than we do in English. In their language, the word for friend literally means, “the one who carries my sorrows on his back.”
  • Return with Honor
  • The sage anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things."
  • “Live so that when your children hear these words they think of you… Fairness Caring Integrity Honesty Love Trust.”
  • "O Lord help my words to be gracious and tender today, for tomarrow I may have to eat them."
  • "No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes"

Click here for all crafts

e patterns My sister told me of this site

Please pray for her parents and family

Please pray for her parents and family
Amy has clicked her heals and flown to her real home. There is no place like home.

This was given to me for the third time in just a few weeks.

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
"For the LORD your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song."

Thank You Ross

Getting to know Me

What warm hearts you all offer

Thank you all for the kindness you have shown me with every Award. I am embraced. You Are a blessing.

Thank you Michelle

Thank you Michelle

Thank you Annette they are beautiful
Thank You Annette
Autism Awareness