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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ARBORIE ARDOUR

            "Abhory leech lips Arborie!" So burned the echo of time in the mind of Arborie Ardour.

            And so, oh my how so, was the love of Arborie Ardour beyond passion for little George.  Without name he had sprouted into the world, till young lady Arborie fell in love at first sight, dubbed him George, plucked him up from greenhouse nursery, adopted him as her own little loblolly sapling, planted him a few feet from backyard fence.  But alas all this was tad more than bit sad; for Arborie had long wanted, planned her first child to be a little George, but perceived herself too ugly to ever kiss a man.  Had not the children of school bullied her, tormented her, crushed her with cruel chant, "Abhory leech lips Arborie?" So all the more was the love of Arborie Ardour beyond passion for her sapling son, little George.

            Where she had planted little George?  Arborie owned half that rocky hill overlooking Valley Lake.  It was a hill whose only level ground was perfect, possessed just enough room for two Tudor style cottages.  The gabled cottage of Arborie Ardour was brick with native sandstone accent, while gabled cottage of neighbor Heath Schrub was native sandstone with brick accent. They had purchased the homes within months of each other.  Now near twenty years later there they were... still there. Why had they stayed?  Over the years both had better job offers, enticing salaries and perks to relocate.  And though they lived next lake, neither fished, neither sailed, neither swam, only loved the view, the view of Valley Lake?

            So did little George grow near that backyard fence, till one huge loblolly limb shaded also Heath's patio, a patio joined by vine arbor gate to garden of favorite and only neighbor.  And as most days, there they sat on floral pads of white wicker bench, enjoying lake breeze of early evening.

            "Arb," Heath paused, gathered glass from wicker table, took iced sweet tea sip, repeated pet name for Arborie, "Arb, you are one beautiful lady."

            Sweet tea sip past Arb lips.  Her long fingers touched slender throat, felt the sweetness flowing down.  She smiled. "Heath, if I didn't know better, I'd say that tea is getting you tingly in all the wrong places." She near giggled, felt tad of tingle too. "But I see old stick figure big lips me in the mirror every morning," she fished with allure for further compliment.

            Genuine reflection rippled the pale face of Heath from receding hairline to brow, past nose to mouth, "When you first moved in next door you were cute, yet a little lean; but over the years I've seen..." Heath stopped, looked away to Valley Lake below, then turned head to face her, "but over the years I've seen that stem figure blossom to match your full flower lips.  I, ah..." Heath's courage fell short, for he'd said only in part, the needs of the heart.

            Arb took nother sip of sweet tea, swallowed, and in shuddering breath uttered, "Yet, in all these years we have sat together on this garden bench, you have not put your arm around me?" She sat tea glass down on wicker table, ran fingers thru his belt loop, pulled herself close.  She lay palm on his chest, moved other round his neck... planted kiss... her first kiss of a man... neath the shade of the once little George.

            Oh what bliss, that long awaited kiss blessed by spring breeze caress. Till one too many puffs turned to huff, shook free dangling loblolly cone, one receding hairline to bean to the bone.

            Heath hadn't thought kissing would be so painful.  He ignored the trickle of wetness down forehead, to nose, then lips, till both tasted it, and together said, "Blood?"

            No time to wipe the blood from her lips, she held Heath's face in both hands, saw pine cone tooth stuck in his receding hairline, instinctively plucked it out. "Oops!" Arb aired err; for she'd burst river dam. The flood of blood was on.  Arb grabbed napkin from table and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.  She stood up to get a better look, reapplied pressure, kidded, "I think you might live.  Not all that falls from the sky is painless." Looking down at her patient, Arb smiled.  She liked taking care of Heath.  She giggled.  She sighed.  For Arb saw her own reflection in Heath's deep blue eyes.

            Looking up into the chocolate almond eyes of Arb, Heath breathed, "Not all that falls from the sky is without purpose.  For who rides his chariot of clouds; walks upon wings of wind; wears garment of light; stretches out starry curtain of night.  Perhaps our Creator sent puff of breath thru his loblolly tree, to make pine cone his messenger be."

            "And what is this message?" Arb asked, Arb smiled, as she tended the wound of his head.

            "To get off this bench, and to get down on one knee." Heath did what he said.  Heath reached in hip pocket, what was in velvet case was - no - locket.

            "Thank you, Jesus," gushed from heart, past the full, oh my how so full, and beautiful rose lips of Arborie Ardour.

            Many kisses... a wedding and one year later...  little Georgette was born...

            Sometimes more is loved than the view... the view of Valley Lake...

                                     Psalms 104:1-5 & 8:1-9

                                     Proverbs 3:11-13

            Sometimes we need a pine cone to the head... to get on the right path to God's blessings...

         

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

EVERY PEACH HAS ITS PIT

             I could have married into the Pedernales Falls Winery up river, but did I listen to Dad, no." Jana puffed at sweat soaked blond bangs, hefted bushel basket of peaches into the back of truck. "I could have married the rich lavender farmer down the east rapids, but did I listen to Mom, nope." The former Stonewall Peach Jamboree and Rodeo Queen grunted under the weight of yet another peach basket. "And did I listen to my best friend Amy to for sure not marry that poor peach farmer smack dab in the middle, nooooo!" That last basket did not hit the truck bed lightly.

            "Be careful," Daryll warned," or my Tuetonic warrior princess will bruise the peaches." He loaded basket of peaches next to hers.

            "Bruise the peaches?  Bruise the peaches!" Jana unleashed arched right eyebrow in Viking berserker stare, grabbed and jerked Daryll off the ground into her arms.

            In her zealous embrace the squished and squirming, boot dangling Daryll managed to squeak out, "You... are... bruising the peach."

            "I'll bruise my peach if I want to," Jana matter of facted, gave Daryll one hard and long kiss.  Daryll quit squirming.  Jana sat him down on truck tail gate, had to steady him to keep him from falling over. "I see my peach is a bit fuzzy," Jana smiled at a kiss well done.

            "Yeah," Daryll croaked, "passion and lack of oxygen will do that to a fella."

            "Just exactly what are you saying, Daryll?" Jana's brain teetered on edge of... was that a compliment or a too often as usual Daryll dig?  Affection or affliction hung in precarious balance.

            "Precious Lady," fortunately Daryll's mood swing radar activated, "you take my breath away just like the day we first met."

            "Fifth grade, what a calamity," Jana giggled, "you were out of breath alright.  Those Beasley brothers were kinda kickin' the air out of your lungs for defending my honor."

            "They should never have made fun of you for being so tall," Daryll frowned.

            "And they shouldn't have skinned up my fuzzy little peach." Jana sat down beside him on tail gate.  She took Daryll under arm, hugged him to her.

            "Yep, once the scent of my blood stained my Tuetonic warrior princess' nostrils, you sorta lost it." Daryll glowed awe and admiration of his wife. "Was that a one or two week suspension Principal Haney gave you for whuppin' those two boys?"

            "Just a week that never happened, cause when their dad, Mr. Beasley, got the truth out of them, he whupped them again." Jana reminisced.

            "And the next day Mr. Beasley took them to school and told Principal Haney, then Haney whupped 'em the third time," Daryll slapped knee, chuckled, "but I guess its better, much better to be whupped now than eternally forever later.  They did sorta straighten up after that, been good neighbors ever since."

            "And we've been together ever since." Jana looked into the eyes of her man, leaned in, gave him kiss. "But we better get busy.  These peaches are not going to load themselves," She sighed, stood, was about to lift her man from tail gate...

            "Well looky here," Daryll smiled, "I think I might just see two truckloads of reinforcements driving through our orchard front gate.  Kinda looks like our wealthy neighbors, that winery fella and lavender farmer you were lamenting about earlier."

            "The Beasley brothers!" Jana retightened her pony tail, straitened her blouse. "You knew," Jana accused, "you knew they were coming, didn't cha, Daryll!"

            "I'm a peach!" Daryll grinned, admitted, "All I did... was pray."

            "Yeah, every peach has its pit." Jana arched that right eyebrow... just before she hugged him tight... and said, "That's why I married you, Daryll, because the heart of my little peach is the seed of Jesus."

            In silence the Beasley brothers and their families gathered round Jana and Daryll.  And as all, as one, gazed out upon the hills and hills and hills of ripe peach laden trees, Daryll quoted Jesus: "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2 KJ)              

Saturday, August 12, 2017

CHOCOLATE ARMADILLOS

            Life at the Spice of Life Greeting Cards warehouse was anything but living for Bentley Wordsworthy.  Driving the same old forklift day after day, year after year, of what would soon be over two decades of spiceless boredom had eroded the mind, if not the soul of Bentley.  Bentley Wordsworthy, the dreamer who longed to be a coiner of phrases, even a bard of adages.  If only he could get recognition from just one of the Spice of Life Greeting Card Editors.

            But alas, Bentley Wordsworthy possessed no wordsmith flair.  Seldom is a kind way of saying never did Bentley Wordsworthy surpass the rudimentary roses are red, violets are blue level of poetic expression. And worse, Bentley was the untalented failure of the Wordsworthy family, which included over two centuries of poets, authors, editors and publishing house masters.  Indeed Bentley himself often sighed, "I'm the last and the dead end of the Wordsworthy clan.  That's me, just being all a failure can be."  Be...

            Until one faithful day...  the boredom bent mind of Bentley over indulged in an oft visited daydream.  High through the sky, Bentley Wordsworthy did fly, super hero of the greeting card world.  From his shoulders fluttered the cape of bard-dom and across his chest emanated the magnificent letter "A," standing for ADAGEMAN!! Actually the letter "A" should have been two letters, A.D., standing for ATTENTION DEFICITMAN.  Driving a forklift laden with crates full of greeting cards is no time to dream, let alone fly around a corner a tad too sharp.  From forklift seat ADAGEMAN stomped on the brake a bit too late.  The crates on the forklift remained stable, but the mile high stack the forklift bumped into shook violently. Bentley's hardhat fell off as he craned neck back to see the last rock of the teetering crate on top.  Bentley gasped, "Jesus, save me!!!"  Down plummeted that faith guided missile right between the safety glass wearing eyes of Bentley...

            "Is he dead?" asked foreman Fred.

            No one wanted to know more than Bentley.  So from the concrete floor, flat on his back, Bentley Wordsworthy  opened his mouth and instantly breathed out greeting card gold, "Life is like a box of chocolate armadillos: all slippery, scratchy and none too happy about being dipped in molten chocolate."

            Bentley wrote it down.  Bentley turned it in to the editors of Spice of Life Greeting Cards.  Bentley garnered a new gig.  A coiner of phrases he had become.  ADAGEMAN... MAN... MAN... AN... AN... N born!  Yet, died...

            For the Lord above had up-up-and away far greater heights for Bentley Wordsworthy to fly.  Not only did Bentley live to master the seemingly absurd and funny side of greeting cards, but there were sympathy cards, get well cards, birthday, wedding, friendship, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards to compose.  Indeed His favorite of all were scripturally inspired.  Cards like:  Better a hole in the sock; than a hole in the soul.  Cards like:  The flames of youth, the ashes of regret, the if only of what can never be... Jesus heals it all...

            Yes, ADAGEMAN had died, but Bentley Wordsworthy reigned alive and well as the bard of Spice of Life Greeting Cards.  He even authored a few novels.  But in the life of Bentley, the waters of success never flooded over the banks of humbletude.  "Don't be too proud;" Bentley would say, "the chocolate coating of riches does not a life make; for of faded wisps, once whirlwinds, the dust whispers without thirst." He more than often added, "The spice of life, the very essence of living:  Love the LORD continually; share his love with all; enjoy his every gift.  For who else can turn even a bump on the head into blessing."

            Oh, and in the chair of the bard, the new fantasy of Bentley twas a job well done, driving a forklift...

            (Mark 8:36; Isaiah 29:4) (James 1:17; Colossians 3:17) (Romans 10:13)

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

WHERE THE WHITE FLOWER GROWS

            The squeals of children playing sang through the kitchen window of the old farm house.  Inside Grammy and Pawpaw sat at oaken table, listening, watching, drinking a not usual afternoon mug of coffee.

            "Thank the Lord for coffee," Grammy took another sip.

            "Yep," Pawpaw reflected. "Caffeine is about the only way to fend off our normal afternoon snooze. Sure could use a nap, but we need to keep tabs on those little rascals." He chuckled.  He and precious wife held hands cross that table, turned gaze from each others eyes to the children outside.

            At the edge of the yard, little Christin pointed past fence up the hill. "Flower," she tugged on older cousin Kirk's sleeve.  "Flower," she repeated.

            The good Kirk smiled.  Since her birth, Kirk had loved his little cousin.  Her whim had always been his command in deed.  He followed her finger pointing.  Saw what he thought was the most beautiful white flower on the hill between white picket fence and the cross of snow on the mountain beyond.

            "Flower," little Christin urged.

            Kirk hopped the white picket fence, raced up the hill...

            Pawpaw had just taken deep sip of too hot coffee.  He swallowed fast and hard, yelled out kitchen window, "Kirk, stop!!!"

            The flower possessed the eyes of Kirk, closed his ears by its pretty.  For the only sound Kirk heard was the whisper of white flower's beauty, "Pick me... for I am the jewel of all delights.  Pick me... little Christin awaits..."

            Kirk reached out to possess the possessor, grasped white flower's stem tight.  From his palm the pain screamed up his arm, tore through spine, seared brain, roared from throat...

            Pawpaw turned over chair, tore out the kitchen door.  With resolute purpose Grammy rose, went to the pantry, prayed, "The poultice most be prepared.  Please bless it and bless Kirk, dear Heavenly Father; I ask in Jesus precious name..."

            At the table Grammy sat stirring baking soda into honey with tad of water, as Pawpaw carried a whimpering Kirk through kitchen door.  A train of grandkids followed.  Pawpaw sat Kirk in chair next to Grammy.  Grammy waited for her husband to retrieve duct tape from lower cabinet.  She gently placed Kirk's hand palm up on the table.  As Pawpaw applied the duct tape to the wound, all six of the other grandchildren gathered round.  Little Christin held on tight to Kirk's arm.

            To the children Pawpaw explained, "The tape will pull out the poisonous hairs of the bull nettle."  Pawpaw peeled off the tape from the palm of Kirk's hand and out came the thin hair like spears of the bull nettle in the stick-um.  Grammy began applying the cool poultice of honey and baking soda.  With each dab the whimpering of Kirk subsided.

            "A lesson for us all," Pawpaw taught.  "Not all... that is beautiful... is harmless."  The ears of the children's hearts opened wide.  "Long, long ago in heaven above, a certain angel thought himself so beautiful that he sought to steal the throne of God.  For this, he and the angels on his side were cast out of heaven. Ever since he has seethed hate and trod the earth seeking to trap away any he can from our Heavenly Father. One of his favorite tricks is to disguise himself or one of his servants as attractive or good or moral. This evil prince of darkness even at times disguises himself as an angel of light, perhaps as a politician or false person of religion or false teacher, or even just one of us.  So do his servants also, as they have learned from him.  ...And such is through yon kitchen window, 'where the white flower grows,' but a hill of stinging bull nettle, that tries to separate those within the white picket fence from the cross of snow on the mountain beyond."

            All eyes of the children peered through kitchen window past white picket fence ...to where the white flower grows.  Scarcely had they noticed the exit of Pawpaw, till they saw him carrying the hoe up that hill...
                                               
                                                 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15


            Without our Heavenly Father we are like children without guidance, who play in the nettles that sting...                                                    
                                                     Allegory & Scripture
                                                   
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

GEEZER MESA

            Nestled in ethereal mist twixt Texas hill country and Geezer Mesa lay the sleepy dwellings of Geezerville, Texas.  Geezerville, a town transitioning much like its geography.  Geezerville, on the very edge of the dessert an oasis of natural springs, a valley of water abundant, a plethora of flora and fauna, and this very evening, as most evenings, a town in motion, all be it, slow motion.  The heat of Texas day did dictate this daily ritual.  Not many of the towns elderly residents functioned well in hundred degree mid-day heat, but late evening, each late evening for years and decades and even over a century, as the sun drifted low behind lofty Geezer Mesa, the mesa from which the town got its name, in the fingers of the mighty mesa's cool shadow, life began to move.  Few of those movers were not elderly.  Geezers they were, with canes, with walkers, men and women slowly moving, shuffling along in a sidewalk waltz, transitioning to last tango in Geezerville.

            All crawled along splendidly well in Geezerville.  Well until the town's unwell and only pastor passed away.  A replacement had to be found.  So with non-denominational geezerdom prerequisite the town of many faiths, but only one church, sought and found their spiritual compass.  Or so they thought.  For this preacher, name of Rev. Bell Ringer, unexpectedly had change on the brain.  Change: only a good word to geezers when applied to contents of the pocket, not change on the sidewalk where one must actually bend over to pick it up, and especially not change of direction.

            Oh, there were groans and there were moans from the congregation when Pastor Bell Ringer preached; but certainly no open rebellion from folks just too tired to rebel.  Besides, most conceded, although a tad reluctantly, that yes, they did need to redirect their slow moving, their shuffling along, even that last tango.

            "No one!" Pastor Bell Ringer preached, "No one should shuffle off the edge of Geezer Mesa without Jesus.  In service to God and in service to one another spread the way, the truth and the life.  His name is Jesus.  With every last shuffle we got left in this dance called life, in joy shine forth the light and love our Savior."

            And that very Sunday morn, soaring oer the clearing mist, an eagle eye did see new life in the valley below.  Life blessed, life with purpose, even one time geezers sprouting wings to share the air above Geezer Mesa.


            From whence it came: Ecclesiastes Chapter 12; Isaiah 40:21-31; John 14:6                      

Thursday, July 20, 2017

SHORTCUT TO FORGOTTEN

Some will argue... there are no shortcuts to Forgotten...

            "The surgery will be canceled." Javan white knuckled steering wheel, pressed accelerator near floor.  As the dark road chariot of SUV sped down I-33, he lamented, "After fixing that flat tire, no matter how fast I drive, we are not getting to the hospital in time."

            "Sometimes," the slender neck of Svana DeGenade turned her eyes to face husband, "sometimes," she reached out, ran fingers thru his silver peppered hair, "sometimes, on the road... we meet more than expected."

            Even as worried as he was, even in the hurry of all his life, Javan calmed in what he had come to know as the 'Svana effect.' He let off accelerator a tad, reminisced, "I remember, remember not so long ago, our chance airplane seating, our first meeting.  There sat my Svana with skin like silk, the color of milk, and hair like eiderdown, pure as snow.  I had thought you an albino until that graceful neck of yours turned green emerald eyes to meet mine. Sometimes in the air we meet more than ever expected."

            "We shall see." Svana smiled. "Often does the way remind: before the shadow... shines the light."

            "Shortcut, Daddy." The wee voice of Epiphany DeGenade, Epi for short, spoke from dark leather rear seat. Wee and weak the voice came from one whose growth only grew more crooked her precious little body, til only wee and weak she could speak.

            "Yes," Javan grasped hope. "We can take Old Narrow Lane, the once main road to Forgotten lies near ahead."

            Soon Javan commanded the helm right, right on to Old Narrow Lane, passing under hanging moss of oak, passing over fallen down and faded sign: Road Closed.  Yet, on both sides of road beckoned the blue of forget-me-nots, wild flowers licked by inky swamp.  And lo that neglected lane forced Javan to go against his hie hurry grain, drive slow and punctuate with unsteady refrain, "Aptly named, this road, this Old Narrow Lane."

            And so on they drove, chasing from dry road perch more than one sliding gator, filthy claws ripping up by roots sad blue forget-me-nots, dragging flowers screaming neath dark waters swamp. Til before bayou bridge, the sign not fallen over read: Bridge Out.

            "Now what?" Javan bridged not frustration. "The road is way to narrow. I can not turn around."

            "Back up Daddy," Epi epiphanied again. "We won't be late.  We are right on time."

            Svana saw the tears well in Javan's eyes.  She placed hand upon his thigh, squeezed out assurance, "From the mouths of babes... remember what Jesus said."

            The Dad in Javan shifted gear to reverse.  He shifted in seat, turned head, saw so very far behind the sparkling sunlit reflections of vehicles as they passed by the head of the cross, where Old Narrow Lane met the outstretched arms of  I-33. He backed.  He backed up some more.  He backed up, but the intersection grew no closer.  He backed more, a whole lot more, then some more.  The further he backed, the further away I-33 seemed.  And yet, Javan backed the more.

            "Daddy," Epi labored to breathe..

            "Yes, sweetie," Javan answered.

            "Daddy be still; and know our Daddy," the wee weak voice of Epi whispered.

             Javan stopped SUV.

            On the shortcut to Forgotten, Javan was reminded to pray.  Daddy and Mommy reached into back seat, and held hands with precious daughter... And after prayer to Heavenly Father, asking in his son Jesus' precious name, Javan unbowed his head and beheld that Old Narrow Lane somehow seemed much broader now, even no longer a lane, but highway main.  He turned SUV around, soon passing under hanging moss of oak, passing over fallen down and faded sign at the head of the cross, where Old Narrow Lane joins the outstretched arms of I-33...

            ...The fallen lavender of crepe myrtles covered the concrete path from parking lot to the hospital.  Svana and Javan each held Epi hand... scarcely noticing that time right on time... scarcely noticing that healthy up and down of skipping between them, until child's strong voice road the wind of the near Forgotten... "I hope they got ice cream."

                                                ...Jeremiah 33:3...

Some will argue, there are no shortcuts to Forgotten... less there be flat tire...

Not every life story ends in Epi miracle, but for those who love Jesus... even when this life ends... glorious life in heaven begins... Unbound... in the out bound lane...

To understand this little story please read and be blessed by the totally awesome Bible readings: Psalm 46:10 with John 14:6 with Isaiah 35:8 then all Isaiah 35:1-10... Jesus loves you...

What's in a name: Svana DeGenade - Svana is Icelandic for Swan; De in French & Spanish means 'from' or  'of', and Genade is Dutch for Grace. (Proverbs 3:19-22 & 4:22)

Only one path exists for our short comings to be forgotten... to be forgiven... Jesus

                               ...Grace unto thy neck... Life unto thy soul...






                       
                   






Friday, July 7, 2017

BABUSHKA LULLABY

                "A wacko a day keeps the shrink in pay," stealth in his mind sung the words to Dr. Adams audible hum.  He raised left eyebrow, flipped to blank second page of new patient history.  Why had the young woman, sitting before him, refused to fill out the form?  "What a way to start a New York Monday," escaped his lips.  He leaned a tad back in seat, flipped back to page one, stared at the one and only blank filled in.  "I see you listed your name as Apple, no middle name, no last name, jussst Apple."

                "Yes!!!" From toes to nose, Apple's whole body vibrated answer.

                "Are you a one name celebrity?" Dr. Adams did not smile.

                "Oh, no sir," Apple shook head. "Just the messenger," she nodded.

                Dr. Adams thought, "I'd like to shoot the messenger for not filling out this form!"  He could not just let it go, internally revenged, "This Apple got worms for brains."  He almost giggled past professional facade, but what he said was, "Messenger, in what way?"

                "Yes..." Apple's entire being danced in tune with the nod of her head, "yes, the messenger of dream, a reoccurring dream."

                "And in this dream?" Dr. Adams led, while mind inside sighed, "Not another dream!"

                "For three months now, in the dream I see myself sleeping, and in this sleep dreaming a dream... of insomnia.  I dream of rest... with no rest.  I dream of sleep... with no sleep.  I dream of you, Dr. Adams.  I dream of you, Dr. Alexsie from the Ukraine."

                As his diagnosis raced to obsessional delusion and probable schizophrenia, Dr. Adams brain screamed, "We should have checked her purse for sharp objects."  But his mouth carefully phrased, "And how do you know who I am and where I am from?"

                "By the dream within a dream of your insomnia, I see you in the Ukraine.  I see you as a child afore bed.  I see your Babushka rub her grandson's feet, sing sweet lullaby till he sleep.  And then I see your sleepless nights of now... how your thoughts have often been... if only I could... rewind the wind..."

                "But how did you know I changed my name, know of my insomnia... my Babushka?  Are you a psychic?" More than a tad of his inside shaking vibrated to the outside of Dr. Adams' skin.

                "No dark side here... only Jesus light... when you pray for answer... answer is God's delight..." Apple stretched arms, smiled sweet. "How many the times... have your times been... sleepless daydreams of often when..." As in the dream her arms drew to breast, cradled unseen child before her.  Her body rocked to old Ukraine Babushka lullaby... as Apple sang: "Dream O dream within the window.  Rock warm to sleep my little child.  Sleep O sleep little sparrow so mild.  Rest and grasp the snow without the window..." From cradled arms Apple raised her eyes to Adams...

                With tear in eye, the Doctor did reply, "And then, when she laid me down, when she tucked me in, my Babushka kissed my ear and whispered sweet breath so warm: 'All who rest... rest in Jesus...'"  And Dr. Adams relaxed for the first time in a very, very long time.

Find rest even unto your very soul... with Jesus... Matthew 11:28-30...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

HEAR THE OLIVE SCREAM

                "Never fails," Kaffee mused, "always got to be at least one escapee in the bunch." Helplessly she watched errant olive roll across gray marbled counter top to edge, titter a tad, then plunge screaming toward red tile floor below. "AAAaaaahh!" Kaffee mocked, for no way could she save it from perilous plummet without spilling and scattering the tablespoon full of other olives in hand.

                "Just one of making dolmas little mishaps," Kaffee matter of facted as she dumped spoonful of olives into bowl next to knife and cutting board, the ill-fate of non escapee olives.  The Mediterranean skin tone of her arm and hand nearly matched that of the doomed olive, that she reached down to recapture; but orange claw and paw beat her to it, slapped tan green olive across red tile floor.

                "Duff, you silly cat, bring that olive back to me this instant!" Kaffee laughed.  As the olive rolled, Duff chased then swatted, belly scooted and slid, til round corner of kitchen island.

                "From cutting board to cat attack, that poor olive just can't win," Kaffee smirked.  Then as oft the habit, she tilted and turned her head, flicked long dark hair from bosom to back.  She returned attention to food prep plan. "Let's see, in the mixing bowl already added we have: sauteed ground lamb with herbs, boiled rice, dill, mint, pepper, sea salt, lemon, olive oil, and soon to be smidgeon or two of diced ripe olives."

                Kaffee sliced, she diced, she added olives, she stirred, sat down bowl to left of cutting board... "Let the dolma stuffin' begin." She smiled, set plate of palm sized grape leaves to the right of cutting board, selected top grape leaf, tested texture. "Parboiled to perfection, pliable but not too soft, just right to plop the mix onto and roll without tearing." And on the cutting board she laid leaf out, dolloped on the mixing bowl mix and rolled then tucked in the ends, rolled and tucked, rolled and tucked until... there a tight little package of gastronomical delight lay, the dolma. "One down, and only about a hundred or so to go." Kaffee sighed, placed first dolma in serving dish, a dish she would add layer after layer of dolmas to, brushing each layer with olive oil and lemon juice.

                And that night with dolma platter in hand, Kaffee did go to a mixer of the human kind, sponsored by lifelong protector and older sister, Alyx.  Alyx, who coaxed little sis, "Kaffee, stop hugging the snack table and find a manly arm to hug."

                "Oh, I've got plenty of time for that," Kaffee mildly protested. "The night is young," she added wisp of wist.

                "But..." under arm Alyx gathered Kaffee to side, "but some folks are entering that stale bread stage, just before turning moldy."

                "I am only thirty-two." Up and side-ways Kaffee's eyes mirrored into sister's.

                "Exactly!" Alyx nodded, then added, "Just sayin', you're not quite swimming up the rapids to spawn for the very last time, but those rocks and boulders are taking a toll..."

                "Get away from me!" Kaffee growled, "I am not a dying fish."

                "OK," Alyx pulled arm away. "Sorry, I ruffled your scales."

                "Ruffled my scales?" Kaffee burst out laughter in spite of hurt feelings.

                "That's the spirit, old girl.  Now swim out and find a fellow scaley man to share it with." Alyx fled before getting punched in the arm, a well remembered to avoid childhood Kaffee coping mechanism.

                Kaffee took deep breath, unclenched fist, let go ire mixed giggles, "That's my sis." She shrugged, lamented thought, "Not like I don't pray every night for a God fearing man to take my hand."

                Twas then that Kaffee activated yet another all too familiar coping mechanism... reached for food... clutched a pimento stuffed olive twixt index finger and thumb. "How long," Kaffee sighed, raised olive to eye level inches from nose, contemplated, "how long before my olive skin begins to sag, can no longer pushin-z-out zee baby?" She squished the olive just enough to make pimento baby pooch out before the whole olive squirted out of fingers onto table top and... "Roll baby roll," Kaffee accepted olive fate.  She watched it roll to table edge, titter a tad, then plunge screaming toward floor below, "AAAaaaahh!" Kaffee mocked.  Yet was it reflex or hope that her hand shot out to save olive from perilous babyless plight...

                ...No olive did Kaffee catch... but the hand of a man who rescued olive in the palm of his hand...  A gentle God fearing man, who said, "Night after night have I prayed to find you..."

                                                           Psalms 128 
  

                     

Thursday, June 8, 2017

JUST ANOTHER AVOCADO SUNRISE

                Forearm gainst kitchen door jamb, back of wrist to forehead, Kim yawned.  With  hand that cradled swollen tummy, she pulled over sized t-shirt up to her little pug nose, breathed deep. Her eyes closed.  His scent wafted warm.  She opened eyes.  "Well there he is the love of my life in the sunrise light."  She smiled, but shook her head.  "Every morning, every morning at that kitchen island," she sighed, "wearing another one of those kooky avocado t-shirts, cut-off jeans and that same frayed straw hat."  She paused, pulled out the front of  t-shirt from her bosom. Giant green avocado stared up at her.  She frowned.  "The man has got to be stopped!" She giggled.

                Oblivious to the plot hatching behind his back, Bob at kitchen island danced to Caribbean beat on the radio, while adding finishing touch to extra-early morning brunch.  "Simple, yet elegant, nothing like fresh avocado, lime, and..."

                ...Soft hands slid around his waist.  Bob looked down.  Something was boring hard under his right armpit.  It felt like a rib being taken.  Between arm and ribs, moppet haired head popped out. The attached nose crinkled, sniffed.  Her lips declared, "Why does lime, avocado, and fresh homemade tortilla chips haf-ta smell so good!"

                "Your craving, or baby's?"  Bob smiled.

                "Ooh, just one!"  Kim reached out, snagged chip.

                "Hey, you are eating my art!"  Bob complained.

                "It is pretty neat how you spiraled serving tray with chips, avocado and lime round poblano chiles."  Kim offered misdirection compliment, seized opportunity to snatch another tortilla chip.

                "You little sneak!"  Bob clamped her in head lock, kissed moppet head.

                Like a spotted owl twisting neck, Kim looked up at him, demanded, "On the lips, old man!"

                Bob bent over to comply.  Kim's warm breath caressed his face.  His lips brushed hers...

                ...Kim snitched hand full of chips, escaped, scampered out kitchen to balcony table.

                "You mischievous little twerp!  You wrecked the spiral!  It was gonna be my masterpiece on chirpagram."  Bob lamented, carried serving tray out to chip munching wife; sat down beside her.

                "Bob, Bob, your whimpering is not silent.  I can hear you."  Kim teased.  She bumped shoulder into his arm, added, "And since you are perturbed at me anyway, I might as well use this time to ask..."  Kim halted speech; knew, that like all typical men, Bob could not let unfinished business lie.

                Bob squeezed lime wedge over avocado slices and tortilla chips, combined the two.  In mid munch he mumbled,  "So, like what, Kim?"

                "Sweetie, you know I love you..."  Kim stopped again; hid half smirk with chip in hand; patted self on back with thought, "Mistress of manipulation, that's me."

                "...But?"  Bob bit.

                "But sweetie, we are about to bring a little Bob or Kimette into this over sized beach hut.  Should we not be a little more responsible?  Say, maybe consider giving up childlike fixation on all things avocado?  I mean, like are we going to dress our kid in avocado garb the rest of his or her life?  Come on!"  She tried to elbow a smile out of him... but Bob grew eerily silent, a tad too silent, tellingly silent, silence that screamed... "Bob!  You didn't!"  Kim whipped frayed straw hat from his head; frisbeed it from balcony into avocado garden below.  "You already bought avocado outfits for the baby, didn't cha, Bob?  How many, how many did you buy?"  Tears began to well in Kim's eyes.

                Bob hugged Kim close, rocked her in his arms, soothed, "Kimmie, let us never forget love is the best fertilizer for little avocados to grow in.  Us papa and momma avocados just gotta wrap 'em up in our branches, hide 'em from them beaky birds and marauding possums, until it's time for avocado pod to peel open and assimilate... Resistance is fruitless..."

                Kim burst into full blown fake sobbing... careened into belly laughter...

                Bob chuckled, observed, "Doctorette of male psychology meets match."

                "I have got to stop laughing before I pee myself!" Kim stifled chortle.

                The baby kicked...  Kim hugged her round tummy... Bob hugged Kim,,,

                Kim sighed, "Not just another avocado sunrise..."

                And looking east out over avocado garden and over the Caribbean waters beyond, Bob said, "Praise the LORD for three hearts beating as one..."


Genesis 2:22, "And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, He made into a woman, and brought her unto the man."




               

               

               

                     
  

                          

Sunday, May 28, 2017

WATER O CHOCOLATE

            When Boudreaux wed Apasionada, dim' folk dun' had one-a-dim' paardees'.  Amid this fiesta-festival the marriage of zydeco and cumbia echoed through the Louisiana swamp.  To de' pound of de' music and de' stomp of de' feets: de' fishes leaped, de' bull frogs bellered, de' gators clapped der' jaws, even the heart of the bayou waters did beat.  Nine months later, little was the surprise, when one more excuse to celebrate arrived: the birth of brothers Pierre and Pedro.  And the brothers two, oh how they grew, all the while living la vida loco.  "No life without passion," they often proclaimed, "our undying motto."

            And from the passion of the two that grew flowed a love of food.  A love fulfilled in the twin's joint venture, The Chocolate Gator Grill, a cafe made famous by their signature entree: chocolate gator gumbo chili-mole'.  They cooked; they flourished; no way could folks get enough of that chocolate gator gumbo chili-mole'...

            Until one faithless day, national TV reporter/food critic, Creme Brule, into the blue bayou blew, to interview the chocolate toothed two.  And with mike in hand Creme gestured about the cafe to ice cream display, to rows of cake, to piles of de' pie, and with an eye for the eerie she did droolingly query, "All chocolate!  Everything, chocolate!  What's up with that?"

            With tear in the eye, Pierre did reply, "Ever since we was just little bitty babies down on the bayou, Ma Ma' Apasionada dun' us so guud'.  I remember like today, we watch de' Ma Ma' boil dat' water for our hot chocolate."          

            "Si," Pedro patted the shoulder of his choked up brother, "Ma Ma' pass last year.  But always before she go, she treat her boys a-alright.  In dat' boiling water, chunk after chunk of rich dark chocolate find home.  She add one ton cane sugar and boat load cream on top.  To us dat' hot chocolate mean no limit of love."

            No limit viral that interview got viewed.  Viral twas the love of the public for the two with no Ma Ma' and a legacy of chocolate.  Besides, the food was "A-alright," as Pierre often said, "beyond some-none-a-tall." Thus a new wave of rave swept the nation.  And on TV The Chocolate Gator Grill became the number one cooking show sensation.

            The intro to the show became cult classic: "Bonjour!" In sync the brothers chimed.  Then the twins introduced each other: "My brother right here with the hangy moss chin and head o' hair be Pierre.  And my brother right here with the hangy moss chin and head o' hair be Pedro."  In sync again, "And we brothers dun' be right here to chocolate you up!"  Could TV fare sink any lower...

            Well...  One faithless day two flat bottom boats down the bayou did float.  With camera crew in tow, reporter Creme Brule shadowed Pierre and Pedro into the swamp to reap the meaty ingredient for their chocolate gator gumbo chili-mole.  Pierre cast the baited tri-hook into dark waters...  Pierre retrieved the line, till no more it did went; then slowly pulled the boat toward the end of the line...  All stopped at that sunk tri-hook.  Pedro readied dat' bat for the gator's head to splat...  He peered over the side...  With one big swoosh the mother of all gators Pedro dun' took... Red boiled the blood of Pedro in bayou chocolate...

            After that moment tragic, and back on shore, "We should-a known some kind-a better!!!"  Pierre into the camera did squall.  "Too hot, too hot dat' dark water o' chocolate!  O' Ma Ma', what have you dun' dun' to you boys!  You should-a warn us!  Gotta be careful or de' food dun' eat you!!!"

            In the eye of camera, the bayou waters, that dark chocolate framed the figure of Creme Brule.  Into the mike Creme no words better than her tears did speak...  Till in mid weep Creme cried, cried out, "Obsession stinks!!"

                                              ...Boiling hot chocolate burns...

                                                       ...I guar-raun-tee...

Postscript:

            Jeremiah 17:9 KJ, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
            In a heart without Jesus, passion mutates to obsession. When passion becomes idol, obsession consumes.  So does in the pot on top of Ma Ma's stove, the hot chocolate grow; grow to the boiling chocolate waters of the whole bayou.  Chocolate makes a delicious drink, but if you drink it at boiling temp, you get burned.  Passion requires direction and limits.  Passion needs the correct temperature before it is drank. Who among us as a child has not burned the lips and tip of the tongue with too hot, hot chocolate.

                  ...Listen to the LORD, drink from the brook the living waters of Jesus...

                                  ...Drink not of the dark bayou of this world...