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STEW GONE WRONG

Thursday, July 14, 2016

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, 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, a kiss blessed by spring breeze caress. Till one too many puffs turned to huff, shook dangling loblolly pine cone, set it tether free, one receding hairline to bean.

            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 his 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...

                                     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...

         

Sunday, June 26, 2016

STEW GONE WRONG

            "If I have to do just one more," like butter in summer suffering meltdown on the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon parking lot, KJLU reporter Creme Brulee sizzled, "do just one more, just one more dive of a diner interview; I am forsaking Fort Worth, retiring to New Orleans, and changing my name to Creme Fraiche."

            Too late frantic waving of camera crew alerted Creme to live on air status.

            "Or to Mud, just call me Mud Slide.  No doubt this is viral bound," quake of Creme rumbled aftershock, then switched gears, tried to salvage ruins with loony toon smile. "Only funnin' folks, KJLU reporter Creme Brulee here and I cannot wait to meet home town celebrity Bad Stewie, owner and head cook of the historic old west, bullet riddled, Stew Gone Wrong Saloon." Camera a follow, her shoes crunched gravel as she walked past parking lot front row of pickup trucks, old clunkers and bookoodles of motorcycles.  Creme turned head, beckoned with hand, "Come, follow if you dare..."

            And there Creme stood, face to face with iron clad brace, a riveted iron cross, upon an old saloon's crusty old door.  She reached out, grasped handle of palm shined brass, opened door to guts of past, the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon.

            Stepping thru threshold, Creme stepped right in that name called Mud, "Oh boy!" She cringed at what she feared to be her very own, spitten on, image.  For there she was live and in person on 120 inch full color TV.

            But what was this, instead of lynching party, diner patrons tried to play nice, many struggled to stifle, even hide snickers with hand over mouth; for after all, most had been there, that place called foot in mouth. But then jarringly and suddenly...

            Thru swinging kitchen doors a paw waving, bear sized Bad Stewie bounded out, cued crowd to shout, "Howdy Miss Creme!!"

            Bad Stewie grabbed her up, bestowed his signature bear hug, near squeezed the sauce right out of Creme. "Let not too far... turn too late..." Stewie whispered in Creme's ear.  He kissed that ear.

            Creme's legs near gave out.  Stewie held her fast, kept her from falling, said, "Need a chair Miss Creme?  You seem a tad frazzled." And yes, her blond hair was a bit frazzled, as her eyes melted into his.

            Some of the diner crowd gave wink, amid a united sigh.

            The camera guy, er gal, Lisa, whispered, "Now this is live TV. Good stuff!" She thumbs upped crew tech behind her.

            Was it embarrassment, was it the bear hug squeeze, or maybe the kiss on ear; just what was it that left Creme, a seasoned reporter, a master communicator, and one hot chick to boot... left her without words?

            "Are you okay, Miss Creme?" Stewie feared he'd squeezed a tad too hard, maybe even broke her.

            "I'm," Creme near lost grip on microphone,  as she rested palms gainst Bad Stewie teddy bear chest, "I'm... its just your hair took me off guard." Her lips lied, but her green eyes hid not her heart. "Why did you dye it all those colors?" She steered diversion, even managed segue to interview.

            "Well," Bad Stewie with gentle paw to the small of her back ushered Creme's tail feathers into bar stool nest.  He plopped down on stool beside her, "well, the hair is like for real."

            "What? You are kidding me, right? No young man has splotchy black, gray, green, firey red and purple natural hair." She reached out, combed it thru fingers. "Its so soft." She whispered.

            Big Bad Stewie blushed. "I didn't say natural." Stewie smiled, "I said for real quite unatural."

            "But is not your hair one of the reasons why locals and the media call you Bad Stewie?" She pried.

            "That and here at the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon, we make the best rabid hasenpfeffer in Texas." Stewie gave his diner and cuisine plug.

            "Okay, hype guy, the stew is good, but what about the hair?" Creme sensed personal interest hook.

            The hair is sort a personal,"Stewie stalled, yet sighed, "but near all here already know I was just a kid when I caught that evil upon my head.  Doctors thought it a rare fungus, probably from the Holsteins I milked every morning on the ranch. Anyhow, no medicine they had at the time cured it, so they decided radiation the answer."

            "They used radiation on your head? How horrible!" Creme lay hand on his massive forearm, added, "Sort a puts one's own petty rumblings in perspective."

            "Yeah, I'm a bit older than you might think.  Back then the docs tended to use radiation a rad too much.  I still remember my hair falling out by the roots, the kids at school teasing, my violent retaliation, and then," Stewie sighed, gave shoulder shrug, smiled wide, "then it grew back out... rainbow colored."

            "They hurt you." Concern flooded green eyes.

            "Had head aches for years, then one day the Lord just made them disappear." Stewie nodded matter of factly, tilted head face upward, and gave a big ol', "Thank you Father God, in Jesus name."

            "The LORD," many at diner tables repeated, some amened, many more nodded.

            "That was unexpected." Wondering set astir, Creme took notice of amening patrons. The camera followed her eyes, panned the crowd of old and of young, of dads, moms and children, of Fort Worth cowboys, warehouse and railroad crew workers, and bookoodles of leather clad tattooed bikers, and... "Oh my,"Creme near gasped, "a table full of lawyers and paralegals, and is that an agent of the IRS?" But then she, and camera, and all of live TV watching saw the crosses round necks and studded in silver on black leather jackets; saw the Jesus T-shirts, and even... even was it... did they all wear the light...

            "But this is an old saloon." Creme understood not. "These people are all, well, all from the rough side of the tracks. How can this be?"

            "Not all that's added... is a plus," Stewie spoke heart. "Ever since the Eve of sin, Adam and the rest of us, we all got our minuses. But as recorded in Mark 2:17, when Jesus was criticized for attending a dinner party full of disreputable folks at a tax collectors home, he told his critics that he came not for those who think themselves righteous, but for those who know they are sinners; for those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do.  And so it is that thru Jesus... God's grace... our past of day... is cast ago away... When we love Jesus, the Son of God, we love his Father, and we become God's children also. So are... the once rough crowd forgiven and blessed."

            And Creme Brulee, a once tad too driven professional reporter, lay her head gainst a once bad Stewie's bear of a chest.  And she confessed, as she wept, the name of the one and the only true Word... "Jesus."

            "Grace to the neck... the gift of light to the soul... Jesus..." said the saved from the bad, Stuart B. Bruin, as he hugged her and with gentle paw patted the nape of the neck of Creme Brulee... three little pats at a time...

            And the diners at tables let out a collective sigh of pure joy, punctuated with an amen blessing here and there...  

            And Lisa the cameraman, er camera lady, smiled, then said, "Now that's what I call live TV.  Good stuff!" She thumbs upped to heaven.

John 8:12 KJ: Jesus, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 1:1-14)

That most important decision of any life... might better make it now... for the never too late... tread not a moment too soon...

(This has been but a humble parable pointing to Biblical teaching. The true stories of the Holy Bible are infinitely more awesome. Crack one open. Let your life be awesome.) (For a true story bout stew in the Bible see Jacob & Esau in Genesis.)

Stew Gone Wrong? What to do? 2nd Chronicles 7:14...  



                                           

                     

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

EVERY PIE HAS ITS CRUST

            "Kneading dough is no piece of cake." With full lips a pout, Terra Eskew puffed at scrunchie escaped dark hair.

            "That's," Smitten Kitchens laugh swished her palomino pony tail, "that's because cake be doughless.  I think to bake the cake takes, like, batter?"

            "Exactly," Terra agreed, "doughless, unlike making pie crust, like we are doughing," Terra chuckled at her little play on words, but added, "Just how did we inherit the unofficial family title of Thanksgiving pie makers?" With back of hand Terra dabbed at the salty dew of labor on her nose, but succeeded only in covering her freckles in white flour.

            As she prepared apple filling, Smitten smiled, contemplated not telling Terra, but, "You look so cute with snow capped nose."

            "What?" Terra's brown eyes crossed, fought to focus on tip of nose. "So you are saying my nose is like a snow capped mountain?"

            Smitten giggle vibrated her far more than a tad baby bump gainst counter. "Hold still, silly," Smitten took a break from carving apples.  Her green eyes a sparkle reflected, told the tale of care, the red and white checkered apron borne by right hand, as she reached up to dab flour from Terra nose.

            "That's my Smitten, been keeping your too tall gal pal's nose clean since third grade." Terra pounded dough.

            "Little rough on the dough aren't we there, Terra?" Smitten knew. She was not supposed to know, but she knew that Terra look, that dough of guilt, that forbidden apple pie that ate at the heart of Terra.  Thus Smitten with slip of lip swept up the past, "From the floor of the mind... stir wisps of dust... whispers of time..." That breath, oh how it breathed Smitten heart; yet she sucked air back in thru teeth, bit that lowered lip, too late to retrieve words born.

            Terra mirrored Smitten bite of lower lip, then whispered, "The slip of the tongue is seldom silk, nor without season." She sprinkled white flour over dough, rubbed flour on rolling pin, and rolled not so merrily along.

            "Nobody's perfect." To bowl of carved apples, Smitten added smidgen of allspice, yet now the herb of rub.

            Trembling lip the quiet of Terra betrayed.

            "Sorry." Wrinkled brow of Smitten winced.

            After a tad more quiet, Terra ceased rolling of sour dough. "So you know," she whispered.

            Twas Smitten turn to weigh the quiet, a quiet that echoed off rue mountain.

            "We didn't plan it." Terra closed shades of eyes. "It," she took breath, opened eyes, and with those full pout lips sighed, "it just happened."

            "Yeah," thru apron Smitten rubbed pregnant tummy, "stuff happens."

            "I am so sorry," Terra put her hand over Smitten's on her swollen tummy.

            "I am sorry too." Smitten stared out kitchen window into the garden beyond.

            "Please," Terra fought lump in throat, "forgive me?" Terra cried. She hugged her precious friend, patted Smitten hand atop Smitten's ripe tummy. "At least you and Bill made up after our combined stupidity."

            Smitten hesitated, then as if they played a game of their youth, she put her hand atop Terra's hand, that was atop her hand on her rounded tummy, then said, "About this," Smitten pressed Terra's hand from atop hers directly to pregnant tummy, "I hate to one up you, but, when the smitten smite back, revenge is stupider to the nth degree."

            "You and my Ted?" Terra blinked, squished tears down cheek.

            "High fidelity infidelity sort a amps up the heartache, doesn't it." Smitten stared all the more out kitchen window into the garden.

            "Every pie has its crust..." Terra cried.  Her eyes followed Smitten's thru kitchen window, thru tears she asked, "Is forgiveness out there... in the garden?"

            "In the garden I see the well of grace... the living water... his name is Jesus..." Smitten cried...

            And so it came to pass... in the garden... they prayed...

            That very evening... baby Grace was born...


Our characters take a bow:

Terra Eskew: the earth, the world askew.

Smitten: When the smitten smite back... consequences swell...

Every Pie Has Its Crust: since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit...

Yet read in the totally true and infinitely awesomer Holy Bible:

            John 4:5-42, The adulteress at the endless well of grace... Jesus...

            John 8:1-11,  The woman about to be stoned for adultery... Jesus tells her accusers: "Let ye without sin cast the first stone..."

            Luke 23:34, Nailed to the cross, Jesus prayed for us all, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." So must we forgive also...

The most important decision of any life:

            Romans 3:23 KJ; "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

            Romans 5:8  KJ; "But God comendeth his love toward us, in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us."

            Romans 6:23 KJ; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

            Romans 10:9 KJ; "That if thou shalt confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

                                         ... ... ... You are loved ... ... ...  
           

     




              

               

               

             

Sunday, May 22, 2016

TWICE BAKED

            "Die wrinkle die!" Carol sang no noel over new hubby's favorite slacks.  Thru clenched teeth she sucked in steam from iron. "No matter," steam puffed out pink rose lips, "no matter how I press, push, grind and twist, that stupid wrinkle just will not give it up.  It is as if it's perma-pressed or something... Ooohhh no!" Carol cringed, for the wrinkle, the pant leg pleat, had given it up, charred black and unholy holey at the knee.  Carol tears extinguished flames of ire in blue Swede eyes.

            "Low altitude attitude has done me in again.  What is wrong with me?" Carol dabbed tears from cheek with soft light hair. "Why can I not just stop being negative?  I will never fly right." She whined a tad more, before the sound of driveway crash wrecked self-loathing, left ego smoldering...

            The wind of Will Hope blew in thru open door, stirred sad smoke into swirling wisps with teaspoon of optimism. "Your car needed a new bumper anyway." A somewhat less than pudgy hubby held out his arms to wife.

            "Ooohhh no," Carol Hope lamented, fell into his arms gainst teddy bear chest, jarred his glasses askew on nose.

            "Or did I say wife gets a new car?" Will hugged her, felt on his cheek her tears in hair, kissed her ear.

            "Oh, it's not the car, it's..." Carol sniffled, reached for, then held forth homemaker failure, "I ruined your favorite slacks."

            "Well," Will plucked pants from her fingers, surveyed the damage, "What rankle hath wrinkle wrought?" He held pants up between them.  Thru burnt hole Will right eye stared straight into the left eye of Carol. "Wow, I see you burned completely thru both sides of the leg.  Not many bear such unwavering perseverance." He snickered, tossed pants aside, gave wife snug hug.

            Carol slide hands up chest, cradled his cheeks in her soft hands.  Blue eyes met brown. "Why are you not mad?"

            "Cause I'm mad about you." Will matter of facted.

            I'd be peeved, if you ironed a hole in my favorite dress." Carol stated, yet more questioned not hubby Will, but the will of self.

            "Actually, I am furious." Will turned dark. "We must honor charred pant remains with proper burial neath stone epitaph of enigma: Twas perseverance too well done; betrayed sad pants undone."

            "You are mocking me, because I am a professor of English Lit?" Carol narrowed those blue Swede eyes.

            Will set in. "To mock, yet to..."

            Carol gave both hubby love handles the stop and desist lobster pinch.

            "Yeee-ouchee!" Will pulled claws loose, quipped away, "To mock, yet to weep, alas poor pants, shall pant no more." He emoted nother ig-mo gem, while keeping lobster claws at bay.

            "Dust to dust yet to sweep; better not bitter for to sleep," Carol countered, punctuated with giggle.

            "Something burning?" Will sniffed non-fragrant air.

             "Duh! Charred pants!" Carol sang.

            "Is that smoke coming from the kitchen?" Will sort a wondered.

            "Ohhh no," Carol sung.

            Together they opened windows, aired out the house called home.  Together they dumped burnt pork chops and charred pants into trash receptacle near driveway, where Carol observed, "Your truck bumper sort a leapfrogged my car Lady Macduff''s bumper."

            "Alas, poor Lady Macduff, sad wife knew you well." Will Hope sighed.

            "Alas, poor husband new car buys," Carol gave sideways nod and rose lips smile.

            Strolling arm and arm back to home back door, Will reflected, "Ya know, in a way I sure am glad my precious wife burned a hole in my favorite slacks." He emphasized with wide open eyes."Maybe little mini disasters happen in sync for a reason."

            "Like saving your butt from the wrath of wife." Carol gave Will sly fox eyes and full tooth grin.

            "Like saving us from... I love that little fox eating fried chicken look of yours." He marveled at rare find fine wife.

            At his side, under his wing, Carol completed the distracted thought of Will, "Hard times always teach, sometimes save and at times even pull us together."

            As they re-entered kitchen thru back door, Carol's tummy growled, reminded, "Well, an evening meal might have saved us from starving."

            "Ah, but what is that I see covered in terry cloth atop yon stove?" Will found hope.

            "Great Grandma Olla's home-made rolls," Carol offered. "At least I think that's what it is.  The recipe card is the original and the title at top is for sure smudged with butter and probably milk."

            "Let's give her a look." Will peeled back terry cloth. "Zwieback!" Will pealed glee. "Your Swedish Grandma may have written skorpa on the recipe card, or like much of Europe adopted the name zwieback from the old German zwie - twice, and backen - to bake, twice baked. When I was a kid, my Mom shopped groceries at the local Lucky Seven and off the shelf bought boxed sweet zwieback for my teething baby sister. Thing is Mom usually bought two boxes at a time, because big brother loved chowing down on those tough little cookie-biscuits too."

            "I just hope it is edible." Carol feared nother oops. "Sure is hard."

            "Supposed to be hard." Will nodded. "Most cultures around the world bake it in one form or another, because twice baked to dry prevents spoilage.  I love how your Grandma's version of it looks like it has little knobs to pick it up by.  And I love that you took the time to cook this from scratch for us."

            Tummy to tummy they k-i-k-i-k-i-kissed, interrupted by hunger growl of Carol tummy and resulting giggles.

            "You know what goes with Zwieback?" Will more planned than asked.

            "Whatever it is needs to be quick." Her tummy growled agreement.

            "How does a salad sound, maybe seasoned with salt and pepper, a few dashes of mustard, a tad of minced garlic, two tads chopped parsley, all tossed with sweet malt vinegar and olive oil?" Will gave Carol his eyes wide open, head tilted sideways, why not look.

            "Kill the garlic, add some sides of salami, ham, cheese, maybe some butter, peach jelly and coffee... Oh yeah!" Carol headed for frig.

            And soon so it was as the house aired out, that thru open patio door... by candle light two sat at scarlet cloth covered table, shared hands, prayed thanksgiving, shared a sip of wine with the bread of better choice... a healthier meal made by them together and dubbed by Will, "Zwieback and Rescue Salad... just a swim in the sweet vinaigrette of life."

            "What a recipe... love is..." So did Carol sing.


            Jesus: "Love one another as I love you. Love one another, that your joy be full..." John 15:11&12.

                                                The Zwieback In This Story

            Dissolve tsp of sugar and 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Then in a larger bowl combine the above with 3 cups flour, tbsp salt, 3/4 cup cooled melted butter, 2 cups cooled scalded milk... beat well... Next gradually add up to 3 more cups of flour to form a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough bout 6 to 8 minutes til elastic and smooth. Put dough in a butter smeared bowl, cover with cloth, let rise until doubled (bout an hour or so). Pat down, Divide into 4 pieces, divide 3 of the pieces into 8 pieces each, hand roll into balls, place on butter coated baking sheets. Hand roll remaining 4th piece into 2 doz smaller balls, press onto tops of 2 doz larger balls. Cover with cloth, let rise a tad less than an hour. Remove cloth, bake til golden at 375 deg for about 30 minutes... and voila... Zwieback... great with soups, salads, gravies, cold cuts, cheese, butter, jelly, coffee or tea... and life and love...

            "I am the bread of life." Jesus said of himself in John 6:48. Why did Jesus do the miracle (John 6:1-12) of feeding over 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish (awesome)? He explains in John 6:48-51 (awesomer and the reason for the title "Twice Baked"). All have earthly temporary lives; but only those that eat of the bread of Jesus gain heavenly lives eternal, the fullness of joy.)  

            No coincidence that the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town whose very name means House of Bread. Bethlehem, a town of bread bakers amid rolling hills of grain.

         

           
             
   
           

                       

                    

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

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."

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...




                       
                   






Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DAFFODILS IN WHINEY LAND

            Midst the vast west Texas desert the fingers of the Davis Mountains tickle the tummies of passing clouds, till they laugh, till they cry... that at buttes feet, the prairie grass grows twixt mountain toes...

            "Never thought I'd be sitting in a hunting stand, rifle in hand, eating Skeddadles, and stalking the elusive va'moose." A not so long ago petite Dafnie peeped semi-complaint, popped another Skeddadle past lips.

            "Pronghorn antelope, not va'mooses." While setting up camera on tripod, Shylee huffed, rolled one good eye, the one not glass. "Just keep your itchy trigger finger in check." He brushed errant strand of scraggly hair out of that one good eye, added, "That 30-30 carbine is here only to protect us from getting eaten."

            "Yeah, I am sort a allergic to mountain lions chawing on my innards." Her brunette ponytail swished as Dafnie giggled a tad too enthusiastically. "Crud, I think I peed myself."

            "Serves you right," Shylee smirked, gnawed off chunk of mesquite smoked garfish jerky. "Although," conscience gave Shylee gnaw of its own, "although, I might ought a be a smidge more empathetic to my precious little Daffodil." To utter pet name for wife Dafnie more often than not warmed his heart, brought smile to bewhiskered face. "How a pretty little thing like you ever got tangled up with the likes of me is blessed mystery."

            "Now don't you get all mushy on me, fat boy." Dafnie popped nother Skeddadle, elbowed Shylee in the ribs.

            "Just cause I ain't purdy don't mean I'm mean," Shylee took nother garfish jerky chaw, added, "nor insensitive, although maybe a tad dense at times."

            Dafnie opened box of WhaleAhoy chocolate balls, plowed into them like a truffle rooting pig.

            "You might ought a... save some for later," Shylee had nearly said... that awfully said, being distracted and all, while making final camera adjustments.

            "Well, now I'm out of Skeddadles and WhaleAhoys. Got any chocolate almonds, or better yet, chocolate chip almond cookies?"

            "What? You done plowed thru all that plus a family sized bag of BBQ potato chips, another of corn chips and two cans of jalapeno bean dip. Not to mention..."

            "Maybe some lemon pie, I can almost taste it, yum!" Dafnie near drooled.

            "Why are you stuck in whiney land and why are you eating like a hippo?" Shylee winced at that unwise whining of his own, shut his one good eye, let out under breath, "Oh-h-h, no."

            Dafnie's nose rabbit twitched a bit before sniffling. From her brown eyes only one wee tear fought to stay clear... of right cheek.

            "Sorry," Shylee understated the self-inflicted damage to his own heart; turned attention from camera to Dafnie.

            "Cause I'm getting fat..." Dafnie broke out in magpie cry. "Got any smores? I smell smores?" She blubbered some more.

            "Women and their mood swings." Shylee rolled good eye, the one not glass, then like most stupid men wished he had not said that too.

            Dafnie cut loose low moan whine, that gradually grew to full siren alert.

            "Otay, what's my little Daffodil's problem, besides me strolling down Jerk Lane?"

            "I'm whining cause," Dafnie dabbed at tears with back of denim shirt sleeve.

            "Yes," Shylee handed her hanky.

            "I'm moody cause," Dafnie dabbed and sniffled.

            "Yes," Shylee hugged her.

            "I'm eating cause," Dafnie snuggled gainst his chest.

            "Yes, my little Daffodil," he patted her back.

            "Got any chocolate pickles?" Dafnie sort a oozed into low moan, revving up to near repeat siren alert.

            Shylee hugged her closer to him, "Come on my little Daffodil," he kissed her forehead, "whatever it is, you can lay it on this old fart."

            "I'm," Dafnie snuggled angel face next his neck.

            "Yes," patient love filled Shylee chest.

            "I'm eating," her hands pulled him closer.

            "Yes," Shylee rolled that one good eye.

            "I'm eating for," Dafnie sighed.

            "Lord, please make her spit it out," Shylee pleaded.

            "I'm eating for four," Dafnie confessed.

            "But there is only one of you and one of me?" Shylee had no clue.

            "There's fixin' to be five," Dafnie kind a softly whined, yet smiled.

            "Of what?" Shylee questioned.

            "Of three little Daffodils, plus us." She snuggled closer into him.

            "There are no daffodils in whiney land," Shylee chuckled, nestled nose in her hair.

            "All baby girls," Dafnie closed her eyes.

            The pupil in Shylee's one good eye swelled to full iris, then shrunk to mere pinpoint. "A bouquet of little Dafnie Daffodils?"

            Dafnie's eyes opened. Her nose rabbit twitched, led her straight to Shylee shirt pocket. "I smell garfish jerky," She said, then pocket pilfered.

            "Daffodil blessings..." Shylee awwwed, then gulped, "and dirty diaper responsibilities."

            "Sometimes tha less purdy... are purdiest of all..." Dafnie cooed, gnawed off healthy garfish jerky chaw.

         
Sometimes the less pretty... are the most beautifully blessed of all...

With great blessings... come great responsibilities...

The more you got... the more you got to take care of...

Season sweet romance... with herb of reality...

Perhaps, well actually no doubt about it, Jesus said it best: To whom much is given... much is required...

The one good eye: Keep focus on Jesus and on his commandments to love God and love one another. An eye rolling out of focus just gets us in trouble. And if it does start to roll... pray... for people may not be perfect... but God is...

Paw Paw loves all you little Daffodils out there...

"May the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26 KJ.

And remember: JESUS LOVES YOU... John 3:16          
                           
            

                 

               

Thursday, February 25, 2016

TAPIOCA SUNRISE

            "Where the wild tapiocas grow, island life be kind a slow, swims in calm soothing flow; and for Thomas and I this change indeed be much needed," Lannie spoke into the light of sun rising from the sea. Sunbeams lit her auburn hair halo aglow.  Mini waves curled between her bronze toes; she dug them into warm white sand, reflected, "No more faceless neighbors, no more sidewalk myriads, not one towering edifice scraping scars into sunrise sky." Her brown eyes smiled, as gentle island breeze caressed bare shoulders, danced in the hem of floral sarong, hugging the curves of her Garden of Eden like body.  Her lips kissed sea salt air, "Please dear Lord above, in Jesus name I pray, help my Thomas to see the way."

            But there sat Thomas a doubting in desk lamp woe; crunching numbers that crunched his soul. Thomas worrying much, accomplishing little, seeing desk top, seeing not thru open window precious wife framed in seaside sunrise glow.  Fretting he was, fretting away that moment blessed on white sand shore; contemplating a move back to big city town and adding ad agency stress to relieve the stress of ill cash flow.  And thus this muttering did Thomas Batach sow, "Why can Lannie not see the evitable cut low?"

            Yet that later day noon in the kitchen, a yuca peeling Lannie and avocado preparing neighbor passed more than the time away... "Island delicacies are just too easy," a moppet haired Kim punctuated that said with a little grunt, as her baby bump bumped counter edge, thru avocado print T-shirt.  She grasped avocado, traced around its ovalness with knife, split it apart, laid seed side up on counter.

            "Your arms are barely long enough to reach that avocado," Lannied snickered.

            "But us avocado farmers are a hardy breed." Kim slammed knife edge into avocado seed, grasped avocado half in palm, gave knife a twist.  The seed stuck to blade.  Kim set it aside, reached for spoon. With it she traced around the inside of peel, dolloped out avocado half in one smooth piece.

            "You are one dangerous woman," Lannie smirked at her near poppin' pregnant pal, rendered her best Caribbean pirate imitation, "But I got carving of me own to do." She commenced yuca slicing for what she misnamed, "Avast yea tapioca fries."

            "You have no idea what avast means, do you?" Kim chuckled.

            "Not a clue," Lannie confessed, "but this captain of the kitchen be a saber welding pie-ratt and I'm a slicing me yuca asunder, then poking her to walk the plank into icy waters, to prevent discoloration of course.  And also about to," she slashed last slice, "to par boil this stuff afore I fries 'er up in peanut oil."

            "Poor yuca!  Boiled in water, then fried in oil. Ouch!" Kim came aboard Lannie land. "Sounds like sweet culinary plan."

            "Yeah, tasty plan, just pray Thomas finds one." Lannie's smile sagged a tad.

            "Yeah, my guacamole is gonna be tasty." Kim smiled, hugged Lannie, whispered in her dear friends ear... "Have faith; do not fear."

            And Lannie looked thru open window; saw two walking white sand shore... And Lannie smiled...

            "Dude," Kim's husband, Bob, had a way with words, "Dude," Bob repeated, "so you are a few clam shells short of a reef.  Wake up and smell the chowder."

            "More like soon to smell the big city smog," Thomas grumbled.

            "But Dude." Bob grabbed the arm of Thomas, half turned him to meet the half turn of his own.

            Face to face, Thomas confided, "We are going to miss you guys, but I just don't see a way to stay."

            "But Dude, have faith," Bob Bob-ismed, "like tapioca is like gold!"As he had spoken Bob's scraggly beach bleached hair and frayed straw hat had gone a floppin'.

            "Just what did you season that chowder with?" Thomas truly wondered.

            "Tapioca, its tapioca, tapioca is your answer." Bob nodded head like a dash board bobble head on country gravel road.

            "Tapioca is a dessert." Thomas doubted, yet sensed his friend meant well.

            "Tapioca pearls are made from what?" Bob struck mental match.

            "The processed yuca root of the cassava plant?" Thomas knew, but connected not tapioca pearls to cash flow dots.

            "Dude, when you moved here, you bought a neglected, dilapidated yuca farm.  Remember when you first moved here Lannie thought the roots were sweet taters and you thought the tops were weeds?" Bob reminded. then ismed, "Well you got yuca all over the place, can you dig? I mean like literally dig; as in harvesting."

            "There is money in tapioca?" Thomas ran hand thru short dark hair.

             "Dude, tapioca is like just one yuca product.  Sure you got your grocery shelf tapioca pearls in all sorts of tasty flavors, but there is also yuca flour for baking, yuca syrup for that baked, yuca industrial and pharmaceutical applications and even livestock feed. Dude, like yuca is like the giant peanut of the Caribbean." Bob ismed again.

            "The giant peanut of the Caribbean... Yuca-A-Mok-A!!" Thomas' ad agency brain ran amok.

            Like nine months like later... clad in island uniforms of frayed straw hats, yuca-avocado print T-shirts, and cut-off jeans... Dudes and Dude-ettes together on beach blankets sat.  There sat Thomas with wife Lannie with child soon to be a poppin'.  There sat Bob with wife Kim with baby Tim Bob cradled in arms. And Bob, well Bob ismed east out over the Caribbean waters into butterscotch Tapioca Sunrise, "Thank you LORD above in Jesus name for a keeping... our Christian hearts a beating... as one..."


The Miracle:
"Tapioca Sunrise" is itself a result of faith and prayer. But why was the name of the main character Lannie.  I had no clue.  In fact I tried most all the way thru writing the story to change the name from Lannie.  Every time, I drew a blank; til near story end I wondered why does God insist her name be Lannie.  So I looked it up on the internet.  There I saw why a short story named "Tapioca Sunrise" had to have the main character named Lannie.  Lannie is Hawaiian for... sky or heaven, or if you will sky of heaven.

Faith is trust... and when his children pray to The Creator of heaven and earth in his son's name, Jesus... well is anything too hard for God...  Jeremiah 32:17; Proverbs 30:5; Philippians 4:6-7 and of course doubting Thomas: John 20:24-29

Other name meanings:
Thomas: as doubting Thomas from the Holy Bible
Batach: pronounced bawtekh (Thomas' last name) from Hebrew: make to trust.
Kim (Kimberley) (Eng.): royal forest meadow
Bob: (Ger.) famed, bright and shining

"Tapioca Sunrise" is the sequel to "Just Another Avocado Sunrise"... Check it out by clicking on this blog's menu the arrows to: 2014 then November