I was glad of many things this morning at the “early service”. The last few days have just tumbled by like a merry river. With today being Sunday, I had “Sunday dinner” to look forward to, as well.
I had planned to fry chicken, as Mama really enjoys that. Daddy would like the steamed cabbage, and I had a perfectly good ham bone that warranted use. Even though black eyed peas, seemed “out of season” I had some on hand, and so the pot of “January” peas were simmering by nine. As I was making the dessert, Jenny called and said she and Lyla were coming. I was as “happy as any lark” ever dared to be. I was glad I had decided on making cheesecake bars as Jenny is quite partial to cheese cake, in any form.
Meanwhile, the morning warmed up coaxing a few more rosebuds to open. It seemed the day would be fair, which only made me more cheerful.
The meal turned out well. Lyla said the prayer, insisting we all hold hands. She said simply, “thank you Jesus”. No one can accuse her of “praying like a pharisee” .
After the meal, we all went outside and sat near the old sycamores. Lyla and Christian took off to the small orchard out back. They ended up under the old grapevine. Lyla was enamored with the “secret place” and spent a good deal of time there, with Christian. Christian said she liked watching the birds building nests.
I have my own memories of playing under an old grapevine. My younger sister, Delores and I spent many summer afternoons in the shade of an old grapevine. To us, it was a house we shared with our dolls. We never bothered about husbands, but we had more than a few dolls. If one of the dolls got sick, the “house” suddenly transformed in to a hospital. Sometimes it was a school and the year Delores got a cash register, it became a grocery store. Mama would wash cans and save boxes til we built a good supply of stock. We also collected what we could for furniture. Things like buckets, turned upside down, for chairs and picnic benches for beds. I am so glad that Mama insisted we play outside, instead of inside watching TV, for those were happy times.
We developed quite an imagination, which I think may be one of the most valuable qualities, a person can have. Imagination is the heart of compassion as we can feel the heart of others, with just a bit of it. Imagination also helps us more easily understand the behavior of others -even if the behavior is poor and can cause us not to judge harshly. Besides that, Delores and I were really practicing for “real life”. Our dolls were precious, good, naughty and sick on any given day, much like our real children would be.
I wondered what Lyla was talking to Christian about, but I did not dare interrupt the spell of those moments. I did ask Christian later, what Lyla was doing, all that time. He said she pretended all sorts of things . . .and so he did too.
Meanwhile, by the old sycamores, the rest of us sat and shared small talk. The conversation was slow and light hearted . We were glad for my nephew, Brandon who will be attending a university next year. Daddy said I needed a new tire-and then found a tack in one of Jennys’ tires. We all hoped Jennys’ “Grandma Betty” was feeling better and Jenny said she felt the baby move quite often, these days.
When everyone left, I felt like I had been bestowed a gift. . .something rare and genuine. “Sometimes, there are bright and shining moments” . . . .and this Sunday was one of them. This Sunday, was golden . . . and pure . . .and quite beautiful.