Monthly Archives: March 2022

Beautiful Soup

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

What fragrance sends you back to childhood?

The scent of bubbling soup time-travels me to my mother’s kitchen. Cold and wet after slogging home from school, I filled nose and soul with her soup’s warm promise that I’d soon fill my empty stomach.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay.

Mom would’ve agreed with Molière, a seventeenth-century French playwright: “I live on good soup, not on fine words.”

Whether Molière wrote about soup, creative minds from centuries past have told many versions of a European folktale, “Stone Soup.” What modern child hasn’t heard how a hungry traveler(s), using empty kettle and stone, persuaded stingy villagers to share? Books, magazines, movies, songs and even software have borrowed the concept (though personally, I’d rather eat the soup.)

Another classic, Alice in Wonderland, features a soup song that’s puzzled me since childhood. Why would the Mock Turtle — obviously a turtle himself — laud turtle soup as “beau—yootiful soup”? If cannibals were boiling me in a pot, I would not sing.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay.

Enough literary commentary.

How do you like your soup temperature-wise? Like model Chrissy Teigen, I “need my soup to be crazy hot.”

My husband has ducked under many a restaurant table when I’ve sent lukewarm soup back to the kitchen. He says nothing, but I read his mind: If I had to marry a hot-soup fanatic, why not Chrissy, instead?

Too late for you, bud.

Enough marriage commentary.

Image by magdus from Pixabay.

Back to soup temperature. Enthusiasts refer to cold concoctions as gazpacho, vichyssoise or Polish chlodnik, made with beets and yogurt. Fine. Just do not call them soup. When thermometers reach 90 degrees, hand me a Popsicle® instead.

Not that I diss foreign soups. For centuries, Thai curry, Portuguese caldo verde (potatoes, kale and sausage) and North African squash soup have nourished thousands. Most of the world, though, might question a remote Japanese tribe’s recipe that includes bananas, coffee and dirt.

My mom in her kitchen. She didn’t feed 5,000 with her soup, but she came close.

Still, soup brings humans together. Mom understood this as she added more potatoes or broth to feed our ravenous family, lonely parishioners, and the occasional, hungry stranger.

Author Kate DiCamillo said, “There ain’t no point in making soup unless others eat it. Soup needs another mouth to taste it, another heart to be warmed by it.”

Mom, Kate isn’t the only one who got it right.

You cooked hundreds of kettles of beau—yootiful, beau—yootiful soup.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite soup?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Another Lesson Learned

O Lord, You know camping in 30-degree weather is not my favorite pastime. But OMG, thank You that my lack of anticipation didn’t keep You from sharing Your incredible creation with us!


Sorta Spring

Image by Lena Helfinger from Pixabay.

Everyone in Indiana regards the official calendar arrival of spring as great marketing by the Easter Bunny to extend his season and up his Hallmark stock’s value.

Image by arinaja from Pixabay.

Still, a walk, even on a sloppy day, can generate positive thoughts, such as, “Woo-hoo, it’s March, not November!”

See, don’t you feel better already?

Besides, staying inside does not guarantee security. I never feel safe when I share a residence with Moose Tracks ice cream left over from Christmas gatherings.

My mom always said fresh air was good for us. At the first sign of a winter thaw, she sent all five siblings outside. Conversely, she stuck her head out the door 10 minutes later to caution, “This is pneumonia weather! Cover those ears now!”

Apparently, my jingle-bell sock hat stopped pneumonia germs in their tracks.

Image by granderboy from Pixabay.

Although she now resides in Heaven, I still sense Mom-radar as I walk hatless toward the door. Despite my 60-plus years, I pause. Finally, I stuff one into my pocket. Maybe if I walk fast, pneumonia germs won’t catch me.

Especially as I’m following doctor’s orders. When people my age walk, they can look their physicians in the eye and truthfully state they are doing the cardio thing.

They save their best fibs to cover the Moose Tracks.

Today, my pathway takes me past houses whose yards still sport weary red bows and saggy inflated Santas. My heart warms toward these kindred procrastinators.

Soon, I’ll have to face thoughts of fertilizing and planting, but given March’s fickle weather, I can still file them in distant corners of my mind somewhere near cleaning the garage and attaining a size six.

Nothing colors my soul like daffodils’ green fingers, reaching up to grasp the earthy brown sill, with a few pretty but brainless yellow heads peeking out.

These dumb flowers always show up on deceptive warm days before a spring blizzard.

Image by David Underwood from Pixabay.

Every year, I try to warn them: “What part of ‘frostbite’ don’t you understand?”

Tonight, their yellow fingertips will shiver as a frozen wind arises.

But they never listen.

Thank God.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What does a March walk look like where you live?

OMG, It’s Monday! Conflicted, But Not for Long

O Lord, the story of Charlotte’s Web has always made this arachnophobe want to run in fear, yet bawl when the spider dies. But OMG, You know that when my grandson played Farmer Arable, no way would I miss a minute!

Inanimate Objects that Make Me Crazy

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay.

Down-to-earth types feel one with their material universe, but I refuse to merge my being with Inanimates that Make Me Crazy. For example:

Coat hangers. When I reach for one, it twists and tangles 10 more. Pants/skirts hangers await the moment I close the closet door — then dump 15 pairs of pants.

Cereal boxes. My husband has declared the Cheerios box off limits, just because I open the wrong end. He insists I mangle the bag, but when I used scissors, my dearly beloved said I trimmed it too short. He gets more bent out of shape than the box.

It may be an inanimate object, but that bag of chips sure looks like it’s sticking out its tongue at me.

Potato chip bags each contain five chips, four broken. But chips multiply with five-loaves-and-two-fish fervor into thousands when I open a bag, covering my kitchen, den and sidewalk.

Elevators. Long ago, I squished into one with a hundred other college students late to class. The elevator dropped an extra story. Now in their sixties, those people probably still prefer stairs, too.

Anything that says, “Insert tab A into slot B.” God constructed His world without a manual. I follow His example.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay.

Ketchup packets. Manufacturers fortify “open here” spots with webbed steel. Also, booby traps that spurt ketchup up the nose of my business client. At one restaurant, a server regularly opened packets for me. Maybe she got tired of ducking.

Plastic wrap. I try to tame it with a chair and whip.

Computer “help.” Why doesn’t Bill Gates tell the truth and call it “hinder”?

Meat hammers. Inspired by the Cooking Channel, I aspired to a more sophisticated utensil than the saucer edge my mother used to tenderize. I remortgaged the house and bought a Compulsive Chef meat hammer. The head promptly flew off, barely missing Hubby. Since then, he wears a helmet to survive home cooking.

Image by NickyPe from Pixabay.

As Hubby and other down-to-earth types take cover, they wonder why God in His wisdom did not place all us antimatter marvels on our own planet. What? Leave us alone, with no one to close Ziploc® bags? Also, life on Planet Proficient would bore them to death.

Human beings need a little crazy. I derive mine from inanimate objects.

Hubby gets his from living with me.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Do any inanimate objects drive you nuts?

Company’s Coming

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.

I brush the toilet, close shower curtains to hide the bathtub ring, and shine faucets. A clean hand towel completes the deception.

I stuff dishes into the dishwasher. Gross pots and pans go under the sink. Front edges of the refrigerator shelves are washed, and I swab random spots on the kitchen floor.

Attempting the ancient balancing process known as fling shoey, I toss more shoes into the closet than block the front entrance.

The doors of all bedrooms, offices and extra bathrooms are bolted shut.

Thus, the whited-sepulchre process of cleaning for company is complete.

Why do I stress so?

When children, my siblings and I welcomed visiting kids as reinforcements in the ongoing War Against Grown-ups. Together, we reversed Mom’s earlier cleanup process with relentless efficiency. Once, my brother, our friends and I threw a superior batch of mud pies at our church’s windows.

We didn’t have company for a while.

As Dad was a pastor, our family hosted evangelists and missionaries, often with little advance warning. Watching Mom perfect the God-help-us-they’re-here drill, I learned her technique.

We children celebrated when Brother Alleman visited. Though my sister and I slept on the floor, Brother Alleman’s big smile, his faith-filled stories, and candy bars he brought won our hearts.

As a teenager, though, I wished my parents weren’t quite so hospitable.

One morning, returning after an overnight campout, I encountered a teen boy I’d never seen before, asleep on our sofa. After recovering, I helped Mom fix breakfast for him and 20 other out-of-town church members, strewn throughout our house. They’d mistakenly thought our church held services Friday evenings.

At least, that situation lasted only one night.

One female ex-gang member shared my room for months — but we became good friends. She demonstrated how to throw a knife in less than a second.

When I left home, I declared I’d live a normal life.

Normal? I married a country doctor with a solo medical practice. With my cohost often failing to show and only my children to help(?), I invited few guests. Eventually, I gave up.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

Recently, though, with Hubby’s slower-paced job, I dusted off my having-company drill. We’ve rediscovered hospitality.

Mudballs and gang members aside, having company has become a treat again.

Almost as good as Brother Alleman’s candy bars.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Does the prospect of company stress or bless you?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: No Holding Back

Jesus, You gave these crazy little crocuses such courage! They refuse to let dead stuff from the past, a risky present, or a sure end smother their daring color. With only Your promise of rebirth, they flaunt joy. OMG, if that’s madness, please make me crazy, too!