baking, learning, ashes, and love…

The Lord God proclaims:

Put on the pot, set it on,
    and fill it with water.
 Add meat to it,
    every good piece.
    With shoulder and thigh,
    the meatiest bones, fill it up.
Take the flock’s best animal;
    arrange the wood beneath it.
Bring it to a rolling boil,
    and cook its bones in it.

Pile on the wood, light the fire, and cook the meat.
    Season it well and let the bones be charred. – Ezekial 24:3-5, 10

1-IMG_1807Today, Wednesday, I’d like to catch up on a few of the untold stories from this past week. Having the grandchildren with us was both exhausting and wonderful as they are full of unremitting energy and at the same time overflowing with creativity and wonder and inquisitiveness and a spiritual sensitivity not often associated with the very young.

More than anything they want to be around Rebekah. “Hi, Grandaddy,” they will say… while at the same time looking over my shoulder and all around saying, “Where’s Grandmama?”

I may be the day-to-day cook, and I have my marquee moments with some gourmet experimentation, but Rebekah is the one who handles anything to do with baking. Bread, buttermilk biscuits, angel biscuits, cookies – all those items from that long list neither one of us ever needs to be eating but, at the same time, we love to serve to guests at Thanksgiving.

1-IMG_1802David and Beks are almost at the point now where they could make biscuits from scratch. They measure, they mix, they roll out, they set and watch the timer, they cut, they are even breaking eggs. They make an impressive baking mess to the extent that the kitchen is a haze of suspended baking particles, particulate matter reducing visibility by a good twenty-five percent!

The same with the cookies. Melting butter, adding sugar, folding in chocolate chips, stirring, stirring, stirring patiently and without complaint.

Then they continue with the whole sous-chef idea to help me with many of my preparations. Beks especially loves the stirring, standing on a stool in front of the stove to keep onions moving or potatoes from sticking. The photos below give a hint of how much fun they had and how much real help they were all week long.

The Burial:

1-IMG_E1843The other untold story is the sad but beautiful moment when we committed the ashes of the Campbell family’s two pets. Star the dog died just a couple of weeks ago, and Capriccio the cat passed away in the late summer (see “When Pets Die – and we love them so much”). Losing both animals at essentially the same time was difficult for all the Campbells.

So the children helped prepare a marker, their dad dug a good-sized hole in the garden, and the ashes found a resting place where both the memory of the pets and the beauty of the flowering plants (hydrangea) will remain.

Fortunately, we had a Presbyterian preacher on hand so we said goodbye to Star and Capriccio not only with love and stories but also decently and in good order.

And life goes on, a continuous run of wonder, joy, sadness, grief, remembrance, making new memories, laughter, tears, adventure, learning, dreaming, doing, celebration, stumbling, getting back up again, belief, hope, promise, prayer, and words of thanksgiving…

And that is the news from Maul-Hall. You can find the balance of the pictures below – DEREK





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