Tag Archives: weather

Happy Fall, Y’all!

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Chilly weather, and chili weather…

My cousin Judy has lots of kitchen traditions she has built with her family over the years.  The first snowfall of the season always brings a homemade pie, for example.  For the last couple of years, Judy has opened her kitchen up for “Fall-Chili-And-Hot-Tamale-Making-Day”.  And we’ve already started talking about this year’s installment!  I can’t wait to spend time together, stirring the chili pot, making the mixtures of meat and meal, assembling those little packages of tamale goodness!  We share the work and then share the finished product, with me and anyone else who helped taking some home to enjoy later. And of course, we have to taste and see that what we made was good!  Quality control, after all.

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It reminds me of the times when Mama and “Mamaw” Allred, Aunt Martha, Aunt Ruby and/or any combination of them, would gather in someone’s kitchen to make tamales, or candy, or to can tomatoes and green beans in the summertime.  Shared work provided shared goodies, as well as lots of laughs and fun.  The foods they prepared nourished both body and soul.

I look forward to chili-and-hot-tamale-making-day, for the yummy food we hope to make.  But even more than the physical food, I look forward to the comfort of time spent together with Judy and whoever else can join us (both Reed and Jeff have helped in the past), carrying on the traditions of the generation before us.  And I think this year, cake may need to happen!

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Tempest

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It was a dark and stormy night…

After a few weeks of very dry weather, we finally received some rain, accompanied by lightning and thunder. It wasn’t scary, loud thunder that shook my house.  It was more that rumbly, distant kind of thunder that can be relaxing, almost musical, to hear.  I love this kind of storm and the way it can lull me to sleep.  But the other night was a different story.

After trying to sleep for a while with no success, I got out of bed and went downstairs to read for a while.  I thought I might even attempt to write a blog post.  My mind has been both full and empty recently; full of conflicted thoughts and empty of anything worthwhile to write about.  At least, it has felt that way.

As usual, when I got up, the dog got up with me.  Once settled in on our comfy couch, though, he was back to sleep soon enough.  I envied him for his ability to rest so peacefully.

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Since it had been a while since I wrote a blog post and ideas were not coming to me, I retrieved a book from my shelf in hopes that it would spark meaningful thoughts that I could share.

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I was not in a good place for writing, because every writing prompt I looked at and thought about seemed to have some sort of painful memory attached to it.  Recent conversations have opened old wounds and have made new ones.  I’ve found myself confronted by a kind of hate I was unprepared to face.

Writing, or speaking, the truth, is not always nice, or pleasant or pretty.  But it shouldn’t be hateful.  We all have opinions, and we all have a right to express them.  And if people choose to be hateful, I guess they have that right as well.

By the same token, we have the right to minimize our exposure to the hate, even if it comes from within our own family or “friends”.  Gracious God, help me to hand over to You my pain and my anger, and to keep handing it over until I can leave it with You once and for all.  Soothe the tempest that threatens me.  I come to You with open hands and a broken heart.  Fill me so full of Your love that there’s no room for anything else—Amen.

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