Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Date: July 22, 2010

A double post kind of night: Coming up Dandelions

From the start of the job application process I think I’ve done a pretty good job of sitting back and letting things unfold. Until tonight. I hit the wall.

I’ve understood that we can only do our best to plant the seeds but ultimately it will be God that brings the opportunity to fruition. Husband has done a spectacular job of seeking out the most fertile soil – not just scattering seed willy nilly – while also fertilizing at the prime hour, nurturing with water, and then we’ve sat back to see what will spring forth.

So far, we’ve sprouted a dandelion.

Now, we’ve seen the starts of several others, but nothing really bloomed. So we don’t even know what those plants were. But this one is bright yellow and sticky in your hands.

Now we’re faced with a challenge: what to do with it. Yank it out so that it makes room for the “real” plants? Is it just sucking the nutrients from what is yet to bloom? Do we put stock in the fact that there was much more seed, so surely there will be a harvest?

Or do we celebrate it as the beautiful opportunity in our bare field? It was, after all, created by God, and I’m sure he thinks it gorgeous.

As the daughter of a farmer, my father gaffed each time I expressed desire for sunflowers to make a home in our fields – they were so pretty, after all. He informed me that they were actually weeds and that once you get one, you can’t get rid of them. To a farmer, it was a pesky weed. But who doesn’t remember the early ’90s when sunflowers made their home in Country Living magazine as a decorating must-have? Nary a mother who didn’t have one appliqued on a sweatshirt. The sunflower wasn’t a weed; it was a symbol of bold beauty.

From a farmer’s perspective, it wasn’t food; that’s what made it a weed. If you’re trying to grow corn or beans, that wasn’t it. But actually, it is food. I’ve never been to a baseball game without sunflower seeds. It’s just not what the farmer intended.

So the question for us this evening is: is our dandelion food? Can it provide? Will it sustain the soul?

Visit me elsewhere:

Nothing like a good noodle

I’m pretty sure that when Jesus comes back it will be scheduled around the ice cream social at JSUMC. Surely some saint that has gone before has mentioned Marge Kreachbaum’s noodles to the guy and hinted around that it’s probably the best way to usher in a new kingdom. So, for all of you date & time guessers out there, my money is on the time around the 3rd Thursday in July. Clearly, the event stands highly regarded in my book (this, along with any organization that sells a good BBQ Chicken dinner. I’m pretty good at making rounds on those as well).

Marilyn, the church secretary (one of my top 10 favorite people ever, largely because she put up with me and my shenanigans so well) once told me that “back in the day” (her words) when you signed up to help with the social, it was more along the lines of “i’ll give you 4 heads of cabbage from the garden” and then everyone would get together and make cole slaw. This led me to believe that hand-cranked ice cream used to be the norm as well (as opposed to buying from Hershey’s, which now is the norm), but I think she withheld that tidbit “for my own good” (not her words).

I’m kind of privy to that type of social. Don’t get me wrong: Marge and her carbolicious bounty are cause for celebration. But tonight I also watched a member bring in their allocation of baked goods, much thanks to the new bakery in town.

How did we go from planting the seeds, weeding the garden, harvesting the crop, slicing then pickling as our contribution, to simply picking up a dozen at the store? Never mind the phase where we purchased the ready-made mix but at least baked it in our own oven. Was adding the egg and oil really that much of a headache?

I realize I have a little bit of pot-n-kettle in me right now; I delivered a meal to a family with a new baby today and for sure counted on ol’ Betty for the brownies. I did, however, whip up my own homemade peanut butter cream cheese icing (Kimberly that was my third and final attribution, the recipe is now mine!). So I’m all to familiar with how easy it is to let the box do it better.

I think what makes me most sad, aside from nutritional concerns (this is the one time of year that H gets a plate with only whiteish-yellow food and I’m pretty cool with it), is the the loss of kitchen time that comes with it. Because if you’re not in the kitchen, where are you? I’m guessing at work. We haven’t traded conveniences for more time with the fam, but for more time with The Man. Because when we’re in the kitchen, we’re in the company with people we love the most.

One of H’s new favorite things is to help “stir” what mommy is making (and I’m sorry, but I still can’t let him just fling flour everywhere. I’m trying to “let go” but I’m just not there yet). And when friends come over for an evening, where do you end up? Hovering over the cream cheese-filled appetizer on the counter, men by the grill. One of my all-time favorite social gatherings is when our friends all empty out our fridges of whatever we can find and put together some semblance of a meal.

Food is far more than just what sustains our bodies. It’s cultural, social, even spiritual (make no mistakes that Jesus’ I am the Bread wasn’t because that happened to be the nearest intangible object). It brings us together. So many cultures in the world take the approach that once you share a meal together, you’re family (think: Olive Garden commercial). So why should we short change such an element in our lives? It’s just not something that can be bought, even if the bakery is 5 star.

So beyond the Marilyn-grown cole slaw, I mourn for the loss of experience when those ladies would get together to shred cabbage, poach chicken and roll noodles. I’d give a million to be a fly on those walls (except that I’m sure those ladies didn’t allow flies on the walls – they were going to sell that food!). They didn’t just share recipes, they shared their lives. And I like that. Almost as much as the noodles.

Visit me elsewhere:

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