Thursday, September 05, 2013

{phfr}: devastating reality edition

I had this post up all yesterday as I wandered around the day trying to do all the stuff I was actually supposed to do while typing at the same time. But then when I was standing in the church kitchen at the end of the day, staring at the disaster of the century (see below) and the Internet cut out, I just gave up and put it away until this morning.  I'm trying to find a word for what sort of day it was--the beginning was perfectly fine, but then as it went on it got worse...there must be a perfect word for that....hmmmm...oh well....still nothing.
This is cosmos and lettuce gone to seed. It's so nice to walk out of the church into this delicate array of purple and white. Tragically, for me, the sun flower appears to be facing away over the fence. I hope the neighbors are enjoying it.
I'm so glad I snapped these pictures yesterday because apperantly there was a 'light' frost last night. Oh may my soul be strengthened in the time of trouble, I am not ready for any frost, light or otherwise.
Today I'm going to go out and cut all the flowers off my surprising Dahlia. 
The thing about this Dahlia is that I thought I was planting a peoni (what do I know) and then it grew to be huge and glorious and about as tall as me and to extend far out over the walk so that as you're muscling your way up the path with 25 pounds of kale and bags of paint and trays and dowels and fake flowers you have to turn and slide sideways so as not to smack into it.
And this Yellow Flowered Thing has turned out to be glorious. I thought it was going to be some sort of close to the ground yellow flowers and it turned out to be nearly a tree. Amazing. 
All these flowers have been a consolation to me in my failure to plant vegetables. No tomatoes this year but every day a fresh array of color on the kitchen table.

Last Saturday I took Elphine out with me for the day because, well, you know, she's eleven now, and I had this vague sense that if I didn't go wander around with her for an afternoon she would come unglued. We had a good time but Gladys, here,
did come unglued at being left home. And so Wednesday morning, while everyone else got down to their school work and had a piano lesson, we went to Panera where I had a boring coffee and she had this amazing pastry and a hot chocolate. We chatted happily and then she vouchsafed to me that she wished there were only five children in our family, not six, and that if we had to get rid of someone (though, she admitted, that wasn't a nice idea) we could let Alouicious go live with our good friends who only have three children and might like another one. More digging produced the root of this desire and we talked a lot about Jesus and forgiveness. I was so happy about, it, frankly, because I knew something was wrong but not what it was. Sometimes I'm not a terrible mother (cough).

And this was my other great happiness this week: breakfast of nectarine, plum, and blueberry topped with four cups of cooked oatmeal, half cup oil, two eggs, pinch more salt, bit more sugar, cinnamon, two cups of flour, mixed together and poured over the fruit, baked at 350 until bubbly and golden, gone within 20 minutes the next morning at breakfast, fights breaking out as the dish was being scraped. Felicitous, really.
Elphine's cat, Frances requires all the children to pet her every day, but not me. I thought she didn't like grown ups but it turns out it's just me. The person she actually loves most, besides Elphine, is Matt, whose tolerance for her is at a devastating low. I laughed for ten minutes yesterday as he stood and petted her angrily. She wants Him to pet her, not Me, and his sense of duty to all creatures meant that he stood and did it. Cats do know who love and hate them, uncannily, I've seen it again and again.
So all day long I went along thinking that I would get to the Real and write about how I've been reading both Daniel and I Samuel for the last few days and how interesting and strange is the anger of Nebuchadnezzer and Saul. I read about them in the same hour as I read about the bakery in Oregon being put out of business. We don't like anger, I think, we go great lengths to see that it doesn't bubble up, except on weird television shows. We're not used to it. But when someone is running as far and as fast as they can away from the Most High, real anger has to accompany that flight to give it energy and purpose--real distructive scary anger. We Christians should try to get used to it because its hotting up quick, the fire as it were, and spears are starting to fly, and the rage is swelling up everywhere. But God isn't surprised by any of it, and he intends for some, even some Nebuchadnezzers, to repent and believe.
But that turned out not to be the Real Reality that transformed my day.
Have a look at this steaming brew.
Mmm. Delicious.....what do you think it looks like? In the pot it had a kind of color of spam and the smell of some foul-er sections of Gehenna, and the consistency of something grossly and unfavorably meaty. 
Who made this steaming Pot o' Sorrow? you ask.
Why I did.
Me. Just Me. Wretched old me. And I had to serve it up to the deserving and patient Shepherd's Bowl crowd, apologizing all the time and encouraging them to eat more bread and salad. 
I'm not going to relate how the soup came to be this way, other than that it was very delicious the day before but then went through some chemical destruction through the night so that I spent from 3 o'clock to 5:30 desperately but ineffectually trying to make it better.
"Will anyone ever come back to Shepherd's Bowl after that soup?" Matt inquired when all was said and done, "Is our ministry In Binghamton over?"
"I don't know," I replied, "but I do know that all my works are not so much like filthy rags but more like this hideous life destroying soup."
I'm going to keep this firmly in mind as I go about the rest of my work this weekend, trying to get ready for Sunday School, remembering things like
"Unless The Lord Builds the House, Anne makes Terrible Soup"
"No one comes to the Father, Especially if Anne Makes the Soup."
"I go to prepare a place for you and Don't Worry, Anne won't be making the soup"

1 comment:

eulogos said...

Once when Chris was the chef of a place called The Dove in Annapolis he made cabbage soup, and someone came back to the kitchen and told him that he hadn't had soup that bad since he was in prison camp during WWII.

My kids could tell you about more than one episode of bad soup on my part.

I hope that is consoling.