Friday, June 20, 2008

Baskets of Blessings

The Bread Angel left a basket of bread on our doorstep. Well, we don’t have a step, but we have a park bench where Muffin found the bread wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Or rather, red and white towels, lying in a green basket. It was warm from the oven, huge, fine textured, crispy crusted, slightly sweet Cinnamon Raisin Bread, and it tastes like a country café at breakfast time in a little mountain town, just after a rain storm. Seriously. Big flavor, small town love and care. Yummy.

After some text messaging and a phone call, I discovered that it’s from the mother of these boys, and that one of them helped make it. My Daddy’s Mom, my Pickle (don’t even ask), taught her boys to cook. Nannie and Dubbie made so much bread for gifts that it has its own name—Nannie Bread. It’s a porous textured, soft crust, very light whole wheat and bran bread, made in six loaf batches. Nannie had Abigail helping her bake it this morning. My daughters love to bake it too.

Baskets seem to be a theme. We received a lovely basket of lilies, gladiolus, carnations, and small daisies, all in white, mixed with green ferns and stems. Many of them are still beautiful in vases. Much of the “love food” (sounds better than “funeral meal”) arrived in baskets, too. I have a gift basket ready for a bride with placemats, napkins, napkin rings, a spaghetti sauce, pasta, and sparkling juice, plus pasta server and micro plane. It’s ready for a bow on the handle and ceremonial gifting. Hope she knows that the micro plane works great for grating parmesan.

Joy appeared with a basket full of yarn, some crochet hooks and instructions for Nannie blankets. She worked one evening on chain stitch, single and double crochets to be sure she knew what to do for future blankies.

You may notice a pattern of speech. Over the years we have so identified our food and household items with my parents that they took on titles: Nannie Bread, Nannie Blanket (“w” pattern baby afghans), Dubbie Candy (chocolates, fudge, brittles and divinity), Dubbie-isms (really groaning jokes), Dubbie Cut (haircut), Nanniemobile (a Buick of larger proportions).

Our basket of blessings is overflowing with love, prayer, sweet cards from dear friends, memorials to our churches and Meals on Wheels, and phone calls (One dear brother in the Lord calls my Mom every morning at 7:15, knowing that is when she would leave for the nursing home to visit Daddy.) It’s called Connection. We are part of the Body of Christ, Who is the Head of the Church, the Family of God the Father, Whose Kingdom has come on earth and Who gives us our daily bread. Thank you, Father God.

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