Make it Work
The life of a minister is never easy. You have to feed whoever stops by for Sunday dinner whether you can or not. You have to make it work. My grandmother could stretch a dollar six ways from yesterday. But compromise her standards? Never. Flour was cheap and her rolls legendary. She bought the cheapest A&P coffee beans and then when she perked the daily brew poured it through twice to make her bold black coffee the talk of the town.
She always saved string. Time was when everything was tied with string. It was never thrown out. Always reused. We all laughed at and loved that ball of string. Of course she saved and reused bacon grease. Doesn’t every one? And buying groceries? She would take the butcher to the mat over the price of a cut and the look of it too.
She could out Tom, Tom Sawyer. She taught me to love burnt toast. She would scrap the blackest parts off and convince me that it was the best way to eat toast. She taught me to love the chicken back, to actually beg for it and be relieved that no one else did. It was years before I caught on to her wiles. But long before that I was hooked on what she sold me.
She taught me to love to play with buttons. Something free in bountiful supply. While I sorted and made up endless button games, she turned collars and cuffs to give them new life. She would cut a thread bare sheet in half, then sew the two worn ends together so smoothly that no one felt the seam. She made it work.
That Dash of Patience
When I am a kid I have my first epiphany moment. I am bored. I beg the universe to tell me, “Why is this was taking so long?” I actually do not know what this is. But I need to know why it’s taking so long. I am told to use my time for something useful. I am sitting outside in a little bush fort I have created. It is a warm sunny day. This is not the answer I want or expect. I ponder. I decide to teach myself to read. I go inside and get a book. I take it back to my fort and really, really try to make sense of the patterns of letters. It is valiant. But to no avail. It is then that I realize that hard work with a lot of patience and I are going to become very close.