Monday, April 27, 2009

Miracle Whip

Finding time with God first thing in the morning is a great way to put order to our day. We can offer everything we do to Him and we can listen while our minds are not yet cluttered with the business of our day. In prayer, we enter into a relationship with God. We talk with Him, we share with Him, and we are open to Him. With Him, our path in life makes sense.

When I was young, our family of ten stretched, reused and recycled. Empty Bama jelly jars filled our cabinets as drinking glasses while relish and peanut butter jars were used to hold tadpoles and crawdads and lightning bugs. Only the salad dressing jar seemed never to be empty. Always in the same spot on the door of the refrigerator next to the ketchup and the mustard, it was never considered just another condiment. Sure, it could moisturize a bologna or a Carl Budding meat sandwich but for my mom the other possibilities were endless. Every container of Mrs. Grissom’s chicken salad or pimento cheese was doubled by adding salad dressing. A can of tuna fish or a half dozen hard boiled eggs could feed a family of ten for next to nothing by adding salad dressing. Perhaps that was the “miracle” in the whip.

Like that salad dressing jar, my mother’s “jar” also never seemed to empty. She always had enough to spread around. She had incredible amounts of energy and time. She’d start early in the morning before we were awake with her meditations and morning prayer, and oftentimes, morning mass which would order her day and fill her jar. Her tiny five foot frame was well cared for. She exercised every day either with Jacquelyn Lane on the Television or at the Cosmopolitan Health Spa. She combed her wigs at night and did home perms. She sewed our clothes, made curtains for our rooms and drove us to art lessons and dance lessons and practices. She was a woman who moved with the times and as she moved she made those around her feel special. She could make her love stretch to each child and my dad and have time for neighbors and self. With prayer, she could double or triple what she had to serve for the day. I’m sure there were times when she reached for that jar and it was empty, but like the salad dressing, for us kids and others around her, she seemed to always be right there on the inside of the door.

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