Monday, July 18, 2016

How Do You Know (cont.)

Hello, all! If you have been wondering what in the world did stirring up a pan of cornbread, have to do with anything at all, then good. That means that you are thinking. Did you come up with any viable reason yet, as to why I even mentioned cooking a pan of cornbread when I was eight years old?
 Nope, I do not own a bakery! Tee hee
We will get to the reason that I mentioned it in a bit. You just hold that thought, okay?

On my last blogging session, remember that I told you that I wanted to start with the second thing that happened to me when I was eight years old that made an impact on my life?  This thing had such an impact that it continues to impact my life, even today.

Humor me a bit, will you? If you have ever had the privilege of indulging in a good fairytale, then you realize the euphoric cloud that I walked home under back one particular day when I was eight years old. This would be the day that our teacher introduced us to the children's story, "Jack and the Beanstalk." On any given day, it was my mother's habit to ask us what we had learned or what we had done at school.

The clip art of a beanstalk that I have included for you is to help put you in the mind frame of a naive, endearing, little third grader. Now Y'all will remember from some of my previous blogs that I told you that I was a skipper when I was a little girl. I would skip and skip and sail for a few seconds through the air with the wind. I would look at a particular distance on the sidewalk and try to figure out how many skips it would take me to cover it. Yes, I was an optimistic little soul, and a caring, tender hearted one, at that.

One this particular day, she skipped until she got tired; walked for a bit and jumped into skipping again. Now mind you, she had three miles to go, but that did not bother her. She hopped, skipped and played on her way home from school like she did most days.
 She could not wait to get home to tell her momma what she had learned in school today. And you know what else? She knew that today was extra special because today was Tuesday and it was Momma's off day. That meant that she would get to smell the hot food that Momma would have waiting for her and her brothers. There would be baked sweet potatoes with a small amount of margarine, maybe neck bones and Irish potatoes, or pinto beans and pig ears. Then again, she knew that there was the chance that they might be having black-eyed peas. Yuck! Neither she nor her brothers liked black-eyed peas, but Momma said that they were good for them.

When she got home, she walked through the door, and she could smell what smelled like neckbones and potatoes. Oo-o, and she smelled something else. It smelled like cake! Had Momma cooked a cake? She walked through the corridor of the front room, the middle room, the hall, the dining room and at last to the kitchen. Yes! There sat cake on the table. She went out of the back door looking for her mother and found her talking with her Aunt, who lived upstairs. She walked up to Momma and took the clothes that Momma had just taken in from the line out of her arms.

By the time that she heard the back door slam, she had changed into her play clothes and had hung up her school clothes. Momma told her to wash her hands and come to the table to eat. She wanted to keep up an incessant chatter while she washed her hands with the Octagon soap until Momma said, "You pay attention to what you are doing so you get your hands clean. You can tell me about school after you get your plate and sit down at the table."
"Yes ma'am," in a subdued voice.

When she got her food and had sat back down at the table, Momma said, "Okay, so tell me what has you so excited that you could hardly get in the door before you told me?"
She said, "In reading group today, our teacher read us a new story. It was called, "Jack and the Beanstalk."
"Okay, tell Momma the story."
 She launched into the story using her best storytelling voice, just like she had heard Momma do many times. When she finished the story with Jack getting an ax and chopping the beanstalk down, Momma was giggling, and her eyes shone with motherly love and pride.
Momma patted her on the back and got up to cut the cake. "I don't suppose you are too excited to eat a bit of cake are you?"
"No-o, ma'am, I can't never be that excited, Momma!"
After she had finished the supper dishes and her homework, she sighed and said, "Don't you wish magic beans were real, Momma?" Momma just looked at her for a few seconds, and she thought that she had hurt Momma's feelings.
"Then, Momma, you wouldn't have to work so hard, and I would not have to worry about you."
She saw the beginnings of a smile at the corners of Momma's mouth and, glad that Momma's feelings were not hurt said, "I mean: I would still worry about you, but not as much."

Momma gave her that penetrating stare that seemed to look through her. She didn't like it when Momma looked at her like that because most of the time it meant she was in trouble, or something serious was about to be said.
Momma said, "Beanstalk magic is not real, but there is something better that is. That something is prayer and Jesus. You know how Momma has taught you to say your prayers at night? Well, after you finish saying them, you can ask Jesus for what you want Him to do for you."
"You mean I can ask Him, and He will do it!"
 She thought for a few seconds, "Can I ask for a doll like Rita got?"
(to be cont. on tomorrow)

Doing What I Can, While I Can,
Alma Jones

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