MY MOTHER AND MY FRIENDS
(Excerpted from Simple Treasures - Garnet Hunt White. Stories for a Woman’s Heart, p. 187.)
The Prov. 31 woman has grateful children – “Her children stand and bless her” (Prov. 31:28 NLT).
Mother accepted my friends as they were, and they loved her for it. They liked the way she listened to their troubles and the clear advice she gave to them without preaching. She made treasures out of simple things, be it clothes, crafts, or cooking.
An incident happened when I was twelve years old that made me appreciate Mother more. Up until that time, I had accepted her without realizing how important she was to me.
Mabel, who was almost thirteen years old, had asked me to go wading in Bill’s Creek with Olive, Irene, and Esther. We twelve-year-old girls planned to take some snacks and picnic on the creek bank. However, I had forgotten to tell Mother about our plans for lunch.
All of us lived along Red Hill Dirt Road. My home was the last house before the creek. When the girls stopped for me, Mabel said, "Don’t forget your cheese and crackers."
Hanging my head downward, I flushed. The blood pounded in my temples. I had forgotten to tell Mother about the food. "Mother, can I have something to eat to take along?" I sheepishly asked. "I don’t have anything that’s suitable for a picnic," Mother said. "You need food that’s easy to handle."
"We’ve enough cheese and crackers for everyone," Mabel assured me, and we headed off for our afternoon adventure.
At the creek, Mabel laid the food on the sand at the water’s edge. We began wading and splashing in the cold, spring-fed stream. Although we held our skirts above our knees, the hems of our dresses were soon water-soaked. The water’s coldness on our feet and legs made our teeth chatter on that hot summer day.
My foot slipped off a rock; I tumbled into the icy water. Shivering and shaking from head to toe, I hurried to the sandbar to absorb some of the sun’s warmth. Soon the other girls began to chill and got out of the water to bask in the sun.
"Look!" Olive yelled. "Our lunch. The crackers are floating and the cheese is wet." We hungry girls had no luck trying to eat the soggy crackers, but we chewed the cheese and shook in silence.
Then there was a soft noise behind us, and we turned. It was Mother! "I thought you girls would be hungry by this time," she said. "I brought you a basket of food." Mother handed each of us two warm biscuits filled with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Mother had a biscuit sandwich with us, but she didn’t gobble hers as we did.
"I’ll bet the president isn’t eating this good," Esther said. "Mrs. Hunt, this is the most delicious food," Irene said to Mother. "These biscuits are so good," Olive declared, "I could eat a dozen of them!" "You knew we would be as hungry as hounds," Mabel said. "Garnet," Irene said as she smiled at me, "your Mother is a prize.”
We all knew what it took to bring us such a treat. Mother had to build a fire in the cook stove to get the oven hot enough to cook the biscuits, and then she stood over that heat to fry bacon for us.
"Mrs. Hunt, what can we do for you?" Mabel asked. "I know! We’ll stop by your house and wash the dishes." "They’re washed," Mother told her. "I cleaned up everything before I left."
Before long it was time to gather our picnic and go home. "We’ll walk back with you, and I’ll carry your basket," Olive said as she jumped to her feet and snatched up the basket in which Mother had carried her gift.
I saw for the first time that my friends rated Mother higher than I did. On that summer afternoon, they made me realize how precious she really was.
Years later, when we had an all-electric home, I thought about Mother standing over that hot stove, frying bacon on a summer afternoon and waiting for the biscuits to brown. I truly wonder if I appreciated all the hardships Mother went through for me during my childhood. When I think back over the sweet memories, I know why she is a treasure of my heart.
(From a sermon by Bobby Scobey, "Mother’s Day 09 - Honoring Mothers" 5/4/2009)
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