Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Friday, July 22, 2011

Red Currants, Old Linens and Babies

It's facinating how at times tasks, events and memories spin together forming connecting threads, past to present.

The red currants are full and ripe, picking is in process. With that always comes memories of momma.

I grew up in my own Eden, where the fruit of all trees and plants were allowed. Except one. There was one small red currant shrub. It was down the path to the wooden platform where the merry-go-round clothes line stood. That shrub was momma's prize. It's fruit was forbidden to all passers-by especially children. It was treasured and guarded with a fierceness of that which guards the Crown Jewels. In later years, on another farm, was another red currant. It too was guarded with the same sure intensity but this time from the maurading grand children.

So now, I'm picking my own red currants and wishing momma the crop hanging so bountifully that guarding is not required. In fact, gleanings will be left for the birds but also for the great-grand lad who loves to pick and eat the gleaming fruit.

Now about linens. In the present chosen task of simplifying, down-sizing our life, one has been gathering, sorting, selecting the best and favorites of my long-held stash. Old laces and linens "are my one weakness." On some of these fabric treasures stains of differnant sorts could be seen. So what's to do? Thoughts, at once go back to my Grandma. I see her standing over the hot, boiling kettle on the green wood stove. She is stirring and perspiring in order to ultimately have gleaming white linens of which a woman can be proud. And that was only step one.

From that process came the washing carefully, no bleaching please, only gentle castile soap allowed. After rinsing and wringing, the linens were carefully spread on the grass. Sun and chlorophyl combining to work the final magic.

Oxyclean and soft soap allowed me to skip Grandma's process - all except the spreading on the grass for the day. And yes, Dear Reader, all spots were gone, all glistened white enough to make Grandma proud.

Then there is the item regarding babies. This a particularly joyful note.

This week, our clan has been blessed with the safe arrival of yet another wee lass. Her coming makes four great-grands for us. All tied up in the splendid emotions of this is the fact that she, with nary a thought on her part, awarded grandmother status to my youngest, my baby. That alone is cause to ponder and in fact has indeed been pondered much these last few days.

With her coming, my thoughts went to my own dear daddy. How delighted he would be to see my great-grands, my grands too. How he treasured my own little ones. The remembered memory is him with my four Littles gathered on his lap, surrounded by his big arms. He was a generous sized grandpa and my little ones were all lanky and long-legged in the early years of his living next door. He could hold all four at once. On those occasions, after all were settled there were stories told. Daddy was not only the lover of these children, but the consumate story teller.

These vingnettes have all been part of this week's life and thought. Varied and seemingly disconnected they concern not only connecting memories but the three pillars that structured my childhood.

What's that? Three pillars are not enough to establish structure. No, not only three. There was a Fourth, unseen, acknowleded, followed. And so He remains, the essential Pillar of our growing family to this day. He brings all together, He connects the threads of our varied lives and weaves the fabric of our Life's tapestry.

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place

and our refuge in all generations.

...even from everlasting to everlasting

You are God."


  1. How wonderful - a scallop shell of quiet. I am absolutely delighted that you commented on my own scallop shell post, which led me over here to you! Congratulations on the new arrival to your family, and thanks for the information on how linens were kept white - this is always useful for me! I find the French sun can bleach nearly everything (including my sons' red T-shirts until I learned better...) Have a blessed Sunday.

  2. I can here G'ma, with her radar vision, telling Cindy, Caitlin and I NOT to touch the currants! Now having my own currant bush, I know why she so guarded it.

  3. We have had 3 sets of guests in the last week and thus I have been washing much in the way of linens and such. I used my line extensively, but because of this post I laid some on the grass to let the sun do its work. Lovely to think of your post as I did my laundry.
    Praying Everly Rose is delighting you all.
    And...happy birthday to the Pastor tomorrow !!!!