Frances and Bernie Underwood 1923, according to the note on the back of the photo. My mom at five years old with her first brother.
I woke up with a compelling need to find this photo and connect with the power and hope in those two round faces shining out from ninety-five years ago somewhere in Philadelphia.
I also woke up with Mom’s voice in my head: For crying out loud in a bucket! She did not swear, but this phrase fit the bill for her when a little something else was called for.
Sunday’s reading, Isaiah’s voice crying out in the desert, has also come to mind.
I like to think that Mom and Bernie reconnected happily in heaven after years of estrangement. I like to think Mom and I will reconnect some day on a better note. I hope for healing of the many disconnects and distances that have happened in our family, anybody else’s family, and the larger family of the world.
I’m not doing a good job of finding a way to express how this is all impacting me this morning, but I think Isaiah has it covered (40,6-8)
A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “what shall I cry out?”
“All mankind is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
The word of our God stands forever.”
Living alone, it is easy to fall into a habit of grabbing the nearest, quickest food item in the kitchen, maybe eat it over the stove or on the way out to the car. I find myself guilty of this habit more often than I like to admit. I tell myself its just fuel and that is what is important.
But food and meals offer more than fuel, and this morning I took the time to remember that.
A quick browse through a cookbook reminded me of the simplicity of baking an egg in a ramekin. I didn’t have the ingredients in the recipe on the page but checked the fridge for possibilities.
A few single pieces of leftover produce presented themselves, and soon I was slicing off a bit of zucchini, onion, bell pepper, and tomato. A quick sauté in a bit of olive oil and into the ramekin.
The act of chopping vegetables always takes me to warm places in my memory of certain occasions of preparing meals for or with friends or family. The colors on the cutting board mingle and make me smile. The sizzle and aroma in the frying pan build the anticipation of a good meal.
I broke an egg over the prepared veggies, dolloped a spoonful of half-and-half over that and sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top,
It took ten minutes to bake in the oven. In barely more time than it would take to toast a piece of bread and slap some peanut butter on it, I sat down to an inviting feast.