Saturday, June 9, 2012

Small Disappointments and Simple Pleasures

On bakery mornings, I have to get up at 5:00 in the morning, because most things just HAVE to be baked the morning they are sold.  The best way to wake up is with a song in your heart that answers what you prayed about when you went to sleep, or else with praise on your lips, such as, "O God, Thou art my God; therefore early will I seek Thee."  Well, that didn't happen this morning.  Despite all my best efforts yesterday the house was not immaculate today as I had envisioned it would be.  Nor was the running of the bakery a smooth and well-oiled machine.  I ran out of butter, the milk was sour, and I was short on coffee.

I discovered that for some unknown reason, the paper (THE paper means the Kingman Leader-Courier) had not printed the ad I sent in, so nobody knew the bakery was opening, so almost nobody was going to come.  This being Kingman, however, if you say you are going to do something, you'd better do it, or nobody will believe you next time, or maybe ever again!  The Gospel lesson for the daily offices today is about what defiles a man, and the Epistle was one of those "the law blah, blah, blah..." readings.  Just so you know I did not skip Morning Prayer.  So I set forth to produce all the things I had said I would make.  The pies were beautiful, the scones were good enough, the oatmeal bread was absolutely perfect, but I had trouble with that darn potato bread again.  I'm giving up on that recipe for awhile!  Worst of all were the cinnamon rolls.  After I had the dough kneaded to a nice smooth elasticity, I turned around and saw the yeast overflowing the edges of the bowl in which I had started it and set it aside to begin working, AND continuing down the front of the kitchen counter.  That same yeast that was supposed to be already mixed into the dough.  Indeed, that very yeast that is almost impossible to add after the dough has been kneaded.  I got it in there somehow, called my dear cousin Evelyn to beg her to bring butter, milk, and coffee, swept and arranged the front porch, and shoved the Christmas things out of sight.  I vacuumed and dusted the foyer, and put chairs to block the entrance to the living room, then dusted what could be seen from the foyer.  It looked pretty good, as long as you looked in the right places.

The organized and generous-hearted Evelyn materialized with the goods and a hug, and a couple of people I haven't had opportunity to visit with for eons came by. We sat on the porch and drank coffee, time slowed down, and we just enjoyed the companionship and the perfect summer morning.  The leaves were rustling and swaying, birds were singing, and propeller planes were flying overhead (there's some kind of an air show at the airport this morning).  People drove by and waved,some of them came up and joined us, and I sold enough bakery stuff to pay for the ingredients and to buy myself groceries until payday.  The front garden, the porch, and the foyer are clean.  And so, after all and for now, "All's right with the world."

Addendum:  next day, Sunday
I am horrified to read what a bad attitude I had yesterday morning.  Today's Gospel reading was about sins against the Holy Spirit, and it is NOT good news for someone who has been irreverent toward the Holy Scriptures.  Well, I must have been full of myself to write what I did.  All I can say is that this provides a good example of God's grace toward someone who does not deserve it.  And I remind you that I did promise to talk about the ups and downs of growing into God's calling.  That would have been a down.  It also provides an example of how one person's kindness can turn another person's day around.  That would be Evelyn.  You see -- her arrival and selfless ministry provided the turning point in yesterday's story.


  1. So happy you chose to make it a good day in spite of its challenges. Shelly

  2. I marvelled at your sheer perseverance to get your baking done. Your cousin Evelyn helping you reminds me that we all need someone to watch our backs, looking out for us, or otherwise generally being supportive. Someday, when you are looking in a congregation for someone willing to serve as senior warden those are the traits that will help you through the tough times.
    Dave Z.

  3. Very belatedly, I will tell you that I am emailing you a wonderful potato baked goods recipe from one of my prized Mennonite Central Committee cookbooks. It's called Edna Ruth Byler's Potato Dough, and it's a winner every time, not to mention hugely versatile! Love, Jacke

  4. Well, good, because I have deep-sixed that potato bread recipe I was trying to use. muchas thanxas...