If you have any imagination at all, you will see that the frail, even crispy slices of this tree resembles the fragile dollar bill. Yes. You heard me right.
Actually for two little girls, who had never even held a dollar bill, these pieces of crepe myrtle tree trunk fit the bill for us playing “store keepers”, selling watermelons by the road side at our grandmother’s house in the summer. To be more precise, it was “Mamo’s house”.
The road was the very old fashioned kind. Simple sand and clay mixture. Just plain dirt. As we stood in the shade of the crepe myrtle tree, the idea of using the curling, pieces of tree bark as paper money seemed ideal to the two little girls under the age of 6.
Outside, near the kitchen window, Mamo had a very primitive old wooden bench. The bench was quickly transformed everytime we came to visit into a cook top for Wanda and me. We cooked in a tin can with water, everything from flower petals to fresh grass clippings, adding a little dirt as a substitute for salt and pepper for taste. No, we did not “really” taste it…we just imagined it. Drawing imaginary houses in the dirt with a stick, we imagined that our houses were large and that we lived close to one another.
As adults, only parts of the childhood dreams came true. While our houses were not large, we finally were able to live near one another. For over 3 years, ending this past February, I enjoyed the ability to be at her house within 5 minutes if needed. But the talking on the phone was a constant. Everyday at work and every almost afternoon while going home. Wanda called both me and Aimee. It’s sweet and funny how our conversations always wound up to one big question. Almost every single day. “What are you cooking for supper?”
Sharing recipes and ideas for organizing was a constant topic of conversation between us girls. It was these sweet memories that traipsed around in our heads and hearts as the days went by.
At Christmas in 2007, which in my mind seems like just a few weeks ago, Wanda’s coloring was not good and her breathing was labored. I looked at her when they came into our house for our Christmas Eve Family Supper, and without the medcial training my sister, Aimee has, I knew there was something very wrong. Wanda had oxygen at home to assist her, even had a portable tank, but she didn’t want to be treated as if she was having problems. She wanted to be normal. And be treated normal. No extra attention. An oxygen tank would cause others to treat her “special”. Wanda didn’t want that.
After supper we had prayer and sharing, as is our tradition. We prayed long for Wanda. Mother stood before us and described the feelings and prayers that the LORD had woke her with in the wee hours of several mornings in the past few days. “Family, you will need to be on your knees more than you ever have before, if you intend to make it in these last days. We will face things harder than we’ve ever faced. It will take prayer. But family, the LORD reminded me to anchor to HIM—the Anchor holds.”…those words rang over and over in my heart and mind for many days. Still they do almost weekly. The Anchor holds.
To be continued…
P.S. I am trying to keep them short enough to read quickly. I figured if they were too long….you’d be late for work! (Like me!)
Thank you Brenda—your encouragement helps me more than you will ever know. I am just a plain old country girl—but God is teaching me MANY things as I journey with Him…holding tightly to His hand.