A Snow Job

           The world turned white on Christmas Eve when a blizzard hit Oklahoma. We woke Christmas morning to a few inches of white laid like a blanket over the farm. Everything brown and dead was covered with clean, bright snow that made the farm into a pristine wonderland.

Noone went out, except to the barn to give some feed and hay to the cows, horses, and donkeys, and to break the ice in the water trough. The lanscape was treacherous because of a layer of ice under the snow. It was beautiful though. All the farm junk was hidden. You know the old car, the two broken down mowers and the derelict tractor.

All the large family mess was hidden– the new puppy’s trail of chewed up destruction, the bike a grandson left lying, the remains of the brush pile burn, the lawn chairs, the pothole on the driveway, neon yellow water hose, the flower pots that the wind blew from the porch, etc. The brown grass, the dead weeds, the leafless  shrubs–covered.

Have you ever been snowed? Ever pulled a “snow job?” I remember when my oldest daughter Del was an adolescent , she tried one on me. Her bedroom was a fright and I drew my line in the sandwich. Until the room was clean, she would get no food–no lunch; and if it took her too long, no supper.  Well, Del slouched to her room and sprinted out just a few minutes later. I went toinspect never expecting to find under her bed a clean floor. I opened the closet not expectingto find clothes hung neatly , shoes lined up on the floor and a row of brown packages on the shelf overhead. The shelf held brown grocery bags neatly  lined up. I pulled one down

Daddy Cooked Tapioca

When I was growing up in a large family, Mama was often busy with the little ones’ bedtime routines in the evenings, so Daddy would cook for us older ones if we wanted a meal or snack late at night. One of his favorite projects was tapioca pudding.

Sometimes he cooked  tapioca after church on Sunday night. It is now a food I crave when I am homesick or when the weather is nasty and miserable. I love to eat it hot with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon on top.  It reminds of my sweet daddy and so it comforts my soul.

Many of you have experienced tapioca as a school  cafeteria or restaurant food. That form of pudding may have been gooey and cold and practically inedible. You probably have never tasted any cooked at home from fresh ingredients.If you have tasted the real thing, you likely love it like I do.

Daddy used Minute Tapioca, which is ground so it doesn’t need to be soaked overnight before cooking. In the pan you combine eggs, a few tablespoons of tapioca, salt, milk, and sugar. Let it sit for about ten minutes then cook over medium heat like any  pudding. When it begins to boil, take it off the heat and let it set. The pudding will thicken. While it is still warm, ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

Tapioca keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious cold, or reheated in the microwave.I make a double batch. My children love it as much as I do and so often there is none to keep. It makes a perfect winter dessert.

Daddy Cooked Tapioca

When I was growing up in a large family, Mama was often busy with the little ones’ bedtime routines in the evenings, so Daddy would cook for us older ones if we wanted a meal or snack late at night. One of his favorite projects was tapioca pudding.

Sometimes he cooked  tapioca after church on Sunday night. It is now a food I crave when I am homesick or when the weather is nasty and miserable. I love to eat it hot with a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon on top.  It reminds of my sweet daddy and so it comforts my soul.

Many of you have experienced tapioca as a school  cafeteria or restaurant food. That form of pudding may have been gooey and cold and practically inedible. You probably have never tasted any cooked at home from fresh ingredients.If you have tasted the real thing, you likely love it like I do.

Daddy used Minute Tapioca, which is ground so it doesn’t need to be soaked overnight before cooking. In the pan you combine eggs, a few tablespoons of tapioca, salt, milk, and sugar. Let it sit for about ten minutes then cook over medium heat like any  pudding. When it begins to boil, take it off the heat and let it set. The pudding will thicken. While it is still warm, ladle it into bowls and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg.

Tapioca keeps well in the refrigerator and is delicious cold, or reheated in the microwave.I make a double batch. My children love it as much as I do and so often there is none to keep. It makes a perfect winter dessert.

Truant Sun

The Truant Sun
By Elece Hollis

The sun peeped out this morning
No color, no majesty,
No pomp and splendor, just a peep.
I think he must have been ashamed of himself
After all those days of gloom and drear.
There he was!
He peeked out like a child
Accused of a cookie snitching,
Like a puppy who has
Shredded the morning paper—the Sunday paper
The severity of his crime escaped him.
To my eyes he was a traitor seeking amnesty.
”It’s about time you showed!” I blurted
And sent him scuttling for cover
Like a frightened rabbit back
Behind a cloud.
“Oh, no, I’m sorry! Please don’t go!” I cried
“ We need you today! We can’t take it!”
Out he peered tentatively
I sighed with relief.
“Please,” I pleaded plucking carefully
At the sliver of light like a weaver
Who has dropped a thread
And must most gently attempt to reach
Through the warp
To retrieve it and pull it back into the design.

Truant Sun

The Truant Sun
By Elece Hollis

The sun peeped out this morning
No color, no majesty,
No pomp and splendor, just a peep.
I think he must have been ashamed of himself
After all those days of gloom and drear.
There he was!
He peeked out like a child
Accused of a cookie snitching,
Like a puppy who has
Shredded the morning paper—the Sunday paper
The severity of his crime escaped him.
To my eyes he was a traitor seeking amnesty.
”It’s about time you showed!” I blurted
And sent him scuttling for cover
Like a frightened rabbit back
Behind a cloud.
“Oh, no, I’m sorry! Please don’t go!” I cried
“ We need you today! We can’t take it!”
Out he peered tentatively
I sighed with relief.
“Please,” I pleaded plucking carefully
At the sliver of light like a weaver
Who has dropped a thread
And must most gently attempt to reach
Through the warp
To retrieve it and pull it back into the design.

The Snowflake

It snowed in Oklahoma last week, which was the cause of a great deal of delight at my house. The kids zoomed through their schoolwork and headed for the back room to don overcoats, stocking caps, and gloves. I ventured out long enough put a tray of extra birdseed in the front yard for my cardinals, juncos, sparrows, and nuthatches. Two pairs of bluebirds and a Jay scrabbled at the suet feeders with the woodpeckers.

I watched the kids build a mini-snowman (a snow-baby or a result of global warming shorter snowmen?). I watched them slide down the hill on a blue plastic sled and clobber each other with snowballs. Their shouting and laughing didn’t dissuade the birds from eating.

The snow fell in huge flakes. Soon the whole ground was covered and the branches of the trees and the bushes were frosty. The blowing snow against the dismal browns and grays of Oklahoma’s January were a welcome sight. It made me understand Northerners for a fraction of a minute.
No wonder they love it. It is beautiful!

Have you ever felt like a snowflake—just a one small person in the great span of eternity—just one diminutive drop in the great ocean of humanity—just one tiny part of God’s world? Oh, I have.

Snowflakes are formed when minute particles called ice nuclei pass through the clouds. As a particle tumbles in the super cooled moisture, it forms a six-sided crystal—radiating from the center. The sides add branches and buds that make the snowflake grow and change as it falls. Though each snowflake is small, flakes soon cover the ground.

I am like one of those snowflakes. My influence begins inside my home, with my own children and my grandbabies. The things I do and say affect my neighbors, my community, and my society. My influence reaches beyond my house to other homes. My influence, for good or bad, grows and continues past myself, past days at home washing faces and sweeping up messes, past soothing quarrels and folding dish towels, past cooking supper and changing bed sheets.

My home is a mission field and I serve God here. I represent Christ here. Some days I feel like I am being tumbled in cold places—buffeted by trials and weighed down by work and problems. Some days I feel small, fragile, and isolated. That is the time to spread my hands farther and be like a snowflake, helping to cover the world with the beauty of the knowledge of Jesus.

(Taken from What’s Good About Home 2007)

The Snowflake

It snowed in Oklahoma last week, which was the cause of a great deal of delight at my house. The kids zoomed through their schoolwork and headed for the back room to don overcoats, stocking caps, and gloves. I ventured out long enough put a tray of extra birdseed in the front yard for my cardinals, juncos, sparrows, and nuthatches. Two pairs of bluebirds and a Jay scrabbled at the suet feeders with the woodpeckers.

I watched the kids build a mini-snowman (a snow-baby or a result of global warming shorter snowmen?). I watched them slide down the hill on a blue plastic sled and clobber each other with snowballs. Their shouting and laughing didn’t dissuade the birds from eating.

The snow fell in huge flakes. Soon the whole ground was covered and the branches of the trees and the bushes were frosty. The blowing snow against the dismal browns and grays of Oklahoma’s January were a welcome sight. It made me understand Northerners for a fraction of a minute.
No wonder they love it. It is beautiful!

Have you ever felt like a snowflake—just a one small person in the great span of eternity—just one diminutive drop in the great ocean of humanity—just one tiny part of God’s world? Oh, I have.

Snowflakes are formed when minute particles called ice nuclei pass through the clouds. As a particle tumbles in the super cooled moisture, it forms a six-sided crystal—radiating from the center. The sides add branches and buds that make the snowflake grow and change as it falls. Though each snowflake is small, flakes soon cover the ground.

I am like one of those snowflakes. My influence begins inside my home, with my own children and my grandbabies. The things I do and say affect my neighbors, my community, and my society. My influence reaches beyond my house to other homes. My influence, for good or bad, grows and continues past myself, past days at home washing faces and sweeping up messes, past soothing quarrels and folding dish towels, past cooking supper and changing bed sheets.

My home is a mission field and I serve God here. I represent Christ here. Some days I feel like I am being tumbled in cold places—buffeted by trials and weighed down by work and problems. Some days I feel small, fragile, and isolated. That is the time to spread my hands farther and be like a snowflake, helping to cover the world with the beauty of the knowledge of Jesus.

(Taken from What’s Good About Home 2007)