Our last service was on faith. Our preacher is a fire cracker. He keeps you thinking, laughing and gives a sermon you can understand. He does talk fast! Faster than me. That means he gets a lot in in about 45 minutes or less. I scribble verses down he is referencing and throughout the week with my coffee I read and study the verses. Trying to learn application to my life. The crazy thing is how God is working with me and providing the verses that seen to go hand in hand with the story that is already written!!!
Hebrew 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith, it IS IMPOSSIBLE to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
As a young kid being without did not matter because we had love, joy and happiness in Granny’s house. It may have not always been rainbows and lollipops, but it was home. Our essential needs were met. We just didn’t have the extras, or the swimming pool, cable tv, or microwave. When we did get our first Atari, we thought we had been given the moon. We had our imagination and a loving mom and granny who taught us to love and serve the Lord. Mom and Granny also taught me how to cook. As well as an awesome Home EC teacher. So, with each story I am writing I am adding a recipe under the recipe section of Amazinggracefullywith cheryl.com. CAN YOU GUESS WHAT’S GOING WITH THIS STORY- LOL.
As I got older in our one-bedroom house with Granny, I always thought, daydreamed and wanted more space of my own. I worked to finish college, marry, plan my family and raise them. This is what we were taught. Now that I am slowing down, working on my relationship with God and reflecting, I know God has snatched me out of the devil’s hands, at times when I was young and dumb. He has provided me with words of prayer for a lady I did not know; who lost her mom and I was the only one with her. He has taken care of us financially when Kenny quit his job and started his own business when I was pregnant with Andy. There are so many times I look back and give praise and thanks for God’s protection and favor over my family.
Though I can not see where this is taking me, it is bigger than I can imagine. I still daydream of a pool. Kenny says I just want to landscape around it. Go figure, all the mowing we hated as a kid you learn to love. Breath in the smell of the dirt when you are wedding a flower bed. Take the 10 minutes you need to care for yourself and be still. Soak up the sunshine and Vitamin D. Mowing has become my therapy as an adult. I listen to music, sing out loud at the top of my lungs, smell the fresh cut grass and am so thankful for the life He has provided for me and my rider for mowing my little acre of paradise. I know he provides all my needs.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Mowing, Swimming Holes and Red Dirt Roads
Our three-bedroom, white wooden house- with red shutters, sat bout 50 yards off the red dirt road. You could smell the iron ore in the air, from the red dust that blew into the unsealed windows. This small house had wooden and laminate floors. Wooden walls with peeling, cloth wall paper and paneling. The living room and dining rooms were in the middle of the house. The kitchen and mom and dad’s bedroom were off to the right. The bathroom, granny’s room and our bedroom were off to the left. A John deer heater sat in the living room as you entered the house, with an AC window unit in the dining room. This wooden house that sat on cinder blocks was surrounded by towering cedar and oak trees and one beautiful wisteria tree. The cedar trees were so large their limbs touched the ground. Their limbs created a canopy of shade and wall of protection from the red dirt road. Grass did not grow under these trees. The magnificent oak trees held a tire swing. This tire swing was held in place by a wire rope at least 20 feet up to the first branch.
The wisteria tree was taller than the house and wash shed. A picnic table sat under the wisteria tree. The wash shed sat off to the right of the kitchen. This is where the washer and dryer were kept. Along with the deep freezers, old motors for boats, empty bottles, rakes, shovels, lawn mowers and spider webs. A huge wooden table was covered in dust, mason jars for canning, miscellaneous tools, and kitchen utensils we had brought out side to dig up mud and look for bones. We could find anything we needed in the wash shed to build a club house, go kart or swimming pool.
We, being my sister and brother. I am the oldest. My sister is the middle child and brother is the baby. At this point of our life we were 5, 7, and 9 years old. We moved in with Granny when I was entering the 4th grade. Granny’s house became home to us for 5 years. The red dirt road and surrounding woods was our playground.
This summer day we were given the task of mowing our lawn (3 acres). You could not call this a lawn or a yard of plush saint Augustine grass. This yard was a pasture of iron grass, weeds, Bermuda grass and a lot of other grasses or weeds I could not tell you about. The picnic table was freedom. This was were we each rested, while waiting on our turn to push the mower. Our jelly jars were filled with ice water and my head was filled with thoughts of being at the creek. Mom and Dad had set up a system. I would push the lawn mower in a square pattern in the yard. Then sister would push her square. Brother even pushed the mower on his turn. Dad would jump in sometimes and work with us. The best part of him working with us, he took us to the creek when we were done.
Today was different. Dad set us up to mow, while him and mom went to work on our house they were building. We began our chore of mowing about mid-morning. The mower was not self-propelled! We had to push with all our might, over all the uneven bumps, holes, stickers and all the little gravel that was nestled inside the weeds. While we were resting in our shade under the wisteria tree breathing in the red dust from the mower and red dirt road from any vehicle passing by, we came up with a brilliant idea. A swimming pool!
It would be such a relief from the heat to slide into a cold, watery pool of water. Oh, to be able to sit down in the cold water from the creek and remove the hours of red dirt road from your skin. We would sometimes meet our cousins at a cement pool, down the road. Down the road was about an hour away. This pool was the largest pool I had ever seen. One of the horrible problems this pool had was you always came home with bloody toes and fiber glass in your fanny. It was so worth it! This pool had a high diving board and slide. We avoided the slide after we couldn’t stand the stings from the fiber glass on our back side. With the thoughts of cooling off after mowing all morning, we started planning. Finish mowing and then start digging. It wouldn’t take us long. All we would need would be a shovel, a liner and water. We had all these items in the wash shed. Plus, the water pump was right by the wash shed. We started running with the mower. Taking two laps before we gave the mower to brother, because he is only five.
The mowing was completed in record time this day. This mow day we did not even have an argument. Looking through the wash shed we found the shovel, a hoe, and buckets. We gathered under the large oak tree in the back yard. It was shaded with very little grass. We began to dig. We dug. We dug and we dug. We did this for about an hour. Then we really got creative. We each picked a side of the pool and cut out a sitting bench. The sitting bench kept our head out of the water, but our body would still be in the cool refreshing water. Our pool was so deep, if we sat down it would be over our heads. Next was the difficult part, the liner.
We snuck inside the back door, through the kitchen and found the large garbage bags. We used the industrial, black, 55-gallon drum garbage bags. This was going to work perfect. Tough and durable. We carefully cut open each garage bag and lined our pool. We used old paint cans, rocks, tree limbs, basically anything we could find to hold down the edge of the liner. The pool was beautiful. Sister pulled over the water hose, brother turned it on and we began to fill up our little piece of paradise.
The water was clear and cold. You could float on your back and watch the leaves blowing high above you in the oak tree. This summer day was perfect. We splashed, laughed and sat on our sitting benches, in our pool. We didn’t realize the more we played, the more the dirt was slowly slipping in between the liner. Our over your head pool was slowly only at our waist. Where was this water going? We could fix this problem easily. Brother grabbed the water hose and we filled it up again.
The water was gradually turning into mud. Well, we had seen enough TV shows to know mud goes on your face. We slathered it on our face our arms and any other body part that was not immersed in our mud pit. So much for the clean crisp pool we had created. Our new mud pool was still cool and refreshing. We didn’t care. We were not baking in the sun and having to mow. This joyful noise of laughing and playing, along with water pump that was not shutting off, soon caught the ear of Granny. She stepped out onto the porch in her muu muu, hands on her hips, throws her head back and laughs out loud. We all stop playing as she slowly walks over to our pool. She calmly asks if she can join us. This started a frenzy of hooting and a hollering Granny’s joining us in our mud pool. Well she sat on a bucket and put her feet in. This was good enough. We got to keep the pool the entire summer. Our cousins from the city even got to experience the mud bath.
You are never too old to enjoy a mud puddle, mud hole, or just a float on your back.