Easy Bake Oven, Popcorn and the Red Dirt Road

Today my memory board on Facebook popped up  2 Corinthians For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  I thought of this today, did not re-share it.  I was thinking about  what I was doing 2 years ago.  My twins where starting their Senior year, I was working back on the Island and enjoying being a school nurse, finally found a church we were attending consistently.  I also spent today thinking about the childhood memories I shared with my sister and brother this weekend.  I laughed at times with tears in my eyes.  There was a difference of opinions when someone mentioned, well ya’ll weren’t bored.  MMMM. Well no we were bored when we had to stay inside.  It didn’t help to complain to mom.  She would send us outside to undo the boredom.  This in turn led to us being creative, believing in dreams, working on building an imagination that was out of this world.  This also instilled in us the value of problem solving and flexibility.

The story I have been working on in my head was about darkness and our secret club houses.  The verse of “…out of darkness”, kept coming back to me with how this story ends.  You see I know the ending, it happened 40 years ago.

When you don’t know the ending and you don’t know who Jesus Christ is, you are walking in darkness.  To live in darkness, you are unaware of the dangers or sin you may be in. We do not know our ending of our life, but you do if you are a believer and follower of Jesus.   (John 8:12) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”   Once you accept Jesus Christ as your savior because you believe he died for your sins and rose again then you will have that light that will never burn out.

John 1:4-5 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.   He gave life to all that is good in this world.  The song “This Little Light of Mine“, we sang growing up.  I never truly understood this a young child.  I always thought of this as a candle.  Knowing God will never leave you, will always love you and forgive you of your sins gives you the courage to be bold and brave and shine your light for him.  You can show love to your fellow man and be a reflection of Jesus, by being kind, loving, having patience, and compassion.   Matthew 5:14- 16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

We were finally given the green light to turn the smoke house into a club house.  This was going to be great.  We would have four walls, shelves on the walls and a roof.  The roof would help us out by protecting us from rain.  We would be able to play outside in the rain, but safe and dry.  We had pulled every crate, bucket, and several dishes from the wash shed and Granny’s house to make us the dream club house. Our only problem we did not have a door.  The door had finally seen it’s last day when it fell off this Saturday morning. We drug  the door inside along the dirt floor to the back of the smoke house.  It was going to be a grand dining room table.  We could eat all our snacks and who knows, lunches outside now.  Mom being a teacher was home  in the summer with us.  She would take our orders through the kitchen window and we would pick up our make believe Dairy Queen grilled cheeses, kool-aid and Cheetos from her when she hollered out, “Order up!”

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.

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 dust that blew into the unsealed windows. This small house had wooden and laminate floors.  Wooden walls with peeling, cloth wall paper and paneling.   Our wooden house that sat on cinder blocks was surrounded by towering cedar and oak trees and one beautiful mimosa tree with wisteria entwined in it.   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 by the red dirt road 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 smoke house and wash shed sat to the side of the mimosa tree towards the back.  Our club house was coming together nicely. Sister was putting wisteria flowers in an old vase we had found at the dump. Brother had gone down to our house dad was building for us to look for a hammer and some nails.  We had to figure out the door situation.  I was drawing up the door we would be building.   Sister and I had put the wooden door across two buckets we had found behind the wash shed.  All these treasures hidden away in a jungle of trees or briers were turning out to be very useful.  Sister stopped and put her hands on her hips and told me, “We can use a blanket.”

“Why do we need a blanket? It’s 100 degrees out here.” was my response.

“No, not for covers, but for the door.  We don’t have to make it out of wood.” Sister explained.

Sister had a point.  It would have taken us all day, just to find all the wood we would need.  Plus to find a tape measure, hinges, oh what was I thinking drawing out this magnificent door, with a peep whole that opened and closed.  So we scratched the wooden door idea and went off in search of a blanket or sheet.  Granny’s house had many blankets.  These weren’t just any kind of blankets.  These where quilts my aunts had made by hand.  They were heavy, but so soft.  We knew better than to even think about getting those quilts.  We may be country, with a southern accent, talking over yonder and ya’ll, but we ain’t dumb.  We knew if we put nails in those quilt, we would have to go find a peach tree limb.  We kept digging in the cedar armoire and finally found an old wool blanket.  This was going to be the best door ever. Plus this blanket was the best one to use.  We needed to get this blanket out of the house.  It always caused arguments on who didn’t want it.  It was an itchy blanket.  It would be a perfect door.

Brother came back with the hammer and nails.  Sister and I brought out the blanket.  We set the buckets up and drug the door back out side.  We needed a ladder, so we made scaffolding.  The door would work.  Sister climbed up on the door (scaffolding), I held the scaffolding.  I just knew she was going to go through it.  Remember it had fallen off the hinges this morning. Brother was in charge of handing her the nails.  This was not working.  Sister couldn’t hold the blanket up and nail the nail into the wood.  This wood was like cement. So I held my breath and stepped up onto the scaffolding.  I would have sent Brother, but he is kind of short for 5, he just couldn’t reach. He would have jumped right up there with no fear. I put him in charge of holding the old door.  I held the blanket and Sister banged away on those nails.  We finally got the blanket secure.

We stood back and admired our new green, blue, red, brown, white and yellow door.  It was perfect.  We drug the door back inside and put it in its right spot, so we could have a lunch break.  Well this was going to be our snack break.  We already had our grill cheese.  We all sat down at the table and began to think of what our snack would be.  Sister wanted brownies, Brother wanted chocolate boiled oatmeal cookies and I wanted pop corn.  So we had to go shopping in Granny’s house.  Sister went to get the Easy bake oven and brownie mix, I went to get the jiffy popcorn, and Brother was out of luck.  We were not allowed to cook on the stove without an adult present, so no oaties.

We took all our snacks, including the Easy bake oven into our new club house.  Sister mixed the brownies up, while Brother went to get us an extension cord.  He was always a good finder or looker.  He also didn’t argue when we asked him to do something.  Plus he knew where all the good useful stuff was.  Brother came back with the extension cord and we plugged in our Easy Bake Oven.  Sister put our brownies in and we waited.  Finally done.  Now the real test-popcorn.  We stuck the jiffy pop popcorn pan inside the oven.  It just fit.  Brother was in charge of shaking the little pan.  We could hear the sizzling and then the first pop!  It’s working!  The popcorn was popping! We all peered inside we could see it growing and growing.

Brother shouted, “Back up, I think it’s going to explode!”

We backed up and watched our Easy Bake Oven turn into a volcano.  Popcorn was spewing everywhere. We turned it off and pulled out the pan.  Nothing was left. All the popcorn had fallen out onto the dirt floor.  Brother says, “That’s ok.  I’m going to get another one.”

Sister and I eat cut the brownies and ate ours, as we waited for Brother.  He was gone for along time.  He returned with popcorn, plus…wood!  He is a brilliant 5 year old, but we never told him that.

We knew what we needed to do to make this popcorn pop into the aluminum bowl.  It needed room to grow up and out.  So we dug a hole in the center of our smoke house.  Brother put the wood in the hole and pulled out the kitchen matches.  Sisters started telling us, “I don’t think this going to be good.”

“Well the Easy Bake Oven idea wasn’t a good idea.  This one will work.” I explained.

We placed empty cans on four corners of the hole we had dug. We placed the medal oven rack we had found on top of the cans.  We had a stove.  I told you we could find all sorts of good junk. Brother was in charge of moving the popcorn tin back and forth again.  We sat there with pride and accomplishment on our faces,  as we watched our popcorn POP!

Brother ate his brownie and we were enjoying our popcorn. All was well in the smokey club house with no windows and a roof, plus a blanket for a door.  Until we heard dad hollering from the porch, “Are ya’ll burning something in there?”

Our reply in unison, “No Dad!”

The next thing we saw was daylight.  It blinded us as Dad pulled off our door (blanket). Smoke was billowing out of the door and Dad was telling us, “Ya’ll are going to kill yourself with all that smoke.” “Put that fire out and get inside.”

We did not realize the danger or the darkness we were sitting in, until Dad pulled back that blanket and the light shined into our little club house.  I wish I could tell you it ended with a great biblical or philosophical talk.  Nope –  peach tree limb.


When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12




1 thought on “Easy Bake Oven, Popcorn and the Red Dirt Road”

  1. The ending really comes together with bible verse. Jiffy popcorn on an easy bake oven? Very creative. I thought this was going to be your point of origin

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