Five Minute Fridays. A topic, provided by Lisa Jo, the gypsy mama. We write, a mostly unedited five minutes, then share with each other. Click on the links to go see what other gals write - enjoy!
This week, JOIN.
"Welcome, come in." The gal, standing at our door, weighted down with an armload of food, was unknown to me. I knew her face from church, but not her name. We introduced ourselves. Our kids crowded around, excited to see what food she had brought. They were always interested in food. One of the girls was holding our new baby, three days old. He was introduced, too.
She brought cornbread, a giant pot of bean soup, delicious with ham chunks. The kids loved it. Still make a version of the recipe, today.
The kids showed off their goats, their dogs, their cats, their chickens, their rabbits, talking a mile a minute, all of them, at her at once. If I knew what I know now about her, her reserved temperament, I would have made them give her a little more space.
"I am an artist," she said. "Could I come back sometime, and paint the goats? I would just sit up in the barn , sketch them, do some watercolors. I wouldn't be any trouble, you could ignore me." Which is really what she wanted, to be left alone, not swarmed by a hive of kids.
"Of course. We would love to have you do that, although the kids would like to watch. Would you mind if they watched?"
"No, I guess that's OK."
So, she came back. Time and time again. The kids posed for her, she painted them. She painted all the animals. She painted the baby on the floor, months later, on his sheepskin, eating cheerios with his chubby little fingers. I still have that drawing, and some of the others.
The woman at my door that day was from a completely different circle than mine. She had no children. Her quiet life looked vastly distant from mine. Yet she volunteered to bring this new mommy a meal, and enough for all the other hungry mouths. She stepped out of her world, willing to join mine, to offer cornbread and bean soup, and a hand of friendship. A hand of friendship that has been joined strong ever since.
And that baby? He is seventeen, graduated from high school, driving a car, and looking for work. Wasn't it just yesterday he was little, and my soon to be friend knocked on our door?