Click the “play” button below to hear the squirrel chatter (or click the audio file if you subscribe and have the post delivered to your Email). Actually, it’s just Amy J. reading her post to you!
Hypothetically speaking, of course, I once knew a young elementary teacher who tried to support her students as much as possible and order a box of Girl Scout cookies from each student selling them. This particular third grade teacher enjoyed the caramel cookies. “Enjoyed” might not be the right word. Devoured might be a better way to describe my affection for those cookies. (I mean, the hypothetical former third grade teacher’s love for the chocolate desserts.)
I like chocolate. So sue me! I’m not the world’s most healthy eater, although I usually exercise daily and I try not to go too overboard on unhealthy food. But life is short, and Dear Reader, I’m not going to spend it avoiding everything that tastes dreamy and wonderful and delicious.
If you can possibly relate to anything I’ve just written, let me warn you, there will be those in this world who will try to shame you. I once worked with a gal who ate only healthy foods. She would bring her fresh carrots to work and peel them right at her desk for lunch. I, on the other hand, would grab a handful or two or three of M&M’s and consider it a successful meal on the go. One time carrot gal yelled out, “I hear you eating M&M’s over there!”
Like I said, Dear Reader, some shame may be involved. But the thought of just being in proximity of a whole vat of Oreo cream filling makes me ridiculously happy on so many levels. I have a friend whose mom makes the world’s best chocolate cake. Seriously, nothing can compare. I’ve been blessed to experience that delicious dessert a few times, and I always try to eat it as slowly as possible to savor every bite!
We live near Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and that means we live close to DeBrand chocolates. I’m told some very rich people (such as Oprah and our current president) really like DeBrands. And who wouldn’t? Well, maybe someone who only eats fresh carrots for lunch, but the rest of us would certainly never turn down a DeBrand’s truffle or dessert.
So I’ll be the first to admit, I have a DeBrand’s taste but live on an M&M budget. And in a story which is still told in this establishment, one time I received a box of DeBrand truffles as a thank you gift. (Now that’s the kind of gift even a gal who doesn’t really need gifts would not turn down!)
My children were six and four at the time. The sacred box of DeBrand chocolates was sitting on the phone counter, high out of reach. I went outside to hang a load of laundry on the clothesline. Dear Reader, you see it coming, but I was foolish all those years ago. I returned inside and there was a six year old girl with just a few smudges of chocolate on her face and a four year old buddy who looked as if he’d dunked his face in a vat of chocolate. And there on the counter was the box of DeBrand chocolates sitting slightly askew.
Oh did those two little children get in trouble!
And when their dad came home, in what has become one of the most notorious and oft repeated lines in our house, my husband raised his voice and told our children in no uncertain terms, “NEVER. EAT. YOUR. MOTHER’S. DEBRAND. CHOCOLATES!”
Two young children ended up in tears. Two teenagers laugh about it now.
My Uncle John was an amazing man. It’s hard to even fathom he’s been gone now for 6 1/2 years. He had an easy smile and an almost continuous laugh. He was dapper, handsome, fit, and enjoyed life. For his funeral, my cousin wrote one of the most beautiful, touching, spot-on eulogies I’ve ever heard.
My cousin chose to focus on some of my Uncle John’s life philosophies. And I had to smile when my cousin reminded us that my uncle would tell us, “Eat what tastes good.” And I don’t just mean food when I echo my beloved uncle’s words. Even in the midst of garbage and heartache there is goodness in life. Soak it in. Take deep breaths of it. Listen for the laughter and the birds and young children singing. Taste Mrs. Eckstrom’s amazing layered chocolate cake and the box of Girl Scout cookies purchased from a sweet third grade gal. Yes, yes, I know we have to eat some carrots, but man, life is short and unpredictable and difficult, so let’s taste some chocolate too.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Until next Wednesday, Lord willing, when I’ll share an Easter reflection.