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Along the Hatchie

November 16, 2005

I once gave a sermon titled “Dinners with Jesus” There is an interesting connection that takes place over food. Dee wanted people to ask her some questions and she has started answering mine. The first she chose was “What was you favorite meal?”.

I think that for me that is an incredibly difficult question. So many possiblities. But I will choose one because as old as the memory is I can still recall with great detail that meal.

We had spent the night camping on some property along the Hatchie River. My friend Kenneth and his Dad (Sonny) pitched our tent there near the bank of that muddy river that is in a number of my growing up memories. We spent the night talking and listening to “The Opry” on an AM radio. The plastic kind that ran off batteries. As I recall it was lime green, one of the ones that is about the size of a ladies shoe box on its side, made with a big round dial on the front.

I never cared for The Grand Ole Opry, but listening to it with Sonny was like having a great art teacher or artist taking you through a museum. He pointed out things that brought a filter to the event that I would never have been able to understand on my own.

The meal didn’t take place that night, Sonny threatened us with turtle soup straight from the river, I don’t remember what we ate that night.

The morning I do remember!

On the coals from the fire the night before in a big cast iron skillet Sonny cooked two boys (11 or so years old) and himself a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon and toasted a loaf of bread.

We ate it all. Then Sonny said, “You boys stay here and I will run to the store and get some more.” And he did. We ate another dozen eggs and another pound of bacon. I have never had a better breakfast.

Looking back on it, I have eaten some wonderful food in several different countries but that simple breakfast has always stuck with me. Maybe we were really hungry. Maybe it is the fact that any meal cooked outside over a fire is better. But maybe it was that I felt loved that weekend.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2005 4:26 pm

    YES! It is all about feeling loved!

    In whatever the circumstances, whatever the situation, however bad or good everything else may be, above all else, if we feel loved deep down inside, everything else in the world (and beyond this world) is all right. Everything is the best that it can be. As our father, God, would have it be!

    It’s not just about the food or the setting or how much we ate or how little. That’s why – for me and for you, both – it was so hard to answer that question. We are both “relationship” people. There is more to life than simply food or drink and the strictly “physical” aspects.

    And, as you say in talking about “Dinners with Jesus” – “there is an interesting connection that takes place over food.”

    Boy, your depiction of your favorite meal ever really brings back a ton of great memories for me from my older childhood. When we lived at Abernathy, we used to go up into the mountains of New Mexico every summer on vacation, sometimes staying in cabins, sometimes camping out, and those are probably my best memories of my family back then.

    You made me suddenly remember one early Sunday morning standing in the cold mountain air next to a big smokey fire with a grill on it watching the smoke curl upward through the filtered light of the forest toward the sun, smelling the coffee and bacon cooking, the decision to stay there in worship rather than going to the nearest small mountain town to find the local church.

    Where we were was a cathedral far better than anything man could make. Although those pictures you shared back a while of the glass church in the woods were magnificent and I browsed through them all.

    But, I cannot even begin to imagine how two, even very hungry, boys and one dad could eat TWO dozen eggs, TWO pounds of bacon and a whole loaf of toasted bread!! Or maybe I can. Grand meals like that are sometimes once in a lifetime, aren’t they? That’s why we remember them as the best.

  2. November 16, 2005 7:12 pm

    Nothing better than breakfast cooked outside!! making me hungry!

  3. Angie Burns permalink
    November 17, 2005 10:35 pm

    GREAT STORY BIG T! Reading your blog reminds me of why I’ve always been drawn to you (we get so used to good friends that we take them for granted sometimes… dont’cha think?) Anyway, this blog entry reminded me of another book called “Dinner With A Perfect Stranger.” I think I gave it to you. Have you read it? It’s very short and really good. Sorry… I’m not marketing for Waterbrook Press or anything… but these things just keep coming to mind! I love to share a good read.

  4. November 18, 2005 9:18 am

    I think you’re definitely right about the love making the food taste better. I can’t come up with a favorite meal, but as I think through all the possibilities, they involve people I love. Fried catfish at Grandma and Papa’s. Charcoal-grilled hamburgers at Mom and Dad’s. Dairy Queen drive-through chicken fingers on the way to the hotel after the wedding ceremony. You get the idea.

    Great post!


  5. February 6, 2006 8:52 am

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