Food for Thought-5 Good Ideas / Things My Grandmother Taught Me

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1. Always have extra food on hand. Something, anything to offer a guest a small measure of welcome hospitality. Be prepared to feed as many people as possible.

2. A cup of coffee will go a long way to create the right space in which to listen to how someone’s day went.

3. Her to do list depended on maximizing the least amount of meager  resources. Grandma needed others to give her a ride. As such, she knew how to make a to do list and get what mattered most when she had access to a car. She prioritized and made the most of her time and resources.

4. She made friends with all of her neighbors. She taught me race didn’t matter. People were people.

5. It’s OK to ask for help if you don’t know the answer to a question. Find a dictionary or person who might know the answer, if you need to, ask for help.

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Food for Thought-A Cautionary Parable About Kittens, Grandma’s Oven, and Forgetfulness

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The biscuits in grandma’s kitchen,
Were burnt beyond recognition,
The kittens came from outside,
Trying to confirm the contents,
Of their tiny little minds,
Should we climb in and see what’s cookin’
Walk around and have a lookin’
Yes indeed, we think that we,
Will ourselves go and see,
In they jumped and began to eat,
Among the crumbs so very sweet,
All was well till Grandma came,
With more bread for the flame,
On the kittens she closed the door,
Who ate no biscuits anymore,
and Grandma’s baking pans,
went through the back door.

–Richard Bryant

Food for Thought-Ten Things with the Potential To Make Me Cry

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1. Deviled Eggs
2. Potato Salad with a finely balance ratio of mayonnaise and mustard
3. Jim Croce’s “I Got a Name”
4. BBQ Slaw done with:
2⁄3 cup ketchup
1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup sugar
2 tsp. Texas Pete
2 tsp salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium head cabbage, cored and finely chopped
5. The recovery of a missing sock
6. Biscuits made by my deceased grandmother, Pauline Kidd
7. Dogs who lack a leg but don’t allow this to hinder their enjoyment of games like catch, fetch, or chase
8. Anything that can be made extra crispy
9. The idea that Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Jimmy Swaggart are related
10. Squirrels who do cute things

Food for Thought-Bringing My Grandmother Into Epiphany

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The gifts we bring into the room,
are not ours to give,
three glittering boxes,
were given to Him,
now presented to you,
in impromptu ceremonies,
by hastily assembled cribs,
the gold of time,
the frankincense of love,
the myrrh of wisdom,
laid by our feet,
near the kitchen table,
where my grandmother stood,
stained apron,
hands with calluses covered,
she gave me these gifts,
and caused me to belong,
in a house surrounded,
by dirt,
gravel,
and the whistling sounds,
of the afternoon train,
rolling it’s forgotten way,
east, through tobacco fields,
and pine trees,
this is the place,
where I learned to be me,
surrounded by the symphony,
of late afternoon peace,
her story,
told in Earth refined grace,
I am what I have become,
because of this place,
sweetened by the sugar,
left slightly ajar,
pickled by the vinegar,
kept in the mason jar,
This is my story,
my song,
It will never end,
the memories move,
on and on, again.

-Richard Bryant