Pastor Jim Jackson
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
Mom was a great cook.
Nothing fancy, but just good southern fare. She even cooked at a small hospital in Tampa. There she was a favorite among the cooks, with the doctors requesting her service for special breakfasts. Her biscuits were large, delicious, yet her method was a simple, guarded secret— Bisquick. Then there were those special Sunday dinners at home, often attended and enjoyed by my uncles, aunts, and their children. I remember well. The menu often consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes (never instant), homemade gravy, green beans, corn, maybe fried okra, and, of course, cathead biscuits. All of this was washed down with sweet iced tea: never any alcohol present. We were teetotaler Baptists. Mother accomplished all of this in an un-airconditioned, low ceilinged kitchen with no cook stove venting.
Her face was often covered with sweat beads as she completed preparations. Also accompanying her face was a confident smile familiar to all in attendance. They loved it. Then, perhaps to escape any residual guilt, someone would casually remark: “Mary, let us help you with the dishes.” As you might have guessed by now, there was no dishwasher in the house without working hands. Instead, dishes, pots, and pans were hand washed, dried, then returned to the cabinet. But hearing the offer, Mom’s response was often: “No let ‘em soak: let’s just sit and visit awhile.” Obviously, Mom put a high premium upon conversations with loved ones.
Seems to me she had her priorities right. Folks, I think we’ve lost something.
We’ve allowed technology in some instances to take away meaningful verbal interaction with one another. Example: look around next time you’re eating dinner in a restaurant. Chances are you’ll see several people sitting at tables fixated with their cell phones, largely ignoring the opportunity to interact. And now to beat it all, you can pay your bill electronically, escaping another opportunity to interact with the waitress and cashier. Not only that, in some instances, you may even order from the menu without a verbal request. Seems to me we are something like those floats in a swimming pool, moving about controlled by an outside influence—the wind. I agree with Mom.