BEARS

 

I love bears. Not the seven foot grizzlies that chase careless tourists for their picnic baskets, but the manmade fluffy varieties carried by firefighters to calm frightened children after trauma. The kind teenagers leave on their pillows each day and the kind grandmothers rest their arthritic elbows on as they watch television. Little ones with velvet fur, and huge ones with soft bushy fur.

Several years ago I met a couple who gathered clothing, shoes, books, and toys to distribute to needy families on Indian reservations. When I volunteered to help gather the objects, I went to the source that would provide the most toys for the little amount I could spare from a Social Security check, a local thrift store that benefited charities.

The store I visit most often has a schedule that provides mark-downs after merchandise has been on the shelves for month. Each week new entries receive color price tags for that week. After the first weeks, items with a green tag would be reduced an added 30%, a blue tag would be 50%, and an orange tagged toy would be 70% off the original thrift price. A large teddy bear that had been $30 new might be marked $2.99 and could be purchased for $.90.

From September until the middle of December, I search the shelves, looking for the best values. There should be no visible damage, the bears should be washable and easy to dry, and should be attractive to youngsters. Sometimes those I liked least would be the most desired by the receivers.

There were honey colored bears with round faces and round ears, chocolate colored bears in seasonal costumes, and soft black bears that looked like their live counterparts. Some sat not taller than a man’s hand; others as large as a bed pillow. Each had a distinctive personality and was suitable for a child.

I set a limit of $20 on what I would spend each week. The chosen toys were taken home, stripped of unwashable attachments, and washed in cold water with a product that killed bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew and left the fragrance of flowers. The second rinse held a double portion of fabric softener to leave the restored bear better than its first trip to Walmart. The bears were dried on delicate setting in the dryer then were allowed to visit me for a week to be sure that they were completely dry and ready to become a child’s best buddy. Accessories were added to make each bear special.

Bears are bagged by the dozens and sent by my friends to their new owners. Each was tagged with a letter that said.

I am a preloved bear,

chosen because I have so much love

to give to someone who wants a new friend.

I have been washed, sanitized,

and prepared especially for you.

I am unique, just as you are,

the one and only that is just for you.

I listen to secrets, but never tell.

Now choose a name for me.

If you pass a car with teddy bears stacked to the windows of the back seat, you can assume that this year’s crop is being given a ride to finish drying and soak up a little more loving before moving on to their new homes.

Dorothy Gast

Ddgast1@aol.com

Shell Homes for Farmers

During the years after World War II rural families in the South were still living in substandard housing. Many homes were no more than two room shacks that had served as tenant houses without running water or electricity. Many people had no hope of better conditions at the existing cost of building.

In the 1950’s brochures began arriving in country mailboxes showing one, two and three bedroom homes completely finished on the outside, partially finished on the inside giving the buyer a choice of completing the work themselves. The best known of these was Jim Walter Homes. The company would sell most of the inside building material, including sheetrock, insulation, doors and carpet. Anyone who had a deed to an acre of land could sign a contract, make payments for twenty years and be debt free. A starter house with two bedrooms sold for $2400 and could be financed, finished, and added on to, and still be paid in full before the first child finished high school.

A lumber truck would drive up to the site, unload framing, door and windows, sheetrock, nails flooring, paint, and linoleum.   Workers covered supplies with tarps and left. The next day or so a framing crew laid concrete blocks for foundations, built subflooring, and framed walls, while the new owners watched in amazement as the structure they had chosen developed before their eyes. The frame of an 800 square house could be ready for ceiling joists by the end of the first day.  The oak floors were the last things finished by the company.

A drilling truck could drill a well and place a water pump into place and connect it to the house plumbing as the plumbing crew joined the pipes and as electricians wired the lights, base plugs, and laundry connections to the fuse box .Sometimes three different crews worked on varying tasks.

Our three bedroom house was built by a Walter competitor. Ait was 34 by 22 feet with a living room-kitchen at one end and tiny bedrooms around the even smaller bath. The girls’ bedroom was papered with state maps obtained free from service stations. They could lie in their bunk beds and trace trips on their travel wish lists

The shell home division of Jim Walter Homes was closed in 2010. All over the South these homes still shelter families though most have been improved and changed enough to be unrecognizable. For some families it was the first inkling that they could own their own home and aspire to a more comfortable life. Propane hot water heaters, stove and heating released the owner from the time consuming wood cutting and fireplaces. Sixty years ago an acre of land, a Jim Walter home and an affordable mortgage allowed even manual laborers the security of their own home with electricity and running water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Walter_Homes#Jim_Walter_Homes

Wikipedia says

Jim Walter homes were “shell” homes, meaning the company would complete the outside so that the house was water tight, then allow the customer to finish the inside with their own labor. The company would also sell most of the inside materials, including sheetrock, insulation, doors and carpet to the customer and include them in the purchase. The result was very affordable mortgage payments, usually for 20 years. The only requirement from the company was that the customer must own the land on which the house was constructed. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, when mortgage rates went as high as 15%, Jim Walter offered 10% financing with no money down

.

James W. Walter, Sr. (September 18, 1922 – January 6, 2000), of Tampa, Florida in the United States, was a home builder who started Jim Walter Homes and Walter Industries , now doing business as Walter Energy, Inc., a leading producer of metallurgical coal for the global steel industry, in 1946 with $1,000 he borrowed from his father. Walter eventually sold the company in 1986 for $2 billion to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

Walter was the son of Ebe and Mabel Walter. The book Building a Business: The Jim Walter Story tells his story. His wife, Monica Walter, died in 1982, leaving two sons, James W. Walter Jr. Jim Walter Homes

To the Reader

MAY 7, 2010

Dear Kyle, and whoever else might read,

Every day I think of something I’d like to ask Mama Annice then realize that she’s not available on this plane. There will be a time when I won’t be around either. When your children ask about a family tree for school, you can look back and see what things were like “back then”

I hope you will get to know the people who meant so much to me and to your mother. These pages are the product of many years of work, Some were written when Mama Annice was a teenager, some are excerpts written almost a century ago.

You can be proud of your heritage. There are lots of ordinary people who did many extraordinary things. Your families were respected and individuals made a difference in the world.

Most of this is on computer, but there may come a time when I ask to borrow it to make copies for others. There ain’t no way I could make one of these for 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.  Much of this was passed down to me from both Daddy Buster and Mama Annice. Now I pass it on to you. I was waiting for someone to ask about family and you were the one.

If you ever want more, go online to Ancestry.com, Legacy.com, or alabamapioneers.com and put in my name. You can’t read it all in one sitting, but you can check it out at your leisure. May it remind you of a grandmother who loves you very much. (Whether I’m on this earth or peeping over the rails in Heaven)

The Bible tells us that God sends blessings down to four generations of a righteous man, and you have many faithful Christian ancestors. Be blessed.

Grandma

Aka  Dorothy Graham Clements Gast

Peas, Please

Cali

“Sure, I eat molasses with my peas, I’ve done it all my life,

It ain’t because it tastes so good, It keeps them on my knife.” Old country folksong.

 

PEAS, PLEASE

Peas, corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes are as nutritious as they are tasty. Mainstays of southern diet, they provide a healthy alternative to meat and potatoes menu. One restaurant in Northport, Alabama, features a different kind of field pea on each day of the week. Reports of peas go back to 2300 BC and are eaten by an estimated 200,000 people a day worldwide. Paired with cornbread, peas provide protein to replace meat.

So you thought black eyed peas were a country form of the more elegant green pea southerners call English pea. There are stories about dry peas being the only edibles let behind after Yankees had taken livestock, potatoes and corn. The dry pods kept for eating during the winter and planting the next season, sustained survivors left behind when the males of the households did not return from war. Peas, brought from Africa with the slave cargo, provided the protein and calories to keep families from starving.

Field peas, often called cowpeas, are a staple of the Southeastern United States with controversy about their origins. They are legumes grown in Asia, Africa, parts of southern Europe, and Central and South America. Peas flourished in the hot, dry fields that had nutrients exhausted by cotton and tobacco. Its ability to pair with other plants like corn increased the food value from limited field space. The large seeds could be sown or scattered, in lightly cultivated soil, sprout quickly, and provide nitrogen for corn. The long runners climbed the corn stalks, fertilized the soil, and by heavy shade from leaves reduced the weeds that steal the limited moisture of hot, dry August days.

Farmers learned that when peas were picked and leaves grew sparse, they could cut the vine back to a hand’s length and watch the plants renew in the autumn rains. New growth meant that fresh peas graced the table until frost.

The many varieties have names like Purple Hull Pink Eye, Whippoorwill, Lady Pea, Red Ripper, California Blackeye, Black and white Holstein, Blue Goose, Monkey Tail, and Ozark Razorback. Since farmers saved seed to plant many families had crossbred distinctive varieties that bore the family name, like. Regional favorites were debated but the many advantages of the multipurpose crop are accepted in many parts of the world. Farmers often sow seeds in the fields where corn has been harvested to provide green foliage for farm animals and wild animals. The dry foliage is easily stored for animal feed.

Peas are the subsistence food of many nations, the poor man’s manna.

 

Recipe for cooking green

Pinkeye Purple Hull Peas.

 

1 quart fresh shelled peas, washed                         1 tsp salt

2 quarts water                                                                   2 slices bacon or ½ cup cooking oil

Cook in boiler at moderate heat for 30 minutes.

Serve with Cornbread, fried okra, corn on the cob, sliced ripe tomatoes and sweet potato pie.

Enjoy.

Dorothy Gast

bri (Body)

Reading in the 1940s

The Christmas I was ten, I asked for and received a 10 book set of reading classics.  It had Heidi, Robinson Crusoe, Black Beauty, Little Women, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Tale of Two Cities, Call of the Wild, Alice in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, and Treasure Island. I read and reread these and finally began to loan them to family and friends. The Bookmobile, a library van, brought fresh material to Romulus School every month and to our house during the summer, since our family read more than the rest of the community put together. Later we  had the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. They became the most passed around books of all.

Reading was a priority in our home in the last half of the 20th century. Every member of the household had their own favorite genre and media. Magazines like Good Housekeeping, Farm Journal, Lady’s Home Journal, and Reader’s Digest were considered as essential as a new pair of school shoes in September.  In fact there may have been times desire for reading meant toes were squeezed into outgrown footwear a little longer.

In the mahogany bookshelf Daddy had bought at the scratch and dent sale at Rosenbush Grocery and Feed Store was a set of 8 Mark Twain books, a set of World Book Encyclopedias, a set of Lands and Peoples books, a huge Webster’s Dictionary and atlas.  There was another set of Collier’s Encyclopedias in the bottom shelf that were too heavy in weight and subject matter to tempt us children. A secondary book area was made from apple crates stacked under the double hung windows in the living room. The Bible was by each person’s bed with their Sunday School book.

When suppertime debate became too spirited, Daddy would send us to the bookshelf to find support for our arguments. Often there might be 3 or more encyclopedias on the table as we presented our views. You had to be very careful since the books very considered priceless and no marks, stains, or turned down pages were allowed.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew what a bookish family we were and that books could be read or borrowed at our house.  Report and project times might have students from County High School coming by to do research.

The summer between 5th and 6th grade there was a contest at the school to see who could read the most books. Charles Livingstone, who lived over the hill, and I tied with 104 books.  No baby books accepted. We read books by Grace Livingstone Hill and Zane Grey, Mark Twain and the brothers Grimm , Jack London and Charles Dickens,  and most of the Tarzan books. No cheating because an adult would pick the name of a book and the reader had to report on it. I thought it unfair that Charles had as many as I, since our family had to chop cotton and his didn’t.

March 27, 2014

Dorothy Gast ddgast1@aol.com

THE NIGHT I WENT TO THE YACHT CLUB IN A TABLECLOTH

I was just ending my Blue Birds reading group when someone knocked on the door of my second grade classroom.

“There is a telephone call for you in the office.”  The messenger said.

I put extra assignments on the blackboard (really green) and hurried behind the messenger to the school office. Who would disturb me at school? My family knew not to call during school hours short of a dire emergency.

“Hello, Mrs. Gast, Just calling to remind you that you are to do the invocation at the District 5, Business and Professional Women’s banquet tonight at the yacht club. That means you will be sitting with our guests from the state executive board.”

“Can you get someone else? I don’t see how I can make it.” I pleaded.

Report cards go out day after tomorrow and committee meetings every day this week meant it would be 5 o’clock before I could drive home and get back to Tuscaloosa by 7. My husband’s patience was wearing thin since we’d been putting extra time preparing for accreditation.

“You are already in the program. You’ll have to be there. Don’t forget you’ll need an evening dress at the head table.”

“But I can’t-.”

The voice on the phone interrupted. “Be there 10 minutes until 7”. Disconnected.

I knew I shouldn’t have missed that planning committee meeting last week, but my daughter had a school program and I had to be there. I grumbled as I hurried back to the classroom before chaos erupted.

Evening dress!! Oh, no. Nothing that fit that description would fit since that last 15 pounds. No money in checking for a dress for one event. How did I ever get into this fix?

As I opened the door to my room the talking ceased suspiciously. Why did other occupations assume that teachers could answer the phone at any time. The caller must have been very persuasive or insistent to have me called away from class. Elementary teachers are on duty all day even during lunch.

As we tackled borrowing and carrying, I tried to think. Could I borrow a dress from one of the other teachers?  How could I find time to get this done, drive 15 miles home, cook for my family, and make it to the banquet? That minor headache was becoming a migraine.

The faculty committee was short. We handed in our reports and left school by 4.

“Evening dress?” “Where? Who?” My thoughts whirled as I met a highway patrolman and hoped he hadn’t clocked my speed. He kept going.  He must be on a call. I breathed a sigh of relief, but slowed to the speed limit.

“Hey, kids, how about hot dogs tonight. You can make them yourself.”  I asked hopefully.

“Do we have to have vegetables, too?” the youngest said.

“No, tonight surprise Daddy with a picnic. No veggies.”

I ran a hot bath and frantically looked for something that could be formal. At the top of the closet there was a aquamarine tablecloth the kids had given me for Christmas. 60 by 90 inches. It’s the same color as my ankle length nylon nightgown. Um-m. I place the tablecloth and gown side by side. They matched perfectly. I folded the lace cloth in half lengthwise and again sidewise. I  slit the lace in the center along the design of the fabric just enough to get my head through.  I can zigzag it back together tomorrow.

When I put on the gown, put my head through the slit and checked out the reflection in the full length mirror, I was surprised.. I thought.,”Not bad. It looks like a fancy caftan.”

After a hot bath with lots of bubbles, I realized my headache was gone. By the time my husband arrived, make up and hair style was complete.

“Looking good,” he said. “Where did you get the dress?”

“We’ll talk later. I’ve only got 30 minutes to get to the banquet.” I said as I attached the glittering pin that matched the dangling earrings, sprayed on perfume,  and slid my feet into silver slippers.

At 5 until 7 I pulled into a parking space, checked my makeup, and entered the ballroom.

“Wow, you are looking GOOD,” a guy I had worked with said. His wife turned and smiled.

“Pretty dress,” she said.

This was becoming fun. I was seated three chairs down from the microphone. The place was packed and I had a secret. Everyone liked my dress and I hadn’t paid a penny for it. My confidence level was sky high and the smile was hiding a wonderful secret.

“Dear Lord, thank you for the provisions you make for us. Guide us with your wisdom and give us understanding that we may accomplish those responsibilities that are assigned to us. Bless this food to our bodies and us to Thy service. Amen”

Two hours later my husband said, “Don’t sew it up. Even if you never wear it again, it will be nice to know you had a night to remember.”

Watching the Sun Go Down

SITTING ON THE FRONT PORCH WATCHING THE SUN GO DOWN

My earliest memory is watching the sun set as I leaned against my grandfather’s wicker rocker while he held my little brother. I must have been three. Grandpa’s house faced west and we loved to watch the clouds change color and shape as the sun sank beyond the horizon.

Grandpa might say, “Do you see the purple cloud that looks like an elephant?” and I looked among the shapes in the colorful sky to find his choice. Then we’d notice that the next cloud looked like frying pan and giggle at the thought of frying an elephant in a skillet.

When the last bit of orange sun sank out of sight, we’d sigh and look for the evening star so we could recite “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight” so we could make a wish. As dusk settled objects lost their color and became black silhouettes against a blackening sky. We counted stars as they became visible and anticipated the call to come in and get ready for bed.

Before television and air conditioning, whole families escaped the evening heat in chairs on the front porch talking about the day, or plans for tomorrow. Whole genealogies were traced so often that small listeners could anticipate phrases and sentences describing their long dead ancestors.

“Sunset and evening star” was about more than “crossing the bar”, but a regular part of living. It was a time of reflections, meditation, of sharing the beauty of nature and the sweetness of family harmony.

Now it seems only honeymooners and retirees grab the luxury of watching the sun go down.

Dorothy Gast           April 10, 2014

Cyprus 2000

Cyprus 2000 – Traveling during Y2K

by

Dorothy Graham Gast

In the fall of 1999, newspapers were full of speculation about Y2K. As the weeks neared January 1, 2000. It was predicted that computers would fail all over the world and everything from the electrical systems to government itself would flounder. People stockpiled foods that could last without refrigeration, electric stoves, or microwaves.

My sister and her husband were working in Cyprus and had invited me to bring a friend to visit for a couple of weeks. I noticed that airline flights had become cheap so I called a friend to see if she was interested in a trip to Cyprus.

Ann Willard, a fellow teacher, had accumulated flight miles and could get away February10-28. We left Birmingham after lunch, had a short layover in Atlanta and arrived at Gatwick Airport in London about 7:00 am.Map of Cyprus 1:175.000

My sister had made arrangements for plastic containers holding 70 pounds of goods to be part of each luggage. The foodstuffs that could not be bought in Cyprus were mixed with various dry goods and literature. In Birmingham the airline refused the large plastic containers saying they were too heavy. Numerous telephone calls got the tubs weighed and passed for boarding.

Gatwick airport from the air

A similar situation happened in Atlanta with the airline staff saying they would take them to London, but the smaller airline would not take them farther.

Heathrow_T5

When we landed at Gatwick, we had to catch a bus to Heathrow for a flight to Cyprus. Can you imagine London traffic that time of day?  Our apprehension grew as the time grew shorter. If we missed the flight we’d have to wait another 24 hours.

On the bus we explained our recent difficulties and risk of missing the Cyprus flight to a distinguished looking gentleman across the aisle. He left the bus ahead of us, led us to the line for our flight and talked to the attendant and baggage carriers. We saw the precious plastic containers move up the ramp into the plane as we were very graciously ushered aboard. I don’t know what he said, but he worked magic getting us through red tape and on the Cyprus flight.

limasol

My sister and her husband met us at Larnaca airport  for the trip to Limassol.

The next morning we boarded ship to Israel. We seemed to be the only Americans on the cruise. People were very kind and helpful, even when they did not know what we were saying. There were many who could explain currency, directions, or menu selections.

Israel

The Holy Land was very cold and wet and the precipitation was either rain or sleet. In Bethlehem we were surrounded by sellers of all ages. Against instructions, I bought an umbrella and hat and almost caused a riot. The guide was not happy, but my head was finally warm. Despite the warnings about terrorism from friends back home, I felt very safe on the tours. There was so much to see and 12 hours could give only a tiny glimpse of the majesty of this place.

EGYPT_SS1

At twilight we reboarded, had dinner and a floor show and an early night in bed. We had lunch in Cyprus, took hot showers and boarded another ship to Egypt.

When we woke next morning we looked out on Egypt. There was more green than I had expected and more modern buildings. After admiring the Sphinx and the pyramids, we turned down the opportunity to ride camels. We had been warned that once you were up there you might have to pay a ransom to get down. The famous museums were a letdown.

Choppy seas  greeted us as we prepared for our return to Cyprus, but the unpleasantness was relieved by dinner with our assigned tablemates from Scotland. Bill and Mary Muir explained that they were from Dundee in the Angus area which didn’t tell us much until they said they were north of Edinburough.  We learned about St. Andrews, the original golf course, and the castles nearby. Little did I realize how precious this friendship would become and that we would visit each other.

We spent the next few days exploring the Greek part of the island. As much as I love history, my mind was overwhelmed with facts and figures.. With all the sightseeing the best part was spending quality time with family. Lemons as big as grapefruit picked from trees in our hosts’ yard made delicious hot lemonade to warm us from the chill of the cold damp winds.

On one of our outings we noticed that most women wore black. The stores gave a choice of black, beige, or white garments. We were told that happy married women dressed in black to indicate they weren’t interested on attracting suitors.

As we walked on the beach in front of hotels, and older man came up and asked, “Americans?”

“Yes”

“Where in America?”

“Alabama.”

“Ho, ho” he laughed.  “Alabama, Bear Bryant. I lived in Ohio with my son for many years, then I come back home.” He gave me a big hug and smacked me on the cheek.

The next leg of our trip was a weekend in London visiting my stepdaughter, Ann and husband, Reg. We stayed a small inn in walking distance from their house. Public transportation made sightseeing much simpler. We rode a commuter train into London, three double-decker buses downtown, and the underground subway to outer points. One day we must have walked 15 miles.WARNING:  PICTURE SCANNED FOR OVERNIGHT NEWS Buses

The weather was cold and very windy and the guards at Buckingham Palace did not have on the bright red coats. As I hurried to catch the others I fell face down in front of the gates. No one except my companions even noticed.Harrods

So we went to Harrod’s, looked at all the expensive stuff, then headed upstairs for high tea. And it was high. I ordered the cream tea with crumpets and jam with an assortment of tiny cucumber sandwiches. The other got a”cuppa” teas and we shared out loot. We added crackers from our backpacks and had our own party to the delight on those around.

The total trip  to Cyprus and England cost less than a trip to the beach in Alabama for the same amount of time. Staying with relatives helped, but taking advantage of the Y2K scare made the difference.

Tulips for Stormy

Prayer, Tulips and Miracles, this Story Will Touch Your Heart

PINK TULIPS


by

Dorothy Graham Gast

In Spring 1999 I planted several packs of tulips bought off a late season sale table. In April 2000 there were some weak tulip plants peeping from the shiny green leaves of periwinkle, but no sign of flowers. The bed was left undisturbed with spindly tulip leaves hiding among the dominant plants. The early months of 2001 the world was falling apart in our family. After months of our taking Mother to various doctors for her failing health, she was told she had inoperable ovarian cancer on Valentine’s Day. We took her home and she died on March 13.pink-tulip-bud-emerging

My 17 year old granddaughter, Merry, attended Mama’s funeral so swollen with the symptoms of preeclampsia that she had to be helped up and down. When she was admitted to the hospital she had a long and difficult labor. Late the second night the situation became so dangerous that a caesarean was done. Merry’s mother-in-law and I were the only family waiting with the young father.

About midnight while the father was at the nursery looking for his baby daughter, the obstetrician came out to talk to Merry’s mother-in-law and me, great grandmother of the child. He warned us  that there was something wrong with the baby. He said the little one had Down Syndrome and would not live very long. She would be limited mentally, might never walk or talk and might very well experience multiple health problems. He insisted that the family needed to be prepared for the problems and difficulties the condition might bring.Praying-the-Lords-Prayer

Despite the late hour we called family members telling them the baby, Stormy, had been born and the prognosis was not good. I emailed friends around the world for prayer. There were hundreds of people praying for her from dozens of prayer groups and churches. Stormy was kept in infant intensive care. For three days, all the other family members went to admire the beautiful baby, but I continued to cry out to Heaven. On the fourth day, I took a turn scrubbing up and donning protective clothing to see the baby.

The heavy cloud over me disappeared. There was nothing to suggest that this baby had any defect. Her wide spaced eyes were big and blue and followed movement around her. She was rosy and chubby, but no longer swollen as she and her mother had been at her birth. I opened the tiny hands and found the lines of a normal baby. I knew that she was going to be fine. Tests were sent off to UAB to see if she had Down Syndrome. Three weeks later a report confirmed my belief that she would be normal. I promised that I would do all I could to help this young couple provide whatever care was needed.

The day we brought her home to my house for me to care for mother and child, we turned into my driveway to see 40 huge pink tulips shining between the glossy periwinkle leaves and blue flowers. The same tulips I had given up on were a beautiful display to welcome Stormy home.a-field-of-pink-tulips-ronda-broatch

Stormy was walking at a very early age, making sentences by 18 months. She spent 50 to 60 hours a week with me and we did all the things I had wished to do with my children during the years I was teaching.

When she was four years old she loved to help me in the kitchen. She loved to choose a cake mix, dump it into the mixing bowl, put in a stick of butter, 3 eggs, and a cup of water and turn on the mixer. I turned on the oven while she over-generously sprayed the cake pan with butter flavored cooking spray.

Since no one believed that she did all the work except taking the cake to and from the hot oven, I made a video of her baking a cake from cake mix and icing it with only verbal reminders from behind the camera. Her detailed explanations were her own, especially when she broke the egg shells too hard and had to fish out bits of the shell from the batter.cake analogy 004

It is almost as if so many prayers with her name on them stacked up in the Requests section of HEAVEN that they continue to bring blessings to her. She is bright, confident, friendly, and very affectionate. She still holds a very special place in the hearts of many who prayed for her during those uncertain times.

pink tulips