A Simpler Time
(Snuggles and Cuddles and Bears ah-ha!)
Crickets and bullfrogs, creakin-n-croakin’ serenade my little clan. The old wooden sash windows propped up with well-used paint stirring sticks, our only sound system. The dreaded disease has taken its toll on my tattered body, but not my soul. Mama ( my term of endearment for my wife) is just neatly placing the last few rollers in sissy’s hair. All the kids have had their Saturday night bath and the sorry board is set up at the dining room table ready for the challenge.
The popcorn is a poppin’ and a pitcher of ice water sets sweating on a folded tea towel. Times have been tough in the finance department. Being out of work for two months has reduced the selection of game night snacks a bit, but no one seems to notice. Looking into the sparkling eyes of my two rosy-cheeked little girls, both grinning from ear to ear helps ease the pain both physically and emotionally.
“Louie grab a couple of hand towels please, we don’t want to get butter on our game pieces,” says Mama. Everyone settles in. “I want the red man,” says tubby, “you always want the red one,” chuckles Louie.
“I’ll take green, and what color do you want sweetie?” As our eyes meet, and our hands touch; “whichever one you choose.” Says my smiling wife.
Through sickness and struggle, never knowing from one day to the next how ends would be met, we prospered. No it wasn’t in material things, we had no money, we had love, and we had faith. There were days when the cupboards were bare and with tear-streaked eyes, my wife would go to fetch the mail and find a dozen fresh eggs with a twenty-dollar bill taped to the carton. Once again God had provided.
Those days were no doubt difficult and many were tear filled, but we persevered. I learned that it’s not what you own that makes you happy, but to whom you belong. We lived a simple life. Traded soda and pizza, for popcorn and water, but we laughed a lot. Each night our babies were put to bed with snuggles and cuddles and tattered teddy bears.
Proverbs 3: 5,6. Tells us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not to lean on our own understanding. When we allow God to lead us, his direction will be there. I learned to live by these verses and they have proved faithful. Proverbs 34:19, makes it clear that our afflictions will be many, when we strive to live righteously, but It also says that we shall be delivered from them all! I wouldn’t trade those difficult years of simple love and trust for a “Mansion or millions.” I’m not sorry, that trials come, for they only come to make us stronger.
When trials and sorrows come your way, may you look to the one who understands, who will hold your hand and take you through to a brighter day!
Game night, yesss! You brought back so many precious memories from my childhood. We had so little, but we had games and The Flintstones and Wagon Train and popcorn, and each other. Beautifully written, in the voice of a child-at-heart. I love the title, I love everything about this piece!
Your recounting of what matters most in life is warmly described. Life is about loving people, through tough times and good. Beautifully told, this is a great and precious reminder that lifes's richest treasures are often quite simple. Wonderful!