Katie drove past a silver mailbox surrounded by clusters of purple and yellow mums, and then between two rough cedar gate-posts. A gravel drive wound up a gentle slope through towering pine trees. It ended beside a farmhouse with a spacious porch featuring two rocking chairs made from vines.
“Howdy!” Paul waved to Katie as she emerged from her car. “Glad you could come out. Always good to show visiting friends around the farm!”
“Wow…you’ve got…a beautiful spot here!” Katie replied.
Paul continued, “How’s your trip been? Bet Michigan weather is a bit different from what you have in Florida this time of year!”
Katie zipped her jacket. “Yeah, it’s a little nippy. Floridians have thin blood, you know!”
“Well, the hot Michigan summer sun of the past few months is now stored out there…” Paul gestured toward acres of rolling vineyards. “So let’s take you on a little tour and pick some of those beauties! C’mon, hop on the Gator!”
Giggling like a child, Katie climbed aboard. “Here we go!” Paul shouted. The Gator headed toward long rows of grapevines draped over wooden beams. “See, it’s almost time for harvest. We should have a good crop this year.” They methodically made their way through the field while Katie marveled at the huge clusters of fruit hanging from delicate vines.
Paul pulled over and grabbed a bunch of grapes, picked a few and popped them in his mouth, and handed the rest to Katie. “Go ahead – they’re delicious!”
As the Gator made its way to the end of the row, Paul stopped periodically to pick several more clusters of purple fruit while Katie savored her sample. Then he turned the Gator and headed back toward the house.
“C’mon inside – my wife, Jane, has something to show you!” Once inside the kitchen, Paul called out: “Jane, honey – Frank’s sister Katie is here and we’ve just picked some grapes.” Jane’s feet seemed to dance on the wooden steps as she hurried downstairs.
“Oh, how nice to meet you, Katie – Frank has been our friend for so many years! I’m so glad you could spend a little time with us while you’re in the area.”
As she spoke, Jane began to pull a heavy appliance forward from a corner of her kitchen counter. “This is my Champion juicer that I wanted to show you.”
Jane had already told Frank about her journey with cancer, and the holistic nutritional approach that she felt saved her life. Katie wanted to know more, since her husband had recently been diagnosed with a growth that seemed to be pre-cancerous. “The idea is to saturate your cells with optimum nutrition so they can do their God-given healing work. This juicer was, and still is, my best friend. By drinking the juice of fresh fruits and vegetables, I ingest the living enzymes of many pounds of produce – more than I would be able to eat whole. I believe juicing was one of the primary reasons my cancer went away.”
Katie stood silently off to one side, staring at the Champion juicer with questioning eyes. Was it really so simple? Juicing fruits and vegetables in place of expensive, radical, invasive treatments? “Of course there are no guarantees, and holistic therapies may not be right for everyone. But I’m ready to tell my story of total healing to anyone who will listen,” Jane said with a childlike wink.
Paul dumped his pan full of freshly picked grapes into the sink and washed them, while Jane assembled the juicer, flipped the switch, and began to feed the clean grapes into the machine. Soon streams of juice dripped into a dish. “You must drink the juice as soon as possible after juicing,” Jane explained, “at least within 24 hours. That way you’re getting the maximum benefit. I practically lived on carrot juice for the first six months after my cancer was diagnosed. I juiced three pounds of carrots every single day. Cooked or heated juice isn’t the same nutritionally. It needs to be raw – and fresh.”
Jane took three glasses from her kitchen cabinet, and poured grape juice into each one. “Have a taste of pure liquid sunshine! Here’s to our health,” she said confidently.
Just a few weeks later, Frank mailed a juicer to Katie and her husband as an early Christmas gift. The card read, “To your health, from the God of the sun and rain who said in Genesis 1:29 to eat lots of fresh produce….love, Frank.”
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