Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DELICIOUS (02/04/16)
TITLE: The Flavor Was Heavenly!
By Kate Oliver Webb
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We were searching on-line for something different to bring to the church’s potluck on Saturday. It was already Thursday, and I had no clue.
I was, quite frankly, tired of these things. Second Saturday of every month, same people bringing the same old tired things, sitting in the same familiar groups, discussing nothing of any importance…not even slightly entertaining.
One of the leaders would stand up at 6:00 on the dot, welcome everyone (although there were never any new faces), lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance (we were patriotic, after all), then introduce one of the pastors who would “bless” the food. I don’t think anyone listened; no one would notice, I’m sure, if whoever was praying said, “In the mouth and over the gums, look out stomach, here it comes.”
“So, Patty, are you coming this month?” Now, wait for it….
“Well, umm, you know how Saturdays are at our house….”
“Thought so.” I slammed down the lid of my laptop, harder than I should have.
“Okay,” she said, “I’ll be honest. I really don’t enjoy doing that anymore.”
“Well, I don’t either,” I retorted.
We glared at each other for a brief moment, then she grinned sheepishly.
“At least you manage to drag yourself there every month, I’ll give ya that. How do you do it?”
My sheepish grin matched hers. “Guilt,” I answered dryly.
“Gotta go,” Patty said, giving me a brief hug. “Hope you find something.”
Back at my laptop, I scrolled down the current page, then paused at a recipe that looked like it had a twist on the ubiquitous tuna casserole. I did a quick print, and with paper in hand, I stepped in the pantry for a supplies-check.
Tuna—yep, two cans; cream of mushroom soup, check; wow…a small jar of pimientos, who knew the recipe would call for that? Now, where’s that bag of corn chips, hmm? — but what about these sun chips? Yeah, that would do.
I finished my inventory and found I had everything I needed.
I was pleased with my new creation, so with time to spare, I tucked the “Amazing Tuna Deep-Dish” into my quilted casserole tote and left for the church.
No surprise—Patty wasn’t there. But the place was really crowded. There were usually 50-60 people in a room set up for about 75. I looked for friendly faces and found one belonging to a middle aged lady who met my eye, and held up her hand beckoning me.
“Isn’t this wonderful!” she beamed. “I’m Myra. I’ve seen you before at these dinners. Don’t you find them so very special?”
Well, put that way, not really. “Oh, so very special,” I echoed. True, if you consider all meanings of the word.
During the Pledge and the prayer which I only half listened to, I tried to figure out this little woman beside me, who seemed absolutely charmed to be in attendance. I also noticed she was spreading some of that charm around to those with us, which was answered with warm greetings. We joined the line together, selected our food and returned to our table.
“So, Myra, how often do you come here?”
“Every single month! Wouldn’t miss it. And I’ve seen you here every month, too, right?”
“Right. But I’m sorry, I’ve not noticed you before.”
Myra waved her hand in response, indicating no harm done. She was really diving into her dinner. Why, she’s hungry! Maybe that’s why she comes all the time. I remembered a quote from an old friend, “Hunger makes the best sauce.”
“Where do you live, Myra?”
“At The Palms; you know, the senior assisted-living facility two blocks over.”
“You’re not a senior, Myra…no way!”
“Seventy-two next month; but you’re sweet to say that.”
Our meal complete, one of the staff (the silver-haired one who had “retired” into the position to be a counselor and pastoral support) stepped to the microphone and said, “Here we are again.” Gentle laughter was the response.
“You know we don’t come every month just for the food,” Pastor Ron continued. “We come to receive nourishment from one another, as well.”
I looked around to see if anyone else heard that bell.
“And that,” he said, “makes the evening even more delectable.” Then he directed us to our handouts: Psalm 119:97-104.*
Yes, Lord, I get it….
*Psalm 119:103 – “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (NIV)
This story is fiction.
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