The Kindness Of Others

My daughter felt welcomed and played many times in the church.

My daughter studied art in Italy for a year. She had taught herself to play the piano and missed it while she was there. She took a walk to explore the area and came upon a church with a large wooden door that was left ajar. Curious, she opened the door and peered inside. As her eyes adjusted she could see two figures, a priest and a woman who worked at the church.

“Hello, I was hoping to play the piano,” she said.

The priest waved her to the piano and said, “You are welcome to play any time you find the door open.”

My daughter thanked them and began to play. The music flowed from piece to piece as she felt weight being lifted from her soul. Glancing at her watch she didn’t realize she had played for so long. She turned to see if anyone was still there; the priest gave instructions to the woman and she left and returned quickly.

About to leave, she graciously thanked the priest and the woman for allowing her to play. The priest held a large, ancient key in his outstretched hand.

“Here is your very own key to come and play as often as you like,” He said.

My daughter felt welcomed and played many times in the church. She felt as if she were leaving an old friend when she returned the key for the last time, grateful for kind and trusting people in the world.

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Mur’s Crispy Crust Cornbread

Starting the cooking/sizzling on top of the stove before baking creates a darker, crispier crust that many prefer.

My grandmother taught me almost everything I know about cooking. Mur made mainly simple foods that were inexpensive. She could truly make a meal out of almost nothing and with having eight children, it was a must. I hope you try Mur’s recipe for cornbread and enjoy it as much as I and half of North Carolina does.

Mur’s Crispy Crust Cornbread

  • 1 cup Corn Meal
  • 1 cup sifted Flour
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ¼ cup Oil For Mix
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • ½ cup Corn or ¼ cup crumbled, fried Bacon (Optional)

Preheat oven to 425°. You must use a cast iron frying pan for this. Make sure you use pot holders or mittens so as not to get burned. If you mix one recipe, use an 8-inch frying pan and if you double the recipe, use a 10-inch pan. I like a larger pan so as to get as much crust surface I can. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Add oil, milk and egg and stir a few quick stirs. Put your frying pan on the stove on medium-high heat and let it heat for 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and spread it around my holding the handle. Put the pan back on the burner and slowly pour the batter in. Let the corn bread sizzle a short time and then put the pan in the oven. Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serves 4, or 8 if doubled.

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The Red Toothbrush

This is the red toothbrush. I couldn’t bear to throw it away even though it is chewed on and of no use.

Daddy was getting ready for bed one night and he suddenly ran from the bathroom shrieking. I ran to see what was the matter and met Daddy bare-chested in the kitchen with his mouth frothy with toothpaste and holding a red toothbrush. He wanted to know, “Who’s had ahold of my toothbrush?!” I knew right away what had happened; that was the toothbrush I used on my ponies and horse: Snow, Angel and Patsy. I owned up to the deed and told Daddy what happened and that I was sorry but he was still mad. Days – and years later – I knew he was no longer mad; Daddy told that story to friends and others and he would laugh great big each time. This is the red toothbrush I used to brush the horse and ponies’ teeth with.

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