20 April 2012

Using the Pretty Spoons

I love yard sales.  I love them because you can get good deals, but also because you can find old stuff.  I like old stuff.  Anything that looks old or smells old.  Old books, old photographs, old textiles, old furniture.  But it also has to be a good deal, i.e. cheap.  Because of my affinity for yard sales I end up with lots of mismatched items, especially in the kitchen.  You could say my design sense is “eclectic”.  I love that my silverware is mismatched, that I don’t have more than three of the same kind of mug, that all seven dessert plates are different.

The house at Caroga Lake has mismatched silverware.  If it was my turn to set the table for dinner I would make sure each place had a different fork, knife and spoon.  The plates were old, the cups mismatched and it was all beautiful.  I do this at home too.  If I set the table, I make sure the fork and knife are different.  Just because I can.

Pete had a set of silverware before we got married.  So we didn’t register for any.  My sister gave me silverware for my wedding shower anyway.  Place-settings for 4, from Goodwill, each knife, fork and spoon were different.  She knows me so well.  So I have a lot of ‘teaspoons’ and I have my favorites.  I call them the ‘pretty spoons’.  For a while I only used the pretty spoons if I was eating something.  If I needed a spoon to stir milk into my tea (which is multiple times a day) I would pass over the pretty spoons and use a ‘regular’ spoon.

Until I asked myself why.  Why not use the ‘pretty spoons’ whenever you can?  Why save them for special occasions?  Jesus saved us to ‘life abundantly’.  (I realize I’m talking about spoons but go along with me here.)  He wants us to enjoy life, to live life; not just muddle through with ‘regular’ spoons but to use the ‘pretty spoons’.  Everyday is a special occasion because He has made our lives new.

I have pretty forks too.

14 April 2012

Another man’s trash is not my treasure.

Last bite.  Mmm, special sauce.  You feel a drip on your chin but your tongue just isn’t long enough.  No way are you wasting it on a napkin, your finger does a much better job.  The crumpled wrapper leaves your hands greasy.  Eh, that’s what pants are for right?  The straw sucks up watery Coke and the ice rattles around.  Damn.  You stuff the empty cup in the paper bag along with the greasy wrapper from your lap and a wad of unused napkins the teenager at the drive-through gave you.  An icy blast greets you as the window slowly rolls down.  Your window is on its way back up before you even see where the bag landed.

I live on a pretty busy road.  But it’s not a major route.  These people are not likely on a long trip, driving for hours and hours without stopping.  They are probably running errands, picking up there kids, going to work or school.  Full McDonald’s bags, newspapers, coffee cups, creamer cups, wrappers of all kinds, banana peels, tshirts, socks, and don’t get me started on the cigarette butts.  They are making my corner of the world ugly.

My dad once stopped me from throwing an apple core into the woods.  I didn’t understand why for the longest time.  Have you ever thrown an apple core out the window or into the woods?  What about a banana peel?  Now there’s a half-eaten apple rotting in my front yard, I get it.  It’s gross.  For all the apple core’s that land in the woods there will be one that was thrown at just the wrong moment.  The one that someone’s child finds and doesn’t know not to eat.  The one that someone’s dog finds while their out for a walk.  Or the one that just sits there, rotting.
Trash is a by-product of our world.  It happens, there is no way around it.  But you have a choice.  I’m gonna go clean up my yard now....