It was one of those nights. As soon as one child was asleep, it seemed like another needed mama to blow a stuffy nose or something to soothe a raspy cough. Daniel had a lack of sleep and was fighting the cold himself, so I hated to bother him too much.
Groggily, I dragged myself out of bed once more, fighting some old fashioned self-pity as I wondered if this may be the twentieth or thirtieth time to get out of bed, and I kept wondering how the children would ever be good enough to go to church the following day. (Yes, we are having church services again with social distancing guidelines). As I shuffled my way into the boys’ room once more, a song came to my mind: “I made the night so you would trust in me…
“Yes Lord, thank you, I needed the reminder. Dark times like even this when I feel like I can’t go on any longer can teach me to trust you more.”
By six, Daniel was awake and took charge of our early risers while I got some much-welcomed sleep. A while later, I was awakened by the sweetest little choir ever. Daddy’s masculine voice blended with sweet little ones as their words sang out, “Happy Mother’s Day to you…” I blinked in the semi-darkness in the little boys’ room where I had fallen asleep with a little tike that had needed mama a few hours before. Yes, today is Mother’s Day. As I managed to open my eyes wide enough to get a look at them, I noticed how they all helped each other carry a basket with — well, with what? By this time, I was sitting at the edge of the bed as I greeted the dearest little darlings with the most charming smiles ever as they gaily set the basket on my lap. First, I just had to give them each a big hug.
I didn’t expect a thing. After all, only a few weeks ago, Daniel came home from town with a foldable rocking camp chair that I’ve wanted for a long time. “Happy Early Mother’s Day!” he had announced handing it to me.
Whatever could they have now?
“Julia, put up the blind so I can get a better look at this,” I instructed. Now, if you know me, you’ll also know that this basket of goodies was precisely what meant a lot to me.
There was a big can of my favorite nuts, cashews, promptly I opened them, took a little taste myself, and gave each of the children some. “Those are for you only,” Daniel informed me. As I write, I’m enjoying them once more. Next to the cashews was a can of trail mix. On top was a note ‘from Baby’ with thanks to mom for enduring discomforts on his or her behalf. Then there were five plums. Mmm, Daniel knows how I’ve been on a fruit roll these last months and how pears especially hit the spot. To the side was a bag of bagels for me to enjoy with cream cheese. And listen to this, on a big bag of veggie straws, there was a note which said, “This is for when everything is going one way, and need a quick turn around.” If you read between the lines, you’ll know that it is to be used when the children have an upside-down day, and mama needs another avenue to steer things in the right direction.
Picking up the pretty pink envelope, I was ready to open it when I read the words, “Open only if you are the best of the best.” My weaknesses and failures marched before me. I knew how human I was, pushing past those negatives for the moment I gave another thank you hug and proceeded to open it. Excitedly the children were quick to point out where they had written in the card. Daddy had helped each child write the most fitting quotations of love and thanks from the standpoint of their unique selves, including appreciation from the foster children for all the extra time spent with them and for showing them the way to heaven. It meant so much to me. It was hard to digest it, I simply thanked the Lord.
Believe it or not, we were all able to go to church that morning and are all doing relatively well besides Daddy, who got a little set back when he went outside in the cool morning air to fetch the horse to hitch to our buggy to go to church. Now, as soon as he is through with his Sunday afternoon nap it’ll be my turn to hopefully crash out for a while.
We don’t have plans for tonight, but with it being a bit on the cool side we probably won’t spend time outside like we usually do on Sunday nights.
I’m sure you’d enjoy our old fashioned Sunday night dip. We have had this dip many more times than I could count and it is never exactly the same as I just dump in whatever happens to be in the fridge. We like eating this dip with crackers, chips, or our favorite, tortillas cut into wedges and deep-fried.
1/2 pound bacon, fried, and undrained, cut into small pieces
1 pound hamburger, fried and drained
1/2 pound cheese, such as Velveeta
8 ounces salsa
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all together, keep dumping till the taste strikes your fancy, you can be sure that you won’t spoil it too easily!
Other delicious items that I add sometimes are mushrooms, pepperoni slices, liquid smoke, sour cream, or whatever else I may have in the fridge! Even leftover pizza, cut into small dices will add a yummy twist. If you add something like this, you can also dump in some pizza or spaghetti sauce if it gets too thick. Serve with chips or crackers or whatever.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.