Friday, November 9, 2007

Wisdom In A Pan of Biscuits

My grandfather lived more than 80 years in a tiny Oklahoma farm community. His formal education stopped at the 8th grade, but I thought he was the smartest man around. He was a tomato farmer during the depression. He was a husband and father to three girls. My grandparents eloped when they were teenagers, because my grandmother's Papa didn't think that my grandfather would be able to support his daughter. He would tell my my Grandmother, "he ain't no count". I understood what that meant when I learned how to play 42. Fortunately for all of us, they enjoyed a long and happy marriage, I was a teenager when they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, and they went on to have many more anniversaries.

By today's standards, he would be considered a progressive man. He used to brag to the grand kids that he could cook breakfast better that my grandmother. He said that by the time she got the biscuits cooked, her eggs had gotten cold. And if she cooked the biscuits first, then they'd have cold biscuits when the eggs got done. He would tell us, "I can take 'em all up at once, Granny can't do that!". Meaning not only could he cook the biscuits, eggs, and bacon, but he could time it so that they'd all be done at the exact same instant and he'd put them all on the table at the same time. Surprisingly, he could do that, and my grandmother would just laugh and let him do all the cooking when we were visiting. Now who's the smart one there?

I remember one morning he pulled the biscuits out and they were flat instead of fluffy. I said, "grandpa, what happened to those biscuits?", and he said, "they got cooked in the squat". "What do you mean?", I asked. "Well", he said, "they squatted to rise and got cooked in the squat. That happens to people sometimes too". He went on to explain that sometimes people get all ready to do something great, and something happens that discourages them, or causes them to doubt. So instead of doing that "great thing", they quit. Just like those biscuits, they get cooked in the squat, about to rise to the occasion, only to fall instead.

So on those days when things don't go as I had planned, and my enthusiasm gets squashed, my kids are less that helpful, and I can't find any clean socks in the laundry, I think about my grandfather. I think about how difficult his life was compared to mine. I remember his wisdom and his love for his family and I am glad that he warned me about getting cooked in the squat.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Wow, you do have a way with words. And I have learned a new phrase thanks to the post. "I got cooked in the squat."