Dear Readers,

Howdy, how are ya’ll this week? Well and good, I hope. It rained a torrential downpour this morning. I walk my Plott hound, Ginger, every morning, and this morning we took an umbrella and tromped all over the historic district in downtown Greeneville, splashing through big puddles.

Plott hounds are bear hunting dogs. She was given to me by a friend of mine that runs a gun shop here in the county. Ginger is great company and I feel safer knowing that if we run into a bear in the historic district, she will protect me. It’s always a good idea to be prepared I say.

Well, this month I sure pulled a doozy I’ll tell ya ... I’m sort of famous with my family and friends for meaning well and then totally making a disaster out of a situation. Let me tell you all what happened THIS time.

I wake up and pray first thing in the morning. I endeavor to apply Bible principles, such as the fruits of the spirit ... love, joy peace, kindness, goodness, faith. Whenever I see a need someone may have, I spring into action. But probably somebody should stop me!

Two weeks ago I was spending time with an elderly couple in my congregation, Ginger and Louis. They are in their mid-80s. I just have so much respect and admiration for Ginger and Louis. They are self-sacrificing. They never miss a Bible meeting even though Louis is in chronic pain and can barely walk. I’m also emotionally attached to them because they are from the same part of the county as my family is and have been close friends with my Aunt Norma for 40 or so years. My big southern family has been in the Fall Branch area for more than 200 years. The very soil is in my veins. Being with Ginger and Louis is the same as being with family.

So, anyhoo, I was with them one day and Ginger and I got to talking about cooking. I cook every day; I am obsessed with nutrition. I asked her if she cooks soup beans and she said she was just too weak and tired to cook anymore. I asked her what they ate. She said Little Debbies® and Cokes®. I was horrified to think about them being too weak to eat cook their favorite meal ... the sustaining meal of country southerners.

So I said, “Well Miss Ginger, (It doesn’t matter if you’re married, in the South you are always referred to as Miss), I will cook ya’ll some soup beans. And that’s when the trouble started.

One bright and sunny summer day I got up early and started cooking beans for them. I had some beautiful ham on the bone that a friend of mine had given me after a congregation dinner. What a treat! Everybody knows that ham bone makes the best beans! I slow cooked them all day long. I made a cornbread in my cast iron skillet. I packed everything up pretty and my husband drove me out into the county to deliver them. Honey, there wasn’t a prouder girl on a mission in the county! Louis and Ginger were so tickled.

The next morning was Sunday and our Bible meeting. After the meeting Ginger came up to me and in her little quaky voice said that she had my dishes in the car, (lesson #1 ... a good Southern woman always returns washed dishes, asap, but I’m still working on that). So, I followed Miss Ginger as she toddled out to the car. As she handed me my bag of dishes, she looked at me sorta puzzled like and said, “I believe some of that ham was still frozen, I got a piece of it in my mouth and I couldn’t chew it.” I answered, “Oh Miss Ginger, I cooked those beans all day, there couldn’t have been any frozen ham in there.” Then slowly a horror came all over me and I said, “Did you swallow it?” She said no, it was too big to swallow. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and said, “Oh Miss Ginger, I am so sorry! I think that was part of the ham bone ... it must have come off while it was cooking.” Miss Ginger looked at me like I must be a little crazy, (which would be spot on). Yep, turns out in my fervor to assist I had almost choked a darling little old woman with a ham bone.

Lord, please save me from myself! Louis rescued the day by saying that, “it musta been a young hawg, the bone of a young hawg will break apart when you’re cooking it.” Oh lord!

Well y’all, I told my husband that he might want to stop me from trying to help the elderly, it might not be such a Christian thing to do at all.

Until next time dear readers, have a good week, and have a literary week!