Love Honors Others

by Wendy L. Macdonald

Recently, I repeated my grandma’s tradition of cooking up a storm when a family member, who no longer lives at home, came for dinner; I also learned a valuable life lesson.

My grandma’s kitchen always had sweet stuff going on in it whenever I visited her home, especially “pies-a-plenty” that were baked with love. I have to tell you it didn’t matter how full you were after a tantalizing dinner of roast chicken, from the garden green beans, and mashed potatoes overflowing with hot and delicious homemade gravy, there was always room to spare for a piece of Grandma’s apple, cherry, or whatever pie a la mode. She baked as deliciously as her welcoming smile that greeted me each time I entered her cinnamon-scented house.

Now, years after her passing, I thought of her as I sprinkled silky flour and plopped a lump of piecrust dough onto my own kitchen work island. I remembered her flaky pie crust as I rolled out mine and worked it only until it was the right size, shape, and thickness. And when I peeled and sliced up cool tart apples into a glass bowl and stirred in sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice, the aroma took me back to her dinner table. As I crimped the soft crust between my finger and thumb, with all the dedication of a sculptor—in my attempt to make my pie look more like a Martha Stewart creation than a granddaughter’s humble rendition—I marveled at how Grandma’s pies always looked and tasted sweeter than anyone else’s.

Grandma lived through the Great Depression and through the death of parents, siblings, her husband, two children, two grandchildren and a great-grandchild. Her wrinkled hands rolled out oodles of pies over the years, wiped away a few measuring cups of tears, and sprinkled sand over too many loved ones.

I sprinkled sugar over the pie crust and slit holes for steam to escape, as I struggled to hold back tears of my own. I haven’t lived through a Great Depression, but I’ve already sprinkled sand on some late family members I once served apple pies to. They no longer visit my dining-room, but I wiped away my grief with the heavenly hope I have of feasting at the longest table ever to be set, where we’ll dig forks into mouthwatering pies baked with perfect love in the hereafter. It’ll be as grandmotherly scrumptious as the company we share, regardless of what they’re called, for a pie by any other name is just as sweet.

And for now, on this particular day, I didn’t just roll out a pie crust, I rolled out the red carpet for a son who came home for dinner. And while I ran around the kitchen and made sure this and that was done as perfectly as I could do them, I realized why my grandmother did what she did every single time I showed up on her doorstep – Love!

Love motivates, empowers, and propels us into servant mode because real love wants to give more than it takes. So the life lesson I learned when my son ate, drank, and made merry before he took the leftover chicken and apple pie with him to his own home is that I received so much more than a table of dearly loved guests, I received the gift of passing on the sweetness of having someone honor you.

Love honors others. Love hovers over the dining room like a chandelier—except the light is powered by God-given-mama-love as I held each guest tightly to my heart.

And when my son thanked me, I saw a glow in his eyes of a young man who’d been honored. I saw what Grandmother saw in mine—love.


Author’s Bio:

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Wendy L. Macdonald is a Canadian, inspirational writer/blogger/podcaster who also loves to photograph nature. When she’s not writing, drawing, gardening, or sewing, she enjoys hiking, with her husband, in the beautiful parks of the Comox Valley. She homeschooled her children and believes all those years of reading wonderful classics aloud helped develop her love of storytelling and writing. Wendy invites you to visit her blog: www.wendylmacdonald.com , where you will find nature photography and links to her “Daily Bread” style Facebook page and other social media sites. Her passion is inspiring others to walk with faith, hope, and love. You can hear her podcasts at: www.hopestreamradio.com/program/walking-with-hope .

Wendy’s other links: 

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S.W. Biddulph

Scott Biddulph is a published writer, author, and poet from North Georgia. He began writing as a youngster and followed his lifelong dream of reaching people through the written word when he returned to The University of North Georgia in 2013 to finish earning his BA/English with a concentration on publication and creative writing. His publications include the following: an eBook, Apples of Gold: A collection of inspirational short stories and poems (Smashwords, 2010) and a paperback, Voices from the Heart, (Createspace, 2012). His poetry is published in Papers and Publications Undergraduate Research Journal. Vol 3 (2014) and the award-winning Chestatee Review (Spring, 2015), among other places (Check his LinkedIn profile for a full list of his publications). He is currently working on publishing poetry, creative non-fiction, academic essays, and his memoir. Scott has also worked as an intern editor for the University of North Georgia Press. As a freelance editor, he has done the layout and design of several books and magazines. He is currently working with several authors on various publication projects in which he is either ghostwriting, editing manuscripts, or doing the layout and design. Scott continues working on his memoir Twisted Ride. He also maintains a Christian blog: A Disciple's Journey. Finally, and most importantly, he is a father, grandfather, husband, and dedicated Harley Davidson rider (with a huge beard). He and his family enjoy the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains where they live—especially their screened in back porch where they love to bird watch. - "I love realism. I love writing about the raw, down-to-Earth, heartfelt realities of life. I love to write in a way that reaches into the human soul. I love to take the greatest pains and struggles in life, and make them a blessing to others. Fantasy is a wonderful, interesting thing—but real life situations, feelings, fears, and dreams are an unexplored ocean of stories that need to be told." ~Scott Biddulph~

16 comments

  1. Wendy:

    What a delicious slice from your house of memories. Especially: “As I crimped the soft crust between my finger and thumb, with all the dedication of a sculptor…” You bring the reader into your kitchen, admiring the visual action, absorbing the sensory delights, anticipating the results. You write excellent essays, these mini memoirs.

    Gratefully,

    Richard

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wendy, this post really touched my heart. This morning I was pondering love and it various forms, and then I read this It is so beautifully written.

    I absolutely adored my grandma. She made pies, too…usually lemon meringue or chocolate, and sometimes fried apricot pies. She always had her arms outstretched and was laughing in her tender sweet way when she greeted me. When I was little, and she and my grandpa would come for a visit, I would run to my bedroom and grab my suitcase. She and Grandpa our in Heaven now.

    Thank you so much for writing this…I’m crying tears of gratitude.

    Love and blessings,
    Theresa

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Theresa, your comment touched me as deeply and sweetly as an apple pie fresh from my grandmother’s oven. We have no idea how precious a memory is until it’s ripened on the vine of time. Heaven will be the perfect reunion of so much love. xo I can’t wait.
      Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy, this took me to my grandmother’s kitchen. She was a fabulous cook and it was most definitely why food is my love language to this day!! I love how you wove the tale. Seems to me all of us have grandma cooking stories I think a dinnner party is in order!! If only we were all closer… thanks for the story of the flavor of love!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, dear Michelle. You remind me of a friend who also shows her love to others through her kitchen. I wish I lived closer to her. One day we’ll all be within easy visiting distance in the hereafter. It’s going to be a long table of tales, feasting, laughter, and love.
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Love empowers, motivates and propels us into servant mode.” Truth spoken here.
    I so enjoyed your post, Wendy. I could feel the love you received from your grandmother and well as the love you gave to you son!
    I could also almost taste the apple pie!
    Love is given and felt not only in the offering, but in the preparation. Holidays give us special times to prepare and offer love to our loved ones in so many different ways!
    Growing up in the New Orleans, this is more often than not done by food!
    There is a running joke at my house, where either my husband or one of my visiting children will count under their breath just how many seconds it takes before I say to either them or a guest they have brought over – “Are you hungry?”
    Usually it happens within five minutes!
    I am just passing down the hospitality taught to me by both my dear grandmother and mother.” I will think of your grandmother and her pies next time I ask. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Terry, I couldn’t agree more that love is “felt not only in the offering, but in the preparation.” Over the years, I’ve noticed a deepening of my love towards others with each good deed done for them. I like your question: “Are you hungry?” It says, “Stay awhile–I enjoy your company.” 🙂 Nothing makes me feel more loved by friends and family than an invitation to dine with them. Perhaps that’s why the Good Book instructs us to practice hospitality. Hmm. I need to roll out some more “red carpets” soon.
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Wendy, very neatly woven labor of love message, I enjoyed reading this piece immensely. I Immediately started salivating over the smell and taste of the food you were so descriptively describing. It did remind me of time spent with my grandmother in the kitchen making a large pot of Hungarian Gyulash. I picked up some handy skills from her in the culinary department. I understand completely what a labor of love it is for me to be able to serve the dishes of my youth to my family. It makes my heart jump for joy when told the meals I prepare are heavenly. I’m sure you enjoy those compliments too. I appreciated this memory you shared. Love does honor, empower, and motivate. Thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your encouraging words, John. I enjoyed hearing your family recipe story. Someday, I’d love to try a bowl of your homemade Hungarian Goulash. My husband has taught me how to make a Scottish meal he treasures from his childhood dinner table. It’s fun passing family traditions to the next generation–isn’t it?
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi, Wendy. Grandma love is a fond memory for me as well. I know it’s love that makes the difference. I tried to feed my children a dish my grandmother made me as a child when I was “sick”, which was really just me wanting more of her attention. Anyway, I prepared it and my daughters both thought it tasted horrible. Years later I told them the story of the dish. Then they understood, and when my youngest left home, guess what she asked me to make her? Yep, the dish. I have to admit though, it’s not a great dish, however, if you understand all of the ingredients, you can taste the love.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Marilyn, I’m smiling as I think of a recipe most of my family doesn’t like. The funny thing is, my husband loves it even though he didn’t have it as a child. Yes, I understand the flavor of love. Cooking family favorites transports us to former kitchens and to the loved ones who baked us batches of kindness.
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 2 people

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