Are You Prepared?

The calendar tells me that it’s still October 2020, but the events of this past week have made me wonder if I’ve lost a month or two.

On Sunday the weather forecast was for rain and/or snow on Monday. We shrugged it off some because we had been having temperatures in the 60s, 70s, and an occasional 80 degree reading. After this week, we have had to go back to Boy Scout and Pathfinder days when the motto was “Always be prepared.” Well, I soon discovered that I should have gone to the shed for the snow shovel and some de-icer for the entryway and driveway. Monday and Tuesday blessed us with 9-10 inches of the heavenly white stuff. My garden wasn’t quite prepared either. The once harvested parsley and oregano had come up again, and I was thrilled and planning to cut again for drying and grinding to be used in winters meals. Oh well, unless those two herbs are heartier than I know, they are gone for 2020, but just in case, now that the snow has pretty much melted, I’ll keep watch for a possible second harvest.

Ron’s doctor’s appointment, a 1 ½ hour drive down the mountain had to be cancelled, and is now booked for two days before Thanksgiving. I wonder what the weather will be then. I had to call the apple orchard to postpone going for the Jonathan apples I had ordered for making my year’s supply of applesauce. Ron and I took a drive to get them today, when the roads were dry and the sky was high and blue. Early this morning, while Ron was still asleep, I made cranberry-orange relish, a task I had not undertaken for several years.

Our granddaughter, Abby, is due to have a baby November 16th, but her mom and I think the little guy will arrive earlier. To be sure, whenever he comes, we will be thrilled. That’ll make great-grandchild number six. It feels like it was just yesterday that we were having our own two daughters! And yes, we are prepared for whenever he arrives. His room is decorated and all the shower gifts washed and carefully put away. Now Dad and Mom busy themselves with thank-you cards, and Abby tries to get rest. They are prepared – well, they think they are anyway.

Preparation – an interesting word! The thesaurus uses synonyms such as: planning, provision, organization, and formulation. These are, for sure, things I should have done before snowfall, and because I didn’t, had to count on our daughter to do a bit of sweeping until I could get our shovel, and that was done carefully, considering the state of my back.

My friend Donna gets a kick out of me and food preparation. My Thanksgiving menu is written and attached to the fridge by magnet. The grocery list is being formulated. I’ve actually purchased paper plates and napkins, as the older I get the more labor intensive it is to take out the china, and then have piles of dishes afterwards. The apple and pumpkin pies, as well as maybe a pecan and/or lemon pie, are planned, and how Donna and I look forward to the  preparation of them on Wednesday!

I wonder if the preparation I do for the birth of a new grandchild, for a meal, for putting away a stash of applesauce for the winter is beyond the preparation I do for the coming (and I hope and believe it’ll be soon) of the King of the Universe. Are my heart and mind prepared for an increased time of trouble? Have I prepared myself to invite others to be ready for the Grand Day? Do I spend enough time each day in the Word, fortifying myself for what’s to come?

When I was a young child, I well remember Fridays. My mother, who instructed me well that Friday is the preparation day for the Sabbath, cooked, cleaned, laid out our ironed clothes, and polished shoes for church the next day. She was so diligent about this preparation every week, that the mother of my playmates who lived upstairs became fascinated, and questioned my mom. As a result, her entire family became church members, and raised their children to work for God in ministry, medical and pastoral.

So, this has been my habit also for a lifetime. It’s not as easy as it used to be; housework is harder than ever. Meals are not as elaborate as my mom’s used to be, and mine in my younger years, but I do what I can to prepare simple meals before Sabbath, and even use paper plates on holidays when bigger meals are planned. Occasionally, even during an ordinary week, the paper plates come in handy.

November 1st (Sunday) I shall start with the applesauce. I have two bushels of the beautiful and yummy red ones to wash, core, and quarter, and start cooking. That ruby red applesauce will taste yummy with those favorite ricotta pancakes one morning around Thanksgiving!

And tomorrow, Ron and I will be preparing our hearts and minds to be welcoming host and hostess for Christ’s presence. While we cannot go to church, church comes to us via TV and wonderful music.

Our prayers will be with you for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with your family and perhaps a friend or two. Remember to prepare your hearts to welcome them, but more importantly, to welcome Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

P.S. I checked the herb garden, and surprise! The parsley and oregano survived and were standing tall to be cut again – so I did. They are drying now.

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