Practice What Is Preached
Better yet – practice peaches.
It isn’t about practicing what he preaches. It’s about practicing what he teaches. He, in this case, refers to whomever or whatever your positive power may be.
Or – is it about peaches?
Many suns ago, when I was around twelve years old, my mother taught me a valuable lesson through the use of a wee basket of peaches. A frail neighbor lady had given Mom the peaches at Church that morning.
Arriving home, off to the kitchen we went – me to slice up the peaches, Mom rolling out the pie crust to hold them when I finished. We had enough to make two large pies, which were doused with a mixture of butter, brown sugar, and seasonings, then into the oven they went.
Soon the kitchen was warmed by Mom’s secret recipe and the promise of an end to hunger was the scent that filled the air. As the pies were cooling in the window, my younger siblings and I were whacked a time or two for trying to snatch a peach through the popped tops of the pies.
Finally the moment we’d waited for arrived. Mom cut the first pie into eight perfect pieces – one for each of us kids and one for herself. She then covered the second pie with a clean kitchen towel and handed it to me with directions. “Take this to Mrs. Wright and don’t you dare snatch a peach out of the pie!”
I remember standing there staring at my mother, thinking she was nuts. We were starving. There were eight of us and she was one little old lady. Why on earth did she need a whole pie?
Mom must have read my mind or maybe the words came out of my mouth, for I got slapped across the face as she said, “Do as you are told Ruth Anne.” I took the pie to Mrs. Wright, wiping my tears with the towel along the way.
I returned home, ate my slice of pie, cleaned up the kitchen and went to bed. Neither my mother nor I ever mentioned the pie incident again.
A few years later, as I was planning a Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend’s family, I thought of my mother’s peach pies. I dropped what I was doing, telephoned her and asked her for her secret recipe. I could hear the joy in her voice as she gave me directions with a pinch of this and a pinch of that as seasoning measurements for the peach pie filling.
My pies didn’t taste much like I’d remembered Mom’s tasting. But they were just as good I’m sure. For they were the hit of the day when the story of the pies I retold, this time from a no longer hungry and from a much wiser point of view.
On that Thanksgiving day I thanked my positive power for the lessons learned in my mother’s kitchen that sunny afternoon years ago. She had taught me that no matter how little you have, you always have something to share with another in need, and that you mustn’t do it begrudgingly.
I would never use Mom’s secret peach pie recipe again. For she died on December 1st, shortly after Thanksgiving. I keep the recipe, along with the joy in her voice on the telephone that day, in a special place in my heart.
Occasionally, I bring the peach pies out on the table, their story once again to be told. Today is one of those occasions. A dear friend would need to know why I said they reminded me of my mother’s peach pies. I want my friends to know what a difference they and Mom’s pies have made in my life.
Friend – it’s all about the peaches!