Supping On Beauty
Down the gravel road to home this evening, the dust hanging in the air from a hurrying tractor, and then into the tunnel of shade created new each day by the tall poplars lining the driveway.
Walk in the house and see the old dog waiting for me on the steps, her tail thump-thump-thumping as she grins her “Oh, you came back!” grin. Kiss my wife and listen to her etude of a Southern voice run the scales and describe something someone did and said.
Shed the work clothes and put on my soft home clothes, the t-shirt gleaming white as a saint’s robe, the scent of bleach and detergent like incense. A short period of reading and unwinding while that pretty little woman makes good sounds and better smells in the kitchen. Next thing I know she’s bringing me a plate and a glass, and the same for herself, and we settle into our chairs and say grace and turn to.
Oh, and what a feast. Toasted kaiser rolls buttered so heavily they weep gold if you press your finger into the patterned surface, and they’re piled with loose meat, finely chopped ground beef that’s been slow-cooked all day in a special concoction of spices and sauces, and on top of the mounded meat goes a slice of nice cheddar, so thin you can read the almanac through it, and on top of that goes several sliced, spiced pickles, and if heaven won’t have such pickles available then let me find another mansion because it’s location-location-location, and next to the sandwich on the plate is a hill of macaroni & cheese, and isn’t it a sin to eat that quickly, but the flesh is weak and goodnight, nurse, did you say you made a pan of caramel brownies? So now the question is how quickly can this plateful settle, and come to think of it, yes, I do want milk with mine.
Ingratitude is a great sin. Being unaware of one’s blessings is a close cousin.
I am in no danger of this sort of transgression. Some things are ever close to my surface.
~ S. K. Orr