Liberty and Homegrown Tomatoes

Those of us in the United States of America are celebrating our country’s 242nd birthday today, July 4, 2018. Most are, at least.

This calendar year finds lots of Americans bothered to the point that celebrating the Independence of the colonies from England in 1776 a difficult thing to do. They are having a hard time finding the joy in our Independence when their personal worlds are in physical, emotional, spiritual, or personal bondage.

Indeed, one doesn’t have to look far to hear the true stories of folks who are marginalized, hurt, persecuted, abandoned, separated, and discouraged in this country. Many are fearing the freedoms they hold dear to be slipping away. This is true of folks on both sides of the political aisle, as well as those who are in the middle of the aisle or even riding fences. Loss of freedoms and marginalization are not simply issues reserved for one particular group of folks; this seems to be the general emotional consensus.

But, there is hope. I choose to believe people are good, generally speaking. I believe people want to be treated fairly and loved honestly. We have met a good many of them on our travels. We have hosted many, many folks in our homes through the years and heard lots of life-stories. When we boil down the busyness, pressures and aspects of humanity, it turns out we all just desire the freedom to live and love on this ball of earth the way we see fit, going about joyfully without trouble.

You want “change we can believe in” or are you interested in “making America great again”?? Okey doke, listen up, because it is simple. It costs you no campaign donation, no trips to the ballot box, no time in the summer heat while holding a protest sign and no donation to a worthy case. All of those avenues for change are important but there is more to the equation. The “more” is free and enjoyable.

Interested?? As Little Miss Homemaker and I returned from the grocer this morning, we turned on to our country road to realize a fellow had recently fashioned a sturdy fresh vegetable stand. A sign had been painted with the invitation, “homegrown vegetables, self-serve”.

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Well, I am no dummy and I know better than to turn down an offer of a fresh homegrown tomato which had taken its time to vine-ripen in the hot summer sun. This is especially true since we, regrettably, have no garden this year as we are preparing to sell our farm so that we can full-time RV for a couple of years.** I turned my Chariot around and pulled into this farmer’s gravel driveway, stopping right beside the attractive vegetable stand. As I walked up to the stand, I spotted the farmer throw up his arm in a hearty wave as he walked from his house to his garden. I responded with a wave and a smile. We don’t know each other and we have no other relationship other than humanity and American citizenship. For one second we were connected as two folks doing our best in life but taking time to respect and acknowledge one another. This farming entrepreneur went about his business, trusting me to abide by the honor system he had established. Hanging over four varieties of freshly picked tomatoes and yellow squash hung a sign explaining the process.

“Self-Serve Honor System/All vegetables are $2.00 a pound/Weigh what you need and round the price up or down to the nearest dollar/Please put the money in the cash box, or if you need to write a check, make it payable to ………/Vegetables are homegrown on family farm and I hope you enjoy them!/Thank-you for your business!”

 

My late Grandpa George used to operate this way. He would put bundles of blooming bittersweet branches at the end of the “lane”, he would call it, and leave a note with a container for folks to drop their money in exchange for those beautiful bundles of Ohio fall beauty. (I wish I had that sign of his to hang on my wall.)

Folks like Mr. Local Farmer and Grandpa George give us hope in America. They trust folks. They have faith in the goodness of mankind, of fellow humans. I want to be trusted. I want to trust others but, admittedly, many make it difficult to do so, don’t you think?

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What if we TRUSTED more?? What if we opened our lives, our hearts to actually trust rather than mistrust or doubt? What if we were more concerned with the actual relationship and purpose rather than being treated fairly every. single. time? Not comfortable with that? OK, what if we LISTENED more? What if we stopped, or at least slowed, long enough to smile, speak, listen, help?

 

Now, Mr. Patient and I are busy like many of ya’ll. We do “have a life”, as they say. We have things to do, people to see, places to go, bills to pay, stuff to maintain, work to complete. However, we are working toward making conscience efforts to slow down where people are concerned. We have a way to go, boy howdy, we sure do! But, we have already seen the benefits as we take a few extra minutes to listen to part of someone’s story, to stop long enough to help them pick-up what they’ve dropped in the grocery store, to ask the waitress her name and use her name when speaking to her throughout the meal. We actually teach our littles that not speaking to someone when the opportunity is appropriate is actually very selfish, rude and disrespectful. We have realized our stress levels are reduced when we take a few minutes to actually listen to how someone’s day is going.

Being kind, trusting folks, speaking to someone, using respectful language….these are not laborious actions, folks. Not hard at all. Lest you think I live in a bubble, maybe I do. It is called the South. It is pretty much the way of life for those of us who were born and bred in the “down here” part of the great US of A. But, we are not immune to busyness and often can “forget our manners”. Shame on us! Shame on all Americans who have forgotten their manners, or never learned any to begin with.

Want to bring about hope and change and make this country great again?

Go find yourself a vegetable stand, buy several pounds of homegrown tomatoes for some all-American BLTs, add your fair payment to the money box with a quickly jotted note that says something to the effect, “Thanks for trusting people! There is hope for America! And, by the way, I rounded up. J”

Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you. Proverbs 11:17

God Bless America!

**If the Lord is willing, we plan to sell our home in July 2018 and buy an RV with the purpose of traveling the nation meeting and serving the good folks of America. Afterwards, we trust the Lord to show us where He wants and needs us to settle down to build our homestead. Thus, this adventure is called our Heritage Homestead Journey.

Serving Up Waffles and Hope

Have you ever left Waffle House with tears of happiness? Oh…you haven’t? So, it is just me? Hmmm…perhaps it is because the littles and I are on the tail-end of a weeklong trip without Dad to help out. We felt the need to leave home for a week as we just couldn’t co-exist with the the house painters who are readying our home for the July auction**. Surely I don’t have to tell you that my eyes are bloodshot, my body is tired and the kids are beyond ready to run and play in their own backyard. However, the trip has been a sweet time of fellowship with many dear folks.

Back to the happy tears upon leaving the Powder Springs, Georgia, Waffle House this morning. Perhaps my happiness and contentment comes from our experience at this restaurant today. I think so.

As we travel around the nation we realize this world may have its problems and brokenness but there are good people who care about others in this world. There is hope and there is strength in the goodness of Americans and humanity. When someone wakes up and goes to her job with a good attitude and works as if she is serving the Lord and not humans, then it is obvious to others and this makes the day brighter and the world more hopeful.

One of those folks who spreads that hope is Audi at Waffle House Unit #1496 in Powder Springs, GA, right outside of Hiram. Ya’ll, she cared for us as if she knew we were travel-weary. Maybe she could tell?

 

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Ms. Audi made sure the kiddos were content with coloring books and crayons while she kept my coffee hot and filled. She is a conversationalist but Continue reading “Serving Up Waffles and Hope”

Casseroles and Tacos

Have you ever had a crazy idea that turned out to be such a blessing? That’s what has happened this month to a friend of ours and me (Katie). We have launched a project which has actually proven to be a blessing in each of our personal lives.

That friend is Andrea from Our Supper Stories.  I was nearly in tears when I first read her blog a few months ago. The similarities between our stories are so incredibly striking, as well as our purpose, passion and desire to listen and share stories.

Andrea and I began communicating. A lot. When we first met on Instagram , we had so very much to catch-up on as we seemed destined to be friends. It was during one of those communications that the words, “let’s begin a podcast”, flowed through the wifi waves which connect the 2,129 miles between us. What a leap of faith and one that we know the Lord led us to take! Our own stories seemed so similar yet so different. In fact, we felt Continue reading “Casseroles and Tacos”

Dashed Dreams

I hadn’t planned to tell you this story today, but….

Everywhere I look lately it seems this idea presents itself to me in some form or another… **Katie, you can make all the plans you want and that’s jolly good but your Father is in charge. Just don’t forget that, honey.**

 

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.     Proverbs 16:9

 

This is the story that we have never told publicly but maybe it is time. Continue reading “Dashed Dreams”

12 Things We Don’t Allow our Children To Do

We’ve been parenting for over 25 years. Mr. Patient and I have three adult children, three little children and two in heaven. This fact means we know a lot and we know nothing, depending on the topic or whom you ask. 😉

Every family dynamic is different and this makes for a colorful world. What a bore if we were all the same! Our Heavenly Father made our families and situations unique. A grand arrangement is that we can all learn and share from one another. Recently Mr. Patient and I received various questions regarding how we manage certain family and child situations and issues. Apparently more than those who’ve questioned us are interested in our responses. Almost 400 folks have viewed our YouTube videos of “12 Things We Don’t Allow Our Children To Do” (parts 1 and 2).

 

 

The topics we cover include

  • manners
  • respect
  • complaining
  • whining
  • lying
  • bedroom usage
  • electronics usage
  • dating
  • materialism
  • picky eaters

 

We welcome you to give these videos a look-and-listen. Make sure to subscribe to our channel, please, so we can continue to improve it.

We’d love to hear your comments on these topics and how you handle these situations in your own homes.

Thanks for walking this life with our family as we share IDEAS and GRACE with one another. We appreciate ya’ll ❤️

 

Walking in March 2018

Katie here….

Oh my word, ya’ll! How can March have journeyed past me without one little post or addition to our home-on-the-web, this HERITAGE WAYS website. I am so sorry for not checking in with ya’ll but I’m here now…. giving a little update of life with us. Maybe you’ll understand why I’ve been covered up with …… well, life and stuff.

A few buttercups and a dab of snow

Our plans are still on track as we prepare for our HERITAGE HOMESTEAD JOURNEY. Actually, this whole Continue reading “Walking in March 2018”

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