Saturday, June 30, 2007


For those of you who may not have noticed, it's been raining in Texas.
A lot of rain.
So much rain that a lot of people have lost their homes, and a few have lost their lives.
Here at our place, it has rained almost every day this summer.
Last summer, we had a drought, which lasted almost 15 months. Our lake was so low that we couldn't get our boat out of the boat house for several months. We could walk across our cove to the neighbors' on dry land.
But then it started raining.
And it rained.
And rained.
And rained.
I love rainy days. But after a while, I begin to yearn for a few sunny days.
Yesterday and today were bright and sunny, with a mild breeze, and moderate temperatures. We really enjoyed the beautiful blue Texas sky, and sat outside for a long time yesterday, just enjoying being able to sit outside.
Then it rained.
For about an hour.
Which is to be expected, lately.
But we were also trying to smoke a brisket, in preparation for the family visit we are expecting during this week of the 4th of July.
So as soon as the rain slacked off, husband went out to stir the fire and add some wood to keep the brisket cooking.
Then my cell phone rang, and it was him, telling me to come out and look at the rainbow.
Oh my goodness.
The most vivid rainbow I have ever seen. The colors were not washed out and filmy, like watercolors, but very bright and glowing.
Then I noticed a second rainbow arching above the first.
Two rainbows at once, arching over our lake.
For the first time in my life, I could actually see the end of the rainbow, where it touched the water. It really looked as if we could have taken the boat out and sailed right into the end of that glorious prismatic rainbow.
All this rain over the past days and weeks has us joking about needing to build an ark, or wondering if we will meet Noah, and thinking about the forty days and forty nights of rain, when all living things on earth were drowned, except for those inside the ark.
After the clouds and rain ended, God made a covenant with the earth:

12 God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;
13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.
14 "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,
15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."
Genesis 9: 12-16

An everlasting covenant.
A promise for all generations of human kind.
And there was the sign of that covenant, arching over my head.
I looked along the shore line, and saw our neighbors out on their docks, looking at the rainbow as well.
I guess this is the treasure we found, at the end of the rainbow--not a pot of gold, but a community, a way of life, a place to live.
Highlighted by God's bow in the clouds.

Family Heirlooms

A few weeks ago a cousin was moving from one apartment to another, and found the pitcher and serving bowl pictured here among his stored belongings. He e-mailed me to tell me he was bringing them to me.
The serving bowl belonged to my daddy's mother. She passed away when my daddy was still a kid, so I never knew her. I have seen only one picture of her. My daddy said she was a tiny woman, with rich auburn hair. One of his most vivid memories was of her brushing her hair at night, as she prepared for bed, hair so long that she could have sat on it.
My aunt Ruth has told me that Grandma Lee was a sweet and gentle woman, who sang as she worked in her home, who gave birth to twelve children, and who worked hard to take care of her family.
Aunt Ruth also gave me Grandma Lee's cornbread dressing recipe, which I make for my children and grandchildren during the holidays.
I like to imagine her making that dressing, and serving it in that bowl.
The pitcher, on the left, was my husband's great-grandmother's. It is a lemonade pitcher. A hundred years ago, she may have served lemonade in it on a hot summer day.
These are the only tangible bits we have left of these two women's lives--two women without whom neither my husband nor I would exist.
What else do we have of them? Memories. Family stories. A heritage of faith in God and love of family, a tradition of building and maintaining family ties.
Without these bits of china, we would still have those memories and family traditions. The pieces themselves have little, if any, intrinsic value, but when our little cabin is finished, they will have a place of honor, to remind us ever day of those who lived before us.