Summer Rules #4--Gather and Be Gathered

As a corollary to rule #3: eat outside as often as you can, we've been eating an awful lot of food that we picked, grew or otherwise harvested ourselves. For awhile cucumbers were the abundant crop, and we had sliced cucumbers at every meal, along with cucumber juice--so refreshing on those hot days!--and even cucumber sorbet. Then we moved on to green beans--and I tell you, there is nothing like hunting for green beans from inside the teepee to turn your children into green bean fiends (unless it's the honey mustard dip served alongside). And now--it's all tomatoes, all the time. We still haven't convinced either child to actually like eating them, even when spread with mayo, which we thought would surely do the job. But fortunately that doesn't hinder their love of picking them, which is good because I've got big canning plans.

And more than once this summer, while outside harvesting, or tending, or picking off Japanese beetles, or simply trying to understand this particular plot of land and its soil and its sunshine, we've experienced another great gift of living in this place, close to both I-80 and I-90--the gift of being on the way. You see, people drive through here. And when people are driving, they need food. And beds. It hasn't always been convenient, and we sometimes had to shuffle things a bit, but this is when we become so thankful for our daughter's (middle) namesake, Ruth, and what she taught us about hospitality and generosity and remembering what is important. It's a great gift, to be on the way, even when we're not the ones going anywhere. We don't always get it right, and sometimes I may grumble a bit that I had plans, plans to do something important. But lucky for us, the people come anyway, and there is food and laughter and stories and as we gather, we are gathered. We are gathered into the great heart of God, a heart that is ever-loving, ever-serving, ever-open. "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17.

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