Autumn

Autumn

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Morning, Church & Fried Chicken

Before I begin with my ramble I have a request; will the person that clicked my blue follower button yesterday (or the day before) please give me your name. I'd like to properly thank you.

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Now, as you well know my blog has suffered of late. Our life has become hectic and busy and filled with anxiety, and to a degree, sorrow. My writing has had to take a place far in the background of my daily life, and for this I do apologize.
Sweet Wife has a bad case of butt dragging depression. I have asked her to seek medical help. She turns to her Bible, which is fine, but I feel it lacks the proper support I know she badly needs. Enough.



She came into the family room this morning and asked if I'd attend church with her. She had spoken to a close friend this week and the friend had recommended a local Methodist church located in the university district not far from our home. She asked and then said, please. 

I'm not a church man. I don't like to attend church. Please understand the Good Lord and I are close friends. I believe in God and I hope the Lord believes in me. I'm fairly certain if Christ were to honor me with His presence we'd both sit and share a fine cigar and either a glass of wine or a good stiff brandy. I'm sure we'd discuss art, literature, world affairs, the sorry state of our nation, and of course, fine firearms. Without a doubt the good Lord appreciates the finer aspects of well bred bird dogs, and loves the quick rise of a covey of quail on a cold November morning. 

We'd share our thoughts as to why Gertrude Stein insisted Hemingway's 'Up In Michigan' too crude for publication, and why she was wrong. Why gold and silver should replace our current monetary system. God is, after all, one cool dude, and we like each the other.



Please understand I have nothing against churches. If you attend your local church and it helps you deal with life, then bless you, and please continue. My Sweet Wife loves church, and church life. Its not for me. Church was a creation of man, not God. Please, don't argue with me. It's my viewpoint and nothing more. Remember, it is written, where two or more are gathered. Church is where you are located, not where you attend. 

I do like physical church buildings, its architecture. Church's, for the most part, are beautiful. Cathedrals are by far so marvelous as to be out-worldly gracious and spiritually inspirational. I'll walk into a cathedral in a heartbeat just to light a candle. That, is church to me. Not the gathering of kindred souls for social reasons, or to hear a preacher spout a sermon, or to shack hands with my neighbors. Church for me are those quiet moments of grace where I ask my Lord to give me peace. Moments of such are rare indeed.

So, Sweet Wife stood before me, all lovely and very lady like in her Sunday morning dress with a tiny smile on her face and asked if I'd please attend with her. I am given thirty minutes to shower, shave, and dress. 

I can't say, no. I jump and within twenty minutes have my jacket in one hand, my handgun in the other and we're in the car and backing out of the garage. We arrived as the two little girls walk down the aisle with candles in hand. Cute. We take a place on a rear pew. Then stand and she sings. I observe. I count three men besides myself with ties. One is the minister and he doesn't wear a jacket. Suits are passe. 

The other men are dressed as if for a day at the fish market. Class tells. Listen, I don't give a damn how hot the weather, nor how cold. You are in attendance in the house of God. Show some class.  




*****

For some time now, on my way home each evening I pass a restaurant. It only recently opened. Its called Cleoda's. The sign reads, 'Southern American Cuisine.'   Each time I pass this new place the parking lots are filled. Well, well.

This morning after church I asked my lovely bride where she'd like to eat lunch. She didn't care so I drove to Cleoda's. 

We had a jump on the Baptist - when those good folks are released they're not unlike a wave of locust descending on a field of corn. We beat them by thirty minutes. We parked and were met inside Cleoda's by a nice elderly lady and given a window booth. I was pleasantly surprised. Jazz themed art covered the walls. The wait staff were helpful and kind. I noticed a sign, 'We serve soul.' Well hell, why not.



Our waiter came over and said Sunday was family dinner day. We had our choice of two meats. Then we each were to agree on three vegetables and side dishes which we'd each share. The list was long. We chose fried chicken, and smothered pork chops, with mashed potatoes, greens, and butter beans. Gravy. 



The food was excellent. The fried chicken was the best I've eaten since, well, I cooked it last. The pork chops were wonderful and reminded me of my late mother's Sunday dinners. I sucked the bones. My only criticism was the lack of homemade biscuits or cornbread. They served out of the package yeast rolls. The iced-tea was excellent. 


When our meal was finished our young waiter asked if we'd like desert. I glanced over the menu and selected bread pudding with bourbon sauce and told him to make it to go....so, if you'll excuse me I think I'll give it a try.

I'll save you a bite.

Stephen
   

  



30 comments:

  1. Cleoda's sounds wonderful. Be at peace, Brother.

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    1. I try, Rev., it's hard. Thanks, my good friend.

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  2. I have given up on organized religion. IMHO, it is man's inept ability to get closer to GOD, instead of being more spiritual and letting GOD get closer to you. We are, after all, just spiritual beings having a human experience, and, this earthly life is just a bus stop to eternity.

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    1. We very much agree, dear Sharon. Thank you.

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  3. dear sweet one...keep encouraging Sweet Wife to seek help from the Bible, from her church, from God...and from a doctor if her depression keeps up. i agree with you that churches can be architecturally beautiful, and sometimes even beautiful beyond that. i have been to many churches where the rooms seemed to be filled with loving and kind people - that is a joy when found! we have 2 beautiful churches here, one of which we would love to attend, but we can't because if we pick one church over the other - we have the great chance of upsetting some of our friends as we will be seen to be picking sides. how sad eh? so we read our bible, pray together and do it all while running around naked in the yard and swimming naked in the river - teehee. you know the saying - where two or more are gathered naked, right? bahahahahah!

    it sounds like you had a lovely meal at the restaurant. i am off to make some butter chicken. sorry about the out of the bag rolls - shoulda bin cornbread or biscuits!

    please enjoy the bread pudding and save a little bit for me? your friend,
    kymber
    (p.s. - it's been nice to hear from you, dearest)

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    1. I do encourage her to continue with her spiritual studies as it gives her some peace...she refuses to seek other means of help. Church today, and this evening, helped.

      Nice to hear from you too, dear one. Thank you.

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  4. Thank you for taking us with you, it sounds uplifting and restful. We have similar views regarding church, but I do enjoy going once in a while just for the company and the people watching. I haven't been for a long time, my last experience with a congregation was, well, I'll liken it to picking up your coffee and taking a drink, tipping your head back further and further, waiting for your elixir, but alas the mug is empty and all you get is air. Then you look to the pot and realize that it too is empty, leaving you frustrated, unhappy and unfulfilled.
    I'm off to our family day, I'll be scrubbing my mosin while the kids and Cave reload. Fulfilling, happy-making and very satisfying. Much like bread pudding :)

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    1. Hope you had a great time. I too have had similar experiences at church...and then they ask me to send my money to God via their address. Thank you for sharing..God bless.

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  5. I'm glad I just came from our church picnic or I would drool on the keyboard.

    I hope your wife seeks some help. Depression isn't just a mind problem, it's a physical problem. When under extreme stress like you folks have been, the body dumps various chemicals into the system. Sometimes that makes things go out of whack and things have to be brought back into balance - exactly the same way as things have to be brought back into balance when you get an infection.

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    1. It was an excellent meal. Best I've had in a long time.

      Indeed, her depression is deep and I'm very worried. Thank you, my good friend.

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  6. Stephen,

    Sounds like you and Sweet Wife had a beautiful Sunday together. Proud Hillbilly has a point about depression. Maybe if you suggest going with Sweet Wife to the doctor, she'll go. It's just a thought. Have a wonderful evening.

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    1. Thanks, Sandy, I shall try...and you have a great evening too.

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  7. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)July 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Every one of us has probably wrapped that blanket of depression around ourselves at one time or another. It's nice to snuggle in and not worry about anything. Dear Sweet Wife just might need a little help putting it away. Nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe her pastor could help if she doesn't want to see a doctor.
    Glad you found a great place to eat. Good food always makes the day better.
    Did the bread pudding have raisins that were soaked in bourbon? MMMMM..can taste it now!

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    1. Yes, indeed, the pudding had raisins and was soaked with bourbon...it was excellent by the way...

      Sweet Wife reminds me she lost all her children, her son, grandchildren, and has nothing left to love. I remind her I'm here and we both lost our loves. She smiles and states yes but without my children to love I've lost the will to lead a normal life. This isn't good. I'm worried.

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  8. Replies
    1. Yes, it was a nice morning...thanks, dear lady.

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  9. Reminds me of the time I agreed to be a pall bearer for my BIL's sister, whom I had never met. I showed up in suit, tie, polished wingtips and London Fog trenchcoat as it was raining. Her family was dressed in everything from tennis shoes and jeans to dirty cowboy boots, bolo ties or no tie at all and "Member's Only" winbreakers. I was fucking appalled.

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    1. Sorry state of affairs, isn't it my friend. I still remember when people dressed to fly...now, they wear pajamas. Thanks, my friend.

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  10. I do agree with you and attending church. We have not found any around here worth going to. If you believe in him and talk with him your home is also his home.

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    1. Keep up the search...thanks, Rob.

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  11. Yah! She got you in the door.

    In the summer I never wear a tie. In the winter its occassional.

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    1. I was raised by rather strict standards in dress. It was either do as mother required or get a board placed up beside my head. I learned the lesson the hard way and old habits are hard to forget. Besides, she was correct...class tells. Thanks, my friend.

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  12. I see that you're a member of the same church as I. And that you eat in the same sort of places.

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    1. Then we each have very good taste...thanks, my friend.

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  13. Sunlight and exercise are good ways to help with depression. So are pets. Perhaps there might be someone at the pound who SW could love, who would adore her in return, and who may need regular walks out in the fresh air and sunshine? It's just a suggestion.

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    1. We have a cat and I've seen Sweet Wife pet her...I think, about two years ago. Thank you, Sweet One.

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  14. Garand Gal has a most excellent suggestion - there are many lovely dogs stuck in shelters who need TLC and daily walks.

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    1. She'd shoot me over a dog....in her words, 'they're dirty.'

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  16. I am pretty much with you on the church situation. I actually got into a disagreement with a pastor at my old church about this. He tried to say that I wasn't a good child of G-d because I didn't always attend church. G-d is where ever you are, if you let Him in.
    The food sounds delish! Haven't tried any southern restaurants down here in NC since we got here, but plan to.

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