Friday, January 7, 2011

A Fragrant Remembrance

It was a cold day in December. I shivered as I came up the walk, eagerly anticipating the warmth of a hot cup of tea. A package was waiting for me on the doorstep and I quickly scooped it up and let myself in.

I removed my coat and put on the kettle, wondering if this might be an early Christmas gift. I carefully opened the box, allowing a delicious, sweet aroma to escape into the air. Nestled in the tissue paper was a scented candle shaped like a small cake. A letter was enclosed. Congratulations! You are the winner of a fine Country Cottage Candle. Thank you for visiting our booth at the Glendale Crossing Festival. Immediately, my thoughts traveled back to an unforgettable Saturday that previous October.

My husband, Bob, and I had left early that Saturday on our annual excursion to the Glendale Crossing Festival in that small town south of Louisville, Kentucky. We parked at the top of Main Street and took a hurried shortcut through some neighborhood yards, impatient to begin our “treasure hunt”.

The crisp air was invigorating and a pageant of fall color spread out around us. The view from the top of the hill was like a Grandma Moses painting, with hundreds of colorful booths dotting the streets and spilling into adjoining fields and parking lots. On our way down the hill, we stopped at a booth that featured country craft items. There was a raffle for a candle called “Grandma’s Shortcake” that smelled heavenly. I seldom win anything, but it was free to enter, so I dropped my name and address in the box and we moved on.

Gift ideas abounded as we marveled at the variety of crafts and gadgets for sale. Did we know anyone who might like a faucet that seemingly poured water from mid-air into a big barrel? Who would appreciate that unusual garden creature fashioned from salvaged parts? Even though a steady drizzle had begun, it could not dampen our enthusiasm. We were determined to make the most of our special day together.

After selling our business of 18 years, Bob and I had made a commitment to take time to “stop and smell the roses.” It was even more important after our dreaded nemesis, cancer, renewed its attack on Bob. From previous experience, we knew the power of God to heal and our faith and trust were steady. At the same time, we realized that the passing moments of that October day contained gifts for us to treasure, such as…
sitting side by side on a bale of hay, while eating chili and cornbread…

savoring the tantalizing aroma of fried apple pies...

purchasing an antique picture frame that Bob had noticed me admiring…

feeling like kids again…

the gentleness and goodness of the day.

The whistle of the kettle jolted me from my reverie. I turned off the stove and lit the candle. Gazing at its hypnotic flicker, I mused about the way our lives are as tenuous as that flame. Bob was admitted to the hospital two days after the Glendale Crossing Festival. He went to heaven a short while after that. How grateful I am that we decided to treasure the present moments and how like my Father to send me a fragrant remembrance of that special October day.
                                                                                  ~  Laura Allen Nonemaker

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