Sunday, October 5, 2014

Grapes, Friends And Conversation

"When I was younger we had a grape arbor
 and my Mom would go out and pick the grapes
 to make grape jam in the sink--boil it, put it in a 
jar and give it away as gifts."
 Taylor Swift

My friend who also has a small vineyard with clusters of bluish-purple grapes has been making batches of delicious jams ever since the grapes ripened. Yesterday I was given a small jar of the yummy jam!

I remember in the past making jam from grapes that were given to me. It was a lot of hard work and my counters, walls, stove and apron were splattered purple by the boiling grapes. I wrapped the grapes in cloth to squeeze out the seeds and stems, but my friend found a strainer that she said worked. I remember it takes a lot of stirring and that is what my friend said, "I stirred and stirred the grapes!" I admire my friend who has two teen-age daughters, a husband, a dog, a full-time job and still finds time for entertaining her friends!

After dinner, we were served strawberry tamales. Instead of meat in the tamale, it was filled with strawberry jelly and when we put some of the homemade grape jam over the tamale it was a perfect dessert! We ate in the shade of the grape vines. I noticed that there are still plenty of grapes on the vines.

I found it interesting that the readings for Sunday were about grape vineyards. Isaiah 5:1-7 and Matthew 21:33-43.  43. I tell you, then, that the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. I wonder if my friend planned her dinner to coincide with the readings or if maybe it was an act from God!

After dinner, we sat in the cozy patio with the terracotta clay chiminea throwing off a gentle, warm heat.  One of my friends told us about her experience of being in Andrew, the #5 category hurricane that hit Florida in 1992. It sounded so much worse than Odile, the #3 hurricane that hit Cabo San Lucas while I was there. We both thanked God for keeping us safe during the devastating rain and wind.

I also give thanks for the beautiful family who invited me to celebrate with them. Every time we are together we have a fun and happy time!
"Friendship improves happiness,
and abates misery by doubling 
our joys and dividing our grief."
Marcus Tullius Cicero

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