No Soup for You!


Seinfeld reigns supreme as king of comedies in my house. E and I recite lines from the show often, and anyone who has watched it for any length of time knows about the classic “Soup Nazi” episodes. We use the familiar line to describe just about anything, from parking spaces to disappearing leftovers, and various other missed opportunities.

It was especially apropos yesterday when we both realized the leftover turkey carcass had spent the night in the oven. It was one of those, “I thought you put it away,” moments. Suffice it to say, there will be no homemade turkey soup for me. Not from that turkey, anyway.

When you have animals in the house, cats that can jump anywhere, or very tall dogs that can reach to the back of the counter, you just learn you have to put things up. Ovens and microwaves are handy temporary places of storage, however, there is a reason someone coined the term, “out of sight, out of mind.”

There have been many food casualties down through the years, many of them made famous by Tyler, our family dog. I can’t count the leftover roasts, steaks, and turkey carcasses he has stealthily made off with, both at my folk’s and my brother’s house. He is an equal opportunist, that dog.

And If the leftovers didn’t find their way to his stomach, they perished by being left in the microwave or oven, trying to keep them away from him.

My brother brought Tyler home as a pup, an adorable mix of border collie and something else very, very tall.

His only flaw is his begging and extreme love of people food. He will go to any lengths to get it. He used to follow my niece around for hours, waiting for a single cheerio to drop. He has been such a very good dog in every other way though we tend to overlook it. Most of the time.

One of his claims to fame was the Christmas he waited for us all to leave the room so he could get at the cheese ball. We were only gone for less than five minutes and in that time, he had snatched it off the plate and consumed it whole without ever disrupting the perfectly arranged circle of crackers in the middle.

He only missed out on the crackers because we came back in the room.

Opportunity knocked for him a second holiday when he consumed the entire Thanksgiving turkey carcass that was left cooling on the counter. The entire carcass. Bones and all. They were scheduled to leave on vacation the next day and they were terrified the bones would tear his insides to pieces. The vet said to leave him there overnight and see what happened. He was fine. I am convinced his digestive system could handle anything.

That was pretty much verified when he consumed the entire box of baby laxative. And it didn’t faze him. Went right through without a hitch, not even a loose BM.

Food issues aside, he is a very good and loyal dog. You could ask him to do anything and he would do it if he possibly could. He chases the neighbor’s cats, but is a perfect gentlemen with all others in the family. He knows the difference. And like the rest of us, he is getting older. He’s pretty stiff and he hesitates awhile before he gets in the car, sometimes we have to help him in.

When I stay the night at my brothers, he is my morning partner. He goes with me out to the back forty where I drink in the first sounds of the morning with my first cup of coffee.

And when I go for a walk in the orchard across the street, he waits faithfully at the edge of the driveway until I am safely back.

This Christmas we will all spoil him with treats.

Because like us, he isn’t getting any younger and he won’t be around forever.


Somebody is waiting


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Last night I wanted to go home, fast. It was a stressful day and I had things to do before I went to bed. I thought of checking on our resident Intel cat, Mrs. Howell, but my feet were going fast forward toward my car. The sunset was unfolding in a myriad of colors and along with the scattered clouds it was a stop and stare moment.

I threw my backpack and carry all bag in their prospective spots in the adjacent seat and sat down and drew a deep breath. I made it. Another day done. But then I thought of how the weather was changing, and how cold Mrs. Howell might get, and I couldn’t take not knowing if her food dish was empty or not.

I drove over to the neighboring building and went inside and then out again……out the doors that led to the back patio where she resides. She met me in her usual spot, unsure at first whether I was a friend or foe. When she figured out it was me, she ran to her dish and started eating…..she loves for us to watch her eat. Then she was meowing, and purring, and rubbing her head and drooling on my feet.

I was treated to a marvelous light show in the sky and I thought, I needed this, just this little space at the end of my tough day.

Sometimes it makes you feel better knowing you’re needed, even if only by a little critter.

I made sure her bowls were topped off and then I went to leave and she tried to trip me as she usually does by scissoring in and out of my feet. Then she meowed and grabbed my ankle……her little way of trying to get me to stay longer. She followed me all the way up to the door of the building which was very unusual. She is usually too timid to get that close.

I told her I would see her later. When I left she was sitting dejected by the door looking through. Not for the first time I thought, all over the world, people……animals……children……orphans…….are peering through the glass, through doors, through windows, through bars.

Waiting for someone to come.

Waiting for someone to be their Jesus.