Yesterday at church I was asked to speak in our sacrament meeting (the main meeting) in a couple of weeks. I’ve spoken in church countless times and even though it’s been a few years since the last time, it’s not that big of a deal. Probably because I don’t really mind public speaking. I have what I’m going to say ready to go in my head and plan on getting up there and basically winging it for my 17 min. To be truthful I’m more worried about going over the allotted time because I have no doubt I could fill the entire hour myself so I’ll have to watch that. But in the meantime I thought I would share a couple of the stories that I’m going to tell when I get up there. In the real talk I’ll tie it all up in a nice little spiritual bow but I’ll leave all that out for now.
A few years ago I was home in Arkansas living mooching off my mom while I was trying to decide what I wanted to do and where I wanted to live. During this time my oldest sister and her family came down for a visit. My sister wanted to can peaches and make applesauce while she was there so she and my mom went out one day and picked all the fruit. I guess the plan was to make a little bit every night after my mom got off work but my sister decided to surprise my mom and can all the peaches herself during the day. It was the end of the day and I went into the kitchen to see about making dinner. When I walked in my sister’s head came up from the other end of the island/counter and she said, “Oh good. I thought you were mom.” Not a good sign. As I continued walking into the kitchen I asked her what she was doing but before she could answer and glob of peach fell from the ceiling onto the floor. I shifted my eyes upward and noticed that the ceiling was covered. And so were the walls. Matter of fact, peaches and the gel were dripping off the plants, faucet, blinds, and whatever else was in the mile radius of the stove. Glass covered the floor. It was pretty obvious that a few of the jars had literally exploded in the kitchen and now my sister was in a frantic state to get it cleaned up before she came home. So I helped and we got it cleaned up before my mom came home (haha ya right. We were finding crusted peach gel for the next month!)
So, we’re sitting around eating dinner when my mom looked out the window and made the comment that she would like the tree along the driveway cut down. It had grown bigger than the others and had become in the way. My sister says that instead paying someone to come and do, she and I would cut it down the next day. Uh, what?? I’m pretty sure that’s not what I wanted to do but the next day I found myself outside standing next to the tree ready to cut it down. But here’s the thing, we didn’t know what we’re doing and we didn’t have a chainsaw (which in hindsight was probably a good thing). Oh no, we had two little hand held saws that I’m sure are older than I am and I couldn’t believe the teeth were even sharp. I kept thinking, “gee could she not find a butter knife inside because I’m pretty sure we would get the same result.” I asked Paul Bunyan what the plan was and she said she was thinking we would saw the branches off as high up as we could before cutting down the tree. Since I’m not a lumberjack this sounds perfectly fine to me. Well we started sawing and believe me, we looked like idiots! Did I mention that it was July and we’re in Arkansas??
The neighbor saw us out there and came over to offer some help but I guess thinking that it wouldn’t take long, we declined his offer. Hours later we’re still out there and are no closer to cutting down the tree than we were before we started. So I decide to add what I’ll refer to as a genius contribution…eye roll please…and climb up on the step ladder. I cut the branch about 2/3rds or so and jumped off the ladder onto the branch and hang on it, sort of bouncing up and down. The idea was that the branch would snap and fall to the ground and thus making the sawing portion faster. It didn’t really work out that well. But naturally the neighbor came out again as I’m hanging on this branch and offered his help again. This time mentioning that he had access to a chainsaw. We accepted. And to think, it only cost us our dignity.
A couple of days later my sister and her family have left and it’s just my mom and me again in the house. I come in from the garage one day telling her that the garage wreaks from all that apples that were still sitting out there. That’s right – they never made the applesauce. I tell my mom that if she tells me how to make it then I can get it done while she’s at work because after all, how hard could it really be? She gives me the reader’s digest version and I get started. Surprisingly, it was easy and there were no exploding jars. Take that Luara Ingles! I get everything cleaned up and the last thing I have to do is take out the trash. The trash consisted of all the apple peels and a lot of the excess applesauce that didn’t make through the “good side” of the grinder. The bag was pretty heavy because I stupidly collected the entire days worth in one large hefty bag. As I went to lift it, the top stretches and not wanting it to rip in the kitchen, I think about double bagging it. I say think about it because I don’t actually follow through with this thought. Instead I twist the top differently and lift it. Viola, no more stretching! So out I went heading for the end of the driveway waddling with this bag. I realized when I got to the garbage can that I had no clue as to how I was supposed to actually lift the bag inside seeing as how 6 inches was as high as I was able to lift it.
I decided to swing it like a pendulum to get the momentum for the lift. The first time I try I was unsuccessful and only managed to hit the side of the can. So the second time I gave everything I had left. Right at the pinnacle, climatic moment I found that the bag had become remarkably light. Yep, as you could have predicted, the bag had ripped open and I was now covered in hot, sticky applesauce residue. For a moment I just stood there still clutching the bag in the air while a few final drips made their way to the ground. So one of the first thoughts I had, not THE first thought as you can imagine, was “I really hope none of the neighbors just saw this because after the whole tree fiasco, well, I just hope they didn’t see this!” As I looked around I only saw one man out walking his dog. He’s far enough down the street that he didn’t see exactly what happened but he was gaining ground and is about to. I high tailed it into the garage and grabed some yard bags. To this day I do not know why I didn’t just stay hidden until he passed but I didn’t. I got down on my hands and knees sloshing this stuff into the bags hoping to clean it up before he gets there. I don’t. Next thing I know this man had stopped and was asking, with a smirk, if I was ok and needed any help. I tried to play it cool which has yet to work for me, and say something like, “Hmm? Oh this? No, I’m good. Just you know, taking out the trash.” Because after all, I always dump trash on myself when I’m taking it out. Did I mention that the dog was licking my leg? I could not have been more uncool if I had wanted to be. The man started laughing and walked away and I’m left to clean up the rest, muttering under my breath “hefty bags..my eye!” Too bad my camera wasn’t handy!