Saturday, April 25, 2015

slices of home

there were only three very important things that my dad was looking for in a wife.
1. a current temple recommend holder
2. a desire to be a mother
3. always made homemade bread

frankly, my dad could care less about her waist size or shoe size, the color of her hair, or the number of freckles embellished on her face. he just wanted a woman a temple worthy, mother-wanting, homemade bread baking woman. my mother qualified for all three. and exceeded in all other categories.

this morning, by 8am my mother had baked 5 loaves of bread. by 8am, i was barely blinking an eyelid. I asked her how often she made bread now that everyone is out of the house--she said just when she could, but i think she was being modest. when we were growing up, she made nearly 8 loaves every saturday afternoon. the wheat grinder was loud enough for the entire neighborhood to know she was making bread. she placed each one proportionally on the cooling rack.

"i do it because it keeps my husband happy."

my mom always said that all a husband wants is a happy wife, and that serving him is the key to a successful marriage. i also thought handfuls of chocolate was the key to making anything successful. maybe thats why i've already had 4 handfuls of chocolate covered acai and blueberries.

my mom was driving to meet Elder Holland just a few minutes ago and asked me to place the loaves of bread in recycled bags to be cut up later. i thought i'd cut them up for her as a small payback of the perpetual generosity mom gives me.

as i was cutting i remembered when i was (embarrassed to say how old i was!) ten years old, and my mom had 7 freshly baked bread loaves sitting on the counter, with the butter melting on top of them, so perfectly glazed, and steamy. She made  a few of them for our new neighbors next door as a kind gesture towards them. But I couldn't help it. when she left the kitchen, i leaned forward to take the biggest bite of bread I could muster, just like a baby's first experience with birthday cake. I bit off the end of loaf with my mouth--I thought I would finally mark my territory on entire loaf of bread. I was satisfied, but with eight older siblings musing around the house, one of them, of course caught me and ratted me out. I don't remember my mother being angry, just disappointed, which in reality is much much worse.

slices of bread are such interesting things. secondly, i was reminded of how elder d. todd christofferson, an apostle of Jesus Christ, made bread every thursday as a little boy. His mother had a severe arm disability that prevented her from making bread every week for the family. Todd, felt so bad for his mother who tried so hard to do the daily household tasks, decided he would learn for himself in order to help the family. His father also made a great sacrifice. Every day for a year, his wife--who couldn't make him much of a lunch, would hand him 75 cents to buy a lunch at work. Every day, he skipped eating lunch, and saved the money, in order to buy his wife an iron arm that would be used to do all the ironing for their family. Isn't that love?

anyways, slices of bread make slices of home. and i am grateful homemade bread has become a slice of my home.

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Maira Gall