Melissa’s Tuesday post reminded me of a visit to friends in another city.
Their church has an annual “Wild Game Feed,” in which folks empty their freezers in preparation for hunting season. They thaw all kinds of meat and whip up their favorite game recipes, set up their church hall for a nice dinner and sell tickets as a fundraiser.
So Melissa, Joey and I made the hour drive to enjoy good food and fellowship. We shared a table with some nice people, and we were enjoying our plates full of pheasant, venison, wild rice, squash and other savory fare. Joey, who can be quite picky, was downing large amounts, even in a new setting with strangers.
I was gabbing with a person across the table when my nose sensed something burning. I looked toward the kitchen to see if there was a problem there. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw a flicker to my right – where Joey was seated.
Maybe the tea lights on the table were too bright for him. Maybe he just needed some room. For whatever reason, he’d placed his paper napkin over one of the little candles, and it was dissolving in black ash and orange flame.
With the reflexes and instinct created by years of neurotic care giving, I flipped over an empty coffee cup and used it as a large candle snuffer. I had the small but smelly conflagration out quickly, which was good because Joey was ready for dessert.
As much as I enjoyed the food, as proud as I was of my coffee cup heroics, as relieved as I was that Joey a) didn’t burn down the church and b) had taken his evening medicines with a healthy meal, the most rewarding part of the evening was the good-natured response of the other diners.
Nobody had the vapors or got angry over the mini-blaze. Folks were concerned but also humorous about it all. Our friends still joke about it with us, and always invite us – all three of us – back to the Wild Game Feed.
Any of us who are care givers receive a precious gift when you graciously accept the various disasters that come along with our visits. I was going to say that your hospitality makes our hearts glow, but that made me think of fire and now I have a nervous twitch…