Have you entered the storehouses of the snow...Job 38:22

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Yesterday we celebrated our two years in Brookings with a return trip to the Sons of Norway Waffle Feed. The event is held in the place where they serve congregate meals in Brookings. It’s called 60 plus dining. I doesn’t appear to be a fully fledged Senior Center. Just one large room is all I have seen.

As we came in the smell of baking waffles filled the air. I didn’t count but it appeared that there were about 20 waffle irons. I know those kind of waffle irons well as I used two in the coffee shop I once operated. These were basic, but good waffles. When I had the coffee shop my favorite to make were Pecan Pumpkin Waffles topped with cinnamon butter. Alas, there was no variety in the waffles. There was plenty of variety in the syrups.

No allusions to “real” butter, a gallon size jug of butter substituted was available, along with your choice of 7 or 8 different flavored syrups as well as some small cups of defrosted frozen strawberries to top with whipped cream. I chose blueberry. My husband chose the strawberries and cream but I think added some maple syrup. We passed over the sausage.

I made the mistake to ask for a fork since I had not seen them. I was rather scolded as if I were looking to take one too many. I know from my days as a Senior Center director that people do take these things home with them. They were on the tables. Next time, I’ll remember. We opted to sit at a table alone. We’ve had the experience of trying to butt in on tables to be friendly. It is usually met with the same reaction as when you take someone’s seat at church.

As with our first experience at the Waffle Feed, the same person made conversation interesting. The first year we were here, she was the president of the lodge. She greeted us warmly. We had a pleasant chat. She even sat and kept us company while we ate.

Our first year, we were in Brookings there was snow on the ground. A heavy wet snow was piled high. I wondered if the Feed would be cancelled but was told no this is South Dakota and those Norwegians are a very hardy bunch. That day, two years ago, would be capped off by the rodeo.

I was not aware that rodeo could be a university sport.  For reasons I have never been able to figure out, my husband likes rodeos. Maybe it is a male thing. I don’t think there is anything in his background that would compare to a rodeo. I’ve already shared with you that I wanted to be a cowgirl when I was little. Now I was no so interested in an evening of rodeo.

There were real cowgirls at this rodeo. They had pink cowgirl outfits on with lots of fringe and a bit of sequins.  One cowgirl, I think she was a queen, princess, or something, would make a majestic ride through the arena. As with all college sports, it opened with the National Anthem. She carried the American flag as we stood for the Star-Spangled Banner.

They roped calves, rode bucking horses and bulls. It was quite the show. I am not a member of PETA nor did I think that the animals suffered greatly. I really don’t know whether the animals enjoy the competition. For the humans however, it is as if you can smell the testosterone in the air. As I have so many times over the last two years, I asked myself how in the world I had gotten here.

Remember the song from the Sound of Music, where Maria sings,

Somewhere in my youth or childhood days I must have done something good.

When I lived in Connecticut and life was good, I used to sing that in my mind, as it was intended. Life was good. Now I wonder what I didn’t do that condemns me to places I’d rather not be. It was never a life long dream of mine to attend a college rodeo in South Dakota nor live here.

As I’ve been sharing my memories of that first week in South Dakota, it has occurred to me that you may be thinking that I’ve regressed. That my determination to find what God has for me in South Dakota has dissipated. It has not. These are my reactions, my first lasting impressions of South Dakota. They continue to color and perhaps even distort all reactions to this day.

I am on a journey to find my place in the Storehouses of Snow. I will find it. I see clearer glimpses of it every day. I am reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians:

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1Corinthians 13:12 The Message)

You see, I am here because of love. I am here because I love my husband. I am here because I believe God joined us as one flesh. As I look at what else Paul has to say about love, in this magnificent passage, I realize I have fallen short of that type of love. Yet, I am here. I am here because of love. Moreover, I am here because God has led us here, for what purpose? I have no idea.

Love never gives up. 
Love cares more for others than for self. 
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. 
Love doesn't strut, 
Doesn't have a swelled head, 
Doesn't force itself on others, 
Isn't always "me first," 
Doesn't fly off the handle, 
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, 
Doesn't revel when others grovel, 
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
Puts up with anything, 
Trusts God always, 
Always looks for the best, 
Never looks back, 
But keeps going to the end.

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