Meet Tom. (If you didn’t already.)
Tom A. Toh.
My mascot through the latest Tomato Madness…
Husband brought his head-to-be in from the garden as a curiosity, and I thought it really must have some googly eyes. Since none lay handy in the house, I made some paper ones.
He sat on the kitchen table and looked so much like he was listening when we talked that he began to feel like a companion.
“I’m going to miss him when he’s gone,” I told my husband. Shortly thereafter I opened the fridge door, and here’s what I saw:
So that’s where Tom stayed, because, after all, he’d last longer that way.
But later when I looked in the fridge...
Then still later…
Yes, toms and zukes and happy apples all get old and wither away, and before that some of them lose their tenderness while others go all to moosh—like people, but much faster. And so each year the race is on!
We race the peas. And beans and tomatoes. And zukes and cukes and yellow squash. And cherries and berries and peaches and pears, and even onions and garlic. And if any don’t get the attention they’re “entitled to,” they get huffy and go bad on us, and there we are, left with a pile of mess to deal with.
I don’t know about you, but despite the fact that I’m thankful, I really am, for all this abundance, I hate being bossed about by beans, run ragged by raspberries, and pestered by the pleas of peas and pears and peaches and the call of corn… and yes, tyrannized by tomatoes.
I know, that little guy at the top of the page looks so innocent and mild, but put him together with bushels of his kind and the mob can get demanding… nasty!
Meanwhile, my Bible reading takes me to passages about Isreal’s despicable worship of the ba’als, and commentary tells me its riveted focus was fruitful fields of plenteous crops—which drew them away from trusting God to supply their needs (even after all that miraculous manna and such!)
They became quite enslaved to ba’al worship—tyrannized. Seemingly unable to break away to save their lives even when God’s disgust at it became very clear.
Then, more than one commentary relates, even equates, OT ba’al worship with that NT parable of the prosperous farmer tearing down barns to build bigger ones… for his overload.
Ouch. We don’t store our tomatoes in barns. We use jars and pantry shelves, and freezers. But when we remodeled this farmhouse kitchen, we did expand the pantry… then built more shelves in the basement… and just a couple years ago bought that new freezer, supposedly to replace an old one, which still stands, stolid, down near those cellar shelves…
The parallel isn’t lost on me.
So what do we do? Give away more?
I don’t see how. After a few visits from my husband with his bags of stuff, I think the neighbors start to hide when they see him coming. And you can’t send tomatoes to African famines, and even the local food pantry doesn’t want anything that perishable.
Finally get rid of an honestly unnecessary freezer? (Or two?) And downsize the garden some more?
Maybe that’s not a bad idea… (Secret smile.)
This really may be serious. Glut can over-occupy our time, and choke out love. Especially our love for God. Which is why this post is part of the “Living Love” series.
For now, however, am I grateful? Yes, I am.
- … that the weatherman forecasts hard frost tomorrow (ending this madness—well, almost. There are peaches and apples coming in from the trees, and peppers from the garden)
- … for peppers to eat—and some extras to freeze for winter
- … for peaches to can (yes, our supply’s a bit low)
- … for apples for salads and desserts, and for eating out of hand
- … for the gemlike beauty of fruit in jars
- … for pantry shelves
- … and freezer storage
- … and not having to drive often for almost an hour to the nearest supermarket and back
- … that the local food pantry accepted our glut of potatoes
- … for the times of near-empty cupboards and fridge, when God kept supplying wondrously, showing me I can always trust Him, in little or much