17 May 2007

Share and Share Alike (and Other Platitudes I Dislike)

Camping Story #2—Another Pot Story
So the next morning a representative from Xena’s site comes over to ours.
“Hey, you guys got anything to boil eggs in?” he asks.
Chris jumps up. “Sure. Will a coffee pot work?”
What? My coffee pot? The one I just bought two days before? My first actual camping coffee pot? And let me reiterate—COFFEE pot! Coffee, people. Do you know how much I treasure this? But I smile.
“Uh, you guys smoke?”
We shake our heads no.
“Your friends?” He gestures to Patty and Charl.
Another no.
“Cuz we could do a trade.”
And become the next Wandering Lady of Turner Falls? I don’t think so.
“Don’t worry about it,” Chris says.
“I’ll have it back in an hour.”
It takes an hour to boil eggs? I set my mental stopwatch.
An hour passes.
“Babe, do you think we’ll see our coffee pot again?” I really like that coffee pot. Sentimental value. My first camping coffee pot.
Chris shrugs. “Probably. But if not, oh well.”
But we’re poor! Whadya mean, oh well? Still, I smile.
Another hour passes. I want my coffee pot.
Not too much longer after that, the guy from Xena’s campsite returns the coffee pot. “Thanks. Sorry about the mess. I didn’t have anything to clean it with.”
Still smiling, I wait until he leaves before examining said mess. I open the lid. A thick layer of red grease bubbles on the top. Since when do eggs have red grease? I remove the inside percolating devices. Black, burnt food sticks to the bottom. I take it over to the river, rinse it as best as I can, then grab a spoon and start scraping.
My new coffee pot. Chris isn’t worried. It’s still usable. Get off what we can. It'll still boil water.
But it’s my new coffee pot. I scrub, and I scrub, and I scrub.
If a man asks for your cloak, give him your tunic as well.
Man, sometimes I dislike being a Christian. I like my tunic. Chris seems to get this no problem, Bob. He’s the most generous man I know.
Clink-clink, goes the spoon against the bottom. More burnt food (who knows what food) gathers in the water swishing in the pot.
Me, I get sentimentality attached to things. So-and-so made this tunic for me, or I wore this tunic when I first met Chris. But share I must.
I examine my pot. About two-thirds gone.
Share and share alike.
Hey, the guy was willing to share with us too.
So back at home, some of the burnings remain after cleaning and cleaning, but maybe these burnings can be the scars that remind me to share my tunic.


Erin said...

Every time you make boiled egg flavored camp coffee in that pot, you will remember this lesson, right?

I imagine Jesus was thinking about way more than boiled eggs, pot smokers and brand new coffee pots when he spoke those words. But I'm sure he was thinking of them too.

You write a good story, girl.

willowtree said...

Now see, this is where it's good not to be a Christian. No way would I have given them the pot. If they are too stupid to think of bringing cooking utensils, they go without. It's their problem to deal with

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Heather, you should have used this story as your sacrament one. With a little tweaking. Too bad you didn't go camping two months ago. ;)

Heather said...

my coffee better not be boiled-egg flavored! blech!
no kidding, jen. it's just odd enough that they might have liked it ;)

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Maybe you should write it anyway! I love real life. ;)

Jeanne Damoff said...

What a great story and great lesson. I'm a tunic hog, too. My children are so much more Jesus-like in that regard. So, I guess it's good I have them and you have Chris.

Please extend my sympathy to your coffee pot. Who knows what horrors it endured and to what indignities it was subjected! The mind recoils. I have no doubt it is happy and relieved to be once again in the safety of your tender, affectionate, crud-scraping hands.

Jenn said...

Great story. Thanks for sharing it--and the pot.

Pamela said...

We have "been" there oh so many times.

Just sitting here thinking about all the things we have gotten back ruined

yes... expensive things

electric hedge clippers
electric carpet steam cleaner
canning juicer
.....on and on and on