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OUT TO PASTOR: It never dawned on me, until...

I must confess I am too poor to pay attention at this time in my life.

I hope one day I will win the lottery and be able to afford to pay attention.

But, of course, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage says that you can’t win a lottery unless you play the lottery. Well, I don’t play the lottery. Sigh!

I guess I will have to find another way to raise enough money to pay attention. Maybe if I could pay attention, I wouldn’t get into the trouble that I get into.

For many years when I would come home and walk through the front door, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would greet me with a kiss. And then she would say, “Good to see you.”

I never thought too much about that; I just accepted it as the norm and accept life as it comes; after all, I am too poor to pay attention.

One time several weeks ago when I came home, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage greeted me with a kiss.

Something seemed a little bit different. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

Since my heart attack, I have been trying to stay on a restricted diet.

My diet is not the same as my wife’s. My diet is that I don’t eat anything I don’t like.

You can be sure that is not my wife’s idea. Her idea of my diet is to eat what she prescribes for me.

One thing restricted on my diet, at least from her perspective, is the Apple Fritter.

I can never have too many of these, but my wife believes just thinking about an Apple Fritter is highly forbidden.

My idea is, and I don’t want her to know this, but as long as I don’t eat an Apple Fritter in the house, I’m obeying her restrictions. What I eat outside the house has nothing whatsoever to do with The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

It is tough for someone like me not to eat something that is so heavenly delicious. I am quite confident that the angels in heaven enjoy an Apple Fritter on a regular basis.

That being said, something strange began to unfold before me.

After greeting me with a kiss, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said something I didn’t clearly hear.

But, as I thought about it, it seemed like, “You didn’t have an Apple Fritter today, did you?”

I didn’t pay attention to it because I didn’t hear it exactly. That may not have been what she said, so I wasn’t going to push the issue and get myself into trouble.

I smiled and went to my chair with a hot cup of coffee. Nothing settles my mind better than a good strong cup of Joe.

To question The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage opens the door for a lot of hardship. And who can afford that at this time of life?

The next day as I came through the front door, she greeted me with a kiss, and walking away I heard her very distinctly say, “That smells like a very delicious Apple Fritter.”

I didn’t know what to say or think at the time.

Was she joking?

Was I in trouble?

Thinking about it, I asked myself how she would know if I had an Apple Fritter?

A few minutes after I got my coffee, I sat down and began to think a little bit. As you know, that always gets me into trouble.

But in my thinking, I remembered I had an Apple Fritter before coming home. Now, how would she know that? I’m very careful to get a cup of coffee when I eat an Apple Fritter to hide any smell it might leave on me. So I need to work this out.

The next day I did not have an Apple Fritter the whole day. So when I came home and was greeted with a kiss, I heard nothing about an Apple Fritter from my wife.

How does she know when I have and don’t have one?

The next day I did have one. When I came home and was greeted with a kiss, as soon as I walked away, she said, “How was your Apple Fritter today?”

I decided I needed to address the subject before it went any further.

Looking at her, I said, “What makes you think I had an Apple Fritter the day?”

With one of her smiles on her face, she replied, “Every time I kiss you, I can smell if you’ve had an Apple Fritter during the day.”

All I could do was just stare with no words coming out of my open mouth.

“You may think,” she said, “that you can get away with it. But not around me.”

Now I have a situation I will not be able to clear up for a long time.

I wonder if there is anything like industrial-strength peppermints?

I was reminded of my favorite Bible verse. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

If I rely on my “own understanding” I won’t be able to afford the direction I will be going.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone is (352) 216-3025, e-mail, website

Ellis County Press

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