In the classic Christmas song, “Rudolf, The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the first of Santa’s reindeer mentioned is Dasher. You must be thinking, “Mel, we are past the holidays! It is a new year already!” That is exactly my point…the new year took off with a dash! 🙂 We kicked off the year by picking up my sister and brother-in-law from the airport…and with all family members and spouses present, we enjoyed a nice meal at the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dayton, then came home to celebrate Christmas.
Yep, January 1, 2014 was a fantastic day and the beginning of a week filled with fun! We played games, shared memories and had good laughs, took loads of pictures, drank almost all the hot chocolate in the cupboard, played more games, “owl family” late nights resulting in late mornings and breakfast times, and took a short road trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. 🙂
At the Creation Museum, there was a small room on the lower level called, “Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium.” Now, if you know me, I am not a bug, insect or spider sort of person. Snakes I can handle if they slither slowly, but insects…yuck! However, because we were there, I wanted to get the whole museum experience. Besides, these insects were dead, so what was the harm in viewing them? The first of the display boxes contained locust, crickets and katydids. The plaque described how they form “God’s choir,” as they make beautiful chirping noises when using their mating calls to attract females.
I thought a few things were interesting: a) A female of the three insect species listed has to listen and distinguish among the chirps which mating call is for her and then respond; b) Out of all bugs and insects, only these three are listed for their beautiful noise; and c) The plaque also mentioned reference to prophets in the Bible, one being John the Baptist, and their eating locust. I didn’t think much about the eating part until the end of the museum tour and day, in which Mom, my brother-in-law and myself, found ourselves finished a half hour before everyone else. With nothing else to see, we went to the bookstore to look around and wait.
My choice of two post cards placed me over at the cash register and after I paid, I see at the side the selection of chocolates (not having anything to do with the museum…just a treat!) and other candies. Of course, the suckers with bugs in them would not my choice of a tasty treat. Under the candies was a shelf that had little boxes of flavored locust, but I didn’t actually realize they were real locust until I picked up the sea salt flavor and read the cover. Tempted, I almost purchased the sour cream & onion flavor, but right when I decided “no” in my mind, the store closed and we left. So much for starting the year off in a bold fashion. 😉 It may have had too much salt anyway…
Right before the new year, Dad and I discussed my left ankle. It has been swollen for quite sometime. When I sit, I don’t always prop up my feet, which doesn’t help any, but the fact is that I needed to try something new. I already deal with osteoporosis and numbness (which I have no control over), but the swelling I could try to bring down. The simple word: salt. Oh how I just love salt! So being told, “No salt,” was a sad experience at first, because I literally thought I could not have any. I was reassured that I can still have salt. If you think about it, salt is unavoidable-it is in everything! It is not a diet or new year’s resolution, but my new restriction was simply that I just can’t add salt to my plate and must practice self-control.
The tumor on my 5th nerve affected my sense of smell, which affects your taste. It has to be a very strong flavor or scent in order for me to smell and/or taste it. Every so often, I will get a giant “smell-wave” for a split second and it literally will take me by surprise. If anyone is around, they hear about it! With tasting food it is different. The typical routine is usually putting on a lot of salt and pepper just for a taste. Without salt, foods like vegetables can be pretty bland. That is where Mom suggested the substitute, Mrs. Dash. It is salt free and has a bold flavor!
Limiting my salt seems to be rewarding, as I have noticed the swelling decreasing. The whole experience has also got me to thinking of my own life. I have been out of my typical morning routine, coffee and readings, which I see is starting to result in becoming a spiritual life that is bland. I still have salt–but like my food restriction, I am not adding any to my life–not seeking the boldness that God intends…and I feel no purpose. It is the new year, and I seem lost. Praise God–He is bigger than my fears, bigger than my failures, bigger than my future here on earth.
He is like Salt–Unavoidable; In Him, I have no need for restrictions.