Cracker-Barrel Memories

You may be wondering why I call my heart a cracker-barrel. The term “cracker-barrel” has to do with country life, being home-spun.

I was raised in a small town in southern Texas, with small town values and mores. I would visit my across-the-border relatives during the summer and sometimes on the weekends. There were chickens, ducks, pigs, hogs, a lamb or two, and a cow to feed and chase. The roads were either dusty or muddy and horse or donkey drawn carts plodded behind or in front of the cars and trucks.

Some mornings we would rise early to take the maize that soaked overnight to the mill to get it ground into masa, or to purchase masa. On the way back we would stop at the bakery and buy bollios (a type of roll) and Mexican sweet bread. Then it was home to make hand-formed corn tortillas to eat with the eggs, bacon or ham, pinto beans, Mexican white cheese, salsa, and avocado.

We’d spend the morning taking care of chores then play for a while. In the hottest part of the day we’d rest; sometimes we’d sit on little barrels and listen to our elders tell us stories.

I miss those times. Times of innocence, honesty, integrity, and hard working people living life as best they could with the means they had. We respected our parents and elders; because we did, there was order within our families.

I’m not saying that when I was growing up things were perfect, they weren’t; but there was still a fear of God in the land.

This cracker-barrel heart holds the past and is being filled with the present. It has room for the future; and oh, what a future awaits me! Jesus is preparing a place for me, and it will be with Him!

Until that time comes, I’ll remember that all barrels hold something; my cracker-barrel heart holds its Savior, Jesus. What does your heart hold?


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