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My parents are out of town, and I’m staying with my sisters. Right now, my role is mostly taxi-driver and cook. My grandmothers both live nearby, so I’m also helping them however I can. Grandmama¬† is my mom’s mom. She’s almost fiercely independent, even though she is blind and can’t get around very well.


This morning, Kara and Stephanie and I loaded into the van and headed out to pick up Grandmama and go to church. As we turned onto her street, we noticed a police car. It was parked in the middle of the street, mostly blocking the way. Behind it were cars, people, and firetrucks. The policeman wasn’t there, but some neighbors were standing out in their yard. I rolled down my window.

“What happened?” I asked.

“A fire.”

“Which house? Do you know which house?”

They didn’t.

I squeezed the van around the police car, heart pounding. There were at least three huge fire trucks, and they were right in front of Grandmama’s house. I thought, “There’s been a fire at Grandmama’s house. She probably left the stove on and didn’t realize it. And if there was a fire in her house, she probably wouldn’t get out. She probably died in that fire.” I briefly wondered why no one had called us, but realized there probably hadn’t been enough time. There was still smoke in the air.

But the smoke wasn’t coming from Grandmama’s house. It was the house across the street. The back corner of the roof was black, and the house sported tyvek instead of siding.

I never did see the policeman, but people were out in their yards everywhere. I stopped and asked if everyone was ok. They were. No one was hurt.

I couldn’t get to Grandmama’s driveway, so I parked on the street by the edge of her yard.

I rang the doorbell. Soon she came to the door, I explained what had happened, and we walked across the yard to the van. Then we went to church, even more thankful for Grandmama than when we woke up that morning.

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I got up a few minutes early this morning so that I would have time to put a roast in the Crock Pot before getting ready for church. As I prepared the meat, potatoes and carrots, I thought about how fortunate I am to be able to sit down for a nice Sunday dinner with my husband.

I started the Crock Pot on high, making a mental note to turn it to low before leaving for church.

Then I smiled, and remembered something else (or rather, someone else) to be thankful for.

I smiled because I remembered a Sunday morning approximately fifteen years ago. Fifteen, because I figure I must have been about ten, and my younger sister about five.

My mom was similarly preparing a roast for Sunday dinner, and she asked us to remind her to turn it to low before we left for church.

I’m not sure who invented the song. Maybe it was me. But my sister took it and ran with it. Or rather, sang it.


and over.

and over again.

“Turn the Crock Pot to low!

Turn the Crock Pot to low-ow-ow-ow!

For if you don’t, your food will burn.

Turn the Crock Pot to low.”

After a half-dozen times through the song, I wanted some peace, so I asked the dear sister to stop singing. She didn’t.

I probably got nasty about it pretty quickly (I’m impatient like that). But my threats and attempted bodily harm were to no avail. The singing continued.

So I appealed to the higher power. Surely my Mom was getting tired of the song. I’ll never forget her answer, which is now a family classic.

“At least she’s happy!”

My sister smirked. And sang on. I seethed.

But this morning, as I started the roast, the song came back to me. And I was thankful, not only for the food, but for my sister. We’re much better friends now than we were back then! I’m thankful that God has put her (and my other two sisters, and parents) in my life.

And I have to admit, it was a catchy song.