Real Cooking

As I dialed the phone, I knew Rollind Bartel wouldn?t say no. But

then, that?s just the type of man he is.

I was calling to
ask if he would volunteer to drive one of our grain
trucks on
Sunday afternoon while my husband, Keith, drove the combine
in an
effort to bring in a crop of wheat. The wheat of our friend and

neighbor, Homer Enns, who was confined to a hospital

?I?ll come. Just tell me when and where.? Rollind didn?t
hesitate. I
knew he wouldn?t. Too many times in the past, Rollind
and Keith would
talk about their mutual affection for Homer and
his wife, Letty.

There were the warm reminiscences of
Rollind, who as a young man,
worked as a hired hand on the Enns?

There were the comical recollections of things going
awry. Like the
time the roof blew off Homer?s silo or the time the
swather got stuck
going in circles.

There were the
heartbreaking remembrances of the loss of Homer and
Letty?s son in
a tragic traffic accident.

I knew Rollind would come, I was
sure of it. Just as sure as when I
came home and heard the message
that Lloyd Klassen had left on our
machine. The message informed
us that Homer was in the hospital and
needed help. The Jost family
agreed to help in any way possible.

And so that?s how we came
to be in a wheat field on a Sunday
afternoon. Father?s Day
afternoon. Doing the Father?s work.

Our family doesn?t normally
do farm work on Sunday; we usually observe
the Sabbath with
worship and rest. But during harvest season, the
pressure of
getting a year?s crop in before the weather turns can be a
challenge. Sometimes, succumbing to the stress and fear of
the wheat in the bin before we lose that year?s income, we
cut on a Sunday afternoon.

That was not the case this year.
This weekend past, Father?s Day
weekend, we felt no pressure, no
stress, no fear. Our focus was not on
ourselves, not on our own
crops that lay unharvested in the adjoining
fields. Our
concentration was on helping a friend.

And so, as we drove the
combines and steered the trucks toward the
elevator, as we made
the lunch that would feed the workers, there was
a sense of peace.
Almost a sense of joy. Not in that our neighbors
were experiencing
trouble. No…but in a deep, understood, unspoken
knowledge that
we were doing what was right. Working together, we were
doing the
Father?s work in a real, tangible way.

It was an awesome sight.
More than a dozen combines of all makes and
models rolling side by
side through the golden ocean of wheat. Trucks
and grain carts,
their drivers at the wheel, awaiting the season?s
fruit of the

A fuel truck from Agri Producers in Tampa refueled the
combines, the
diesel donated by the business. Tim Svoboda of the
Durham co-op
station gave up his Sunday afternoon to keep the fuel
flowing and
machinery working.

By four o?clock, one large
field was finished and the workers were
ready to take a short
lunch break before heading to the next one.
Homer and Letty?s
pastor, Tim Kliewer, gathered participants for a
word of prayer.

?May Homer have peace of mind knowing that his wheat is
harvested,? he

Letty, her eyes brimming with tears,
thanked us. My throat clutched.

But it was when the combines
moved toward the next field that the
tears welled in my eyes. It
was then, as the giant machines rolled out
of the cut field and
into a long parade down the dirt road, that I
noticed all of the
children who had come along to be witness to this

There was Steve Bartel with his young son, Seth, perched next
to his
dad in the combine he was driving. Dale Klassen with a
truck full of
boys, including his three sons Andy, Aaron and
little Brandon along
with their friend Jayce Penner.

own son, Alex, was riding next to his dad in our big John Deere.

Big David Enns, not a kid anymore, was there to help his uncle, as
his sister, Lisa.

And by my side, my daughter, Meg,
handing out drinks to those waiting
for refreshment.

children, unaware, had been witnesses to Scripture being put
action: ?Love thy neighbor as thyself? and ?Do unto others as
would have them do unto you.? They had seen first hand what it

means to be a part of a loving community. What it means to put
first. What ?doing what is right and good? is all

They had seen their own fathers doing the Father?s work
on Father?s

Thank you, Homer and Letty, for helping
us have this most meaningful
experience. God bless.

* *

Last week you might have noticed that once again my husband
pulled a
fast one on me and arranged for my usual column not to
run. I think
Keith was trying to help me because I have been
snowed under lately.
I would rather have had help scrubbing
floors, cleaning bathrooms, or
wading through the mountain of
paper work on my desk, but….

If you were wondering about the
recipe he included last week, you have
good cause. It isn?t
correct. (That?s what happens when one?this
means you, Keith?goes
sneaking around my files trying to decipher my

The recipe is correctly credited to Jean Winter, who is an
cook. My husband isn?t. My apologies to any who tried
the recipe and
found it lacking. Here?s a corrected

Jean?s Corn

1 can whole corn, undrained

1 can creamed

1 cup Velveeta cubes

1 cup macaroni dry

cup ham cubes

1/2 cup of butter

Combine all ingredients
and place in casserole dish. Bake at 350
degrees for an hour,
stirring once about half way. You may substitute
other meats, such
as sausage or bacon for the ham. Top with crumb or
topping if desired.

Note: I wonder what it would be like if you
omit the meat and
substitute fresh

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