Friday, February 15, 2013

What’s a Pork Chop, Got to Do, Got To Do with It? by Linda Maynard



What's love got to do, got to do with it
What's love but a sweet old fashioned notion

Song by Tina Turner


There I go again, singing a song but changing the words. So far I am not making much sense, am I? Well, you know Tina Turner’s popular song sounds like she was confused about Love too.

A pork chop and pea soup I might add are what I want to talk about today.

What on earth DO they have to do with love?

While growing up, in a big family, my mother used to try all kinds of new economical recipes. Some were welcomed surprises. Others were, well, just surprises, even to her.

One day, she wanted to bless my soon to be husband, Marcel. She sometimes called him a Frenchie, but in a loving way. So, she wanted to make something that he would enjoy. She made pea soup. She used an old fashioned pressure cooker, which scared the daylights out of me, but she liked to cook with it, having a lot of success.

There was a little caveat to using the pressure cooker. You had to pay attention to the process and at the precise time that the steam started to spout, you had to get the weight onto the cover and lower the heat.

She must have been distracted. She panicked to get the top piece on, while trying to avoid burning herself with the steam. She was too late. The result was thick green pea soup that shot up like a geyser and all over her ceiling. It was thick enough to adhere to it, with enough water to have it form droplets. If you can piucture Carlsbad Caverns, you get the picturte.

So I am talking about pea’s soup, how on earth do pork chops fit into the picture?

One day, as we were gathered around the tables for supper and pork chops were the highlight of the meal. It was something that we rarely had and you could say we savored every morsel. My mom was ready to sit down, which always seemed to be late, because she was making sure everyone was taken care of. I think it was my oldest brother, who had already finished his pork chop and asked for another. Now, my dad would have received two but for us, it was usually one. In answer to the request though, my mom gave my brother her pork chop.

I was incredulous, I think in part by what I perceived as my brother’s selfishness and on the other hand, thinking my mother was a push over.  So I said to my mom, “I would never be able to do that!” She said, “Someday when you have children of your own, you will understand.”

I was not convinced.

A few years into my marriage, I dialed my mom’s phone number. I really don’t remember what I “gave” to one of my children, but I told her “Do you remember giving your pork chop up that day? Now I understand”

I guess you could say that pork chops became a symbol of the sacrificial giving, that I have come to know as part of love.

Have you too had time when you gave forgiveness, shown love, extended aid, fed the hungry, gave up your insistence to be right, as an act of sacrificial love?

Even writing about it, I can almost feel the cringe inside of me that I have felt during those decision making junctures. Human nature…which is our flesh…wants what it wants when it wants it. In some instances, we can rightfully say it I ours to have. What we give out of that place though, can feed another soul.

I told you pork chops have a lot to do with love.

I guess I am really not as confused as Tina Turner was.

“Tina” I must tell you… “LOVE has a LOT to do with it and it is NOT a second hand emotion.”


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