A Good Trade; Even Stephen

As you know by now, in many Spring blog postings, how we've often mentioned the wonderful generosity and community spirit of our friends and neighbors in our small town. Many's the time dishes and pans of good home cooking or bags of garden produce have been paraded back and forth across the street from house to house. One time we were given a couple of very large, sweet watermelons, much too big for Cappy and me to consume by ourselves, so Cappy wandered down the street, watermelon atop his shoulder and found a Kool-Aid stand, being manned by some of our neighbor kids. Pretty soon all the kids in the neighborhood were sporting hunks of watermelon. It still puts a smile on our face. And we will never forget the time we were given Saints football tickets!!!
...Now the other night/morning, it seemed as though I had only just gotten to sleep, as visions of cucumbers danced in my head, after having spent the night, and into the wee hours of the morning keeping Cappy company over the phone, as he manuevered his boat and barge in and around narrow channels out in the bayous. Blissfully, I was in a deep, DEEP sleep. Suddenly, the dogs practically broke my eardrums barking and yelling, then bouncing the bed into 7 ft. waves as they thundered out of the bedroom. Startled, I staggered out into the kitchen to see what was the matter, when what to my foggy-brained eyes should appear, just outside the dog-door, "Mr. Stephen" was here. (He's the guy who had brought us "Cherie", our 5 ft cherry tree, and he had taken away, the next week, a pot of four o'clocks. We got the better bargain in that trade, but promised him some more substantial nightingales whenever I could get them rooted and on the road to 'nightingaling' properly. After four tries, it isn't looking good; I've managed to kill off every attempt.) Poor guy, he didn't know 9:30 in the morning was an ungodly hour for me. LOL! He stepped into the kitchen, so lively and quick, the dogs jumped all around him and started to lick his ankles. Good 'guard dogs'. He held out a white plastic sack, laden with fresh eggplants and tomatoes, and said, "I've come to take some of those cucumbers off your hands". (Oh Thank God! They just keep coming and coming like an unstoppable force. We have a wonderful community 'bulletin board', better known to us as the Forum, where all kinds of information passes hands, such as the plight of our garden blunder, which Mr. Stephen had read and decided to lend a hand.) He went over to the sink to deposit the bag he'd brought, but, alas, I'm not an altogether fastidious homemaker, and both my sinks had yesterday's pickle-making pans and tools still sitting in there tapping their feet, waiting for me to clean them up and put them away. Mr. Stephen, holding the sack aloft, which was bearing the produce from his garden, stared down into the sink as if something wasn't registering, walked away a few steps, then turned and walked back to the sink, looked down into it again, as if his brain was telling him, "Does not compute...does not compute", then gave up and set them in the dish-drainer. Cappy has warned me in the past that Cajun women take pride in immaculate kitchen sinks. I told Mr. Stephen that, when Cappy is out on the boat, I guess I live like a bohemian. It's frustrating for me, that my art projects and the like take up so much time, and I'm often torn as to priorities, finding myself, at the end of the day, lacking. Guess I just need more organization. I try writing lists, but everything seems to be a priority. Dang. Ok, now ya see how I wandered off course here? That's how these things happen.

Well, the crux is, I ended up with these beautiful tomatoes and eggplants, and Mr. Stephen took away a big sackful of those miserable, but beautiful cucumbers. That's what I call a good trade. But what Mr. Stephen doesn't know, is that, not only has he blessed me by doing the good deed that he did, he will be blessing our neighbors. I'm still cooking one day a week for Brad's brothers, and Maggie, our neighbor, who has been looking out for them. I plan on making eggplant parmesan for them, (one of Cappy's favorites) with the bounty of Mr. Stephen's garden. Then, when Cappy gets home this week, I'll have a batch in the freezer waiting for him.
So, yesterday as Mr. Stephen sprang into his red truck, and drove out of sight, I wanted to call after him, "
"Thank you, Mr. Stephen, but I think, once again, I got the better end of the deal, and to all a good-night." :-D
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