Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

Some words have to be experienced to be understood. Take, for instance, the word soppin’. If you’ve never been caught in a summer rainstorm between the barn and the house, then you probably don’t get the full meaning of soppin’ wet from head to toe. On the other hand, I never knew what an umbrella was for until I was married.  Umbrellas are for holding over ‘sweet thang’s head walking from the store to the car. And it doesn’t matter if you get soppin’ wet, just as long as she stays dry!

Soppin’ is further described by Webster’s Route 4 cousin as the ‘art of completeness.’ Sweet Thang and I have a friend who keeps asking, “What is a cat-head biscuit?” Well, by her question, it’s obvious that she’s never sopped up the last drop of saw mill gravy with the golden-brown top of a ‘dough-bowl delight!’ What a sheltered life she’s led.

Good to the last drop is a coffee company’s slogan, but back home on the farm, we learned how to sop up the last remnant of gravy on our plate long before we knew that you could grind up some beans that grew on a tree and make something to dunk your catheads in.

Dunkin’ – now there’s another good word. It means to make something soft with a quick ‘dip’ into something wet. Like what you do with hot, buttered cornbread in a tall glass of cold buttermilk. Or if Preacher Dickson dunked you in Snow Creek back home, it meant you had been baptized!

And now I’ve heard that there’s a bunch of stores all over the country where you can go in and dunk a piece of sweet bread into that juice that they make from grinding up those beans that grow on trees. What will they think of next! It’s enough to blow a fuse in a country boy’s electrical box!

I think they call those stores Dunkin’ Donuts. I picked up on that name real quick when I walked in the door of one of their stores the other night with our Kim, our Number One Daughter. The door handles were double-D’s. In capital letters. Except the one on the left door was a backwards capital D. Back home at Return Grammar School, Miss Pruitt would rap on our knuckles with a ruler if she caught us making our capital D’s backward on our Blue Horse notebook paper!

Anyway, I had an eye-poppin’, fuse blowin’ experience after I grabbed the doors with the Double-D’s. Would you believe they sell holes in that place! I kid you not. When I heard our college-educated daughter order a bag of holes, I almost fainted right out in the floor! Do what? I thought surely this can’t be true – do they actually sell holes in this place? But they do.

And something else that I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. They also sell thermos bottles to keep your ground-up bean juice hot till you get home. And I’m here to tell you – it was a fancy thermos. Not at all like the one that used to come in my Red Ryder lunch box. This one had a hole in the top to drink from. You don’t even have to take the top of it off to use as a cup.

What I haven’t figured out yet is how you can ‘dunk a hole in a thermos of hot bean juice’ and drive your car at the same time. Why is the name of the store Dunkin’ Donuts when I didn’t see anybody dunkin’ anything? Oh, well, I think I’ll just file that one away under “Old Dogs & New Tricks!”

Somebody told me they saw a sign in a little donut shop somewhere that read ‘As you travel through life, whatever be your goal, keep your eye on the donut, and not on the hole.’ What a great piece of advice in that simple little rhyme! As I go through the donut store of life, what do I have my eyes on? Do I see only the troubles, trials, and tribulations of life? Do I let the bad economy, soaring crime rates, job losses, high prices, and uncertain world conditions prevent me from seeing the sweetness of knowing the One who’s in charge of the donut shop, so to speak?

Please excuse my comparison, but if I focus only on the donut hole and its momentary pleasure, I never get to enjoy the sweetness of the ‘real deal.’ And nothing, not even a whole bag of little sample ‘holes,’ can compare to the big round glazed doughy delight that melts in your mouth after you’ve dunked it in your cup!

Like Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17, even though our troubles may look like a mountain, they’re just as ‘light and momentary’ as a donut hole, in comparison to what’s waiting for us in Glory! Right about here would be a good place for a big ‘AMEN,’ don’t you think? Paul also has some good advice for us in Philippians 2:13-14. Even though we haven’t made it yet, forget yesterday and press on today toward the goal.

Sounds a lot like the sign in the donut shop – keep your eye on the donut and not the hole!