We jumped sky-high. The afraid-of-looking-guilty precious kid blasts: “I didn’t do that.” Even Granny got moving.
“What was that?” many asked.
“Was that a firecracker?” we all questioned.
A firecracker would have made sense. After all, it was July 4th. Fireworks were randomly going off in broad daylight throughout my cousin’s beautiful rural area with a mile of field, sprinkled with two homes, behind them.

We checked around the house … nothing seemed dented or disturbed, except our hearts.
We settled back down. Conversation resumed.
My cousin spotted something shiny between my dad’s feet. She said, “Excuse me” and reached down. Holding out her hand, turning to me, and inquiring what she already knew the answer to but couldn’t quite bring herself to believe, she asked:

“Shelli, what is this?”
“A bullet.”
We knew immediately what had caused that horrid noise.

The sheriff’s department was immediately called. And we began searching nearby for the impact site. 

The location was spotted mere millimeters away from glass, a mere five feet above our heads.

Just like that … one of us could have been shot and killed. Just like that. On a perfectly gorgeous day, celebrating with family, celebrating freedom … it was unreal. Like something reported on the news.

Our nerves were shot. “What if” was pondered.

  • Boom
  • Bullet
  • Bullet mark

Those were complete ingredients to a completely disturbed evening. And let me tell you, with a mixture of emotion and fear stirring up inside, much was made of that bullet.

We tend to make much of things.
Grateful for God’s protection, many voiced it.
  • Gathering together
  • Grabbing hands
  • Gliding into His presence
  • Giving thanks and requesting peace
  • Glorifying Him for safety
  • Grasping a Verse of God’s protection and voicing it
 would have proved our faith genuine to those with weaker faith, our children. But with never-ending needed growth and continually learning lessons by hindsight, a true reality pierced my heart:
tossing things aside, those would have been the completely perfect ingredients to
Make much of the One who made me. 
“Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” – Isaiah 26:8 

My beautiful cousin and me.
Leola’s Banana Pudding
(my beloved grandmother’s easy, no bake ingredients):

Mix 1 large box instant “vanilla” pudding as directed on box
Add 1 can Eagle sweetened condensed milk (I use 2 cans sometimes)
Add 1 large cool whip (but don’t add it all, leave about a cupful, ha! That’s how she did it!)
2 tsp. vanilla (she used 1 tsp banana flavoring, but I never have that on hand, so I do 2 tsp vanilla)

Slice about 4 large bananas (small slices), set aside.
Vanilla Wafers (two boxes)

Start with a little pudding on bottom, wafers, bananas slices.
Then layer:
Pudding, wafers, bananas – repeat until ingredients are gone, and end with pudding on top.

Take wafer crumbs and sprinkle on top. If you need more crumbs, crumble up wafers and sprinkle on top.

Refrigerate. Best if let set overnight.

7 thoughts on “Ingredients

  1. Good thing I wasn't there. I recognize that sort of thing pretty well, and I would have rained down return fire like the sky falling in on them.

    They would have been doing some praying, too, but they would have had to be pretty quick about it. I'm from West texas, and we tend to hit that at which we aim.

    So thankful you weren't hurt. I'm furious that someone would have brought this down on you. White-hot enraged.


  2. About a year ago we had a local shooter. Made going outside dicey. I sorted him.

    Lived in a lot of places, but Lubbock will always be 'HOME'. I miss it!

    When Barb and I remarried, we went to a wedding conference, and one of the speakers made an out-of-line joke about Catholics (my in-laws are Catholic – and they are my only family).

    I stood up – big auditorium – and said, “Sir, my family;s Catholic, and I'm from Texas…and you, sir, are a-fixin' to meet Jesus.”

    The dude apologized, came down off the podium, and came up to me. He said, “When they say Don't Mess With Texas, they aren't kidding, are they?”


  3. You are brave! Don't Mess With Texas … I love it!

    And what does it mean when you said, “I sorted him” … the shooter. That must have been a crazy time. Everyone scared to go out. That happened to my grandmother when she was a young lady … she lived in the Texarkana, TX, area … there was a movie about it called The Town That Dreaded Sundown. About the killer. She said it was her ex-husband! I wouldn't be surprised. That's a story …


  4. I love all things Texas. I would move back in a heartbeat.

    The shooter was convinced of the error of his ways in a meeting he did not particularly enjoy. He had gotten into the habit of using the same hide several times. Bad habits lead to unfortunate ends. He has at least learned that big boys' rules apply to those who would play with guns.

    I think I remember that movie! That is quite a story.

    I was exposed to violence from an early age (I carried a gun from before the age of 12), and the protection of peace has become a core value for me. When I read about what happened to you, I was, as I mentioned, so very, very incensed. People should be able to rest in their homes in the evening without fear.


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