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Friday, October 30, 2009


Several years ago I had a good friend and co-worker who shared a fascination with me about strange folk sayings. You know, things like “cute as a button’ and ‘cuss a blue streak’ and ‘acting like a suck-egg hound.’ Some of the sayings have obvious roots, but others are pretty obscure and seem to bear no relation to anything real. I mean, just what is ‘cute’ about a button? And cussing I can understand, but why a ‘blue streak’? I can also understand hound dogs that steal eggs, but just how would they act? Linda and I were always coming up with something old but new to one of us and looking for the source of it. We enjoyed trying to find the source before the other one did.

One of our long term favorites was ‘a goose just walked over my grave’ or sometimes, “a ghost walked over my grave.’ It is used when someone has a sudden unexplainable chill or shudder. When Linda died we were still tracking the source of that. Both of us could easily understand a goose walking or even by a stretch of imagination, a ghost, but how can either of them walk over my grave when I’m still alive? And why would a saying like that come into being? Who would ever think that a goose walking would cause a chill whether it walked over a grave or not? Why would anyone say that to start with and why would it have endured for so long? We were still looking for the source when she died.

I was reminded of her this morning when someone used the term ‘kit and caboodle.’ I wondered about the word ‘caboodle’ and what it meant. I assume that it means all the junk that goes along with having a kit of any kind. A first aid kit has a lot of items in it. They can get all jumbled together and you have a ‘caboodle.’ I guess. It’s easy to figure out what a saying means, but sometimes knowing the source of the archaic word is fascinating.

Linda died of a lingering illness after several months. She was saved a few weeks before the Lord took her home. I remember I carried a heavy burden for her and prayed for her not only in formal prayers, but at odd moments in between times. I wasn't picky. I asked the Lord to heal her or save her. I would have liked both but one was sufficient-especially the one He gave me.
I can almost pinpoint the moment when she gave her heart to the Lord. I was driving home from work, praying for her as I usually did. There was a tape playing…”far above the sounds of battle there is victory for me…” In the midst of my prayer my heart went from weeping to rejoicing. The burden lifted and I was filled with blessings.

I could only accept it for what it was—an answer to prayer. I had absolutely nothing to support my ‘feeling’ except the blessing, but I began thanking the Lord for saving her. A while later, I spoke to her sister who had been talking with her about her soul, and she told me Linda had given her heart to the Lord the day before. I didn’t need to ask her what time it had happened.

It is fantastic how little things can bring back a flood of memories.

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