And then there was broccoli


Sometimes, bad days are a blessing in disguise, but you don’t know it at the time.
Last week, for example, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had plans to spend three days in St. Augustine with her daughter and granddaughter on a thrift store drive. They would visit all the thrift stores in the area and buy whatever they could at a good price.
“You don’t mind if I and the girls go to St. Augustine for three days,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage asked.
Asking me a question like that does two things for me.
First, it allows me to have lunch at nearby restaurants.
Second, it allows me to do things against The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage’s rules and guidelines without her knowing.
For three days, I will be left to my own rules and guidelines. What in the world more could I ask for?
As I was processing this, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “And by the way your meals are already prepared and in the refrigerator.”
Well, that wasn’t expected.
After all the preparation on both sides of the aisle, she was ready to take off with her daughter and granddaughter for a three-day thrift store extravaganza. She kissed me goodbye, and out the door she went, and my three-day celebration had just begun.
I went to the kitchen, got a fresh cup of coffee, took it to my easy chair, set back, and just thought about what I was going to do during the next three days. I sat there thinking about all of the opportunities that were before me.
At lunchtime, I went to the refrigerator to see what lunch was waiting for me. When I opened the door, I was literally surprised. The refrigerator was jammed full of lunch, dinner, and breakfast food already for me. Every item was labeled either breakfast, lunch, or supper, so I knew which one to take and at what time.
Being the contrary person I am, instead of eating the lunch package, I ate the supper package. As I chomped on the delicious meal, I chuckled, knowing that I was in charge of my life.
I didn’t care about the tags on the food; I just grabbed what was handy, and that was what I was going to eat at the time.
At the beginning of the second day, I noticed something. The labels were not exactly correct. The breakfast label was on the supper package, the lunch label was on the breakfast package, and the supper label was on the lunch package. She made it very distinct and did an excellent job at it.
On the first day, I snuck out in the afternoon and got a cheeseburger, fries, and Diet Coke. I’m not sure if it was lunch or supper, but I enjoyed it.
By midmorning, when I was working at my desk on the second day, a thought fluttered into my head. That thought was about an Apple Fritter. This would be an excellent time for me to sneak over to Publix and get one. I could do that, and she would never know the difference.
I kept thinking about that and wondered how I could accomplish it. After all, everybody at Publix knows my wife and knows that she doesn’t want me to eat any Apple Fritters. I tried it once before and got caught, and so I wasn’t going to do it again.
It didn’t stop me from thinking about those wonderful Apple Fritters. What harm would I do to sneak one into the house, but The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage wasn’t home and wouldn’t find me out?
I was eating the food from the refrigerator, and on the third morning I noticed a box in the back of the fridge. I pulled the box out, and on the top of the box was the word broccoli. I almost had a heart attack when I saw it and was afraid to open it.
Why did she put a box of broccoli in the refrigerator for me to find when she was away? Maybe she thought I would take that broccoli and throw it away. Or maybe she thought I would see it and do nothing with it.
I’m not that kind of person, so I pulled the box out. I was going to throw the broccoli away and put something else in it just to be funny, but when I opened the lid, inside were Apple Fritters.
In the box was a note on which she wrote, “You deserve a break today, just don’t break a leg.”
I could not help but think of that Bible verse, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
As I munched on those Apple Fritters I thought about what it means to “be agreed.” Certainly The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I “walk together.” That has been true since our marriage. The important thing is that we agree sometimes to disagree.
Our difference is what makes us a great team. My weakness is her strength and her weakness is my strength.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail, website