Homemade Happiness

The Italian dinners we had after church every Sunday when I was a boy were feasts fit for a king. There were mounds of pasta. There were potatoes, chicken, and meatballs which had been slow cooked for hours in tomato sauce. There were salads too covered in olive oil and vinegar. Most of all, though, there were loaves of Italian bread ready to be devoured. They were great with butter and even better when you dipped them in the sauce. My Grandma, whom we called "Nanny" would always bake them a day ahead so they would be ready. I remember watching her hand kneed the dough. I would often ask to help but only because I wanted to have a bite of the dough before she placed it in the pans to bake. After they were done she would set them on the counter to cool and the whole house would be filled with their Heavenly aroma.

One day I foolishly asked Nanny why she didnít just buy bread at the store to save time. "Cause theyíre not as a good," she said in her thick Italian accent. Then she laughed, smiled, and gave me a pinch of dough to nibble on.

Nanny was right. Today I buy my bread at the store and it isnít as good. It is factory made and lacks all the taste, warmth, and love that Nanny put into hers. I think that Nanny knew way back then that the best way to bake bread or to make joy was by cutting out the middle man.

I hope that one day all of us realize the same thing. Store bought happiness is a sad substitute for homemade joy. All the pleasures made and sold by the middle men of this world are bland, fleeting, and temporary at best. If you want lasting love, permanent peace, and unending joy then you have to follow Godís cookbook and bake them in your own soul. Remember, God loves us and invites us everyday to His table for a feast of goodness and delight. All that He asks is that we roll up our sleeves and help Him a bit with the cooking.

~ Joseph J. Mazzella ~

[ by: Joseph J. Mazzella Copyright © 2010 (joecool@wirefire.com) -- submitted by: Joseph Mazzella ]

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