By: Joseph J. Mazzella
I was a young boy growing up in an old, ramshackle house with my Mom, Dad, Nana, and two brothers. It was a cold, winter’s evening and the bitter wind was seeping through the old house’s cracks. It was 7:30 P.M. but had already been pitch black outside for over an hour.
I walked into the kitchen with slippers on my feet to keep them warm. I saw my Mom standing over the stove with a cast iron skillet in her hand. She placed it over the flame and quickly threw in a splash of oil and a dollop of butter. Then she took out some yellow popcorn and poured it into the pan as well. She put the cast iron lid on the skillet and waited. After a minute or two we heard the first pop. She quickly called me over and I helped her to keep the skillet moving over the flame so the popcorn wouldn’t burn. With each shake of the skillet there was another explosion of popping. After a minute or so the popping finally stopped. We smiled at each other, poured the popcorn into a huge bowl and showered it with salt.
Then we carried the bowl into the living room where my Nana was sitting in her chair by the stove. Dad was in his recliner trying not to dose off after a hard day’s work. Mom and I sat on the couch with the steaming bowl of popcorn between us and slowly ate it while we watched TV.
And as I snuggled in next to her the house didn’t seem quite so cold anymore. Since then I have made a lot of popcorn. I have used air poppers and microwave bags but none of it has tasted quite as good as the kind I made with Mom. Maybe it was because I felt so much love, happiness, and warmth when we sat down on that old couch to eat it.
We can fill our lives here with such moments of love and joy. In fact, that is exactly what God calls us to do. May all of your days be full of love. May you bring it to everything you say and everything you do be it work, play, or even popping corn.