Guest Columnist

Julia dreads her trip to the dentist

A sign points the way to Villa's, an Amish bakery and bulk food store owned by Gloria's Uncle.
A sign points the way to Villa's, an Amish bakery and bulk food store owned by Gloria's Uncle.

So here we are, another week has come and gone. Wherever we are there are appointments to be met and projects to be done. Life is full of them. Days blend into years and life keeps ticking onward. There are highlights, then also things we dread and even procrastinate, simply because we don’t feel like doing them.

Today was one of those days that Julia has been dreading for weeks. She has some dental work to be done. It’s a part of life, but she wasn’t too eager about it. Last night after we prayed about it she did feel better and is ready to face it now. Daddy will be going with her while I stay home with the four little ones.

Austin was heartbroken, he wanted to go along too. As I contemplated over this I thought to myself, “You know it’s not easy to see your child face disappointments, but then isn’t that actually an important part of a child’s development to learn how to deal with difficulties? After all, we all know that as children grow up they are guaranteed to face there share of trials and even unfair situations.”

Children or even adults, for that matter, who have not learned to cheerfully accept difficult circumstances really are not that pleasant to be around. Now I need your input, “How can a person effectively bring his child to that point of quiet surrender, thus equipping them for life?”

Yesterday, Austin had misunderstood me and thought I had said that he could go along. I then told him that he can go with me to Villas Country Store the following day. Now if you ever happen to be in the area you would certainly find it interesting to stop in at this country store. My uncle Paul owns it. As a little girl, I was always delighted to go to the store to get items for my mother, then as a young girl, my dream came true of working there. This country store has expanded a lot since those days. In fact, my husband, along with a few others put up a brand new and much larger store six years ago. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with Daniel’s expertise as he faithfully labored until the job was complete, right up to the last day of the grand opening.

They have a deli with all sorts of fresh meats and cheeses and the best sandwiches you ever imagined! A portion of their store is graced with a nice variety of bulk food items while the rest is filled up with all sorts of general merchandise items that have been rejected from other stores for one reason or another. From kayaks to lawn mowers and sporting goods to stationary and bedding, they have almost anything you can imagine. Oh yes, I forgot the toy aisle; if you have any experience shopping with little ones you know just how attractive all those brightly colored toys are grabbing the attention of young shoppers convinced that they really need it.

Hi, I’m back again, Julia had her dentist visit and all went well. She was even informing Austin of how kind everyone was and they gave her a butterfly-shaped sucker.

And yes, we did get a chance to take the stroller and go for a walk up to the store. This time it was Jesse who was devastated to stay home but ended up having a nice time with Daddy. With Pauls having an annual anniversary sale we were all exceptionally eager to go. This year they celebrated 22 years since that first day when they opened their doors. I was only seven years old. My first recollection of their store was how surprised I was to see that they actually purchased a whole big box full of Smarties candies! Obviously, I didn’t fully grasp their plan. Now back to the anniversary sale, besides sale pricing on premium deli meats and cheeses they also offered free refreshments, along with a drawing for a $200 and 10, $20 certificates for their store. Austin’s mind was reeling as he imagined what it would be like to win one of the drawings which would allow him to buy a brand new toy of his choice right off the shelf.

The refreshments consisted of sweet tea and crackers blending tastefully with various types of cheese and honey mustard cream cheese spread. Other deluxe crackers were set out beside strawberry cream cheese. All of the items could be purchased throughout the store. The store was like a hive of busy bees with workers hustling about, working at the two checks out lanes, keeping the three commercial slicers busy, setting out refreshments, and making sure everyone was getting outstanding service.

All to soon it was time to head back home; we piled our groceries onto the double stroller and off we were for home. When we got back it was lunch time. I had a simple menu of leftover mashed potatoes, gravy, meatballs, and green beans Paul’s wife had ever so kindly brought for supper last night.

This week for a different twist I’ll share the combinations Pauls use at their store to serve customers on sale days such as this weekend. I will also include my pepper mustard recipe, but of course, if you don’t have the time for that you can always just use the boughten one.

Homemade Pepper Mustard

9 yellow banana peppers

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup vinegar

1 cup mustard

1 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup cold water

Grind peppers and onions, add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. In a small bowl mix flour and water, slowly pour into pepper mixture, boil for 15 minutes to thicken. Put in jars and seal or eat fresh. If you prefer it spicy add a handful of hot peppers.

Creamy Pepper Mustard Spread

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup pepper mustard

Let cream cheese set out in room temperature for a couple hours the sir into pepper mustard. For a different twist, try sliding the entire cream cheese block onto a serving plate, then pour pepper mustard over the top. Each person can then spoon out as much cream cheese or pepper mustard as they choose. Yummy and tangy! Note: You may use half the amount of cream cheese if you prefer to have it less creamy. Also, if desired, any type of relish can also be used instead of pepper mustard.

Creamy Jam Spread

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup Jam of your choice

Blend together and serve with crackers of your choice. Sweetly delicious!