Walnut Memories

It’s amazing how the smallest thing can sometimes bring back the most vivid memories. Memories long ago forgotten come back with a trigger that comes out of left field. That happened to me this morning.

I was home for an hour while my wife was at a doctor’s appointment. My youngest son, Zachary was with me. He said, “Dad, can I have some of those nuts?”

“What nuts?’

“Those ones. Up there.”

I didn’t see them, so he marched up to the island in our kitchen and pulled down a plastic bag full of nuts. The bag contained walnuts, filberts, pecans and almonds. All of the nuts were in their shell. We never have nuts like this in our home. So, when I saw them I said, “Honey, we need a nutcracker to open these. I’m not sure that we have one.” And, that’s when the memory came.

When I was growing up I used to spend a lot of time at my Grandpa Art and Grandma Helen’s home. Grandpa loved nuts, especially walnuts. Every time I went to their home there was a bag of walnuts sitting on the kitchen table. And, if you opened Grandma’s cabinet drawer, there were two well worn silver nutcrackers. My Grandpa and I would sit at the table. We’d crack open walnuts, eat the nuts, and Grandpa would tell stories.

The stories were great. There was the adventure that Grandpa took on a train to a carnival nearby, where a carnival barker was furious with him for continually winning the carnival game and threw him out. There were the countless stories of what it was like growing up as a boy on Michigan farmland. There were the stories he’d tell me about what my mom was like as a little girl.

I am so blessed that the memories that I have of my growing up years are positive.

As a youth pastor I am continually reminded of just how blessed I am. Unfortunately, many of the students that I work with don’t have pleasant memories of their homes, their relatives, or their childhood.

If God has blessed you with great memories, thank Him today. If not, resolve to give good memories to the people in your life.

Zachary and I managed to get one of those walnuts open. I’m glad. It’s going to be a good memory for him someday.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26