Wednesday, August 06, 2008


From the time I was a child, I've been aware of "girly" behavior. I don't think mannish behavior looks good on a woman. So you'll never find me sitting backwards on a chair with one leg slung left and one leg slung right. I wouldn't crop my hair short, or wear clothes that could go either way.

And the only reason I'm telling you that is because you need to know the power of crab. Put a plate of crab in front of me, and I forget all about girly behavior. Sleeves are for wiping; fingers for dipping; silverware nothing but optional.

We went crabbing yesterday with people so lovely that in ten years of knowing them, I've yet to spot a single flaw. I've long believed they're really angels masquerading as humans. I've told them my suspicions, to which they just laugh nervously. But what else would you expect compromised agents to do? No one else has caught on. One day, however, all the earth will know that John, Laurie, and Elaina Watson (now Elaina Scougale) are angels. (Scotty, their son, is a real boy. I'm not sure how that worked out).

We rose early and took John's boat out. I can't tell you where. Even angels like to keep their best crab-hunting grounds secret. Let's say it was somewhere in the neighborhood of Camano Island. Let's say it was near a green buoy. Let's not say anything more.

Blue sky, bluer Puget Sound waves, and just enough breeze to ward off sweat. Laurie brought perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed in perfect, uncut rectangles in the very bag the bread came in. Along with that we had peaches from Costco, ice cold water, and little bags of Cheetohs. I'd brought along bags of raw nuts, but you can probably see the end from here. Cheetohs trump raw nuts any day of the week.

John and Dave loaded all six traps with turkey legs while Laurie, Tera and I led cheers from our perching spots. After dropping the traps in a long, bobbing line, John taught Tera how to drive the boat. Somehow, I felt relaxed enough while she bounced us along Puget Sound that I managed to knit several rows of a black, baby Alpaca wool scarf.

We ate and laughed and told each other stories. We talked about church, and God, and how good He is to have brought us all together. And in between all that, we (meaning the men) snagged 15 Dungeness and 3 Red Rock crab.

In really good stories, you don't have to follow the main character while she sorts through junk mail or maneuvers her car back and forth into a parking space or brushes her teeth. You skip all those boring life details and go right to the good stuff. So I won't tell you about emptying out the boat, or snapping the tarp back into place, or driving home, or cleaning all those crab. Let's just go to the table.

There was butter. Lots and lots and lots of butter, melted just so, with a layer of translucent yellow floating over an opaque collection of creamy, salty loveliness. I knew going in that some of that deliciousness would end up on me; sure enough, I wore a splatter or two when I arrived at church later.

I'd brought along marinated T-Bone steaks from our own home-grown cow. While the steaks cooked, I sauteed mushrooms in butter, garlic, worchestershire and sherry. Laurie made corn-on-the-cob; John handled the crab. Dave watched expectantly.

The table bowed in the middle under all that bounty. John, knowing that crab is the thing of my daydreams, teased that he was going to pray a long, long time--just to make me wait. I laughed nervously (angel payback, I'm thinking), but then, looking at the faces I love so much and the abundance of God's provision, it occurred to me that we could pray for a half an hour straight without really making much of a dent at all.

How does one begin to say thank You for a mountain of blessing?

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12 Comment:

At 8/07/2008 10:19 PM, Blogger Dorci Harris had this to say ...

I sometimes imagine the Lord just before He is about to present us with a gift that He has so personally and lovingly prepared for us. I imagine an eager and expectant grin, just like a parent has on Christmas morning just before their beloved child opens that very special something that you have scraped and saved and planned for and purchased long ago and have waited until just this moment just to see your child's eyes light up the moment the tears in the wrapping paper reveal its contents.

I imagine God being more excited to give us His gifts than even we are to receive them. He so loves to bless us.

(And p.s., aren't those alpacas just the cutest things in the whole wide world?)

At 8/07/2008 11:01 PM, Blogger God's Girl had this to say ...

Hi! I pray that God continues to pour His blessings out on you. I, too, am a Calvary Chapel Pastor's wife and I too struggles with infertility for 14 years. We now have a beautiful daughter that we adopted from Russia.

God is so good! I just thought I would stop in to say hello!

At 8/08/2008 8:29 AM, Blogger Shannon had this to say ...

Dorci, I think you're right. I think of all the times He brought me something I didn't even ask for--something He knew would delight me. None of us are worthy of that, but it doesn't stop Him.

Hi GG! I'm so glad you came by. It's always nice to meet another PW--and a CCPW to boot. :)

Congratulations on your daughter!

At 8/08/2008 5:41 PM, Blogger Laurie had this to say ...

Shannon, I've read your blog and you relate stories so well, that it makes me pensive (dreamily or wistfully thoughtful), about something? UMMM, there goes another piece! Guess what I'm doing?


At 8/08/2008 11:27 PM, Blogger Shannon had this to say ...

I know exactly what you're doing, you pensive crab-scarfer you!

Thanks so much, John (and Laurie :) for a very fun day. It couldn't have been more perfect.

We sure love you guys. :)

At 8/10/2008 10:59 PM, Blogger *~Puzzle~* had this to say ...

It really sounds like you love crab. I've never actually tried it. But I will definately put it on my list of things to do. God bless you!

At 8/11/2008 11:36 AM, Blogger allan had this to say ...

I'm sitting here crabless and staring at a future without crab. So I come here and live vicariously through your article wondering where I went wrong!

I have heard one can reach a state of nirvana with a meal like what is described here! Alas, one can dream, can't they? God bless!!

At 8/12/2008 9:06 AM, Blogger Shannon had this to say ...

Puzzle ... make it happen. I mean it. You won't be sorry! :)

Allan, you're breaking my heart. A future without crab? But ... wait a minute. You're minutes from the ocean. Find a pot, find a pier ... then write back and tell me how it was. :)

At 8/12/2008 9:06 AM, Blogger Shannon had this to say ...

Puzzle ... make it happen. I mean it. You won't be sorry! :)

Allan, you're breaking my heart. A future without crab? But ... wait a minute. You're minutes from the ocean. Find a pot, find a pier ... then write back and tell me how it was. :)

At 8/12/2008 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Find a pot, find a pier..... I can't even swim!

Maybe my church has a crab ministry. After all, we're in Huntington Beach! I'll let my Pastor know of your great idea!

Alas, truth be told, I've lost my hips. I shouldn't punish myself this way. Weight Watchers beckons.... I won't even look at the chili article on my way out!

At 8/12/2008 3:00 PM, Blogger Shannon had this to say ...

Wise man. :) The crab itself doesn't stick to your ribs (or anywhere else)--it's the butter. All that butter. That delicious, salty, lip-smacking butter.

I think I'd eat a piece of cardboard if it had enough butter on it.

At 8/12/2008 6:27 PM, Blogger suzzanne had this to say ...

shanny, the talk of crab and butter made me hungry... the talk of john and laurie made me tear up. i agree, they ARE angels... all three of them. maybe scotty is still in training?


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