Chuck Terrill: Dog houses and kitchens

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I must be in trouble again.

I hear Mrs. Preacher in the kitchen banging and clanging her pots and pans around. That's how I know that it is serious. When I am in the doghouse, she bakes.

Married folks settle their spats in a variety of ways. Normal ways. We lived downstairs from a couple, once, who could argue loudly well past midnight. Others might use the silent treatment and say nothing to each other at all. Some men pout and some women cry when arguments are underway. None of those are true in the Terrill household. When my wife is angry, she bakes.

Once, as a newlywed, when she was “cookin' mad” I peeked into the kitchen. I had thought I would go in and try to make things better. I changed my mind! She body slammed a big batch of dough on the counter. She slapped it all around the edges and then punched in its middle. Hard! She threw flour on the counter top, and then picked it up, turned it over, and body slammed it again, in a way that would make Hulk Hogan cringe.

After she beat it up real good, she pinched a chunk and twisted it off in a way that made me envision the Pillsbury Doughboy losing an ear. I retreated quietly to the living room.

I hate it when she bakes like that. I wish we could just get it over with. We should do something normal, like argue. But no! She has to retreat to the kitchen, and hours later, come in and thrust a steaming hot, homemade, cinnamon roll under my nose. What a predicament! What are you to do when you are madder than blue blazes and you have a delicious, gooey, homemade cinnamon roll under your nose?

“I'll show her. I'm tough. I don't have to eat her stinking cinnamon roll,” I say to myself as I push it aside and watch the butter melting into the roll.

“What's the use?” I say five minutes later after polishing off the last of it. “I love the woman. She may not fight fair, but she is an awfully good cook.” I get up and go into her kitchen to tell her so. We eat another cinnamon roll together, and share a cup of coffee. Miraculously, the world seems to be right again.

So, if you run into us at the grocery store, and our cart is full of baking stuff, and you think it looks like I am putting on a little weight, well, as Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

“If your enemy is hungry feed him, and if he is thirsty give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap burning coals upon his head” (Romans 12.20).

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.