Pineapples symbolize hospitality for many

Pineapples symbolize hospitality for many

Two unexpected gifts arrived. The first came from a lady with whom I attended high school but hadn’t seen in many years. Katherine and I lost touch when I moved out of state. We recently reconnected by a chance encounter at a local art event. When she found out I would be downtown for a book signing, she attended with a small bag tied with a bright blue, polka-dotted ribbon.

“I wanted you to have this,” she said. “Sorry I can’t stay longer. Groceries are in the car.” She hugged me and hustled away to other errands.

Her generosity touched me. Not only did she support me purchasing the new novel, but she also gave me a present. Couldn’t wait to see what was inside. I unwrapped tissue to see a cheerful yellow cover titled “Cooking with Geraldine.”

Inside Katherine had written: “I wanted to gift you with one of my mom’s cookbooks. Before she passed away, she put this together.”

This collection of favorite family recipes touched my heart. I imagined the hours spent in the kitchen with laughter as everyone crowded around to work. From crab cakes to apple-walnut cobbler, Katherine’s mom ladled love into every dish.

What an amazing legacy to cherish! Each family member who serves an appetizer or entrée calls forth the memory of a woman who showed her caring with delicious meals. As I studied the recipe for grilled pineapple pork chops, someone knocked on the front door.

“Here, this is for you,” my neighbor Caroline said.

She handed over a prickly, ripe pineapple just cut from her yard. In Florida, these plants grow from a top, so you get two for one. Fresh fruit, plus the ability to grown another to harvest in two years.

I thanked her and watched her scurry up the hill to the sidewalk where her husband Brian waited with their Chihuahuas. My heart felt full. What an amazing thing to be the recipient of such kindness. Nurturing a plant for two whole years, only to give away the sweet fruit? How generous.

Setting the pineapple on the kitchen counter beside the new cookbook, I thanked God for the gifts of love He showered on me through others. I reflected on how Geraldine’s cookbook recorded affection on every page.

What legacy am I leaving?

Tomorrow is a new opportunity to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary with a generous spirit.

Today’s Bible verse:

“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13: 1-2 NIV).

Interesting article about pineapple history:

“How the Pineapple Became the Ultimate Symbol of Hospitality” Beth McKibben, July 22, 2021