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  • Writer's pictureRogene "Jeannie" McPherson, Country Notebook

Keeping the Commandments

Country Notebook

By Rogene "Jeannie" McPherson


Every ten seconds I can see one or more of my grandchildren. The photo currently on display is my youngest granddaughter wearing her heart-shaped sunglasses showing off her beautiful smile. Makes my day every time I see this photo.  The next slide is my son with my oldest grandson at a Royals game. Before the electronic screen completes a full cycle, each child will have been featured as an infant, in Halloween costumes, on the playground, or at the farm. I can’t keep them from growing up, but I can keep them in my thoughts and memories by honoring family, second only to God.  


One of my summer goals is to spend a few hours with each child individually and then having lunch or dinner together. The first outing with grandma involved fabric shopping for a granddaughter learning to sew. The second was with another granddaughter and our getting a manicure and pedicure, then dinner together at her favorite Mexican restaurant. Other trips in the planning stages include baseball card shopping, purchasing clothes for a new school year, a children’s farmstead in the city, glamour photos and so on.  


On the way to the nail salon, I apologized to my six year old granddaughter for my car being dirty. Out of the mouth of babes, I hear, “Yes, grandma, it is dirty.” She didn’t ask what I planned to do about it, but the message was clear, “clean your car.” 


The following Sunday, after attending church, I had planned to rest like the fourth commandment says, Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Most of the ten commandments I keep, but I’ve always had trouble with the Sabbath one and number ten, the one about coveting your neighbor’s stuff, especially when it comes to having a newer car. My 2012 sedan has over 210,000 miles on the odometer and a front fender held together by bolts and wire. Thanks to an area mechanic shop that I visit every three to four thousand miles for routine tune-ups, it still gets me safely to my designations including visiting my grandchildren in person.  


As I looked at the dog hair on the seats, floor and everywhere else, I reasoned with my Creator that I was less likely to covet a new car if I spent some quality time cleaning the one He had graciously kept running long after I made the last payment. Also since I had been somewhat commanded by my granddaughter to take better care of my car, I asked forgiveness in cleaning the interior on a Sunday. After all, He had provided a cool afternoon, not common this time of the year. 


Four hours later, I had to work at not letting pride overtake me. Though not a commandment, numerous verses in the Bible warn against pride and its consequences. With the help of a shop vacuum, disinfectant for germs, paper and cloth towels, and a lint remover with sticky tape, my car looked the best it had for years. The sticky tape works well on getting dog hair the vacuum just won’t pick up. 


In thankfulness for the energy to do the physical work of bending, stretching and squeezing my hands to retrieve the 76 cents in change I located under one of the seats, I kept the television off and went to bed early. I was hoping it might be some retribution for my not taking a nap earlier in the day. I also texted my son to tell my granddaughter I had cleaned my car. Though she had moved on to more important concerns of her little life, I modeled that her opinion was very important to me. 


By spending time with my grandchildren one-on-one, I hope they know how much I honor the love shared between us.  MK will more likely remember things like the butterfly painted over her nail polish and how we ate fried ice cream, but I’ll not forget sharing smiles and giggles together.


God, can we extend commandment five about honoring our mother and father to include grandchildren? Thanks, I think you will agree. 


Rogene “Jeannie” McPherson, from the Centerville area, is a regular contributor to the Linn County Journal. Her latest book Posts from the Country, Adventures in Rural Living is available online in both virtual and printed editions. Copies are on the shelves at all Linn County libraries.

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