POW WOWS and Midnight Snacks!

“Time for our Pow Wow!” Dad said. That meant we were to be ready to go to the south yard of 314 South 14th, and sit in a circle in the grass. It wasn’t always grass – but a bed of stickers that took several years to eradicate. We looked forward to Pow Wow’s. This was a time of family discussion of important items of being ‘family’.

Once we discussed whether Dad could buy a nickel Coca Cola weekly at the hospital as he walked his route. The expenditure in 1935 was enormous and entered into the ledger Mom kept. We discussed allowances in 1938. Receiving allowances were dependent upon doing chores – listed on a chart and marked each day. Feed the chickens, gather the eggs, wash the dishes, clean our rooms/make beds daily.

During one Pow Wow (since we lived in Oklahoma, it seemed appropriate) we discussed Dad leaving on the train for an appendectomy surgery in Topeka, KS. My parents were sad during the discussion. They wanted all of us to know just what was happening and included us in the planning. Another discussion centered around Grosmom Siemens (Emilie Brunn Siemens). She would be coming to stay with us and we would take care of her. She would stay in my room. The preparations included dividing Dad and Mom’s huge bedroom, and I would stay in half of it.

Her coming changed our lives to some extent and enriched our lives. When Grosmom fell into a coma in August, my Uncle Johnnie and Aunt Matilda came to help. Both couples were tired and left me watching for a change in breathing. At 12 years of age, I remember being apprehensive, but this was my beloved Grosmom. The day was oppressive with heat, Dad hung old blankets dripping with water at the windows with a fan to cool the room. When Grosmom’s breathing changed, and I raced to the basement to notify Mom and Dad. Grosmom died soon after. I didn’t cry then, or at the funeral. But later, during our Pow Wow, under a starlit August sky, we talked about Grosmom. It was then I began to grieve her death.

Pow Wow’s were the time that we joined together as a family. No matter how many chigger bites we acquired in the burmuda grass, we loved being family. Once Mom taught us how to stand, back to the group and twist our feet and legs so we faced the group and were in a ‘pow-wow’ sit. This is the time that our memorized portions of the scripture were recited. This was a time of thankfulness, a time of praise, a time of appreciation, a time of self-evaluation.

As time went on, we decided to have a snack. They were after the Pow Wow. The three of us had our assignments – I made fudge, Jim made popcorn and Gene made lemonade. That is the sweet and sour of it. When sugar rationing during WW II came, that put a damper on our Midnight Snacks. So named, because it was dark, not because it was midnight!

Now our times of togetherness here on this earth are no more. Dad, Mom and Jim have left Gene and me. Gene and I are separated by almost 2000 miles and 27 hours. However, Gene and I belong to a larger family – the Family of God. Not only do we enjoy our relationship with our spiritual family, but we have discussions with our Father in Heaven as we pray and praise Him. As we study His Word, we find encouragement and signposts of God’s will for our lives. We learned about family and family relationships during Pow Wow’s, and we have learned how precious it is to a part of a larger Christian family that encircles the globe.

Jesus taught his disciples and taught them for three years. During that time they spent much time together, just like a family. They had a sense of belonging.

In John 14 (Message), Jesus says, “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

28“You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.

We all want to belong. We want companionship. We want the sense of being loved, just as we felt in the Pow Wow’s we feel in Jesus.

I’ve got the blessing of belonging to Jesus
I’ve got the blessing of belonging to Him
I’ve got the blessing of belonging to Jesus
I’ve got the blessing, I’ve got the blessing
I’ve got the blessing of belonging to Him.

The blessing of belonging covers me!
I’ve got the blessing of love, joy peace
I’ve got the blessing of falling on my knees
I’ve got the blessing of trust, faith increased
I’ve got the blessing of life’s sweet, sweet release!

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