I woke up this morning thinking of crab, and that always makes me think of John Watson. This post was written about four years ago after one of our crabbing trips. Maybe I’ll just post this every day until he gets the hint.

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 too short, or spit, 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 puddle 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 and Tera 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. Angel payback, I’m thinking. I laughed nervously, 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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