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Mack's Corner

This Week

Old Friends, Old Tires & Frozen Fix-A-Flat

I was leaving the church one day and there were 2 guys leaning on a pick-up truck right next to mine. They were construction workers, fixing something. One of them pointed at my truck and said "looks like you've got a flat tire…". There wasn't any "look like" about it, I had a flat tire … no big deal. I carried 4 or 5 cans of fix-a-flat in my truck all the time. We're always fixing flat tires on the parking lot on Sunday morning, so I buy the stuff by the case. The only problem was that it was 28 degrees outside and inside my truck, so all the cans were frozen. It says on the instructions to warm the can up in front of your car heater, so I did. I sat there for 30 min, cans in front of the heater, listening to the radio. One of them felt warm, so I got out, screwed it on to the tire and pushed the button. About 2 inches of the foam came out of the can and that was it, hardly enough to fill the tire. Needed more warming.  10 minutes later, screw it back on, push the button, foam goes everywhere except in the tire. The 2 inches of  the stuff I had gotten in the tire before had frozen in the tire stem and made the can backfired out the other end of the tube all over my hands. So I had to change the tire. I've changed a bunch of tires, but the first time you do it on a particular car it takes a little figuring out. Where's the jack?, how do you put it together?, where does it fit under the car?, how do you get the hub cap off?, how do you get the spare tire out? …. All cars are a little different. I've changed tires for people after church and asked "where's your jack?". They look at me like they're on a quiz show and I've just asked them the capitol of Upper Ubicastan. I know where the jack is, it's got about 15 parts. I got it together, jacked the truck up, 5 or 6 different people drive up, talk for a while, offer to help, talk some more, drive off. Of course the lugs were put on by a machine, so I was standing on top of the lug wrench to get them off. I got the tire off, finally figured out the spare and put it on, threw everything in the back, drove to the gas station to get the tire fixed. I was supposed to be somewhere 2 hours before that, so I was late. Before I started writing this stories like this every week, I would have been mad, windows would have been broken, innocent people would have been hurt. But now stuff like this happens and I think "this will be a great story, I wonder what else will happen? Maybe I'll be trampled by a wild Yak, wouldn't that be great!!!"

I was talking to an old friend at a men's breakfast one Saturday morning. He was 84 years old, I've known him for 30. Most people that are 84 want to talk about the past or their illness or how great things used to be. Not this guy. He wanted to talk about the future, he wanted to know what new plans I had, he wanted to tell me about all the things his children (all over 40) were doing and the plans they had and the things his grandchildren wanted to do. He had no time to go backwards or to re-live the past, he was waiting to see what would happen tomorrow, he knew what he had done in the past.

God's like that: He's like a teacher that's got so much to tell his students that he can't wait to get to school, or like a tour guide at the Grand Canyon that rushes everybody to the edge because she knows what they're going to see. God can't wait to show us all the things he has for us. Some people see life as a struggle, everything is hard, everything is an inconvenience, everything is not what they planned. Others see life as an adventure waiting to see what will happen next. I heard a guy once that said when his plans get messed up, he stops and says "I wonder if God wants me to do this, maybe my plans are wrong. (Now the good part) He flips it over and says "If God wants me to do this, let's wait and see what he will do to make it happen. He turns it in to an experiment, to watch God work, a flat tire turns in to an adventure, a missed appointment turns in to a lifelong relationship because they find out how hard you were trying to get there. Don't look for things to complain about, look for stories to tell …. It will change your life…God's got lots of stories ….

I wonder if I can find that Yak??? If I do I'll tell you all about it…


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

Meatballs… I don't usually make meat balls, but this sounded really good and really easy. Serve over buttery, garlicky pasta or rice with a salad and you've got a great meal.. I found this in the New York Times:

Steak 'N' Bacon Cheddar Meatballs

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, minced

Scant 8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 pound cooked steak, diced (leftover or pan fry a cheap steak)

1 pound ground beef, 80 percent lean

6 ounces sharp Cheddar coarsely grated

3 large eggs

1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs

2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper.

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and bacon, and cook, stirring, until bacon has browned and onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onion and bacon to a plate and cool in refrigerator.

2. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

3. In a large bowl, combine steak, ground beef, cooled bacon and onions, cheese, eggs, bread crumbs and salt, and mix lightly but thoroughly by hand. To taste for seasoning, heat a small skillet and fry a
chunk of the mixture until browned. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Roll mixture into golf-ball-size balls, packing firmly. Pack snugly into the prepared dish, making even rows to form a grid. Roast for 20 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. (The center should be at 150 degrees.)

5. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: About 2 dozen meatballs, 6 to 8 servings.


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll setup an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Except on Tuesdays they start at 9:15am.

See you this weekend. Bring a friend. It's going to be great!!!



Posted by Mack Oates at 10:17 AM