Monday, December 8, 2008


I recently wanted to try a new recipe for brisket which included a marinade using red wine. I had never purchased a bottle of wine nor any other alcoholic beverage. Brian is also a teetotaler and I didn't know what he would say when I asked about stopping at the country liquor store which we pass twice weekly on our way to Peacock for Sunday services and Wednesday night prayer meeting. But he agreed. I wrote down the kind of wine I needed and we left a few minutes early for prayer meeting. As we approached the store, Brian stopped far short, actually still on the shoulder of the highway-not even in the parking lot. He didn't want any of our parishioners to see their preacher's vehicle at the beer joint and felt that if he was seen, he could just drive off and get me later. I protested but slowly got out of the pickup and walked (hiked) to the store. I went inside and began to look for the wine, trying to appear a likely shopper. The owner saw me and probably noticed I was a little awkward and he kindly pointed me in the right direction. I was looking at the wines and from behind me came, "You've got to get to church." I nervously continued to read the labels. Shortly it came again, "You've got to get to church." I cut my eyes toward the voice to see who had caught me in the beer joint. I wasn't really worried about one of our fellow Baptists spying me because I understand that Baptists can't recognize one another in beer joints. And sure enough, it wasn't. It was Pheonix, the parrot. And she was talking to me. I smiled at her, grabbed my bottle of wine, and went to the counter. I told the owner what she said to me and he told me about Phoenix, who has a pretty good vocabulary. I think he said he has owned her about 6 years and she was several years old when she came to him. I strolled back to the pickup and we continued on to prayer meeting. The next weekend, we enjoyed the brisket marinaded in the red wine. On a subsequent Wednesday night, I asked Brian to stop again and let me take pictures of Phoenix. Judge, the owner, kindly allowed us to take pictures of his bird.
We enjoyed the visit. "Be careful," Phoenix called as we were leaving. Below you can see this very pretty and smart parrot.

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