Okra. Is. Arrested.

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It’s been a few days since I have made an arrest. But I’ve never felt that it’s more appropriate to arrest a vegetable in my life. I was on it.

I didn’t have to think about the arrest. I didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons of the paperwork.

Nope. That okra, all the okra, needed to be arrested. Girl Person’s orders.

That’s right. Since we’ve been at the farm, we have eaten a lot of vegetables. A lot. And Girl Person has had fun picking out vegetables every day. It’s been very convenient. Very tasty, in fact.

Girl Person and Boy Person are vegetarians, actually. So they were in vegetable and fruit heaven here at the farm.

And since they love vegetables so much, they tried some that they normally wouldn’t have picked out. Because they were here. Because they were grown with love. Because they knew that they should like them. After all, you should never be mad at a vegetable.

But what happens when you are a vegetarian and you look upon a vegetable that you tried one time and you were resentful to it?

What happens when you go into a farmers market and you see that vegetable you are mad and resentful at too? And it is just sitting there looking all innocent with all the innocent vegetables?

It begs you to try it again. You had decided long ago that you would not give it another chance. But there you are. Willing to take it back. You take a chance. You take it home.

I saw that okra in the bag. I saw that okra come inside the RV. And I wondered…was she really doing this? Was she giving this vegetable that had scorned her taste buds so long ago another opportunity? She was.

She marinated the okra in vinegar and barbecue sauce. She watched videos on recipes. She looked at recipes. She decided to fry up the okra. And so she tried to cut it. And it was hard. Real hard. She asked Boy Person if okra was supposed to be that hard. He said it sounded like she was Paul Bunyan in the kitchen.

But since Girl Person prides herself on being a good cook, she cooked up the okra. She seasoned it. Sautéed it. Sprinkled some hope on it. And it was still hard. Real hard.

As Girl Person looked at her creation with a glass of wine, the okra looked more attractive. She was more hopeful. But when Boy Person took the first bite? She knew. This was a big mistake. She should have never gave okra another chance. There she was, standing in the kitchen with a big ol plate of bitter disaster.

She thought about what could have went wrong. Wasn’t there people who liked to eat okra? How could they eat this. I knew it was my turn to step up. Okra. Is. Arrested.

But as I started writing my arrest report, and the first one for okra, I posed a question. Did the okra that Girl Person bought ever stand a chance to be tasty? Was it fresh? Or was it older? Was it too big? Yes. And yes. You see, because Girl Person didn’t know how to pick out good okra to start with, how could she expect that it would be anything but tough?

Are we like that with individuals we invite into our lives? Do we expect people to change when they haven’t? Do we expect to make a perfect dish of happiness when it’s impossible? Who are we inviting into our hearts?

Everyone deserves a second chance…if they’ve changed. Old okra can’t change and some people can’t either.

Before you put in a lot of effort, make sure it’s worth it.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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The Watermelon

This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. You may think that you know a lot about yourself. You may know where you were born and where you grew up. You may know who your family is and where they were born too. But what do you really know? Is what you know as important as what you don’t know?

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Yes. Call me a deep thinker. But you don’t have to dig deep to find a watermelon.

Watermelons grow on top of the ground. They have vines and like to climb. But what the vines produce are heavy. So they like resting on the ground.

I know that watermelons are sweet. And juicy. Some have lots of seeds. Some don’t have seeds at all.

There are many different kinds of watermelons in all colors and shapes.

But one of the things I didn’t know, and there aren’t many of those things, is that a watermelon is technically both a vegetable and a fruit!

It is a fruit because it grows from a seed, it has a sweet flavor and refreshing qualities. It is a vegetable because it is harvested and cleared from the field like other vegetables and because it is a member of the same family as the cucumbers, pumpkin and squash.

I can only imagine how many watermelons grew up thinking that they knew everything about themselves.

And then they found out that they weren’t the label they thought they were. And I wondered if this made them feel different about themselves.

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We all want to identify. We want to feel included and proud. But what happens when you find out you aren’t the labels you put on yourself?

We all want to be special, and often, we put value on things that we shouldn’t. The variety that makes up our world is beautiful. And we are all varieties. There is no one exactly like us. Not even ones in our family.

When we only identify with one label or place or color, we take away what we can truly be because we aren’t concentrated on who we really are as an individual.

If a watermelon is put in a salad, it’s still a watermelon. If a watermelon had salt sprinkled on it, it’s still a watermelon. If a watermelon has sugar put on it, it’s still a watermelon. And that’s a good thing.

Don’t let labels change you. Let your own value come thru.

No matter what someone tells you that you are. The sweetest love should be the love we have for ourselves.

Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle

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