The Dutch Oven Story

   Now I have told this story to many of you but I felt it was a story I wanted to share with everyone, especially this week. It has been exactly 10 months since our angel Shannon has been gone, and this story is thank her for her patience with me.

   When Shannon passed away, I had so much help and support from family and friends that I wanted to get everyone together to thank them. I decided that I would invite everyone over for a nice Dutch oven meal and we could all reminisce about how special Shannon was to all of us. Since her birthday is August 13, I decided to have it on the Saturday following her birthday.

   “I’m going to go get a big, 16” Dutch oven for this party” I thought to myself. Now it is an important detail that since Shannon passed away, I have found myself thinking, “Is this what Shannon would want?” or “Would this put a smile on Shannon’s face?” before I make any decisions. I remember when I thought about getting the 16” Dutch oven, Shannon would have simply asked “Don’t you already have enough Dutch ovens?” Now when Shannon was alive and would have asked that same question my response would have been a bratty one of “Fine, I won’t get the Dutch oven.” Then I would have pouted about it for at least a day.

   I went to CAL Ranch to check out their Dutch ovens. There it was: a 16” Lodge Dutch oven for $90. “This is just what I’m looking for” I thought to myself.” Now this is another example of me  talking to myself only this time, inside my head. “Don’t you already have 5 Dutch ovens?” I asked myself. “Yes” was my sheepish reply. “Didn’t your sister tell you she could bring some Dutch ovens if you need them?” was the next question. Again “Yes” was the reply with a little guilt thrown in. “Are you going to get $90 worth of use out of this Dutch oven?” was the last question I asked myself. “Probably not” was the obvious and truthful answer. So I left CAL Ranch without a Dutch oven!

   When I tell this story, I always get a laugh, but it has made me remember how many times Shannon would simply try to be a voice of reason (which she was all the time) and I would be a brat about it. So the lesson I am passing on is  there is no “BIGGEST BRAT” trophy or award. If there was, I would have a house full of them. Shannon, I just want to thank you for putting up with the times I acted like a brat, and for still being my voice of reason. You help guide me every day and I am so grateful for that.

   The happy conclusion is that I had told this story to my co-worker Doug Johnston, and last Christmas Eve when I left to go home, there was a 16” Dutch oven in my vehicle he bought for me. Thank you Doug, you’ve got my back and everything. (He is a Napoleon Dynamite fan as well!)

   Shannon, I am so grateful for all of the great times we had together and I LOVE and MISS you.