MELVIN’ S MONTHLY MOMENTS
FOR ALL THE FATHERS IN OUR LIVES
Every June, we recognize fathers with a day dedicated just to them— Father’s Day. My father died nearly 30 years ago, but as I grow older, there are times when I look in the mirror and see a strong resemblance to him. I find that I am like him in many other ways, as well. I am an early riser, I am not a big drinker, and I have a strong work ethic. I have been fortunate in my life to have many father- figures. My brother, Dennis, for instance, is 12 years older than me. In many ways, he has always been a steady hand and a guiding influence. He has always been a source of encouragement and believed in me. Anyone would be blessed to have a Dennis Upchurch in their lives. More recently, one of the strongest influences in my life has been my pastor, Father Muller. This year Father Muller will turn 89, but he is still as active as ever. There are over 3,000 members in our church, and somehow, he manages to know them all by name. He is wise, knowledgeable, and a very good shepherd for his sheep.
He also has a healthy sense of humor. One time he was on the church elevator with several women, and he told them he would need to know their individual weights to make sure the elevator was safe. He said it grew very quiet on the elevator and very uncomfortable for the ladies — until he told them he was joking. Last Christmas, it seemed to take him forever to enter the church. When he finally arrived, he asked for forgiveness. He said he got delayed speaking to several people as he entered. Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “Remember, I haven’t seen some of these people since Easter!”We call them “Chreasters”— those folks that only go to church for Easter and Christmas. Father Muller also has certain sayings that he uses frequently to encourage and teach us. I call them “Father Mullerisms.”The following are some of my favorites:
My dad in uniform during WWII
For all the fathers out there, here’s an Irish blessing:
May God be with you and bless you, May you see your children’s children. May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward. May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
“We are all rushing toward eternity, and what we do now determines how we will spend it.”
“God will never give you heaven on earth.”
“The saints were not saints because they were perfect; they were saints because they kept trying.”
My personal favorite is that God always answers prayers. His answer is always one of the following responses:
Happy Father’s Day!
I have something better
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The Sweet History of National Doughnut Day
Get ready to treat yourself because June 5 is National Doughnut Day! Contrary to popular belief, National Doughnut Day wasn’t created as an excuse for Americans to eat more doughnuts. The celebration was actually started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor “Doughnut Lassies,” the women who served doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines during WorldWar I. The Salvation Army still celebrates National Doughnut Day by delivering doughnuts to veterans across the country. The earliest version of the doughnut is believed to have come to North America with Dutch settlers in the 17th century. The Dutch brought with them balls of fried, sweetened dough called olykoeks , which translates to “oily cakes.”Though they were tasty, we don’t think many people would be eager to pick up a dozen oily cakes for the office. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the word “doughnut”was coined in the 19th century by a woman named Elizabeth Gregory. Her son, Handon Gregory, was a New England ship captain. She began making deep-fried dough treats with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind for her son and his crew. She would put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center of the pastry where the dough might not cook through, so she called her creation “doughnuts.”
THE BEST WAYS TO HELP LOCAL NONPROFITS IN CHALLENGING TIMES
Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways you can help these important entities, even when you don’t have resources to spare right now. Donate While many people donate generously during the holiday season, remember that nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most.
Handon Gregory also gets some credit for making doughnuts recognizable: He was the one who first put the hole in the doughnuts, though the exact reason is unclear. Some say it was to use fewer
Volunteer In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. Advocate Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly
ingredients, while others suggest he created the hole by accident
after skewering the pastry on the spokes of the ship’s wheel when he needed to steer with both hands during a storm.
Whatever the reason, that hole is still part of a classic doughnut to this day.
There are lots of ways to celebrate National
Doughnut Day. Recognize the history of the holiday by donating to the Salvation Army or by sending a box of doughnuts to a veteran in your life. You can also order from your favorite local doughnut shop or fry up some homemade doughnuts with your family. There’s a pretty great recipe at SallysBakingAddiction.com/how-to-make-
boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.
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SUPER BEAGLES AND JUMPING LLAMAS Guinness World Records’ Most Amazing Animals
Hearing about someone who has claimed a Guinness World Record is pretty cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? When animals make world records. Here are a few amazing animals who hold some really cool records. Caspa, the Amazing Jumping Llama Sue Williams is an animal trainer and behaviorist who specializes in dogs. One day, she was working on agility training with her dogs when she noticed her llama,
Caspa, watching them. After a little time and training, Williams discovered that Caspa loved jumping, too. In 2015, Caspa cleared a bar set at 3 feet, 8 1/2 inches. He jumped right into the world record for “highest bar jump cleared by a llama.”
“He’s a complete diva,” says Williams. “So, if there are people there to show off in front of, that’s when he’s at his ultimate best.”
Didga, a Very Tricky Kitty Anyone who says cats can’t learn tricks hasn’t met Didga. In 2016, Didga, with help from her human, Robert Dollwet, claimed a world record by performing 20 different tricks in 60 seconds. Her routine started with the classics, like sitting and giving high-fives, and culminated in riding a skateboard while hopping over a low bar. Dollwet told Guinness World Records that training Didga took a lot of time and patience and that he was so proud of his clever cat. Purin, the Beagle Who Holds 3 Guinness World Records Nicknamed “The Super Beagle,” Purin scored her first title in 2015 for her amazing goalkeeping skills. The beagle “saved” 14 mini soccer balls thrown by her human, Makoto Kumagai, in one minute. A year later, Purin claimed another record when she became the “fastest dog on a ball” by traveling 10 meters in 10.39 seconds while balancing on a ball. Not long after, Purin and Kumagai set the record for “most skips by a dog and a person in one minute — single rope” with 58 skips. Talk about super!
You can find videos of all these amazing record holders and more at GuinnessWorldRecords.com .
GRILLED BASIL CHICKEN AND TOMATOES
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
You can’t go wrong with grilled chicken and tomatoes on a warm summer’s evening. It’s a simple recipe that packs a flavor punch.
For marinade: In blender, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and basil. Cut 2 tomatoes into quarters and add to mixture. Cover and process until blended. Halve remaining tomatoes for grilling. In bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat grill to about 350–400 F. Lightly oil grates. Grill chicken until internal
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
temperature reads 165 F, about 4–6 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until lightly browned, about 2–4 minutes per side. Discard remaining marinade. Serve chicken and tomatoes with reserved marinade.
8 Roma tomatoes
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
Solution on Page 4
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For All the Fathers
Help Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times A Day to Honor Doughnut Lassies 5 World Records Broken by Animals Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes 3 Enriching Staycation Ideas
TURN YOUR VACATION INTO A STAYCATION 3 Ways to Replace a Canceled Vacation
Vacations provide opportunities for families to spend time together in a relaxed environment, get away from the routines of everyday life, and create meaningful memories. If you’ve recently had to cancel a trip but still want to create the experience of a vacation for your family, then a staycation is just what you need. TransformYour Backyard When you’re trying to recreate a vacation, the outdoor areas of your home present a variety of possibilities. You can turn a sandbox into a relaxing beach, complete with a kiddie pool “ocean.” If you have trees, then set up a zip line or obstacle course. You can even stimulate summer brains with a scavenger hunt around the backyard with hidden clues in the dirt or bushes. The ultimate prize can be something you would have purchased on your original vacation, like a souvenir you can find online. Create a ‘Family Museum’ Many vacations include an educational aspect in order to enrich our understanding of the place we’re visiting, and museums are a great way to accomplish that. If you’re confined to the house, then teach your kids about your own knowledge and interests and encourage them to get creative and make their own contributions, too. Have everyone create art, take photos, or write about their prized possessions. Display these masterpieces around your home and let their creators take you on a tour. Learning more about one another builds meaningful bonds.
Bring Your Trip Home You probably chose your original vacation destination in order to experience new and different cultures and activities. But just because you’re no longer traveling to that location doesn’t mean you can’t experience some of what it has to offer! Research popular local cuisine, activities, and history of the area, then create ways to experience them with your family. Cook a traditional meal, recreate a scenic location through photographs, or share a story about local lore and history. Your changed plans will no longer feel like a missed opportunity. Staying at home doesn’t mean your family can’t have the fun of a vacation. All it takes is a little creativity and innovation to build an experience that will bring your family closer together.
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