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Donna Flood
Warfare Without a General

"Well now, say, my Girl!" Her Dad could open conversation with this phrase and Tania knew there was forth coming statements she might or might not understand. It was just his way.

"You know, of course, your battle is not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities."

The young woman wasn't totally ignorant. She did have some advantage as to education. However, this statement was something of a mystery to her. She was young, full of her life, and although, she was, indeed, here for advice she didn't feel the quote her father used was really helpful to her.

It would not be until many years later, and the total impact of the statement came to rest on her shoulder as something akin to a whispered murmur in her ear. As the battle lines were drawn so too were the wishes to rise to that fight with no cowardice. Seared into her mind from a much earlier time the key words, "powers and principalities."

And she knew now, certainly, the battle saw her to be at a great disadvantage.

But, on the other hand, the advantage of military school structure, pioneering grandparents against all odds, and Native American ways, Tania was still examining her position. What she saw wasn't encouraging. Still and all, like the lover of Ryan's daughter she was making an effort to hold to strong regimens and to military-like discipline. This in the last decade had become difficult and almost impossible.

What with the new thinking of the major principalities.

The cost of expensive furniture wasn't acceptable. There were medical, dental, housing, utilities, food and clothing to be furnished for a family. Ah, here were the powers.

The business of establishing a base, she knew was of the utmost importance. There must be a base from which to center communication, some comfort, and familiar surroundings for security, giving her family a time to regroup and gather themselves together for a new daily fight as soon as the sun arose in the east on another day. Yes indeed, these were the powers she was up against in order to go to war. They stood in readiness to rip everything apart if one or the other slipped up and flanked her on one side or the other, be it, utilities to give warmth, food to sustain, clothing for all that it wins, and, of course, most needed, food. Still, just those things together did not offer enough.

Someone in the family tossed a small, low, chest of drawers. As quick as a wink that little unassuming bit of junk was captured. "You will become my stash for this table's uniform." Tania spoke to the inanimate object.

A coat of black latex paint rendered the piece elegant. Replaced pulls with gold brass ones, and a trimming of the thing with another tough gold paint made the little Cinderella like piece of furniture worthy of attending the ball in the dining room. Every color of knit tablecloths from dollar bargain yardage filled the drawers. Some smaller drawers were filled with cloth table napkins, and these were not used that often. Paper towels folded in a special way served. Different color place mats were cut to the proper size from long bright colored rubber like runners intended to line shelves and they too were set in a drawer of their own.

Above the new piece of furniture a row of boards set upon "L" braces. This is where elegant expensive "looking" glassware with crystal stems stand. Cheap plates but of crystal, cups, soup bowls are there too and their sparkle made them look rich. If they are reminiscent of the depression glass coming through oatmeal boxes in that equally tough time, so much the better. The children today know nothing of that time. Tania, thought about it and was reminded of her own grandmother's table when she was a child.

Who knew that cornbread and milk served upon such a background was anything but the most wonderful of menus? If it had of been served on a bare table, no napkins, and certainly no crystal wouldn't it have been just that, a meager serving of bread and milk?

Today, there is more than cornbread and milk, certainly. However, the world away from the fires of the hearth sometimes renders these loved persons of our family, drawn and sad looking. So, the food for the spirit becomes more of the greater need. If a bit of crystal and a humble prayer offering a wish to give thanks for those beautiful things of creation can restore a shine to our loved ones' eyes and a glow to the skin of their face, well then, this small amount of planned organization is very easy and worthwhile.

As unbalanced this warfare seems to be in our own mind when we look up to those "powers and principalities," maybe too, we can remember, "there is no power, or principality greater than that of love."

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