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Hope is Like Steamed Crabs - Waiting


Just the mention of the words, steamed crabs, brings back so many memories.


  • Sight – Watching my dad loading the crabs into the pot, covering them with Old Bay mixed with his very own secret spice mix, and then emptying the pot onto a newspaper-covered table.

  • Sound – The cracking shells as you pop open the top, cut through the body, or break the claws to expose that pure white, sweet meat that falls into your fingers before being shoveled into your mouth.

  • Smell – In my book, the smell of steamed crabs is one of the most intoxicating aromas in all the world.


If you’re not from Baltimore, then your similar memories might be tied to Thanksgiving. The turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, and your traditional side dishes bring back memories of family, friends, and celebration.



My memories of steamed crabs, or yours about a turkey dinner have many things in common. There is nothing instant about either one. They both take:


  • Shopping – you never have everything you need; you always have to go out and get stuff.

  • Work – special effort and time are needed.

  • Preparation – these are special skills you need to put everything together.

  • Time – time to shop, prepare, cook, and bring it to the table


Hope is like steamed crabs. It doesn’t happen in a moment, it takes time. Sometimes it feels like it takes forever. But the result is well worth the waiting.


In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) sends Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman) a letter, after so many years of despair, that ends with these powerful words.


Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.(1)


So remember, hope is just like steamed crabs.


Tomorrow – there is another way that hope is just like steamed crabs.


Can you guess how?


(1) https://youtu.be/DAYXlC59yWs?t=275

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