I don't know who gave me my first taste of bread, but I must have liked it.
Bread and I have been lifelong friends, although right now we are enduring a time of separation. We still see each other. I just don't let it pass my lips.
I gave up bread this year for Lent. At this writing, I am four weeks into a bread-free period in my life.
At the end of his 40 days in the wilderness, the devil tried unsuccessfully to convince Jesus to turn rocks into bread. When Easter gets here, I'm going to turn a couple of dollars into a loaf of bread.
Traditionally, I am a sandwich eater. It wasn't intentional, but I'm also into a four-week stint without mayonnaise. For me, mayo is only good with bread. I haven't opened a jar and enjoyed a spoonful, although I did open a peanut butter jar and had a nice spoonful of that.
I spent the night recently at a bed-and-breakfast inn. I forgot to tell the owner that I wasn't eating bread. She brought out some beautiful cathead biscuits. I just put one in my pocket to conceal my bread-eating fast. There is some bird or other creature that enjoyed a beautiful biscuit as I drove down the country road.
Last week, I went to lunch with a friend of mine and they brought out the most beautiful looking yeast rolls and cornbread. I watch him enjoy them with lots of creamy butter. It wasn't easy.
I didn't grow up with the Lenten tradition. We just celebrated Easter Sunday and that was that. My friend and pastor, Bill Coates, introduced me to all this Lent business. Last year, I got one of those tape rollers and gave up lint for Lent.
I was thinking about Bill the other day and remembered when we traveled together to New York City. I took him to the "Late Show with David Letterman." We also ate lunch at this wonderful Italian restaurant in Little Italy. What did they serve us? Italian bread and olive oil. My preacher said we were good enough friends to double dip in the olive oil.
Now, here I am on the wagon for bread and where is he? He and a group of folks are in Italy, the real one, and they are no doubt enjoying bread and olive oil.
If you are a sandwich eater, finding substitute goods is tough. I have had enough chicken tenders and chicken nuggets to last me until Easter 2013. The other day, I bought a hot dog, minus bun, off of one of those convenience store rollers. It wasn't the same.
During the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, he didn't eat anything, according to the Scriptures. I know there are folks who go on a complete fast. I guess that hot dog wasn't so bad after all.
This all comes to an end on Easter Sunday. I am going to have a delicious breakfast of toast and something else. If the toaster isn't fast enough, I may just reach into the bag and grab me a delicious slice of fresh loaf bread.
I'll probably be making a trip to the store on that Saturday to stock up for the big event. A word to the wise: Don't get between me and the bread aisle.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.