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Buck Up and Go About Your Business

February 12, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was on the road this time around, driving home from Owatonna where I spent the day with my mother. She'd invited me down to help her clean out her basement. We had a fine time together, though we didn't do much cleaning. She wasn't feeling well, and since my father was up at the cabin for the weekend, it seemed she just wanted someone to be alone with. After we cleaned up her storage room, we paged through magazines and drank hot chocolate and talked about what she's going to plant in her garden this spring and when the kids might spend a weekend and the curtains she hopes to make for my kitchen. And after we sat in silence for a while she thanked me for driving over and said she'd been feeling a bit off, not wanting to get out of bed, like some sort of virus had invaded but had been warded off by simply doing something.

The sun was on its way out when I hugged her and she hugged me and that was that for a while. I drove east then north then west, radio cranked on up, and boom - I felt it. My son described it last week when he said, "I feel heavy, like something's on me." I'd caught it. Probably from the kids, as they were all feeling heavy last week. It's not a cold, or the flu, but something in between. I watched the kids tip, one by one, and lie there for 24 hours not moving much, not saying much, just dozing in and out of sleep, drinking a bit here and there, and not wanting much of anything except a gentle backrub or hand on the forehead now and then, and a book to read between naps.

Seems whenever there's something dark at hand you've got a choice about how to go at it. You can give in and let it carry you where it will, or you can buck up and go about your business, not giving it much attention, knowing that, in time, its presence will peter on out. Learned this from my mother, I believe, who learned it from hers. One of those things parents teach their kids without knowing it. Not that taking it easy is a bad thing. Oh, no. If you're sick, you're sick. But you don't have to check out completely.

My head hurt and my body ached and I shivered like all getout. I spent Sunday alternating between naps and the usual. Eggs and bacon for the kids and church, then a nap. Soup and sandwiches and a load of laundry, nap. A phone call or two and the kids' homework, nap. Some light reading and conversation with Mr. Sundberg, who offered to make dinner, bless his heart (the kids love macaroni and cheese), while I slept. By their bedtime the heavy feeling was gone and I was feeling better. I sat on the couch with Mr. Sundberg and watched the news awhile, and when the news was over we just sat there, sipping hot chocolate, listening to the quiet. Nice to have someone to be alone with when you've been feeling a bit off.

Dump Cake

This one is easy. Especially when you're sick.
Dump, spread, dump, spread, sprinkle, sprinkle, dot, bake.

1 20 oz can crushed pineapple w/juice, undrained
1 20 oz can cherry pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 stick butter cut into thin slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 cake pan.
Dump pineapple with juice into pan. Spread evenly. Dump in pie filling. Spread evenly. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over cherry layer. Sprinkle nuts over cake mix. Dot with butter. Bake 50 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temp.
Makes 12-16 servings.


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