The View From Mrs. Sundberg's Window

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I've Driven in Worse than This

February 27, 2007

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Given the circumstances I found myself in, I'd have to say it was one of the better evenings I've had in a good long while.

See, I've never been one to heed all the weather advisories and warnings, and I wasn't about to start on Saturday. The pantry was bare, and we needed groceries. Mr. Sundberg shook his head as I gathered my purse and gloves. "I don't know," he said, moving from window to window. "Looks kinda rough out there. It's been coming down all day, and it's not letting up." Oh, for God's sake, I said. I've driven in worse than this.

The drive to the grocery store was rough in patches, with sleet falling along the way, but I got there in good time and spent three fine hours walking the aisles and filling up the cart with nine bags' worth of groceries. Pork was on sale, and wild rice, and smoked turkey and wheat rolls and cinnamon. Raspberry Bismarcks, too, from the bakery. I planned menus for the week as I shopped, and turned on the show as I started home in conditions considerably worse than three hours before. Low visibility, slippery stretches, and just plain heavy snow. Wasn't long before I found myself in the ditch, just east of town off a road I'd call less traveled. I'm not sure how I got there, but one moment I was skimming along; the next, spinning in slow motion with no control at all.

Panic has never been on my list of things to do in a crisis. If you panic, you're a goner. I sat there at somewhat of an angle and contemplated my options. I could get out and walk to the Olson's farm a mile or so back. I could try digging myself out with that nifty collapsible shovel in the trunk. I could sit tight and wait for a car to pass by. Or I could call Mr. Sundberg and wake him from a long-awaited nap. He's always offered to come rescue me, but I've never taken him up on it. Might do him good to be a hero for a day.

I settled on calling Mr. Sundberg, but thought I'd wait awhile. The back of the car was in the ditch at an angle that had me looking at the sky, with trees to my right and left. It felt good on my back, so I pulled the blue plaid stadium blanket over my legs and let the car run until it was good and warm, and settled in for the second hour of the show. I could smell the Bismarcks in the back seat. I've always loved baked goods with filling. Especially Bismarcks and Bavarian Cràmes. I reached back and grabbed the white bag and it wasn't long before I polished off two of the six Bismarcks and felt that warm, drowsy feeling I call "comfort", and figured I'd better make the call before I drifted off.

It wasn't fifteen minutes, and there he was, wearing a black snowmobile suit and big ol' work boots and the red knit stocking cap I gave him for Valentine's Day a few years back. "Oh, Lord," he said, as I rolled down my window. "How long have you been here? Are you in pain? Do you need an ambulance?" I stared at him and smiled and said, I'm fine. It's fine. Everything is fine. "But your face," he said. "You're bleeding. Did you hit the wheel? Oh, Sweetheart." He reached over and touched my cheek, then, with a perplexed look on his face, sniffed and licked his hand. He smiled. "Hmm. Raspberry."

We were home in no time, with the help of Mr. Sundberg's toe strap and the old red pickup. You saved me, I told him. You're my hero. We arrived at home about the same time, and the kids were waiting at the door. "What's for dinner?" they hollered. Smoked turkey sandwiches with cranberries, I told them. Just give me a minute. "And for dessert," Mr. Sundberg said as he peeled off his snowmobile suit, "How 'bout a Bismarck? Raspberry filling to boot. Word is they taste real good."

Maple Cheesecake
Combine 2 c honey graham cracker crumbs
4 T butter, melted
1/4 cup maple sugar (or substitute 1/4 c granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring)

Press into 9-inch spring form pan.

Combine in a mixing bowl:

4 beaten eggs
1 c real maple syrup
24 oz cream cheese, softened

Beat cream cheese mixture until very smooth.

Pour over crust.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Cool and serve.

Enjoy!

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