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The Gift of Silence

February 23, 2010

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'd spent the day cleaning which I often do on Saturdays and was able to relax in the evening and bake some lemon bars and enjoy the silence the kids left behind and fill it up with my radio show. Probably what I enjoy as much as anything in the world. Thing is, I can do most things I enjoy while I'm listening to the show so it's like double the joy — baking, dancing, or just relaxing on the couch watching the moon rising on up. And the few things I love I can't do during the show, well, the kids were out doing 'em this week, and I got to relive it all through the telling when they came back home.

One of 'em was out with her girlfriends, shopping at the mall and walking around and generally having a good ol' time just talking and laughing and being. They gathered at their favorite restaurant (I loaded 'em up with coupons) and shared a pizza and cherry cokes and some kind of volcanic brownie dessert and I imagine there was some boy-watching involved and giggling and a round of smoothies after lunch and a walk through the bookstore and maybe some truffles at the candy store. Not much of anything at all, but a lovely way to spend a day, with nothing to show for the time but some blue nail polish and some striped toe socks and a new pair of dangly silver earrings.

Another got a decent sunburn while out ice fishing with his grandfather up in northern Wisconsin. Spent the whole day out on the lake and didn't catch much at all but ice fishing's not all about catching fish. His grandpa let him drive for the first time ever — out on the lake, even — and they ate tuna fish sandwiches and cookies and drank from a Thermos and he learned how to bait a hook and how to use a tip-up and how to take a fish off the hook and a lot of things he probably didn't realize he learned while his grandpa talked and he listened. And then he caught what was very likely the smallest fish ever caught while ice fishing — smaller even than some of the bait — and his grandpa told him that it's much more difficult to catch a small fish than a big one, and he really ought to pat himself on the back.

The third one was wandering around out in the woods somewhere bundled up in snow pants and a parka and warm gloves and a T-shirt underneath because "it's too warm out to wear long sleeves." There was exploring to be done and strange tracks to be followed and red berries to be plucked and buds on the bushes and trees. The river ice is breaking up and who couldn't sit on a rock in the warmth of a February sun and watch a river for hours?

The gift of silence is that it's generally short-lived, and the kids came back, one at a time, and told their stories over hot chocolate and warm gingerbread. Mr. Sundberg and I listened, and when they were finished, sent them up to bed — shopped-out and red-cheeked and tired. It's good to have had a good day. Even better when you've got someone to tell it to.

Egg Noodle Hotdish

2 lbs. hamburger

1/2 Sweet Vidalia onion, chopped

Brown meat and onion.

Add

2 cans tomato soup

3 oz package cream cheese

3 T Worcestershire

1 1/2 T sugar

Boil 8 oz egg noodles according to directions.

Combine all ingredients in lightly greased 9 x 13" pan.

Melt 1/4 cup butter and mix with 1 1/2 cups cornflakes and sprinkle over.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Enjoy!

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