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October 4, 2013

Listened to the show Saturday, and it was not bad. Spent the day crossing things off the list -- trimming bushes, fertilizing, cleaning out cupboards, clearing cobwebs from the windows in the garage. The Farmer's Almanac is warning a rather brutal winter. It seems the animals' coats are coming in thicker this year, and there's something to be said for paying attention to nature. The ripening came late, and the leaves' turning, too. Almost as if the seasons are holding on for dear life before whatever it is that is coming comes.

What I know is that the good Lord is mindful of balance. Always, though it's tough to see sometimes. One daughter had strep this past week and felt pretty awful, but we got to spend 3 days together. The other is struggling a bit with the challenge of rent and groceries and just plain ol' time to get things done, but she's learning how to cook, and how much strength and resourcefulness she's got in her. And she sure has it. Our son had to let go of his part-time job, which he loved, but he now has a good deal less stress when it comes to getting his schoolwork done. And Mr. Sundberg, well, he's got a lot on his plate with his speaking schedule and being on the road so much of the time, but that man enjoys every blessed minute of a day off.

I've noticed it, pretty much everywhere. The Balance. Whenever I might have envied someone for something -- wealth that allows them to travel anywhere, perfectly beautiful hair, the ability to solve any math problem -- there's always been something to balance it out. Many of the wealthy people I've known have had miseries as great as their wealth with which to contend. In fact, the richest woman I've ever met was also the most crabby and dissatisfied with her life. And my neighbor with the hair I wish I had has an awful rash on her foot that just won't go away. It won't. And the guy who does my taxes lickety split (takes me a whole day) doesn't know how to cook a meal to save his life. I point it out, regularly, when the kids say, "I wish I had a car" or "How come he gets to go to Europe twice in one year?" or "I wish I looked like her." Always a balance. Seems if you're blessed in one way, you've got a challenge in another, and it's like that for everyone.

Same with the weather. Brutal winter? Well. Means more fires in the fireplace, more cozy nights, more exercise shoveling, more dinner parties that end with wonderful conversation in the living room with pie and ice cream, and more reason to find just new snowmobile suits for everyone.

Things on your path not what you had in mind? Check out the flip side. It's bright there, and there's hot chocolate for everyone, and that's where you'll find me.

Here's a recipe my mother shared with me recently, and I've made it two or three times since. Perfectly light and spicy, these cookies are just the thing for an autumn afternoon snack. They keep longer than they last, so a double batch is not a bad idea.


1 egg
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 cups flour
2½ tsp soda

Cream sugar and shortening. Add egg and molasses and mix well, then add dry ingredients. Form into balls the size of a walnut. Dip into sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.


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