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Mindful Ways

April 21, 2014

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I'd been out and about most of the day picking up a few things for Easter, including bag #3 of jellybeans, and the weather was lovely. Sun and 60s. Nice. A lot of people were out, doing what I was doing, picking up flowers at the floral shop and fresh asparagus and pineapples at the grocery store. Rushin' around. And here's a secret: I'm a counter; I count things, often without thinking about it. I count steps sometimes, and birds I see, and the number of jellybeans I eat in succession. What I counted at a larger intersection in town has been bothering me and I feel the need to say something.

There were seventeen cars lined up at a red light, waiting to go straight or turn. As I passed by in the other lane, I counted thirteen people of those seventeen texting, or talking on a cell phone. Not one of them saw me. The other four did see me: two of them smiled; one of them waved. The other looked a bit preoccupied, but we did make eye contact.

I read in the paper or heard on the news in the last week seven stories, each with casualties, where distracted driving was involved. People died because someone was telling her mother about a test she took. A boy is paralyzed, neck down, because a teenage girl was flirting with her boyfriend. Via text. Those are two of the stories. I won't go into the other five, and then there are all the others I did not read or hear about.

I'm not a fan of belaboring issues, or chastising, or pointing a finger. I am a fan of common sense, and it seems we need a bit of self examination if we're multitasking while we're driving our cars. Think about it. Count the number of lives crossing the path of yours in a day. Now imagine ending one of them because you weren't paying attention. Eating a cheeseburger, picking up some change, going over the Easter menu with your brother on your cell phone at a light.

If you're going to alter the course of another person's life, let it not be a result of distraction. Let's shoot for mindful ways, and the kind of story that may not make the news because it's an ordinary one, happy even, where one stranger helps out another, where no one gets hurt, where there's nothing to count but blessings at the end of an April day.

Here's a recipe I made for Easter Dinner. It's in the cookbook, but I thought I'd put it out there for those of you who don't have a copy. It's just plain delicious cake, and easy, and goes with spring the way some cakes do.

Pistachio Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 cup oil
1 cup 7-Up (or Fresca)
3 eggs
2 small boxes instant pistachio pudding
1¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz Cool Whip

Whisk cake, oil, 7-Up, eggs, and 1 box pudding until blended, and mix another 2 min. Bake in a greased and floured tube or 9x13 pan at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Mix remaining box pistachio pudding with 1¼ cups milk. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1 8 oz container Cool Whip. Fold together until blended. Frost when cake is cool. Refrigerate, and serve.

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