Minding Our Spirits

The Turkey Will Be Smaller This Year

Every year at this time, as I start preparing for the holidays, I also begin to compose a gratitude inventory. Along with the turkey, the pies, the lists, the shopping, the wrappings…I take inventory. I think back over the year and try to recall each opportunity there has been for me to be thankful. And each year, as our family grew and Bob and I moved through different stages, as each child left our home to make their own, as grandchildren, too, began forging their own paths, there were always so many, many warm and wonderful memories to recall.

My lists seemed to grow organically every year.  Times spent with dear friends – new and old, with my sisters and their families for holidays and family celebrations – weddings, anniversaries, christenings, all our kids together reliving their childhood memories, traveling with Bob, skiing and shore vacations with my kids, family dinners, our pets, our church…and the lists went on. Even when a crisis appeared – Bob’s heart surgery, losses, a grandchild’s illness – as traumatic as these were – there was always an opportunity to find gratitude as these are the times when family love is always strongest and most obvious.

But this year my list is turning out to be […]

November 19th, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|6 Comments

Minding Our Spirits


Dear ReadersI’m writing this post in the early afternoon of election day.  I don’t know what is ahead for us.  I have had the idea for this column in my head since last week and debated with myself as to when I would actually write and publish.  Should I have written it earlier and posted it a few days ago? Should I wait to write it after all votes are counted? Or should I write it now and get it out very soon…before I know anything?  Well, I’ve waited till now to put words to paper…hopefully tonight will give us hope!

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.  John Bukowski

I read Bukowski’s collection of poems long ago – sometime when I was a young mother. I had an English professor in college who loved the “Beat Generation” and Burkowski fell into this category, though a bit later. Then, this past week, I saw a political ad (imagine!) in which it was quoted.  And though likely written way back in the ‘70s, the meaning of his words loudly reverberates today as we are all being asked to walk through some kind of fire. There are some fires that are unique and personal – fires we must navigate […]

November 3rd, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|3 Comments

Minding Our World

Lying in bed last night, I was stressing about the upcoming weeks and months and how I was ever going to get through them without wanting to pull the blanket over my head and hide until we were well into 2021! November… December… Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays but they are always, by nature, a bit stressful. And this year, with all that’s going, I’m already maxed out in the stress department.

As I thought about all the normal preparations – shopping, cooking, baking, decorating, gatherings, I imagined how different all these activities would be this year will be from any we have ever known. And I wonder if I can detach myself from the current state of our country, our world, enough to experience a normal (there’s that word again!) holiday season with everyone I love.

My main hesitancy, I think, centers around gift buying.  Watching everyone rip open their packages…the smiles on their faces when they see what’s inside… that’s when my soul is soaring! But this year, I wonder if I’ll feel the same…wonder if it’s the right thing to do. With so many needing healthcare, shelter, food, clothing…does my blessed family really need more stuff? How, I think, can I somehow keep my soul soaring amidst all this hurting?

Lying there in bed […]

October 20th, 2020|Minding Our World|14 Comments

Minding Our Spirits

Digging Deep

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know I am a card-carrying foodie.  I love restaurants, grocery stores (especially gourmet type), kitchenware shops, new gadgets, new recipes, new foods, etc. That said, this morning I was emptying my dishwasher and along with all the other familiar kitchen utensils, there stood the tallest of these, my trusty old soup ladle that had been used to dish up last night’s homemade chicken rice soup. As I reached for it, I felt the need to hold onto it for a minute. (I’m already sensing your judgment!)

And then, clutching it closely, I realized…I love my ladle! I know it’s crazy; but honestly I tell you…I love my ladle. Holding it brings all good feelings to mind. Crazy…absolutely, but bear with me, please.

As I hold this simple tool in my hand, my mind and each one of my senses react – conjuring up all the comfortable, familiar, cozy settings in which this unassuming utensil has been present – not center stage, just present.  All the delicious, homey, warm smells and tastes that have been delivered by this exaggerated version of a serving spoon. I envision that ladle standing tall in pots of simmering soups, aromatic stews and chili, healthy oatmeal, deep rich gravies and […]

October 16th, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|10 Comments
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