Lynna Clark: Fresh Joy
Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 30, 2018
How was your Christmas? Was your home filled with yumminess? Ours was. We generally plan all events around food. Even vacations center on what we want to eat. I mean really. You can’t go traipsin’ off to the beach without a foot tub of Chex Mix. This year at Thanksgiving David made one of our favorite snacks by dipping pretzels filled with peanut butter into white chocolate. OH MY GOODNESS! However, since I am a delicate flower, I had a reaction to the candy coating. Cottonseed oil is not my friend. So for Christmas he tried dipping them in dark chocolate. How wonderful… except he didn’t realize I had planned to make chocolate chip cookies. Bless his heart. The man sure tries. Since he used the chocolate chips, he toasted pecans in butter, added a little salt, and I stirred them into my cookie batter. We called them Pecan Sandies. Oh the buttery salty sweet yumminess! They might have been the best cookies I’ve ever made. A short while later I found another bag of chocolate chips hiding in the cabinet. So of course I made fudge… with buttery toasted pecans. What fresh heaven! And we wonder why we waddle.
Like most folks, David and I have been through a lot in our four decades of marriage. There have been seasons of plenty and seasons of not so much. Because of that we’ve learned to enjoy what we have. It’s turned out to be a great family mantra. Currently we have more than enough. But I remember a time when the cupboards were bare. There were three little girls in the house who needed breakfast. I would mix up flour, sugar, and water then fry the batter in margarine while I sang, “Put on the skillet, put on da lead; Mama’s little babies love shortenin’ bread.” We danced and sang together in the kitchen as we enjoyed the crispy flatbread. I’m sure hipster mothers everywhere are cringing at the lack of nutrition found in our makeshift breakfast. But I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything. Neither would my girls.
One of our grandkid’s favorite gifts this year was a tarp; Yes, a big ol’ brown sturdy sheet of heavy plastic so he can make a fort in the woods. He informed his parents he was gonna need some duct tape to go with it. Because they know him well they had already placed a roll in his stocking. The boy is only six but he knows how to have fun. Christmas Eve after dinner, we cleared the dishes, spread his tarp over the table and enjoyed a little peace and quiet while the three six year old grands sat underneath with flashlights. With plenty of throw pillows, their dark hideout was perfect. They thought they were hiding from us when in fact we were drinking coffee and quietly nibbling dark chocolate fudge with buttery toasted pecans. It was a little bit wonderful.
Maybe your Christmas was not very wonderful. I understand. It’s only been a few years since I couldn’t stand the sight of food. I thought I might die and wished I’d hurry up. If you’re struggling with sickness I truly feel your pain. Maybe it’s grief you’re dealing with. Honestly I’d rather have cancer again than lose a loved one. I don’t think there’s anything harder, especially at Christmas. For about ten years straight I couldn’t enjoy the holidays because we lost my mom during Christmas. Every song, every event only compounded the sorrow. Losing her is something I’ll never get over. But by God’s grace our sense of loss changes. One sweet day we wake with a smile as our memories include more of the good stuff and less of the sorrow. May the Lord give us fond recollections of dancing in the kitchen, making cookies with whatever we can find, or building a fort with the kids.
Or maybe this coming year will be a great time to create something fun with those around us. Joy doesn’t just happen all willy-nilly. Usually it comes by appreciating what we have.
Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury. Read more at LynnasWonderful Life.wordpress.com