January: Soup Month

The month of January is known as Soup Month. Normally, in mid-Michigan, the cold winter months welcomes a bowl of warm soup. Lately, our daily temps are above freezing. But I am certain the cold temps and snowy days are just around the corner.

My question for all of you is do you have a favorite type of soup? My soup tastes usually depend on my mood. (Yes, I am one of those emotional eaters). When I am feeling ill, I love a nice warm bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. On days, when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I like a high-quality tomato soup with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. What can I say–my tastes are rather simple. But I am always willing to try something new.

As a child, the winter months always met homemade bean soup. For almost two days, my mother would allow the Navy beans to slowly simmer in a large cast iron pot on top of the old, pot belly stove. Adding ham, onions, and other seasonings, the smell of the soup would drift throughout the old farm house.

The final meal would always involve homemade bread, biscuits, and a dessert. Of course, the best part of the meal was the house full of guests. For most of us, the homemade bean soup was a tasty treat. Well except for my younger sister who to this day is not a fan of bean soup.

My attempts to make bean soup as an adult do not yield the same results as my mother’s tasty homemade recipe. I cannot tell you if my attempts fail because I do not own a cast iron pot and an old wood burning, pot belly stove. Or the difference in taste is due to missing family members and friends that are no longer with me.

Regardless of the reason, homemade bean soup will always remain one of my all-time favorites; a nestled memory on a cold winter’s day.

Until next time….peace

 

 

Happy Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year.  As a child, my mother would take my siblings and me to go trick-or-treating with my cousins in town. No matter what, there would always be a group of us together. My mom and aunt were always nearby to supervise.

Our customs were either handmade (sometimes at the very last minute), hand me downs from older cousins, or garage sale finds. None of us thought anything of it, we were just there to have fun and get candy. We would travel for blocks and blocks. Until we were all so tired, we wanted to head back to my aunt’s house to warm up. Often, we wore out before the ending siren blew.

Back at my aunt’s house, we would gather in the living room to exchange candy, drink hot cocoa and eat no-bake chocolate cookies. My mom and aunt would always inspect each bag to ensure the candy was edible. I think, they would sneak many pieces for themselves during the inspection process.

My Halloween’s are less eventful now. What can I say? I enjoy the comfort of my fireplace. But I still carve pumpkins and hand out goodies to trick-or-treaters who venture out my way.

This is my pumpkin by the door way.
This is my pumpkin by the doorway.

Did you celebrate Halloween? Do you now? What is your favorite Halloween memory?

Happy Halloween!

Until next time……peace

 

Cold River

As I work through these old photos, I wonder about the people’s lives. I can’t help it. I enlarge the photos to find different clues. Even though a year was not provided, the photo was written on with the date July 4th. I would like to think the gathering was to celebrate Independence Day. They are definitely sitting on benches with tables under tents in the background.

The photo is also identified as being taken at Cold River. From research, I can tell you that Cold River runs over 16 miles through western Main and enters into New Hampshire. Currently with the White Mountain National Forest, the area is popular for camping with a picnic pavilion. Since I can only guess the year, I am assuming they are within a picnic area for holiday fun.

Until next time….peace

 

Borrowed Time

While visiting a small retail store, I overheard two ladies chatting relatively loudly about their lives in the aisle. The ladies began with the normal idle conversation, bidding each other hello with all the niceties that go along with idle chatting. The one silver-haired lady couldn’t believe that almost two years had passed since their last encounter.

The other woman who was probably in her early 50’s began to unfold her story. At this point, I didn’t want to look too obvious. So, I slowly moved to the next aisle. I can’t help myself, I love listening to stories. I know eavesdropping is rude. But in my defense, they were not using hush voices and I was legitimately shopping.

The younger woman began to explain, she had to have a lung removed due to cancer. The ordeal came as a surprise. But, “you’ve never smoked,” the older woman said with surprise.

“Smoking is only one cause, who knows why these things happen” she continued to explain. She went on to tell the rest of her story. Apparently, a short time after the lung ordeal, she started experiencing bad headaches. Even though, she had gone through a variety of testing, no evidence of anything was detected. Finally, she demanded further extensive testing. She gave a fancy name for the test but I cannot pronounce the word or even begin to spell it out.

Well, the advanced testing revealed a brain tumor. The test was conducted in the morning, by the after she was admitted to the hospital for surgery. At this point, the lady actually laughed over the situation. She continued to explain, the doctor couldn’t believe she actually drove herself to the consultation.

After the brain surgery, radiation began. The medical experts gave her only six months to live. Once again, the woman just laughed. “Well, that was almost two years.” She giggled like a young child discovering something new. “I am living on borrowed time then again we are all living on borrowed time.”

She furthered explained that all her life she did everything right. She never smoked, rarely drank, paid her bills on time, and continuously saved money. She was invited to go on a trip to Hawaii to visit family members. Even though she had a place to stay upon arrival, her first reaction was no. But then she decided to put the plane ticket on her credit card and just go. At the end of the conversation, she revealed she was happy she made the trip. “There’s nothing more spectacular than sitting on a glorious beach and enjoying a Hawaiian sunset.”

In my opinion, we get so caught up in the “right” way to live that we forget to enjoy life. Media tells us what to buy, what to eat, and how to live our lives in the correct manner. I am not suggesting you become irresponsible and not pay any of your bills. But I do think you should take the time to enjoy the simple things in life. Go for a walk, visits friends and family on a regular basis, attend local parades, festivals, and other interesting events. Along the way, take a moment and enjoy a spectacular sunset. Soon, the borrowed time will be over.

 

Until next time…peace

 

 

96th Birthday!

Today, I was able to take my great Aunt out for her 96th birthday. We were joined by my mother, sister, and niece. We went to a local restaurant in town; the food and service was wonderful.

My great Aunt has never been married. She worked hard all of her life.I asked her if she regrets not getting married. Her answer was quick “no”. Then, she smiled and said, “you remind me of me” which of course made me smile. She said life should not be about regrets. Just live each day as it comes.

I cannot think of any greater advice! So, I hope everyone who reads this lives a life without regrets….

Until next time…..peace….