Friday, December 31, 2010

Round up the Year with a Rhyme

Another year has drawn to a close.
Yet life's pace never rests or slows,
flying me into yet another year
without time to reflect or shed a tear.
Was it good? Was it bad?
What things made me sad?
Better yet, what things brought a smile?
The year, did I make it worth while?
Two graduates and one new grandson;
I wrote a book and read twenty one;
taught primary songs to bright smiling faces,
rode our new Vette to lots of new places,
sent a son to Alaska via the MTC--
though for two years his smile won't be mine to see.
Life has been good. Life has been grand.
And I owe it all to God's good hand.
Then why am I sad at the end of twothousand ten?
Because I hate good-byes to things I'll never see again.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Sweetest Christmas Gift

      All week long our family has been the recipient of a hodge-podge of confectionary neighborhood gifts; carmel corn, cookies, chocolate, etc. Every year it's the same, women of the neighborhood add to their stress level, yeilding to feelings of obligation, scrambling to give their neighbors something because their neighbors have given them a "gift." So they run to the store, purchase a sugary concoction of Christmas candy, wrap it in cellophane so it lends a whisper of "homemade," and deliver it to their neighbors. Their neighbors each accept it graciously, never letting on that their kitchen counter is already filled with enough aresenal to create a diabetic out the the healthiest of individuals.
     I must confess, I'm as guilty as the next neighbor. I do this every year. And I graciously accept the gifts every year. I might not enjoy all the candy, but I do enjoy the thoughts behind it.
     But tonight, when the doorbell rang--again, there was a different species of gift bearer standing at my door. Four-year-old Charlotte Steed; she held a loaf of bread in her hands and a brilliant smile on her face. With her little arms, she held the loaf cinnamin raisin bread out toward me. A warmth filled my heart. I rushed to her. "Is that for me," I responded--though if that had been an adult I would have never dared be so bold. But I was sincere. I was truely delighted that she would think of me, the lowly Primary chorister. My reaction ignigted an even bigger smile on her sweet little face, a smile so warm with pure childlike innocence and joy it could have melted and iceberg in winter. Add with it her angelic little voice saying, "Merry Christmas," and my heart was a puddle.
     Her dad explained how they had put together gifts to give her Primary teachers. Then Charlotte said, "What about Sister Frank? I want to give a gift to her." He dad said she loves singing time because of me. That made the gift even sweeter. I gave her a hug. We wished each other a merry Christmas again, and she was gone. I walked away from that front door with a gift that will stay with me longer than any of that candy (well, only if I get back on a diet after Christmas). That being the gift of a child's sincere appreciation.
     And that's better than any confection man could ever hope to create out of butter and sugar.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Seven Seas, rather 7 C's for Christmas: easy neighbor gift

This year for neighborhood Christmas gifts I gave all of my friends the Seven Seas--actually 7 C's:
Carolyn's crunchy, chewy, Christmas cashew caramel corn. I've include the recipe and the card I made to go with it. You are welcome to copy--especially if you want a quick, easy, cleavor gift for your neighbors.

Carolyn's Crunchy Chewy Caramel Corn
6 quarts of popped pop corn (remove all of the old maids).

In a sauce pan bring to a boil, stirring occasionally:

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt

When the mixture comes to a rolling boil, let boil without
stirring for 6 minutes. Then add:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup roasted/salted cashews
Stir together (mixture will froth slightly), and then pour
over the popcorn and mix together thoroughly.
Place in plastic bags as soon as mixture is cool enough.
Attach the follow poem, using your name, and you're
good to go.