The quest to recreate my grandmother's oatmeal cookies continues with Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Chockablock cookies and musings on memory and food.
The first time I ate a fresh ripe fig, I was 28 years old and worked for a Manhattan financial service firm. One of my coworkers lived in Elmhurst, Queens, and he brought in fresh, ripe green figs, a variety called Italian Honey. Thus began my lifelong fascination with this ancient, keystone fruit. Fascination with… Continue reading The Gift of Figs and Fig Trees
I've been silent lately, more so than ever in the past, on my various blogs. Part of this is the lurking feeling that everything that can be said about 2020 has been said: COVID virus, race riots, murder hornets. I'm waiting for Godzilla to rise from the Sea of Japan and a sharknado to arrive… Continue reading The Man in the Van
Trusting the will of God is an important aspect of Salesian thought. My morning meditation today came from the book Set Your Heart Free - 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher (St. Francis de Sales). I'll link to it at the end. Photo by S&B Vonlanthen on Unsplash Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me,… Continue reading Holding the Father’s Hand – Salesian Thought
What is Salesian spirituality? It's a life-changing spiritual approach that's part of the Catholic mystical tradition. It follows the direction of one of the doctors of the faith, St. Francis de Sales. He's my patron, my spiritual guide, my guru. And, not coincidently, he's the patron saint of writers. He chose me as his daughter… Continue reading When St. Francis de Sales Found Me
"Not that old thing." My husband frowned at the tarnished brass ring. Foil fluttered from one of the four candle holders, a remnant of Advents past and my attempt to keep a candle in place. They never fit well in the cups. "Can't you buy a new one?" "This was my mom's." "I know, but..."… Continue reading An Advent Wreath Just Like Me
Our breath spangled the frosty December evening as we waved goodbye. My dog, Zeke, dropped, exhausted, to his mat in the living room to dream of chasing tennis balls and his best friend, our neighbors' boxer dog, Cinder. We'd spent a good two hours watching the dogs zoom like maniacs across the lawn chasing balls… Continue reading The Best Present of All – Presence
My husband held the bird's nest out to me. "Feel the inside." I reached out and touched the tiny nest gingerly. "It's soft." "The inside is lined in some soft moss," he said. "And the outside is woven of coarse pine needles." I marveled at the perfect construction of the little bird's nest. We'd watched… Continue reading The Gifts that He Gives
Our spiritual growth requires abundant springs of living water. What should we do when the well runs dry? As a transplant myself, I appreciate how hard it is to take root and grow in new soil. I should have recognized the signs of transplant shock in the redbud tree - and offered some salve,… Continue reading Spiritual Growth Requires Springs of Living Water
Families with children diagnosed with autism, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities need their church families. But churches are ill-equipped to welcome them. I’m embarrassed to admit this. I never thought about what it must be like to take a child with a hidden disability to church. From my spot among the choir, I’ve watched… Continue reading When Church Means Pain, What’s a Parent to Do?