To be or not to be

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            If life is a gift and death is the thief that can steal that gift, then what is gained that can’t be lost. With movies like Heaven is for Real and God’s not Dead showing in theaters, there have been renewed discussions about topics of the afterlife. What happens? Where, if anywhere, does your spirit go when life is at its end? While I have very definite opinions on this subject, I will not, in this forum, offer any insight on this or any matter, which can only be proved with certainty by drinking the proverbial Kool Aide. I only mention the topic as a springboard for some related revelations.

            We had our Easter celebration yesterday evening. Yes, I know for the rest of you it is still a week away. God’s timing doesn’t always coincide with everyone’s schedule. I cooked for thirteen with family and friends in attendance. It was a German feast with sauerbraten, dumplings, red cabbage, beet salad and a lot more. The meal was a specialty of my mom. Fortunately, she taught me before she died. Everyone raved about the meal and there were several references to Mimi (mom). Dad was particularly impressed. He said it was just as good as Mimi’s. That was high praise indeed. It made me think about my mom. She was always so strong and full of life. Serving others was her greatest joy. In our book, there are numerous stories of her impoverished child hood, and struggles growing up in war torn WW2 Germany. When dad met her, and hired her to cook and clean, for him and the other American counter intelligence agents, she barely knew how to cook. That wasn’t the mother I knew. Both dad and I took her somewhat for granted. She was truly skilled in the kitchen. She made things look easy that I now know aren’t easy at all.

            The real point is that, while she is no longer with us physically, she isn’t really gone either. Every time I make one of her favorite dishes, or remember some of her wise sayings, every time I see her picture, or one of the numerous little nick knacks from one of dad and her vacations, she is with me again. I propose that our lives consist of a sequence of events. Wherever those events touch others in a meaningful way, to some extent, we live on.

            If you are seeking more substantial discussion of life after death, talk to my dad. According to the IRS he is dead. We spent several hours with social security today, trying to straighten out the mess. Dead or not, I reassured him that there is no way it will prevent the government from accepting his tax money. After all, two of the only certainties in life are death and taxes.


Crystal’s Corner: Pineapple Upside down Cake

            Ron talked about our pre-Easter dinner.  I made a pineapple upside down cake because we also celebrated Michelle’s boyfriend’s birthday.  It is his favorite.  Whenever I bake, I remember my mom.  She was always baking and we baked together.  She taught me so many great techniques and tricks about baking and cooking.  I liked to bake and would experiment with difficult cakes and cookie recipes. I also took a class on decorating cakes and made many of them for our family celebrations.  I know that my mom is in heaven and she is well. She had many health problems when she was here.  It was difficult to see her suffer with headaches and pain.  But her spirit was always bright.  She would make jokes and tell funny stories even when she wasn’t well.

 She made many Easter dinners and wonderful holiday meals.  My brother, my sister and I helped her.  She taught us different things to make that would be part of the meal so it would be easier for her.  It made us feel like we were part of it. 

As part of our passing down tradition, whenever we celebrate, we assign dishes to our girls and they always bring something for our holiday meals.  Ron is writing a cookbook with recipes, techniques and family stories for our girls and grandchildren.  I am really glad he is doing this.  I will be adding some of my recipes and especially baking tips.  Now if you will excuse me, I am going to have another piece of that delicious pineapple cake.

 Have a nice Easter!  It is the best day of the year. We know that because of Jesus and His resurrection we have eternal life.


crystal's early 2014 013

Just another family meal

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