This Christmas season I put up a tree and decorated it with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I went to the attic looking for the artificial tree to realize, we had gotten rid of the one we had. There was a time I would have thought, it's not meant to be, and I would have said, "We'll put it up next year." but thanks to this blog/cooking series, it kept me focused on the why - HOPE!
It's with hope that we:
Keep putting our feet on the floor
Are able to smile
Have faith & the ability to push through the tough times
Can choose to focus on the rainbow instead of the rain and so much more!
This photo of Heidi skating floods my heart and mind with so many memories. As kids, Heidi and I, and the cousins, spent hours clearing off the ice. The adults may helped when we were peanuts but if we wanted to skate (and we did) then we couldn't wait for the adults to finish chores, get home from work, or plowing.
Until writing this blog, I never viewed the clearing as work ~ it was fun and necessary to get to putting on our skates. Have you ever watched the movie, Ice Princess? The main character enjoys skating so much, she is willing to train (or try) for professional competitions on the bumpy-iced country pond. Each time I see this scene, I remember all the time spent with Heidi and my cousins. These were simpler times.
It was us, the snow, the ice, and hours of unlimited fun and laughter. There was a spot in the pasture, just inside the fence, close to my grandparents house. The water wasn't more than 4 inches deep, it even that deep - so we could skate without adult supervision. Well, not outside anyway. Our kitchen, Gram's kitchen and living room, not to mention the neighbors view meant we were NEVER unattended. It was comforting.
Another location to skate was at the bottom the hill just beyond this first spot. Although Gram couldn't see us here, the others still could. We grew up in a town where neighbors looked out for each other, and their kids, as if they were their own. I miss those days.
One last spot was across the road and a little riskier to skate on because it was a part of the creek. It wasn't the actual creek, just the overflow that froze. It was deeper and we had strict instructions of how far and where we could skate due to the depth of the water and the current very near to where we skated. This skating adventure warranted adult supervision, "just in case".
If you weren't blessed enough to grow up with snow, backyard skating rinks, and family (blood relations and those you chose, or chose you, aka neighbors) then trust me when I let you know these were beautiful times and still are. I am the first to admit, I wasn't the mom outside with her daughter when it was frigid. My hubby cherished this time. I took her ice skating at the rink because the places I skated as a child growing up became a roadway when she was learning to walk.
A tradition I kept was being ready inside with hot chocolate, warm cookies from the oven, and a warmed blanket fresh out of the dryer to snuggle into when she got inside. Life is short, make the memories. Memories of skating and playing outdoors with my sister are a part of who I am and I'm thankful to share them, and her, with you, my readers. Where is YOUR favorite place to skate?
2 1/2 cups Flour
1 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Shortening
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs, well beaten
Simply mix Epicure's Gingerbread package as directed, let it set for 20 minutes, bake and serve. It's that easy!
Order yours here
Swap out the cinnamon, ginger and cloves for Epicure's Gingerbread Spice.
1) Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and set aside
2) Beat sugar and shortening then add:
-water (from step #1)
3) Add flour and spices gradually, mixing as you go.
4) Add eggs last.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serve hot with whipped cream.
Here is today's YouTube recording of making the recipe
Available on Amazon.com
Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey *
When the Waves Subside: There is Hope *
Encourage Others: One Day at a Time
No More Pain: I Can Fly *
YOU are a Rainbow *
Goal Setting for a Renewed You
*Also available on Kindle*
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