New Year’s Change and Resolutions

Maintain health, friendships, and enjoyment of life to the best of one’s ability . . . goals for 2015.

** On New Year’s Day the Y will have an open house.  I’ll do a short tai chi class at 11, open to all who would like to come by.  Early arrivals have been known to receive free t-shirts and there will probably be snacks.

(but not probably as fancy as these cakes  ❤


Change?  A rambling remembrance of change and decisions . . .

I don’t leap into change, tending to hold onto the known and comfortable until nudged toward the brink of a new decision.  Generally, after the leap I find myself in a place I like . . . and settle into a new, comfortable routine.

A story once made the rounds about a man praying vociferously, “Please, Lord, just let me win the lottery.  It would really make a difference in my life.  Please, just let me win once.”  From above, a booming voice, “Meet me halfway.  Buy a ticket.”

I bought one lottery ticket when I heard that story, just in case there was a Plan and I needed to do my half.  I didn’t win, I hadn’t really expected to, and there went my dreams of travel and hiring a chauffeur . . . I couldn’t think of much else I’d like to change.

I bought another lottery ticket when I was trying to decide whether or not to retire.  Winning would be a sure sign.  Instead, I received a much more clear sign; sarcoidosis, probably from the mold in our school, impeded my breathing and made it clear that I needed to leave.

I had also expressed a desire that year to “meet some nice men in the coming year.”  Mom used to warn us to be careful what we wished for.  I hadn’t specified “men to whom I won’t owe co-pays.”  To be fair, all the “ologists” were very nice men, and they did get my health back on track after I left that building.  I did also give myself a trip to Hawaii as a retirement present . . . no chauffeur yet, though.


Retirement was foreshadowed if I’d paid attention.  A couple of years earlier, my doctor made me stay home for the whole month of November (pneumonia). Much as I loved my students, and teaching, I found it surprisingly easy to stay home reading and resting (and lesson planning and grading), and my students appreciated me when I decided to “come back and save (us) from this horrible sub.”  As a preview of retirement, I discovered it was rather pleasant and relaxing to have fewer responsibilities.  I’m feeling the same way now about retirement . . . once I got over the guilt of not “reinventing myself” with a new work load . . .

Lessons in dreams . . .  while still teaching, I had a recurring dream that I couldn’t find my classroom and it was time to teach a class.  I’d end up in an office building and then a park . . . as I neared retirement, my dreaming self decided to stay in the park, “They’ll be okay.”  Thanks to lovely new teachers, they really are.

A student who expressed dismay at my plans to leave was just fine once I reminded her that she would be graduating at the same time as I retired . . . graduating forever.

I recently came across my official Certificate of Credibility, issued after a student, denied some concession, told me that was “why you have no credibility with your students.” Colleagues signed it, and then most of that class asked to also sign.  Take that, ornery student!



One more memory:  I taught one of my high school students to knit during lunch.  I had brought in my knitting as a visual for our reading of “House Taken Over.” Afterward, she had wistfully shared that she hadn’t wanted to learn to knit when her grandmother offered, too young to be interested, “and now I want to learn and my grandma is gone.”  I said I could fill in for her grandma, and she learned quickly!


May your new year be filled with love and laughter, health and happiness, the familiar and some new, all in pleasing proportions.  Hugs!

Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

No one’s pumpkin pie can ever compare to Mom’s — what we grow up with is the “right” way.  I typed up Mom’s recipe, as insurance against loss of the scrap of paper, then decided that sharing it is the best insurance.  

I’ll add a little story . . . (surprised?)  When my niece Joy was little, I flew home for Christmas. It was the ’70’s, when airlines still fed passengers.  I was too full for dessert, so I put mine, which was well-wrapped, in my purse for later.  When my sister and I walked in Mom’s kitchen, Joy was saying to my mother, “I want some brown pie.”  Mom explained that she had developed a taste for pumpkin pie (my favorite), “but that was Thanksgiving.  We don’t have any more,” which was when I reached in my purse and produced my slice of pumpkin pie.  Joy was convinced that I had a magic purse . . . perhaps the real magic was in willingly giving away my favorite dessert. 

Merry Christmas, and may all your wishes come true!Image


Pumpkin Pie (Mom’s)

1 1/2 cups pumpkin  

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/8 tsp. allspice

2 TBLSP molasses

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup evap. milk

(whole can & 5 eggs to fill 2 pie crusts)

Combine all but eggs and milk, mix — add e&M  (or blend it all at once in blender)

Pour into unbaked pie shells (don’t prick shells) 

Bake 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean . . .