The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

March 25, 2014

Sometimes, it’s good to be busy

How busy are you? Think about it.

When I was a kid, we were busy all the time. From sun-up to sun-down, we were doing something. Everyone stayed busy back then, especially living on a farm/ranch. We worked cattle and in the fields and garden and did daily chores. However, it was not all work. We stayed busy playing, too. When the weather was nice, we played in the playhouse or picked flowers or climbed trees. We never ran out of something to do. When it was cold or bad, we still played outside all wrapped up to protect us from the elements or we found games to play inside. We were never idle. We had lots of fun playing, but we also had fun working. There were five of us sisters who worked and played together all the time. We sang while we did everything. That is why we still sing when we get together. It made work like play.

Isn’t it wonderful to see so many people who give selflessly of their time to volunteer at the hospitals, Red Cross, Junior Welfare League, and church organizations? The list goes on. Those volunteers stay busy all the time. Of course, if you want something done, ask a busy person. They know how to budget and balance their time and to set priorities. They all seem so happy and rewarded. It is difficult for me to understand people who are not busy. What have they accomplished at the end of the day to reflect back on?

Jim’s physical rehab is work, but it is also fun because we see so many friends there and visit with them while we exercise. Our schedule is so full we have to look at the calendar every day to know where we are supposed to be. Apparently, we like it that way. Retirement is not for the lazy. We are busier now than we were when we worked nine to five. People get bored because they find nothing to keep them busy.

When I was a kid, I would never have breathed a word if I was bored, because my parents or someone would have found a job for me. Once, my sister and I ran out of anything to do and made the mistake of mentioning it. We ended up having to clean the chicken house, a job we just detested. We never again mentioned being bored. I just think about it and find something to do.

With so many people ill and in hospitals, nursing homes or homebound, it is impossible to run out of things to do. It is fun to call on these people. Every time I have visited someone to lift their spirits, I end up being enriched and uplifted myself. It seems to work opposite of what would be expected. Most of these lovely people have such rich stories of their heritage and families. What a joy to visit them and share in their life experiences.

When I think “busy,” I think of our little wrens building their nest on our patio in a gourd house. They are awake signing and working even before we get out of bed. We have all heard of the expression “busy as a beaver,” but I think those little house wrens have them all beat.

A beaver would be hard-pressed to keep up with the wrens’ schedule. I don’t know of anything that brings us more pleasure than staying busy watching and feeding the birds in our neighborhood. We have so many kinds of birds right in our own little yard that we stay busy keeping the feeders filled.

I come by being busy naturally. My parents and grandparents thought work and keeping busy cured everything from loneliness to boredom to grief and financial challenges. It is difficult to worry when one is busy and has their mind occupied with hard work. Because of my upbringing, I think a good work ethic is a wonderful character to have. Work is such a blessing. Busy is such a blessing. Ask anyone who is not able to do things and they will tell you how being busy is a blessing, not a curse.

If you want busy, spend a day with two small great grandchildren. I would give anything to have their energy and enthusiasm. They just flit like little birds from one thing to another. They are just fun to sit and watch because their little minds stay so fascinated by everything. Their energy is wasted on them. We are the ones who need excess energy and naps, not them. They are little Energizer bunnies.  

If you have all the time in the world and are not busy, you will enjoy making this pie. You might even want to make your own whipped cream with confectioner’s sugar instead of the whipped topping. People with time on their hands make their own pie crust. Sometimes I have used commercial crusts. Either is good.

Cherry Fluff Pie

1 pound can dark, sweet, pitted cherries, drain and reserve syrup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 package (3 ounces) black cherry-flavored gelatin

1⁄3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract

8 ounces whipped topping

1 9-inch pie crust, baked

Combine cherry juice with enough water to measure one cup. Bring to boil. Add lemon juice and gelatin stirring until dissolved. Chill until thickened, but not set. Beat with mixer on high speed until fluffy. Fold in cherries, nuts, almond extract and whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Chill at least two hours, preferably more.

If you are just too busy and rushed for time, whip up this quick, easy recipe:

Magic Cherry Pie

2 (6-ounce) cartons cherry yogurt

3-ounce package DRY cherry gelatin

8 ounces whipped topping

1 baked pie crust

Beat all together with whisk and pour into pie crust. Freeze.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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