By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News and Eagle
Is the world moving too fast for you? Think about it.
Do you feel that you are spinning out of control just trying to keep up with the way things are changing? In the past century, so much has happened and changed. Daddy went from seeing smoke signals and hearing drum signals to sending email and Facebook. His generation went from horse-and-buggy days to flying cross-continental airways in a few hours and to space travel.
We think back to those days as carefree and relaxed. We think it was a piece of cake to let the team of horses take that buggy or wagon where one wanted to go. But first, they had to catch the horses and put the harness on the team and hitch it up to the wagon. It was not as easy as it is to hop in a car and have the engine running and out of the garage in one minute flat. The old-timers look at today and think we have it quite easy.
Computers have changed the world. Whereas a letter used to sometimes take an entire month to reach the recipient, now it takes less than a minute to receive a message. We write about everything now. Back then, a letter was a correspondence of news and important events in one’s life and times.
Many letters written during the Civil War are about the only personal details we have of the battles fought. Permanent records were documented in old letters. Mother had several letters from family members who wrote of the sadness of the war and of brothers fighting against brothers or relatives.
Are we leaving any traces of our achievements for our next generations? Will all the interesting facts and events of our lives be floating out in the air somewhere? Or deleted from our lives forever? Communications move so quickly that a message is here and gone in seconds.
Cars drive so fast, one hardly can look at the countryside to see the beautiful sights of nature. Air travel is above the clouds, so we cannot look out the windows to see the layout of the land. Boat travel is so occupied with activities that one seldom goes on deck just to watch the waves or the beautiful sky and sunsets ... or see whales.
Long ago, there was a Broadway show titled “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.”
Sometimes we feel we could spin off the globe by centrifugal force. We feel so stressed from worry and work and keeping appointments on time. We have a zillion deadlines to meet every day. Every mother who has ever had a car pool of kids to get to dance, music lessons, basketball practice, baseball practice, games, cheerleading practice, church activities, dental appointments, etc. has this feeling sometimes. But they stay the course, and the next day it is to do over with another schedule.
Would we all not be better off and happier if we could lean back and look at our schedules and determine if we might stop some of the spinning within, from living in the fast lane? Kids might feel what it’s like to just be kids again, and watch the grass grow and climb trees and kick rocks.
Back in the day, life may have looked calmer and slower, but survival was just as difficult, if not worse, than now. The pace was more steady and slow, without all the rushing and hurrying. We start and stop where they kept a constant, steady movement forward.
Grandma used to put on her pot of beans or whatever she was having for dinner (supper back then) and start the light bread before she went on with her morning chores. She worked in the garden, canned, cleaned, did laundry, ironed, helped Grandpa with his chores, took care of her chickens and tended to her flowers. She would put the finishing touches on her meals a few minutes before serving time. There was joy in the preparation and the serving. So often now, we use frozen foods and carry-out. Are we missing some of the pleasure of mealtime now by our world spinning too fast?
After supper, before it got dark, Grandma made doughnuts or cookies, or we played games, or both. Grandpa loved to play checkers and always let me beat him. We went through old pictures or dithered in the kitchen cleaning up, and thinking about tomorrow’s meals. I think now we miss so many happy moments by siting in front of the television and watching shows that we really don’t enjoy. What a pity. Life is so wonderful, why waste a moment?
Try this menu to help you relax after a hard day. It can be prepared early in the morning. and finished just before meal-time. Sit back and unwind and reflect on your day. Play some quiet music and let the world spin on while thinking slow, refreshing thoughts. You will be surprised how you won’t care that the world is on fast forward.
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (10-ounce) can of cream-of-mushroom or cream-of- chicken soup
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1⁄2 (6-ounce) can chopped black olives (optional)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1⁄2 (12-ounce) package tortilla chips, crushed
Combine all ingredients and pour in 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through. Serve with salsa.
This salad/dessert completes the meal, and is best made early in the day.
1 (16-ounce) can whole cranberry sauce
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3⁄4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
8 ounce whipped topping
Combine cranberries, milk, lemon juice, pineapple and nuts. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into 9-by-13-inch dish. Freeze until firm. Remove from freezer about five minutes before serving.
Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.