What is the greatest joy of your life? Think about it.
God certainly knew what he was doing when he never gave me children of my own, because when I was 34, I met and married Jim who had a 14-year-old daughter who became the great joy of my life. She did not grow under my heart, but in it. I cannot believe I was so lucky.
Time flew by and now we have two grown granddaughters. When that first little, pink bundle came into our lives, I thought I never could love another child that much, that my heart just could not hold any more love. But I was wrong. The second granddaughter came along, and I easily made room for more love. Love just fills to the brim and spills over.
Now we are blessed with two great-grandchildren. A dainty, little girl, and a robust and busy little boy. Joy fills our hearts even more. I am sure every grandparent feels the same way about their little ones. One needn’t ask about grandchildren, because any grandparent worth his/her salt will bring up the subject and show pictures, without being asked or even hinted at.
Thank God for family, friends
I have many joys in my life. My parents, sisters, brothers and grandparents. I have numerous cousins and had many aunts and uncles who were a joy to me. All have helped to shape my life in one way or another so each is a source of joy.
Friends also are a great joy. What would we do without them? We have friends who are as close as family members. They are at our beck and call at any moment and share all our problems and pleasures. They drive for us, they do many odd-jobs around the house and they help play host/hostess every time we entertain. We could not get along without them. What joy they bring into our lives. We have the kind of friends who do so much for us we never can repay them. We never can keep the ledger balanced.
Working for a living
Work is a joy. I love writing and can hardly call it work. I enjoy keeping our house and cooking and puttering in the yard. I started to say I enjoy housework, but that would be a lie. I really do not like mopping and dishes and ironing, but I do like to have an orderly house and a happy home, so I do them and pretend they are a joy. The true joy comes when our Karen deep cleans for us every two weeks. I can do the little things and keep the house straight, and that is a joy.
Play is a joy. Whether it is traveling, playing the piano or doing handcrafts, I keep busy, and that in itself is a joy. I tat, knit a little, crochet a lot (especially cancer caps), quilt a bit, dabble in painting, and write every chance I get. But most of all I love to cook.
I have found life itself is a joy. I find pleasure in everything we do, whether it is going to Jim’s exercise rehab, going to the grocery store, shopping, attending church functions, Bible study, visiting friends or relatives, reading, television, visiting, eating out, eating in, having people over or whatever. Life is wonderful. Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life.
My grandparents and parents were happy people who found joy in everyday things. They found pleasure in work and then enjoyed the cool of the evenings just sitting around talking about the events of the day. They enjoyed their children, grandchildren and all relatives and neighbors. They found great pleasure in simple things like popcorn in the evenings, listening to frogs in the early spring or rain on a tin roof.
The poet Grace Noll Crowell probably said it best in her poem “I Have Found Such Joy”
“I have found such joy in simple things;
“A plain clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread,
“A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
“The shelter of a roof above my head,
“And in a leaf-laced square along a floor,
“Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.
“I have found such joy in things that fill
“My quiet days: a curtain’s blowing grace,
“A potted plant upon my window sill,
“A rose fresh-cut and placed in a vase,
“A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
“And books I long have loved beside me there.”
Mom’s knee, Grandma’s elbow
I learned to cook at my mother’s knee and my grandma’s elbow. I know I must have been a pest at the time, but they never made me feel I was in their way. They seemingly loved to show me what they were doing. I loved watching and “helping.” I asked many questions and got good answers. My older sisters also let me help and be in the way.
Cooking was a happy, joyous time, and we all turned out to be good cooks who enjoy preparing meals for our families and others.
I especially love to cook for my family and close friends and our sweet Marines pilots from Vance — partly because they “think” I can cook and they are hungry and partly because I like to cook what they like. It is pure joy to have them help me in the kitchen.
Garden of friends
Our friends, Hazel and Bill, gave us three huge containers of fresh asparagus this spring. It is just the best thing in the world, either raw or cooked. I love it on an English muffin, with a slice of Havarti cheese toasted in the oven until cheese bubbles. The asparagus is still raw but warm. Yum! Another way we love it is like this:
2 pounds fresh asparagus
1⁄4 cup butter
1 large, red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and snap stalks into one-inch lengths. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus and remaining ingredients. Saute four to five minutes or until crisp-tender. Serve immediately. We love it over cooked spaghetti with Parmesan cheese and bits of cooked ham.
Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.
What is the greatest joy of your life? Think about it.
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