The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


June 21, 2011

Give back ... with dessert, if you like

What are you giving back to the world? Think about it.

The happiest people I know are those who give back to the world more than they get from the world. They forget themselves and do for others. They give their time and energies to help others.

As you readers know, we have been very blessed by the young Marine lieutenants stationed at Vance who have become our “family.” They give us much more than we can ever give them. They have truly touched our lives. Their attitude is contagious. A friend of ours, Betty Buck, is a recent widow of a fellow Iwo Jima veteran. She is a dedicated Marine wife and is interested in keeping the Marine Corps alive in her heart. She made throws for our two boys, having never really met them. All she knows is we love them and what they do for us. Now that is giving beyond oneself. We will miss those wonderful young men when they are transferred elsewhere. Talk about “empty nest” syndrome. They will leave a big hole in our hearts and lives.

Jim and I are still in disbelief about our wonderful trip to Washington, D.C. That was clearly a case of “giving back.” Everyone sacrificed to make that trip perfect. Dr. Whitson got his partner to cover for him at the hospital and office. Mrs.Whitson stayed in touch with her father who is ill all the time we were gone. Their kids interrupted their summer activities to go along. Kim and Randy had to use their vacation time to accompany us.  And the “boys” had to get permission to go since they belong to the government. Everyone gave of themselves so we would have a wonderful trip.

During the trip, Jim was constantly reminded that “all gave some ... some gave all.” We should never forget the sacrifices of our service men who keep this country safe and secured. They and their families truly give of themselves.

Some people give back to the world simply by cheering people up and bringing joy into their lives. My friend, Merry Mary, comes to mind when I think about our wonderful, happy conversations filled with laughter about anything and everything. She has a way of lifting me up and spreading joy. What a wonderful world this would be if there were more Merry Marys in it.

We’ve heard it said that doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. Something just compels us to think of other people and do things for them. When we think only of ourselves, we miss a special need in our own lives.

Those who cook for Our Daily Bread and those who serve and clean up every day are to be commended for their service of giving back. I am sure their lives are blessed by giving of themselves to feed the people of Enid. There is a happy, caring attitude within those walls that says “Welcome” to all who enjoy the wonderful, hot meals. The supplies are provided by many stores  and are picked up by volunteers on an appointed round. Merry Mary’s husband, Jerry, is only one of those people who stop what they are doing on a regular basis to drive around Enid to pick up food that is donated. Places like Our Daily Bread could not exist without those caring volunteers. The same can be said for the work of the Salvation Army, which offers hope to the homeless.

Foods are collected door-to-door by volunteers from several churches and civic organizations at certain times. Many, many dedicated people work diligently and tirelessly to collect, sort, and distribute food. When it comes time for the drive ... give back. Most of us have so many groceries in our pantries that taking a few cans off those shelves will hardly be missed and will certainly be appreciated by those less fortunate.

What are we giving back to the world in payment of the wonderful life that we have? All we have to do is look around and it is easy to find someone worse off than we are. Our own little Bible study group of about five ladies made cookie mixes and sold them to build schools for the poorest of the poor in Peru. We had a great time in my little kitchen mixing and packaging and producing the packets and our hearts felt good because we were helping someone else.

I salute those ladies and gentlemen who work as volunteers at the hospitals. Their smiling faces and many hours of work make being in the hospital almost fun. The cheerfulness and excellent care of the nurses, aides and all technicians make a scary situation pleasant.

Hospital volunteers work in the gift shops, sort and deliver mail, assist patients to and from X-ray and the labs and do many, many jobs that make our visits better. Their happiness comes from within because they are giving back.

I was so fortunate growing up during Great Depression and after World War II when everyone was poor. We always had enough to eat and clothes to wear, even if the clothes may have been hand-me-downs. Those hand-me-downs never hurt us, and if anything made us appreciate the many blessings we had. We were given so much love and guidance and care by parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and others that we felt secure and in need of nothing. We shared what we had with others. How do we pay some of this back to the society we live in today?

I feel I was given so much of everything, including advice and guidance, that I want to share some of that abundance. I guess that is one reason I write. I have too much to keep all inside of me. By writing and passing down all the things that were shared with me, I feel I am somehow giving back. Giving does as much for the giver as it does the receiver, if not more.

I try to share my love for cooking simple foods that feed my soul. During the summer we like a salad, like Taco salad, and a simple dessert and we are perfectly happy. This makes any summer evening enjoyable.

Fluffy Pineapple Dessert

1 can (any size) pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice)

1 small carton whipped topping

1 small box instant vanilla pudding

1⁄2 cup of the reserved pineapple juice

Combine pudding mix with pineapple juice and mix well. Add pineapple chunks and fold in whipped topping. Spoon into sherbet or parfait glasses and chill until ready to serve.

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

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