Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sometimes it Rains

Two funerals in one week.

One was more of a party, really. The death was not a surprise- we knew he was not long for this world, and we can only hope that he's found the peace in death that he never seemed to find in life. Still, it was a goodbye.

But the other? Oh, it was a sad one. The vitality of youth gone in the blink of an eye. Dimples, freckles, and an easy smile that once lit my classroom- gone. I knew this day would come, I knew that one day a student would die, I just didn't realize how sad it would be. I didn't realize that I'd sit in a church and watch parents grieve over their child and that I would feel the hollow pang of a mother's loss of her son. Bearing witness to the unthinkable, the unimaginable.

What can you do? I hugged my boys a little tighter when I came home and choked back a tear when Jack planted an impromptu kiss on my cheek and laughed until I cried when Sawyer went barreling down the driveway on his bike in the rain. This life is strange, but I suppose we just keep on putting one foot in front of the other and trying to make the most of this wild ride.

And it was also my birthday. So I chose to celebrate life, not forgetting about the deaths, but focusing on those who make my life worth living and who sometimes make the ride even wilder.

The rain came this weekend and filled the air with that unmistakeable smell of fall- wood stoves, wet pavement, and soggy leaves. This was a fitting weekend for the rain to come. Upon us all, a little rain must fall.

And so I spent a wet weekend loving on my family and friends a bit more than usual. A nine (and a half!) mile run with my dad, wine and cake with the girls, an afternoon visit with an old friend, hours in the kitchen with all three of my boys. Jack and Brent tackled a mountain of tomatoes and cooked a giant pot of pizza sauce for the freezer. And Sawyer helped by taking an epic nap.

The recipe is simple and I'm starting to think that we've finally nailed it. The last batch was just about perfect.

Pizza Sauce
a giant pot full of plum tomatoes (diced)
crushed red pepper
tomato paste

Employ helpers to dice tomatoes. Or spend about 45 minutes doing it yourself. Bring your giant pot full of diced tomatoes to a boil and then let simmer until reduced to half the original volume. This will take a few hours, be patient. Then add everything else to taste. Puree in the blender. Freeze for later or make some serious pies.

Brent has been amusing us by bringing home different colors of cauliflower. This week it was purple...

We had a rainbow stir fry for dinner. Oh, and the cookies. I mentioned to Brent that the rain made me feel like baking something. Every once in awhile I just get that itch to turn on the oven and I don't always know what I'm after. Brent reminded me of the Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies that I made last year and that idea just hit the spot. And so...

Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies
(adapted from
1 cup unsalted butter
(yes, I know that's a lot of butter, trust me, they're worth it)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 cups oats

Cream butter and sugars, then add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in dry ingredients and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack gently. Store in an airtight container and they'll be even better the second day. Sure, you'll be brushing your teeth a little harder and doing a few extra laps around the track after you eat these, but they are perfect for a rainy afternoon stuck inside with the ones you love.

And really, what more could I ask for from this life? I am often humbled by the beauty of it all, even when it rains.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the recipes. It was great to see and hang out with you and your family. Sorry to hear about your funerals. I have been to way to many, no students...I can't imagine.

    Hope to see you soon!