FOOD FOR THE SOUL
On almost any given day, you can drive by our home and find Miss Madison swinging on our large wrap around porch. She started routinely swinging this summer while listening to her I-Pod, and in the early evening that’s where you will find her. When we moved into this house in 1985, one of the first things to go up was an old used porch swing. Our neighbor Harold Ioerger came over and put the hooks into the ceiling for me and they are still holding up the swing, over 25 years later. I remember asking him if they were in there securely and he then proceeded to hang from the hook with one hand. I stared in amazement because Harold was probably over 60 at that time. That old porch swing began falling apart, and my parents surprised me with a new swing in 1996 after the death of our infant son. I think that they knew somehow that something as simple as swinging on a porch swing would bring peace to my heart.
About a month ago I heard a crash, and in comes Maddie all shook up because one of the original chains had broken, sending both her and the swing to the floor. She was unharmed, and we just adjusted the chains and she was again swinging like crazy. Then last week it broke again, with her again somehow missing an injury, except to her pride. So off I go to Farm and Fleet to get new chain. The whole kit was there for $16.99, but being the frugal shopper I am, I deducted that I only needed 2 four foot chains and at 99 cents a foot, I was sold. I come home to surprise Maddie and wouldn’t you know it…..the chain would not go on the hook…opening too small…DARN IT! Several days later I stop at small hardware store on my way home from work, armed with a piece of the chain, and get 2 more five feet (I wasn’t going to make another mistake) for 69 cents a foot. We had the right chain, more than enough length, and we were back in swinging business. I suppose if I really did the math, it would have been cheaper and easier to just pay out the $16.99 in the first place? Live and learn I guess…
It hit me tonight how much that swing has comforted and relaxed so many over the years. When my dad would come to supper, after my mom had passed away, he would “retire” to the swing after eating. I would be cleaning up the kitchen and I could hear the swing moving gently, and it made my heart feel good, because he was content. I can still see him sitting out there, one leg crossed over the other, with one arm slung across the back of the swing, just smiling. Many times I would swing with my kids as they told me about their day at school, or what the gossip of the day was. That swing is the best seat in the house when watching a storm come rolling in, and you can usually keep swinging without getting wet from the rain. I can’t count how many times my kids and their friends would be out there swinging and laughing… When I was going through my divorce I would go out there and swing alone, and contemplate how my life was going to change. It is so peaceful out there, listening to the crickets at night, or the birds during the day, and just think. I purposely bought a Kindle cover with a light so I could sit out there after dark and read. When we have company and go to visit on the porch, the swing is the choice spot to sit.
So fall is here and soon it will be too cold to swing, although I have been known to curl up in a blanket and sit out there on the cold evenings of late fall. Once again my parents were wise beyond their years…they knew just what to give a grieving mother that would not only heal her, but others throughout the years. ♥
FOOD FOR THE BODY
OVEN BEEF STEW
(so good for these cooler evening suppers)
2 lbs cubed stew meat
1 large onion
1 cup celery
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 bag frozen green beans or peas
1 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons Minute Tapioca
1 can (16oz) tomatoes
Mix all ingredients well and bake in a covered dutch oven.
Bake at 300 degrees for 4-5 hours.
Great with corn bread of the side.