Dallas

Chapter 1. Coronavirus Cooking. The End.

May 7, 2020
beef taco with picante cream

Last night was my fiftieth dinner in Dallas—a record I hope I never break. After seven long weeks in almost complete isolation, I am ready to get home. I have cleaned out the refrigerator and organized my papers, including a fat file full of new recipes and menus. What have I accomplished? What have I learned? I said at the beginning that we each need …

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100 Home-Cooked Meals and Still Counting

April 22, 2020
chalupa compuesto con pollo

Today is Day 35 of mostly sheltering in place on the 15th floor of a large apartment complex in Dallas. Even with four takeout meals, I have prepared more than 100 meals at home alone in the kitchen. On Wednesday, March 18, I flew to Dallas with my son in time for takeout Whataburgers for lunch. The trunk of my daughter-in-law’s car was stuffed with …

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Coronavirus Cooking—Winners and Losers

April 18, 2020
sausage with red cabbage

Home Alone in the Kitchen Friday was Day 30 of making do with what I have to cook three meals a day. A few meals have been memorable, a few have been miserable failures and most are simply nothing worth mentioning. Nutrition, flavor and easy cleanup all matter. My favorite meal is the easiest: Italian sausage with Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato fries, success guaranteed, …

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Thank you, God

April 9, 2020
Sunlight breaks through

Thank you, God, for the gift of senses, for the joy we feel from what we see, hear, taste, smell, touch. But as always you give us free will. We can choose beauty or we can choose ugliness. At this time, oh God, may we choose the good and the beautiful, individually, as your people, and as a nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen. My memoir, …

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Searching for a Sanctuary

April 5, 2020
home office as sanctuary

Today I needed a sanctuary, a place to withdraw from the clutter on every available surface in my living room and kitchen, from the unmade bed and the pile of dirty towels. When I had to move without notice from a water-damaged condo to a rented apartment February year ago, I turned the wee-tiny third bedroom into office space that I have seldom used. I …

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Making Do With Leftovers

April 1, 2020
Preparing barbecue brisket

I cooked up a storm in Week 1 of sheltering in place in Dallas. Most of the time I was waking up every day deciding what to cook. When it was time to restock a week later, stay-at-home rules were in place and it was obvious things were going to get worse before they got better. I took inventory of food on hand, went through …

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Powerless and Needing Power

March 29, 2020
Dr. George Mason

Are you as confused as I am about the day and the date? It’s all a blur and there is nothing to mark the passage of time except by the increasing daily numbers of coronavirus cases. People don’t go to work or school on weekdays; we don’t go out on Saturday night. Whether your Sunday included worship or brunch or pro sports on TV, there …

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Seeking Joy While Sheltering in Place

March 22, 2020
Dallas skyline

Bad is stronger than good, but good can prevail if we know what we’re up against. When I posted the Wall Street Journal essay, Say No to Negativity, on my Facebook page the end of December, I had no idea how prophetic it would, how intentional I would need to be to stay positive while I shelter in place alone during this Covid-19 pandemic: The …

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The Journey to Easter Joy

March 14, 2019
journey to Easter Joy

Though the observance of Ash Wednesday, Lent and Holy Week was not part of my faith tradition growing up, today even Baptists mark the journey to the cross and on to the empty tomb. For me, this period on the church calendar marks the approach to the anniversary of Lev’s death. I look past Good Friday and death to the joy of Easter. I want …

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How Do I Make 2019 Better?

January 3, 2019
The clock strikes 12

That’s the question I will try to answer in four speeches this month—Resolved: To Reclaim Joy in 2019. I know the answer—that’s what my memoir is all about—and 2018 was hardly joyless. However, I let the publication and media attention surrounding Reclaiming Joy to take over my life. I want 2019 to be better. I first wrote formal New Year’s Resolutions at the end of …

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