friends

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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130 Meals and Still Counting

May 2, 2020
Sheet-Pan Sausage

If you are in Texas or another state that is opening up again, perhaps you have mixed feelings like I do. While I love the concept of dining out with family and friends, I have no confidence that it’s safe. To the contrary, I think May might turn out to be the riskiest month of all. I am looking forward to getting home to my …

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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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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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Maturity Brings Wisdom

December 22, 2019
Philippians 3:13-14

 Meditations for Advent: 3. Moving Toward Joy The third stage of our journey toward joy is more difficult than what has gone before. Last week we focused on practical things we can do to strengthen our relationships. In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul calls on us to examine ourselves, to use our discouragement and grief to mature and grow with purpose and joy—to move forward …

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Love Overcomes Fear

December 8, 2019
Philippians 1:27, 28

Meditations for Advent: 1. Moving Toward Joy Are you ready to celebrate Christmas? or is something missing this season? This has been a hard year on many fronts. Many have suffered grievous losses. Hope and peace and joy may seem very far away. That’s how I felt after Lev died. The very thought of the Holidays terrified me. To prepare my heart, I turned to …

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

September 26, 2019
daybreak

Today I pray the Serenity Prayer for friends whom I hold close to my heart: May God grant you the wisdom to understand and evaluate all the doctors say, to ask the questions that need to be asked and to make the decisions that need to be made. May God grant you the courage to go forward with your usual optimism and faith, even if …

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What to Do About Valentine’s Day?

February 7, 2019
wedding & funeral

Valentine’s Day—while not the sinkhole that Thanksgiving and Christmas, birthday and anniversary are—is still a day for widows to approach with caution and plan in advance. Or a day to stay home, order in a pizza and binge-watch old movies on Netflix. As Laura Amendola blogged in “Finding Your Path in the Month of Love”: “Sometimes seeing red hearts and cupids in the store windows …

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Banishing the Ghosts of Christmas Past

November 30, 2018
Ghosts of Christmas Past

Lev relished the persona of being gruff and grumpy, and he welcomed the grandchildren’s nickname for him—Grumps. Come Christmas, he played the role to the hilt when they were around, going around muttering, “Bah! Humbug!” like Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. As choreographer of our Christmas rituals and traditions, I encouraged him, setting the stage with Dickens-themed Holiday decorations. We remember the story: …

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Ready to Party?

November 15, 2018
Dinner for 3

Tennyson may be right that “In the Spring a young man’s [and woman’s] fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”[1]; but in my stage of life, fall too often turns my mind to thoughts of loss. The shortened days depress me. While I thought nothing of going out after dark with Lev, nine autumns later I am still uncomfortably surprised by the darkness when I …

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