First the LAX shooting. Then one at the Garden State Plaza in NJ. Followed by some phone-in bomb scares at local NJ schools. My stomping grounds.
I’ve written and re-written my reactions to all of this recent terror so many times but nothing seems to say what I want it so say. It’s awful and overwhelming that there is so much bad in the world. It’s awful to think about people and about kids being scared like this. Awful isn’t even close though. I’m at a lack.
So here I sit, late at night with a deadline looming and miracle of miracles, Facebook to the rescue. On my sister’s wall, she has posted a link to something uplifting. It makes me cry. It lifts me up. I feel better. It’s done its job and the lump in my throat is subsiding.
And then I come back to this blog post that I know I have to write, that I know I want to write but can’t.
What can I say to make this seemingly neverending live stream of violence go away? Nothing. And so I’m stealing my sister’s words instead.
“Make someone’s day. Do something good.”
Sometimes I’m overly negative and worrisome, it’s true. But I like to believe in good. I like to believe in being kind to strangers, to thanking people genuinely any chance I get. I like it when people take time to learn my kids’ names and to stop and tell me what lovely little beings I am raising. I like joy. I like smiles. I like underdogs and hot fudge and pajamas before dinner. And yeah, I totally like when friends do nice things for me, like bring ghost-cupcakes to my family when I’ve been way too busy and up to my ears in “stuff” to make that extra Halloween effort.
You’re thinking, “I already do kind things. I already am kind.” I know. You are. But today? Fall into the cliché of paying it forward. That’s my humble solution. Lots of little but amazing good things going on today…
Need a suggestion? I got your back.
Deep in my memory lies visions of my father, peeling Macintosh apples in our orange and brown NJ kitchen. I can see his thumb, working the dulled peeler, can hear his tenor voice singing Roy Orbison as he does this. I can taste the buttery rich batter, licked off of a worn wooden spoon. I can smell the pie baking, I can see the golden glow of the oven light as I wait for it to be done. I can hear the sound of the cinnamon as my mother sprinkles it over the pie, can see the perfect flat surface of the Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream. The aroma is thick and in everything around me. To this day, when I make this pie I am comforted at once, transported to all things wonderful about my childhood.
Make this pie. It’s full of sugar and butter and I promise, you can’t deliver it without receiving lots of love in return. It’s easy, it won’t take you much time at all.
It’s best eaten warm. Bake it with the 1700 apples you have leftover from apple picking.
Bring it to your child’s school. Bring it to the post office. Bring it to the pediatrician’s office. Bring it to your friend who is coping with loss. Bring it to the local supermarket. Bring it somewhere for someone.
Do something good. Please?
Van Vliet Deep Dish Apple Pie
12 – 13 MacIntosh apples (maybe more, depending on how much apple you like!)
2 cups sugar
2 cups unbleached all purpose white flour
1.5 sticks of butter
DO NOT GREASE PAN!
Melt butter first, so it is cool by the time you are finished peeling/slicing apples.
Fill 13×9 glass pan with peeled apple slices.
Mix sugar, egg, flour and salt by hand. Add cooled butter and mix thoroughly. Spread over apples and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 400 for 35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
The dough batter will be thick so wash your hands well and get creative spreading it over the apples.