Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Gratitudes
So much to be grateful for today. Some of it is obvious, given the season. Some of it seems a bit odd at first...

1. Fresh dill. Today I pulled out a package of fresh dill and instantly thought of my Grandma. Perfume doesn't bring up a memory of her, but fresh dill? Well, her garden was always full of the greatest smells. I loved the aroma of sunshine-warm tomatoes, the smell of the raspberries and apricots, the sharp dirt-smell of potatoes and carrots. But my favorite was walking through the herb patch and smelling the dill she used in her home-canned pickles. She would also combine fresh dill, vinegar, sour cream, and salt and stir them up with sliced cucumbers fresh from her garden. She would serve this is a little four-bowl crystal and silver dish that would also hold bread and butter pickles, yellow chow chow (I loved picking out the cauliflower to eat), and olives. Today I used the fresh dill to make the sour cream and cucumber dish for my Easter dinner. It felt like Grandma S. was there with me. I'll write her a letter tomorrow to tell her I made it.

2. Fresh strawberries. This is another Grandma S. memory. She made the best fresh strawberry and fresh raspberry freezer jam. She had specific products she would use - she was very brand loyal when it came to making jam - she thought that MCP pectin was the only type to use. I use the same things now. I made a batch of strawberry freezer jam this weekend. I will make another batch tomorrow. Strawberry jam is Mr. Wonderful's preferred choice for rolls and toast.

3. Brahms. I listen to Brahms: A German Requiem every Easter. I can't remember what started me on this tradition. Check it out here. It is one of my favorite classical pieces. Of course, it is the version with Mo-Tab and the Utah Symphony.

4. Another favorite Easter piece is from Sally Deford. Her arrangement of Beautiful Savior is what I always want my choir to sing at Easter. This was my third time directing it. you can find that piece here. My choir did a wonderful job today. The music is SSATB with piano, organ and flute. It is one of those pieces that strengthens my soul every time I hear it.

5. Spring in general. I love see the grass and the fields turn green. I have started to see baby goats at a neighborhood farm. Asparagus and rhubarb at the grocery store. Dyeing Easter eggs with the kids. Taking Dear Doggie Girl for a walk in the morning and not freezing. Sunnier days. Flowers blooming. Getting things ready to plant a garden. There is something about spring and growing things that really makes me happy.

6. Knowing who I am, where I've been, and where I am going after this life. My twin sis' dear father-in-love passed away this past weekend. It is a bittersweet thing. We are sad to see him go, but we know we will see him again. The day my sister was married, her father and mother-in-love put their arms around me and welcomed me into the family. They have always been so loving and kind to me. Now I think of him, no longer fettered by a very ill body, so happy to see his loved ones again. This life is not the end.

7. Easter. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has made it possible for everyone to be resurrected, to live again. I love this holiday. My family does our fun things on Saturday so we can fully dedicate Sunday to the celebration of the resurrection of our Savior. My children know the story well. Today we talked about the joy of seeing our Grandpa S. and our Granddaddy B. again. My children remember them. They have never met Grandma J. and Grandpa Snowy and Nana F. but look forward to seeing them, too. We talk about the huge family reunion we will have someday. That will b a great day.

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