The things we can’t not do

Archived | October 31, 2012 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I’d spent the day cleaning up every last red maple leaf in the yard, and there were a lot of them. It felt good, though, to work hard, and felt good to make dinner with the radio on and candles lit and the big ol’ moon far away in the sky. I watched three more leaves fall to the grass as I cooked, and it brought a smile to my face.
It’s funny when you think about it. All those leaves everywhere, and we go out with our little rakes and bags and attempt to gather them all. When you consider all the trees and all the fallen leaves it seems silly that we think we have a chance. Kind of like vacuuming. Little tiny dust collecting machines and a whole planet made of dust. And we, a good number of us, give it a go every week.
I saw a movie last week from which I took a line that has been running through my head. “You have to do whatever you can’t not do.” We’re like that, spending our days doing things we, really, CAN not do, and the things we CAN’T not do grow larger until we can’t move around them. What are they, then? Not raking. Paying taxes, perhaps. Or having children. Or applying for that one job. I think the things we can’t not do involve some kind of risk. Which gives them a kind of vitality and weight. Making a commitment to a person you love, telling the truth about a painful thing, letting yourself be happy. Can’t not do it. Big stuff, while the leaves fall.
Here’s a fine fall recipe, one both young and old will enjoy. These cookies keep awhile, much longer than they’ll be around.
Pumpkin Cookies
½ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup diced roasted almonds
1 cup chocolate pieces
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix and sift flour, baking pwd and baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add to creamed mixture. Add almonds and chocolate chips or raisins. Mix.
Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for 15 minutes or until light brown. (I like to under bake them just a bit.) Let cool.