Time to be a Light

Archived | November 21, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. Felt pretty dang cozy in the house, with all the snow that came down last week. Happened fast, didn’t it. One day we’re walkin’ in the park wearing light jackets and tennis shoes, and a few days later — Boom! Snow everywhere. Though it’s not right to say we’ve had a major snowfall, really, given what those people in New York are dealing with. Six feet of snow. Now that’s a major snowfall.

It’s not something to joke about, and of course I’m tempted. But. People died and people are in trouble. Instead, I lit a candle for all of them and imagine they’ll get through it because they are hardy. A major sky-dump is nothing new, and they’ll weather through it.

Everyone has something with which to contend this time of year. For a lot of people it has nothing to do with the weather, though the weather may not help much. Despite all the holiday gatherings comin’ up, this is the dark time of year in all kinds of ways for a lot of people. Easy to feel lonely instead of surrounded by snow. Easy to feel longing for long ago, and ache for people far away, or passed away. It’s like that during these months of little light, when the sun makes its dash across the sky.

Time to be a light, I say. This is not difficult, and kindness, really, makes its own light. From now until the New Year, make a point to lighten the load a bit for people you encounter who are carrying a heavy one. Buy someone’s coffee for them tomorrow at the gas station. Send flowers to your neighbor who is having a rough time. Make a gift box filled with chocolate and nuts and throw a candle in there for your friend who is working on a major project and is down to the wire. Think about what lights you up, and then get on out there and do it for someone. It’s like cutting wood, really. Warms you twice. And you get the bonus of firelight in the eyes of those who gather ‘round.

Some call this a “summer salad,” but not me. No, salad is salad, and it’s good any time of year. (Except for a bowl of grapes with walnuts and sour cream dumped on it which isn’t ever that good). This one works well the day before or after a holiday meal. Light enough that you don’t feel all puffed-out, and hearty enough to keep you going.

Overnight Lettuce Salad

3 cups shredded lettuce
6 hardboiled eggs, sliced and lightly salted and peppered
2 cups thawed frozen peas (or fresh, if you’ve got ‘em)
3 cups shredded lettuce
8+ oz. shredded cheddar cheese
½ – 1 1b bacon, fried and crumbled
2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing to cover (I use 1 cup each)
A sprinkle each of sugar, salt and pepper
1 bunch green onions
paprika

Spread 3 cups lettuce over bottom of 9×13 glass baking dish.
Scatter sliced egg over the lettuce, and then the peas, and cover with another 3 cups shredded lettuce.
Sprinkle cheese over, and the bacon goes on top of the cheese.
Gently spread mayo over the bacon.
Sprinkle lightly with sugar, salt and pepper.
Garnish with sliced green onions and paprika.
Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours, minimum of 6.