A Morning Golden and True

Archived | July 23, 2015 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was feeling a bit odd, our daughter and her new husband off on their honeymoon just that afternoon — a week up in Bayfield, Wisconsin, going to art festivals and beaches and on tours of islands and the lake itself. No computers. Little communication. Quiet. A fine way to spend the first week of a marriage: together in a quaint small town, near wilderness.

They were married the day before, a late afternoon wedding in a summer heat that left people fanning themselves and drinking from water bottles stashed in purses and checking their watches perhaps more often than usual. And was it ever lovely. Our daughter was happy. Radiant. And her groom? The smile never left his face. Mr. Sundberg was proud as all getout as he walked her down the aisle to that song from the movie Babe, the one where Farmer Hoggett dances for his pig, “If I Had Words.” We sang “Be Thou My Vision”, and the pastor did a fine job with a short talk on marriage, and the vows were spoken with tenderness and heart.

The question I’ve gotten most often in the midst of all the graduation open houses and birthdays and showers and wedding plans has been,“How are you holding up?” It was asked many times on that Wedding Day, and Mr. Sundberg heard it, too. I remember hearing, throughout my life, that same question asked of the mother or father of someone getting married, and I remember thinking, What a silly question. It’s a WEDDING. No one has died. This is not about a natural disaster, or a bomb going off.

My general answer to those inquiring about how I’m holding up has been, “Fine” or “Doing well” or “It’s all good.” Because it’s true. But to be honest, the real answer would take too long to explain. How am I holding up? I’m holding up because I recognize the meaning of our daughter’s marriage to a fine young man. It’s about Change, inevitable and healthy. It’s about the Next Chapter. We’re growing older. Life is happening. Things will be different now. All is as it should be. This is how I’m holding up. By acknowledging the Truth of This Day.

Without Onwardness, where would we be? Stuck back there, somewhere — no risks taken, no flight, no experience, no wisdom to be gained. I’m not talking about marriage alone; I’m talking about Every Grand Step we take to make our lives what we wish them to be, perhaps need them to be: travel abroad; adoption; retirement; divorce; sex change operations; voting; quitting smoking; moving to another town; remodeling the house; down-sizing; retirement.

People all ‘round you are leaping forward. Cheer for them. Support them. Leap with them, if you wish. But never judge them. Our leaps are ours to take, each of us, and thank goodness we take them. Amen to that feeling in your gut when at last you feet leave the ground and you, midair, see all that you can see, and wonder just where, exactly, you might land, and when you do, things are different, and Life is Good, and who knows what’s ahead, and who cares, because what matters is that you’re here. And so are we. And let’s raise a glass and wish each other well.

I don’t know about you, but on hot summer days, lemonade and something savory are my two biggest cravings. The first is simple; the second is too. Have a go at this recipe and satisfy a craving or two. Add some fresh cornbread and a salad or some beans and make it a meal.

Baked Chicken Nachos

2 medium sweet red peppers, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
3 tsp canola oil, divided
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
2¼ cups shredded cooked chicken
4½ tsp lime juice
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
7½ cups tortilla chips
8 oz pepper Jack cheese, shredded
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
1 cup sour cream
2 to 3 tsp diced pickled jalapeno peppers, optional

In a large skillet, saute peppers in 1½ teaspoons oil for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; transfer to a small bowl. In the same skillet, saute the beans, garlic, oregano and cumin in remaining oil for 3 minutes or until heated through.

Combine the chicken, lime juice, salt and pepper. In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer half of the tortilla chips, pepper mixture, bean mixture, chicken, cheese, onions and cilantro. Repeat layers.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with sour cream and pickled jalapenos if desired.

Serves about 16.