A Bit of a Crazy Season

Made some cranberry pear crisp Saturday, and it was not bad.  Considering we’d all eaten our fill of carbs covered with cheese and crushed cornflakes, and sweet potato concoctions and turkey sandwiches and leftover lefse and pumpkin pie and salty pickled things, and it was time for something on the light side, and fruity.  The kids ate it up and so did we after putting up the tree, a balsam this time around, a tall one at that, with “A Muppet Christmas Carol” playing on the TV.

It was, as usual, my job to string the lights.  Mr. S started, and we worked together awhile, but it’s one of those things in which I find joy and he does not so I guess I kind of took over and I don’t think he minded.  It’s one of those things that often leads to frustration, and sometimes to odd hilarity when the tree tips or the lights stop lighting half way down the tree, or they start flashing all of a sudden and scare the crap out of someone.  It has led to an argument and a day of silence, and who wants that?

There are all manner of things like that during what can get to be a bit of a crazy season.  It’s important to stop and think, and to switch gears when need be, or stay stopped awhile til things simmer down.   It’s like people who deep fry turkeys for Thanksgiving and get all worked up about how good it’s going to be and how this is the best way and so on and in all the excitement they forget to move the giant pot of oil OUT OF or AWAY FROM the garage or forget to thaw the turkey completely and drop it half frozen into a pot of hot oil and BOOM!  There goes the garage, up in flames.

I had a car event the other evening.  I am tempted to say “accident” but it wasn’t.  A pickup truck came out of nowhere in the early dark of night, and in my attempt to avoid hitting it as it passed in front of me, I slammed [if there is a word stronger than “slammed”, insert here] on the brakes.

I didn’t hit him (assuming it was a “him”).  No one saw it.  It could have not happened, it was that fast.  I was tired, yes, after a long day of everything.  I was seatbelted.  I had been listening to “Blue Christmas.”  But it did happen, and the only evidence of mishap was my face.  Which had, in a flash of a second, met the steering wheel, leaving my lip split like a river valley and my jaw bruised and swelling.  Thank the Lord for frozen veggies and a good deep bathtub.

Kick ‘er down a notch, people.  Life is shorter than we think, and a tree without lights ain’t a bad thing if lights are an issue. Neither is a bit slower drive home. And if you are going to boil that turkey, find a nearby field and make sure it’s thawed.  Common sense, I think they call it.  Serve it up with some egg nog, and the music turned up, and a few candles.  Lit.

Here’s a reasonably healthful and mightily tasty alternative to apple crisp.  Tell people it’s got brown rice in it.  And serve it up with some vanilla ice cream.  For the calcium.

Cranberry Pear Crisp

3 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups diced peeled pears
1 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup brown sugar; firmly packed
vegetable cooking spray
1/4 cup rolled oats
3 T butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Combine rice, pears, cranberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 2 T flour. Place rice mixture in 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside. Combine remaining flour, remaining sugar, and oats in bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add pecans and coconut; blend well. Sprinkle over rice mixture. Bake at 375. for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm.




  1. Joehudsn@gmail.com
    January 1, 2017

    Another great story that hits the essence of ‘frantic’ associated with the holiday season. Loved it and thank you for a wonderful story.

    • Mrs. Sundberg
      January 2, 2017

      Thank you, Sir. Many blessings to you as we begin this new year. I appreciate your words, and wish you good things.

    • peggyg
      January 15, 2017

      sthanks you for you wisdom and your peaceful mind. I vwe wondered for years who you are, and your kindness, wisdom, and humor helped through some time of sadness, joy, self-doubt and first world existential crisis or two. Please don’t ever underestimate your impact on your readers like me, who have followed your literary life for many years. They are like a candle in the window on a dark winter night. -Peggy Gilbertsen

      • Mrs. Sundberg
        January 16, 2017

        Thank you, dear heart. Your words mean a great deal to me. Thank you.

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