It's chilly. My polka dot knee highs are pulled up way past my knees almost up to where the stringy cut off shorts touch my thighs. They might be sorta sexy .. if the socks matched. And if I wasn't wearing the funky Boston Terrier slippers that my girls bought me for my birthday last December. The cold early morning air passes through the screen door and washes over my face, it's cleansing to the soul. A soul that has learned so much this year, a soul that is happy and thriving, a soul that is thankful for the shifts and bends in the road. I smile against the breeze. I've got Louie Armstrong playing loudly as I work my way around the kitchen, slicing apples, sifting flour, beating eggs and thinking about how different my life is. The contrast between today and this time last year is amazing. Last year I was fighting myself, trying to change and failing at it all. Looking back, the things that I thought were important were nothing but a mirage. It was a tough humbling lesson, my quest to find myself landed me in the place that I've always longed to be.. a place that I've always been. Home.
I toss in the walnuts and run my finger along the mixing bowl, savoring the taste of the delicious batter. So many thoughts are going through my head. I sit in the kitchen chair, pull my legs up and rest my chin on my knees. I think back to that day in November when I sat in this very same spot.. the year was 1989 and I was a nervous 17 year old who was smitten by the boy that she had just met on a blind date. The boy who put quarters in her penny loafers so that she could call him from the pay phone each day. The boy that, (just like the apples in the batter), was hand picked to be her husband for the past 24 years. Thank you mom.
I think about all of those years together, much like this cake recipe.. There were pieces of our marriage that were bitter and sweet, coarse and delicious. I don't care what anyone says, Marriage is work. If you don't nurture it, it will burn quickly. Throughout the years, there have been cracks on the surface. We've played with the ingredients, taking things out and tossing things in, sometimes they've worked and sometimes they didn't ... but we've never stopped trying to get it perfect. (and we've never stopped adding the spice) * wink
And on cue, just as I am in my own thankful little world... singing along to Louis Armstrong's Dummy song and pouring the sweet apple batter into the cake pan., he walks into the room , cups his hands to my ears from behind, kisses the top of my head, says he loves me and walks out of the house.
Love and life.. It may sometimes be a bit rough around the edges... but it's tender, sweet and delicious ~ Just the way it is meant to be.
Sweet Apple Walnut Cake
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups of apples, cored and chopped
1 cup of walnuts
Mix sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. add remaining ingredients, mix well. Pour into greased cake pan and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
Live, Love and be happy!