The Simple Remedy

This morning, the icy wind blows against the house and whips down the street, determined.  The power goes out, and suddenly, the warm yellow glow of the kitchen turns into the blue-black of a morning not quite awake. 

We have breakfast by lantern and candlelight.  It’s quiet

We have so much time on our hands.  It’s as if a lack of electricity remedies our morning frenzy. 

We have to pull the garage door open by hand.

I can’t charge my cell phone; I can’t check email.  My day turns basic, simple.

But I can drive across town to the doctor’s office.  Finally, after 14 days of coughing, the doctor wants to treat with antibiotics.  As I sit there, still chilled from my morning without heat, the doctor says, “You’ll need to buy buckwheat honey today.  It’s the only thing that works for the cough.” 

Buckwheat honey?  Last week, I paid a fortune in medications (that did not work) to treat this cough, prescribed with robotic speed.  But this new doctor claims that all the clinical trials in cough research show that a teaspoon of buckwheat honey (and it has to be buckwheat–no other type works) coats the throat in such a way that coughing ceases.

A simple remedy, as simple as a quiet breakfast by lantern, trumps the big expense of manufactured cough suppressants.   My jar of honey costs a couple dollars, and I cradle it in my arms as I make my way through the fluorescent lights of the grocery store.  I imagine the little bees making this honey–that simple, natural act–that I’ll benefit from today. 

Honey and lanterns:  I have to remember that living with flair can be natural and basic and cheap.  That kind of living may remedy what frenzies my day.

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The Most Impressive Thanksgiving

Right now I’m launching into my official Thanksgiving preparations.  Imagine all the family driving in.  Imagine the rooms to arrange, the week of activities to plan, the house to clean, the meals to prepare.

There’s a way to go about this with flair. 

Lately, I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about how to handle Thanksgiving stress. At the same time, I’m reading article after article about how to “Have a Thanksgiving to Impress!” 

Does Thanksgiving stress come from what I stress?  If I emphasize wanting to impress my guests, my Thanksgiving becomes a performance to evaluate rather than a holiday to enjoy. 

I don’t want family members to remember how impressive I was; I want them to remember how loved they felt.

So I’m cleaning my home to make others feel comfortable, not impressed.  We’re planning a menu to nourish and celebrate, not impress.

Living with flair means I make preparations in order to love–not impress–those around my table.  Suddenly, it doesn’t matter about this old rented house, this tight budget, this simple meal.  We’ll hold hands around a thrift-store table and thank God for all we have.  You will feel loved, not impressed.

And that will impress you.

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