Easter People

Years ago Ken and I joined one of his sisters for an Easter mass in the  before Easter dinner with his family.  During the mass the priest spoke of how important Easter is for Christians and told us to go forth as joyful Easter people.         This year I am thinking of Ken.  He was an altar boy, went to Catholic schools, but no longer attended church regularly.  Although not religious, Ken …

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A Gift from Ken

 I was a member of the zen center in the Twin Cities when I met Ken.  I knew of no zen centers near Turtle Lake, but I came with my Buddha,  incense, and gong; I put them on an old trunk my parents had given me when I went to college.  Ken decided he could do better than a trunk.     He took a slab and cut three holes.  He inserted and pegged the …

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Potting Soil

Few people knew which tasks Ken did and which I did.  We formed a good team, and I guess to many people the pieces were seamless.  Ken did the planting.  He made the potting soil in fall, brought in enough to fill four or five fifty gallon plastic barrels, made the soil blocks, planted, watered and transplanted. In Ken’s absence I found empty barrels – he hadn’t felt good enough to make the potting soil.  …

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No Maple Syrup this Year, But Next Year…

It is that time of year.  Warm days, nights below freezing.  And each sunny day in the forties I feel that maple sap running up the tree.        And each afternoon as I pick eggs and later when I shut the chicken coops for the night I look up to the stars and remember.        As a child near my birthday in March we would visit my grandparents and they made …

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One of the Surprise Christmas Presents

Today as I make bread I remember… Ken could surprise me easily.  I am often trusting and naive.  One year Ken asked me to help him move some lumber from one of the many lumber piles.  He told me he was pulling some maple for a project.  It never occurred to me the project was for me.     That year in the late fall Ken kept teasing me I had helped him move my …

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Ken the Baby Whisperer

Yesterday I got to spend some time with a gorgeous, happy baby.  I thought of Ken.  Ken, as the second of seven children, had lots of baby experience.  I, as the second of two with two younger cousins across the country, did not.  People would start to hand me babies – after all I am a woman.        And I would quickly say, “Hand that baby to Ken. I come in once they …

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A Guy Could…

Years ago when we were in a fair trade store I saw a lovely set of chimes.  I announced to Ken I wanted to buy it.  This does not happen often, and he was taken aback.  He looked at it and said, “A guy could make one of these.” My quick reply was, “And if A GUY doesn’t make one, his wife will buy one.”   For a few weeks Ken puzzled what he had …

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Onions Make You Wait; They are Worth It.

The first seeds Ken planted each season were the onions.  Since I had bought seeds, I decided to try planting them in Ken’s germination cabinet.  These are the first seeds I have planted since the bean seed in the cup in kindergarten.  Although I called a friend for tips, I had low expectations.   So much could go wrong.  Was the soil too wet, too dry, did I put enough soil covering the seeds, too …

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Sushi Making – Now I am Learning How

Ken used to teach people to make nori maki.  This is sushi rolled in a sheet of nori – a sea weed that is pressed into a thin flat sheet.  And the term sushi refers not to raw fish, but to the rice cooking process.  Sushi is rice cooked with some rice vinegar to soften it so it can be carefully pressed into shapes or rolled.  Sashimi was the term used for raw fish when …

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March When Ken Made Me a Birthday Souffle

Ken was an excellent cook; his last job was as a private chef to one of the Pillsbury family.  When we first dated, Ken would get me a card and try to buy something or take me out for my birthday.            In March egg season is in full swing, and one year I asked him to make me a souffle.  He did and it became our habit.  Each year he …

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