She wanted to know what she should bake; she was taking suggestions via Facebook. My friend Chrissy is a self-proclaimed therapeutic baker. She’s also a foster mom. She goes to court, she comes home, and she bakes. And lucky are we that live close enough to be her neighbors.
Foremost in my mind as the first hints of chill return to the air are Cranberry Bliss bars, which are a couple-times- a-season delicacy from the Starbucks drive-thru. She asked. I have never eaten a cranberry bliss bar while watching baseball. By the time those types of treats are in season, we are heralding the fall season and preparing to deck the halls. This year, though there is a rustle of leaves on the ground and my little boys have already been wearing their new Halloween costumes, I am still listening to balls and strikes being called over the radio. That’s not what usually happens, but I cannot be more grateful. “I can bring you some of these right now.”
Right now. That’s not what usually happens. But I am so grateful.
I have an angel friend who has, on a whim, brought me an entire freezer full of meat that she “happened upon.” She once handed me a tiny screwdriver, part of an eyeglass repair kit, when my daughter’s glasses kept coming loose. Another time, she came to my house with a latte and a six-pack of Cranberry Bliss bars which, she claimed, were on special.
I had become so enamored with my hummingbirds that I hadn’t even thought that they might not be here to stay. It had been a while since I had gotten a glimpse of my magical friend flitting near the ruby red feeder which hangs outside the kitchen window. Then came my hard realization: the hummingbird is not coming back anymore, at least not this year.
That’s it. There’s a season for all of this: baseball, hummingbirds, and even Cranberry Bliss bars, unless you are Chrissy, and you can bake them whenever you like.
“When is it time for me to play real baseball? I think that’s what I am going to be. I was thinking of being a boxer, but I decided I wanted to be something happy, so I am going to do baseball.” He knows. I loved this flow of spoken thoughts from my little boy. He knows: baseball is happy. When it’s not time for baseball, though, we need other things to keep us going.
When we learn things we wish we didn’t know, we are, in a way, forever changed. We can’t go back to where we were before, because there is nothing there. What lies before us may be unfamiliar, but it is where we are.
No matter who wins the World Series, I plan to enjoy the ride along the way.
Chrissy brought me three boxes of glorious cranberry bliss bars and pumpkin scones that day, and I sent her home with a dozen chicken eggs. I know I got the better end of that arrangement. Perhaps she was baking as therapy, to make herself feel better, but she certainly brought some light to my day.
She had left less than two minutes before, and my mouth was already stuffed with cream cheese, white chocolate, and cranberries when her text came in.
“There is a chicken in my car.”
I doubt there’s a season for having chickens in your car.
My friend Juli stopped by this morning. She was coming to collect her baby carrier that I had borrowed. “Would you like some applesauce and pie filling?” Would I like some applesauce and pie filling? How is that even a question?
Though her chore list was probably longer than the distance between our homes, she took the time to deliver a box containing home canned pints of applesauce and quarts of pie filling. When apples are out of season, we will be happy, and we will be reminded of our sweet friend.
As I watched Juli drive away, I wondered if there might be a chicken in her car. I half-hoped there was, because that would mean that she would come back.
I just might put my feet up, sneak the best baked goods into the living room, eat applesauce from the jar, and watch the Cubs continue to work their way to the World Series. All the while, I am going to remind myself that even when things are beyond understanding, blessings abound.