Friday, October 29, 2010
Pie for Everybody!
What we needed was pie.
(My unprofessional diagnosis.)
Since I'm home at the moment, writing and searching for a job, I had the time to do it right.
I pared the Granny Smith apples the old fashioned way, remembering how my dad still does it, letting the peel trail toward the floor in a long curly snake. I sliced the fruit thin into the bowl on my lap, thinking of apple pies I'd made before when the kids were little. How the smell would fill the house. How they'd wait at the table, and Sarah would make up a silly apple pie song.
Now Sarah was off at college and the boys were plugged into the computer or buried in homework. Checking off To Do lists, answering cell phones.
We were all in need of pie, the boys, my husband, and me. We needed laughter and the comfort of something ordinary and warm, smelling of cinnamon. A reason to put away the college applications, the insurance paperwork, a calendar full of doctor's appointments, the want ads and the homework.
We've moved cautiously through our days of the last couple weeks, bracing ourselves at times when surprise aftershocks from Ben's accident washed over us, managing the normal stressors of life with teens and tweens. Stresses of a boy who's already lining up suitcases in the hallway of his mind, getting ready to leave us and set off on his own. Stresses of a younger one who is trying to figure out who he is, yearning to feel understood and respected. Stresses of life with a forty something mother, wandering and searching, and a forty something father, working so hard, focused on his family.
You may be well acquainted with this section of road we're traveling. You may be struggling with much steeper roads, staggering, treacherous ones, or catching your breath in a smooth spot. We all go through rough patches and deal with stress in different ways. We may try to control things or cocoon, we might bicker or get quiet, we might worry or pretend that life isn't fragile at all, that thinking about it and talking about it is silly, a waste of time.
What we really need is pie.
Okay, so pie can't solve everything, but it can't hurt, right?
(Unless you're diabetic. If so, disregard this post. :)
So, back to the pie baking.
After the apples were sliced and tossed with sugar and flour and cinnamon, it was time for the crust. I rolled it into a ragged round and lifting it gingerly into the pie pan, filled it with apples and the syrup they made, added lumps of butter, and blanketed the top crust over, sealing the crusts together like my grandma used to do, pinching around a thumb, making a circle of V's. A few slits in the top crust to let out the steam, and it was time for the oven.
Forty five minutes later, the house smelled like heaven.
Boys suddenly appeared and stood around, waiting.
My husband got up from his seat at the computer, and we talked and took out plates and forks and found the ice cream scoop. I tortured them all by announcing that the pie needed five minutes to set before we sliced it, but three minutes in I couldn't take it anymore.
We sliced the pie and passed the plates around, and as we sat there chewing and oohing and ahhing, it felt like a holy moment. It was a holy moment.
Yes, life is all about messy loose ends and aftershocks, wandering and moving on, and sometimes saying goodbye.
But life is also about eating pie at the table. Sharing a baked prayer, topped with a slab of vanilla ice cream. Savoring every tart-sweet morsel. And maybe having seconds!
So I'm curious. How do you serve up prayers for your family? What concrete things do you do that sometimes create those holy moments? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all, and a super weekend. I wish you much pie and the time to enjoy it with those you love most!
Photo courtesy of edwardkimuk, through creative commons.