This week I found in my Facebook memories this post I had written a year ago on an October day:
“Tuesday the sky was a languid lavender, looked like a soft, cozy comforter I could pull down and snuggle under. Yesterday the sky emerged bleary-eyed, shaking the fog from its vision. Today it is a blank blue, waiting for clouds to write on it, like my own life waiting for me to present myself to the day, to be open and willing to make the most of this time and space given to me.”
What a difference a year makes! This autumn has carried with it a sense of melancholy. I noted two friends who posted about this this week: the awareness of a certain loss, memories of activities we associate with fall that aren’t available because of Covid 19 or are too risky to engage in them for the same reason. I also came across a photo in my FB memories of a Carmel Apple Dump Cake* I took to an annual fall gathering I regularly attended where many friends gathered to enjoy the weather, some great food and company.
While we are here in Maryland providing childcare, we take advantage of every pretty day to get outside with the kids, often taking the opportunity to explore different parks. But I’m so aware of how many precautions we have to take and the longing children have to see other kids. If there are very many there, we just leave. Even if there are a few, we generally leave if they are not masked. And yet Sebastian talks about hoping he’ll have some friends to play with at the park. Once we went to a park where a couple were there with their son Sebastian’s age and a three year old daughter and the three children just jumped up and down and up and down for several minutes they were so excited to see playmates.
So, of course this autumn lacks the luster that we have come to associate with crisp air and colorful trees. But perhaps we can take a cue from those three children: when the rare opportunity presents itself to enjoy the moment, seize it and savor it. May we not become so jaded that we miss what is available.
May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate
Hope’s Café Bonus: This is not the recipe I used but I will likely try it. Comes from the site “Show Me the Yummy”: Slow Cooker Carmel Apple Dump Cake*: “Dump cake is a cake you make by dumping all the ingredients in a pan and baking it. This caramel apple dump cake is just that but instead of a cake pan, it’s a crockpot. This combination of ingredients seriously tastes like Fall. It’s nice and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and gooey on the inside. Apple Pie Filling – I use one can but if you prefer more apple, use two! Pecans – add an amazing crunchy texture. Caramel Ice Cream Topping – use jarred topping or make this homemade salted caramel sauce! Spice Cake Mix – don’t make the cake; just use the dry cake mix! (or yellow cake mix with some pumpkin pie spice added works). Unsalted Butter – keeps the cake gooey on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside, all while providing a rich, buttery flavor. Vanilla Ice Cream – for serving!”
Spread the apple pie slices in the bottom of a well-greased crockpot. Top with pecans. Cover with carmel sauce. Spread the dry cake mix on top. Top with the unsalted butter cut in cubes. Bake in crockpot for 4-6 hrs. Enjoy it topped with vanilla ice cream.