Death is Good and Other Unrelated Thoughts

I wore a hat and scarf Monday as I walked. Weather had certainly changed. The ground was frosted white and the leaves curled on the trees shivering in the 30-something degrees.

Later the sun came out and I took a look at the last of my wildflowers. Still pink, but drooping badly. The leaves glistened green. I was surprised to see a bee trying to nuzzle his way to the center of the pink flower. Was their still nourishment there?

I dug and stored bulbs.

I looked at the sad, drooping Swiss chard I hadn’t cut. The mess of it bent like a group of old men huddling against the cold.

Do I want to picture this? It’s death and it’s not pretty. I’d rather picture life, full and smiling. Still, there is purpose in death. Death is good for many things; the cold kills bad insects, and seeds die to live again next year…then there are bad habits. Sometimes they die a long, hard death.

I don’t mind the death of summer; watching leaves curl and fall. I will watch all winter, while the naked trees sleep in the cold. I’m not sad for them, because they rest. I know summer will return.

It’s time for hot cocoa, a blanket and book in a cozy corner. A time which forces us to slow in many ways, here in the North. A time to give God more than a fleeting thought.

It’s time for me to pack a bag.  I will be heading out to a cabin on Lake Michigan, in Wisconsin for a week and sit under the teaching of Leslie Leyland Fields. Eleven women will share writings, and encouragement. Leslie’s years of experience in creative non-fiction will guide us. Prayer has covered this trip, and for each woman attending. Words cannot be written lightly and without thought.

So, instead of dead flowers, I thought I’d post a couple of yummy things!

A recipe I found from Taste of Home and a poem from Robert Frost.

Apple Pandowdy

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 55 min.

MAKES: 9 servings


  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups sliced peeled apples
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, optional

Nutritional Facts

Added by System Jul 24 1 serving (1 piece) equals 260 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 20 mg cholesterol, 304 mg sodium, 47 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.


  • In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add water and lemon juice; cook over low heat until thick. Cover and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine baking powder and remaining flour and salt. Cut in 3 tablespoons butter. Add the milk and mix just until moistened (a few lumps will remain); set aside.
  • Arrange apples in 9-in. square baking dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Add nutmeg, vanilla and remaining butter to sauce; pour over apples. Drop dough by spoonfuls over sauce. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until top is brown and apples are tender. Serve warm with cream if desired. Yield: 9 servings.




The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


2 thoughts on “Death is Good and Other Unrelated Thoughts

  1. Our minds are running on the same tracks, and it’s likely true because we are both wasters of our Swiss chard . . . 🙂
    I’ve been reading a Robert Frost poem that mentions lament. It’s called “Come In,” and seems to be so perfect in these days when the darkness comes early.
    Blessings to you!

    1. Even though my mother-in-law was not a gardener, she might have been appalled that I let the chard frost over! I’m giving myself grace! I will have to check out that poem you mentioned. Thanks, Michele.

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