The Simple Life
Sisters of the Blessing
Only 6 months apart, my cousin Dawn and I were blessed to have
each other mainly for one reason we only had brothers yuck!
We never lived closer than an hour away from each other, but
fortunately our parents didn't mind traveling often and on those
special days we enjoyed spending time together that many girls take
for granted being sisters. We played games and whispered secrets
out of our "brothers" hearing distance. Brothers can be such
pests! Dawn's three brothers and my two were always pulling some
kind of pranks so we kept to ourselves as much as possible.
I can't remember a time when we fought.
In no time we were graduating from high school and both
working at a Christian camp for kids - we were so excited.
Unfortunately we didn't work together - I was in Arts and Crafts and
Dawn in the kitchen - but we still spent as much time together as
our schedules would allow.
One magical, warm night in August there were meteor showers
and we stayed out until 2 o'clock in the morning, just the two of
us, lying on the damp grass, high on a hill, talking and laughing.
While we watched and pointed at falling stars in the vast skies we
shared our dreams and fears of the future like only two sisters
Too soon the summer ended and in a few months I was asked to
be maid of honor in my cousins wedding. Within months she was
married and off to Germany with her husband in the armed services.
A year later, when I married, she was unable to come home.
We got busy with our lives and before long, we had daughters
only 6 months apart, but they never had a chance to grow up near
Finally when our children were teenagers Dawn's husband
retired from the Army and they moved back to Michigan. At least we
were in the same state!
When our youngest sons were 15 years old, Dawn and her son
came for a visit one summer to our house far out in the
countryside. Somehow we realized that it was again August 20 some
years since we had spent that wonderful night on the hill watching
This time as we set out into the warm starry night, our
sons accompanied us. This time it was our sons who pointed at the
falling stars. How time had flown. We had survived many things,
and numerous other ups and downs. But always - no matter the miles
in between we had found a way through letters and phone calls to
keep in touch through good times and bad.
Tears trickled down my cheeks in thankfulness at the
blessing I had always had in my cousin no my "sister". We
exchanged a long hug when we returned from our starlight walk.
Truly, she was my friend who "sticketh closer than a sister".
Now, both our sons are serving in the armed forces. Stepping
out into life, just as we once were.
* * *
The turning point in the process of growing up is when you
discover the core of strength within you that survives all the hurt.
* * *
Simple Taco Casserole
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese -- shredded
2 c baked tortilla chips -- crumbled
1 1 1/4-ounce package taco seasoning
1 med. onion -- chopped
1 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 c water
1 15 oz. can black beans -- rinsed and drained
Lowfat sour cream
Chopped black olives
Any options you like
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown beef and
onions; drain fat. Add taco seasoning, chili powder, cumin, tomato
sauce, black beans and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Gently fold in
corn chips and most of cheese. Put into casserole dish. Sprinkle
remaining cheese on top. Serve with a big green salad. (Note:
draining and rinsing fat from this recipe greatly reduces calories.
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with toppings, as desired. Serves 6.
* * *
The best thing we can do for ourselves and the people in our
lives is to love them unconditionally, forgive them without
reservation and to accept them exactly as they are. ~~Iyanla Vanzant
To love is to stop comparing. ~~ Maya Angelou
* * *
Recently I bought a string trimmer for the reasonable price of
$10. at a yard sale. It looked barely used. Unfortunately, after the
first time I used it, the string broke of inside the head and we
could not figure out how to get the spool out (since it came without
a manual). Not wanting to break it, we didn't know what else to
I looked up the name brand on the internet, and the model
number was on the trimmer. Would you believe the manual was
downloadable, and in moments I had the information I needed to
straighten out the string?
Keeping it Simple,
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Have a great week!