- The Simple Life
This past week we went for a nice drive heading up to St. Ignace. We went over to West Branch, then Tawas City then up the Lake Huron side of Michigan's mitten, then the next day we came down along the Lake Michigan side of the state. The colors were just starting to turn nicely. Actually it was perfect. We never knew what brilliantly colored tree might be around the next bend. Of course we made lots of stops to see the beaches and shops along the way.
We drove our '55 Ford pickup. The truck came from Traverse City, but I wish I knew the story behind that old truck. It only had 46,000 original miles on the 223 6 cylinder. As far as we know it was always a Michigan truck, but certainly wasn't driven in Michigan winters. And it goes down the road like a Cadillac, instead of what you would expect - an old lumber wagon! The old trucks got 4 years on me, but I've got more rust in my hinges.
It's always fun to take a drive in the countryside, and meet the back-road slice of life you don't see everyday - the waitresses and business owners and the farmstand proprietors along the way.
Leaving Mackinaw City, we took the scenic drive over to Bliss and headed along the "Tunnel of Trees" toward Harbor Beach. There is an antique shop we've stopped at before. An older couple runs it. She's had a stroke about a year ago, and he just got out of intensive care, but they keep each other going. He's 78 and still cutting wood. She claims it was cutting all that wood that put him in the hospital. She has a lovely flower garden. They live there year around, straight through the blizzards and wind that batter their hill-top home along the shore behind their windbreak of trees.
We also ran into an old friend this week, Paul Roby, from McBain, and now Lucas who well into his 80's is also still cutting wood, and not looking a day older than the last time we saw him. But our good friend Percy Bronkema, who I never saw without a smile on his face, passed away a few weeks ago and we hadn't heard about it. Fortunately, we had been in McBain a couple weeks ago and stopped in to say hey to Percy and his wife Anna. Percy is sadly missed here on earth by all who knew him, but present with his Lord.
I've been canning applesauce from the trees that are simple loaded with apples. A friend told me that he peeled 10 gallons of apples so they could freeze some applesauce. I told him about a neat little invention that separates the cores and peels from the pulp. That night about 8, I stopped over to their house with an extra food mill I had. I'm sure it will come in handy. Applesauce makes a great fruit for winter, and you know what they say about an apple a day. Goes really great with a fried pork chop!
I hate to think that the "w" word (winter) is on the way, but I do look forward to quiet winter evenings with friends, a fire in the woodstove, and a good card game. Spring will return.
* * *
Viktor Frankl wrote: We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given circumstances, to choose one's own way.
My child, pay attention to what I say, Listen carefully to my words. Don't lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4: 20-24
Simple Salsa Chicken
2 Chicken Breast Halves without skin -- boneless
1/3 c Shredded Co-Jack Cheese
1/3 c Salsa
2 T Taco Sauce
1/8 t Salt
Place chicken in a shallow baking dish that has been prepared with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt. Combine salsa and taco sauce in a small bowl, then drizzle over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear.
Keeping it Simple,