I woke up Wednesday morning to a beautiful frosty leaf-covered lawn, the crystals sparkling in the early morning sun.
All the leaves had fallen from all but two trees. The red oak was planted when we bought this rambling old farm house in 1974, and it stands mighty, shading my kitchen. It was given to us by Lloyd Kennedy, a friend of Mike’s father from Yellow Springs (also known as “the tree man”) as a moving-in gift for us. It was just a small tree, and the front yard then had many tall old trees lining the road. Those old trees are all gone now and the red oak stands tall. The other tree that still has its leaves is a sour gum tree, also known as a Tupelo tree. When Lloyd Kennedy turned 100, and shortly before he died, he sent Mike a note with a picture of a Tupelo tree and said, “You need to plant one of these.” We did and now it has a majestic red color, while all the other trees are bare!
This is the season to plant trees. There is a time for every purpose under heaven!
This is also a time to protect our fellow man. And as we, as a state, as a country, as a world try to navigate this horrible pandemic, we have to think about how what we do can help make it a time to live and not a time to die. A time to be well and not a time to be sick. A time to be kind. When such a little thing as wearing a piece of cloth across our nose and mouth, a simple face mask, can help prevent our germs from going airborne where they might infect another person — that is a kind and loving thing to do.
This is also the season for Thanksgiving. As a country we have many things to be thankful for. But it may not be the season to gather around the Thanksgiving table and share with our family. We can be thankful in a very different way. It may be making food and dropping it off to a friend who can’t get out, or sharing with others the bounty that we have. Thanksgiving will be very different for us this year. But we need to be more thankful, and thankful and kind to each other.
My friend Barbara dropped off a loaf of pumpkin bread on my porch this morning. She used a recipe her kindergarten teacher had given her. Thank you for the kindness. I will share by doing the same for others.
Barbara’s Pumpkin Bread
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Beat: 4 eggs
Add: 2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup oil
Add liquid ingredients to dry. Mix to combine. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Adjust baking time to different size pans. Can be frozen.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.