Comfort Food for the Soul

Photo by Angela Kirk

It’s funny how certain foods can stir up memories and emotions from the past. That is exactly what happened at out house on Sunday when Doc had the family over for a down home traditional comfort food supper.

The reactions started as soon as she opened the front door and the aroma of her mom’s meat loaf and pineapple upside down cake drifted out the front door. “Wow!, they exclaimed, we could smell those wonderful aromas as soon as we walked on the front porch.”  ” Well come on in!” Doc said with enthusiasm. And in they came for the official hugs and kisses. Nephew Cole was nice enough to take me outside to play ball and to work up an appetite before the big feast. 

After everyone sat down at the table and we bowed our heads to give thanks, the eating frenzy began. It wasn’t long before the memories started pouring out as we talked about plans for Thanksgiving.  Remembering favorite meals their grandmother made turned into stories about those special days that only family experience can elicit. Laughter and togetherness kept us gathered around the table long after the meal was finished.  I have to admit that I positioned myself between the two youngest as they drop the most food on the floor. My well thought out plan resulted in some morsels of cake when everyone was talking and no one was looking. In the end everyone was happy, even me the dog.

Doc says never underestimate how the simple gesture of breaking bread can bring people together. They may come for the food, but the fond memories from the past and the new ones being created are what keep them coming back. It’s just like group therapy with meat loaf and cake. How can you beat that?






Mending Fences

Photo by Angela Kirk

It’s funny how watching someone perform a simple weekend chore can become a metaphor for life. On Saturday morning as I watched while Doc and her nephew Scott replaced a rotting section of the wooden picket fence in the back yard I couldn’t help thinking about the fences we need to mend in our own lives.

You humans can be complicated. As you know dogs deal with canine issues in the moment and then move on. I can’t even image getting so mad at my best friend Norman that I never speak to him again, let alone talk trash about him on Facebook or my blog. Nope, dogs like the direct approach without any drama.

People on the other hand can be pretty thin-skinned sometimes. Then instead of talking to the person they are mad at they will tell everybody on the planet they are upset except the actual person they are ticked off at. If things really fester like a big boil on your backside, they will stop talking to each other completely. And because they have both dug in their heals and won’t try to work things out an emotional fence goes up between the two. You know what happens to fences over time? They start to rot. I thinks that’s what grudges do over time, rot you on the inside making you feel bitter. It’s never good to give that much power away to another human.

It may be the person the you are mad with is too toxic to trust or be around again and in those cases you need to keep yourself safe. But even in those situations I have head Doc tell her patients that the forgiveness is really not for the other person, it is for you. It doesn’t mean you let that person hurt you any more, it’s meant to set you free so you can move on.

As Thanksgiving approaches, think about those in your life that you are angry or holding grudges toward and need to extend the proverbial olive branch of forgiveness to.  Just like Doc and Scott’s fence repair job, it may not be a perfect attempt but it starts to fix the damage that was created over time.