Tag Archives: ashland oregon

Day 50: Debbie and The Journey Thus Far

27 May

Today is a small milestone in this yearlong journey of making pies.  Yes, there are still many pies ahead of me but it feels like a good time to pause for a moment and take an assessment.  If you were to ask me what I have learned so far, I would tell you that I have found that the simple act of giving someone a pie can have profound consequences.  Many times, though not always, I have felt that I have been in the absolute right place at the right time.  For example, I brought someone a quiche only to find out that they were incredibly busy that day and had not had time to even think about dinner.  And there have been a number of times when I’ve brought a pie to someone and was able to make a not so good day seem a bit brighter.

I will admit that this is not a project that make sense to everyone.  One friend saw me preparing to deliver my pie and said rather dryly, “Go on…. you go make someone’s day.” I left the house feeling a bit put off by his comment.  What was he trying to say?  Later, when I was leaving the house of that day’s pie recipient, she said, “You know Karen, you really made my day.” How about that. I was able to make someone’s day by bringing them a pie!

My friend Debbie told me that this is probably the best possible project for me – because I love to bake and I love to share stories about the people who have touched my life.  If you think about it, this pie adventure is composed of many different threads.  And as the threads come together they create a tapestry that tells the story of my life.  I am truly blessed – and very lucky that I am able to give thanks to those who have helped me along the way.

Today, I brought a Marionberry Pie to Debbie at Southern Oregon University. She is my neighbor, but she has also been a tremendous resource for my family as we have navigated the maze of financial aid for college.  And Debbie was the first person who “suspected” that a pie was awaiting her.  Seems this “project” is not as secret as I thought!

As I continue on this journey, I am buoyed by the encouragement and support that has been shown by my friends.  Below is an example of this support – a necklace that my friend Pam had made especially for me. Such a lovely gift. Didn’t I say that I was blessed?


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Day 23: In Margie’s Honor

30 Apr

Margie moved in next door to us a few years after we moved into our home in Ashland.  She was in her eighties and was still quite spry.  You would see her out in the yard pulling out weeds and doing other chores that much younger people would have long forsaken.  She was a grandmother and she loved the location of her home because she could hear the sounds of children as they walked to and from school.  Best of all, Margie loved living next door to a family with small children.  That turned out to be an incredible blessing for me.

At that time, I was working early mornings as a baker and would leave for work before my children were awake.  When I came home from work, I still had a lot of work ahead of me – as many mothers do.  My saving grace was Margie.  When I was at the end of my rope and my kids were needing attention I could call upon Margie.  I might ask my kids to go ask Margie for an ingredient for dinner or I might send them to bring her something I had made that day.  My children looked forward to spending time with Margie – she had toys for them to play with, she loved hearing about their days,  and  now and then she offered them a sweet treat.  She was their next-door Grandma – and she was a lifesaver for me.  She gave me a break when I most needed it.  And I am forever grateful to her for that.

This weekend, Margie’s family is gathering to celebrate her life.  I delivered a lovely Strawberry Rhubarb  Pie to Margie’s daughter, Katharine, so that she could share it with her siblings and their families.   I hope they know how lovely it was to have Margie as a neighbor and a friend.  We will cherish the memory of her always.

Day 18: Miss Carolyn

25 Apr

There are people we know who are part of the fabric of our lives.  Carolyn is one of those people for me.  She has a daughter who is the same age as my daughter.  Over the years we spent many hours together working on school related projects whether they were fundraisers, yearbooks or celebrations of one kind or another.

If you had a child in Mt. Ashland‘s MARA program a few year ago, you know Carolyn.  She spent many a weekend in the ski lodge at Mt. Ashland helping with the various races that were held and she didn’t even ski!   She was there for your kids and mine as they tested their skills on the challenging race courses of Mt. Ashland.  She gave up much of her free time to help with this sport.  Sure, she was there to support her kids, but at the same time she was there supporting countless other kids as well.

This morning I brought Carolyn a quiche as a small token of our appreciation of her service to all of us.  Carolyn, thank you for your gentle nature and your giving spirit.  The world needs more people like you.

And to everyone, Happy Easter.

Day 17: Claudia

24 Apr

Saturday is a good day for yard sales here in this little town and today I found a sale on Craigslist with the Y.E.S. logo.  That can only mean that Claudia is at it again.  Claudia is the proprietor of Y.E.S. which stands for Yard and Estate Sales.  She has been helping people sell their belongings for a long time and is the quintessential professional.  Her task is a fine line to walk and she does it with respect and grace.

An “estate sale” usually means that the person who once owned the items is no longer living.  For me, it is necessary to be respectful when walking through the home of a person who has passed on.  I feel as if the person’s space is being invaded and you may be forgiven for being there if you maintain a certain decorum.   Heaven forbid if you are rude or make fun.  Let’s not forget that one day someone may be perusing your “stuff.”

Estate sales are fun in an anthropological way in that they can tell us a lot about the person.  Did they like to cook?  or read?  Were they a film buff or maybe a gardener.   We leave all of our belongings behind when we die and they tell a story about us.   Look around at the items on your shelves… what do they say about you?  Perhaps if you are lucky, someone as nice as Claudia will handle your belongings with the love and care that you would give them.

For Claudia, and her lovely helpers, I brought a warm Marionberry Pie.  Thank you for your kindness.

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