Tag Archives: Apple Blueberry Pie

Day 343: Ashland Police Department

14 Mar

Apple Blueberry Pie

As I was driving to a meeting this morning, I was reminded by a reporter on NPR that today is Pi Day… meaning that today’s date is 3/14.  Now for some, that may be news. However, at least for the last 342 days, every one of them has been a “Pie” day for me.

Why pies?  Because they are special… sort of a relic from a bygone era.  Not many of us make pies anymore and making a pie for someone seemed to say, “you are special… and I appreciate you.”  It is something that I felt I needed to do… to recognize the people that have made a difference in my life… or in the lives of my friends or neighbors.  To take a moment to say thank you to someone each day was my goal… and it has been such a wonderful journey.

Today I chose to recognize the Ashland Police Department.  When I was a kid, I lived in a “housing project” and we had two regular uniformed officers that patrolled our area.  As kids we knew that if there was trouble, all we had to do was find the officer on duty and he would help us out.  Since I have lived in Ashland, I have only had to call on the police one time.  A young girl, high on something, came to my door one night and knocked.  As luck would have it, that was the same night that my (then young) son had decided to spend the night at a friend’s house.  I thought the person at the door was the parent telling me that my son wanted to come home.  Instead, I opened the door to a young woman, trying to get into my house, thinking that she was home.

We called the APD and an officer arrived at our home within minutes.  We found the young woman in my garage, asleep on a pile of laundry on the floor.  She thought she’d made it home.  The officer woke her up and took her home… but before leaving asked if I wanted to press charges.  “No”, I replied.  But then a short time later, a woman who was the youth liaison for the police force, asked if I would allow the young woman to come to my home to apologize.  When I said, “She doesn’t need to do that” the woman said, “Yes, she does” and so we arranged for a meeting.

A few days later, the young woman and the liaison came to my home.  The young woman said that she’d been out with friends and someone had “slipped” something into her drink.  I told her, “If they let that happen, and then let you walk home alone, they are not your friends.”  And then I told her that I was glad that she had come to my door because I did not harm her… and then I asked her to get some new friends.

Today I want to thank the folks at the Ashland Police Department for doing what they need to do everyday to keep us safe.  There are not many of us that would take their place… and I want to show my appreciation for all of their hard work in our community.

Day 280: Happy Birthday Christian!

11 Jan

Apple Blueberry Crumb Crust Pie

It seems to me that much of my day revolves around food.  Of course for the last nine months I have been making a pie each day, but that is only one of the many ways that I find myself focused in the kitchen.  There are days when I am busy making a pot of soup or a casserole for a friend in need, while other times I find myself testing gluten-free recipes for my neighbor.  If it has to do with food, I seem to lose myself in it.  With all that focus on cooking and baking, that means that I also spend a lot of time shopping – and one of my favorite stores in Ashland is Shop ‘n Kart.

Here is one reason for my loyalty: A few years ago I was on the board of the Ashland Schools Foundation.  One of my tasks was to secure donations from restaurants and grocery stores and then prepare meals for the volunteers that helped on fundraising calling nights.  The very first person I approached was Eric, the manager at Shop ‘n Kart and he generously donated $100 in store credit to the cause.  That was such a help for us and I have never forgotten it.

Another reason for my loyalty has to do with the employees that work there.  Maybe it’s because they see me often, but I enjoy the nod of recognition and their willingness to help me when I need assistance.   I am grateful that they don’t seem put out or avoid eye contact when my “questioning” face appears.

Christian is one of the employees that I have really come to appreciate.  He has helped me with special requests a few times,  he has a calmness about him that is admirable even when the store is slammed,  but more than anything I like that he takes the time to speak with each customer and look them in the eye.  That’s so very important in a world that gets busier every day.

Today I brought Christian the Apple Blueberry Pie that you see above.  When I gave it to him he seemed genuinely pleased.  As I told him about the pie project he said he was happy to be a part of this year of pies.  Then he told me that yesterday was his birthday…  and so of course I wished him a Happy Birthday.  And now I would like to offer this quote from Jonathan Swift,  “May you live all the days of your life.”

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.   Abraham Lincoln

Day 177: Jane’s Pie and Donna’s Inspiration

30 Sep

My neighbor’s sister Jane visits from Canada a few times each year. They are both gardeners and often spend a lot of time on some kind of garden project. In fact, recently they decided to spend a day creating a clear path between our two homes – and that meant digging up plants and moving heavy paving stones. By days end, they had created a lovely pathway – for which I am very grateful.

We did not have too much time to visit with Jane this time around and she is preparing to leave tomorrow to head home and so I decided that today’s pie would be for Jane – and her family in Canada. This makes it the second international pie! Jane promised me that she would place it in the back of her vehicle so that she would not be tempted to eat it before she gets home. This is a photo of the pie that will accompany her to British Colombia.

Tonight while shopping for apples for this pie I ran into my friend Donna. We chatted about what was going on in our lives and then she said, “You inspired me to do something.” Now of course I thought that she had decided to make a pie but that was not what she meant. Seems she was out buying local corn and decided to buy a few extra ears for her friend. However, when she got to her friend’s house, she noticed her car was not there and was turning to leave when she noticed the house where another friend used to live. That friend had long since moved away, but today there was a car in the driveway and so Donna pulled up to the house and went to the door and knocked. When the person answered she introduced herself and told the folks where she lived and then asked if they liked corn. Well, it turns out they did like corn and so Donna gave them the extra ears that she had bought.

Donna said that she had been inspired to reach out to a new neighbor and to welcome them because of my pie project. I am honored that she thinks that I did something… but all I really did was to suggest what we could do. We don’t have to move mountains to make a difference … we just need to be present with each other. And Donna took that idea and made a few new friends with a couple of ears of corn. It’s as simple, and as amazing, as that.

Day 135: Losing a friend

19 Aug

A few weeks ago I gave a pie to my neighbor Shirley. We sat and talked about a number of things, and I asked her about a young man that I’d seen visiting her. She told me that he was her grandson Chris – and that he’d just lost his dog and was taking it hard.

I don’t know much about Chris at all. But what I do know is that he and that dog seemed to be inseparable. Chris would drive around in his black car with the windows rolled down and the dog would be seated next to him feeling the air on his face.

More recently, Chris would just walk his dog slowly because the dog had become ill. It was sad to see his dog struggle, but still so nice to see them together. And I know just how much he misses his dog now.

He said some folks have said, “Get another dog!” But I don’t think they understand that it’s not “just a dog” that’s missing – it’s his best friend. And when you lose your best friend, you need time to grieve.

I brought Chris an Apple Blueberry Pie tonight in memory of his best friend. It is a small gesture but sent with love and understanding.