These Are Two Separate Ideas (Pie and Marriage), But You May Be Able To See A Connection

And then there is Christmas, the Saturnalia of Western culture, the big blow-it-all-out time of year (even if you have to use pepper spray to get your $2.00 waffle iron from


Suggestion for Christmas: organize around you and who you are.  Make your Christmas reflect you, your beliefs, your wallet, your desires for how to spend this time of year.  Plan around two themes: fun and beauty. Both are Divine.


The Meyer Lemon Tree In My House 


My wife has a pet Meyer Lemon tree. I call it a pet because for almost a decade now she has nurtured it with tender loving care. In return, the lemon tree has produced several fine, beautifully yellow lemons. She uses at least one lemon every year to make one of my favorite pies, a Meyer Lemon Fluff Pie that melts in my mouth with just the right balance between sweet and sour.


The pet tree has not always done well. A year or so ago it only produced one lemon. A friend of my wife told her that the tree needed to be chopped back and given a special fertilizer. I was informed of this plan, and I shared my apprehension about the value of shearing our special Meyer Lemon tree. I can remember as an 11-year-old boy crying while I felt the pain of the large trees in our yard that my father and his crew cut way back. It didn't seem fair to me that limbs should be so mercilessly whacked off a living tree.It was my duty to protect the lemon tree from the clippers.


While I was on an out-of-town trip, my wife and her friend took the shears to that special Meyer Lemon tree, cutting away every branch that had a thorn on it and then some. I didn't recognize the tree when I got home. Soon, I felt the agony of its loss.


That was a year ago. Today, after having been moved inside to its special spot in front of the sunny southern window, this tree has four fully ripe lemons waiting to be plucked and so many blossoms that the house is permeated with their scent. At least another dozen new, small green developing lemons hang from that tree. I don't think the tree has any other spots it could use to bear fruit. We will have all the Meyer Lemon Fluff Pie we can eat this year.


Take away: when the shears come to cut back things in your life you hold dear, let yourself grieve the loss but also look forward far enough to know that the pruning will bear fruit, maybe more than you can imagine. We get sick, we lose money or jobs or both, friends and children move away, and little losses happen that lead to larger losses until whole chunks of your life are immobilized.


Life is cyclical. Things wax and wane, come and go. Pruning allows living organisms to retreat and renew their energies. Farmer's fields lie fallow and deliver bumper crops next year. The financial markets rise and fall. As do civilizations families and corporations.

The dark periods give us an opportunity to re-examine and refocus on what is most important to us, in the case of the Meyer Lemon tree, producing fruit.


Don't worry about cheering yourself up or trying to be happy. A recent study showed that a year after two groups, one which won the lottery and the second group who became paraplegics after an accident, registered the same level on a happiness score. It's not a matter of whether you're happy or not. Happiness comes and goes. What matters is whether you keep going, producing the fruit you're here to create.


In the meantime it doesn't hurt to have a little pleasure. You're welcome to use the recipe below and give the Meyer Lemon Fluff Pie a try.


Meyer Lemon Fluff Pie

1 tbl spoon unflavored gelatin
½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup Meyer Lemon juice
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon grated Meyer Lemon peel
4 egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 9-inch baked pastry shell (we use Graham Cracker) 
½ cup whipping cream, whipped and sweetened

Thoroughly mix gelatin, ½ cup sugar and salt in saucepan. Beat together egg yolks, Meyer Lemon juice and water: stir into gelatin mixture.  Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture comes to boiling.

Remove from heat; stir in Meyer Lemon peel.  Chill, stirring occasionally until mixture is partially set.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add ½ cup sugar, beating to stiff peaks. Fold in gelatin mixture.

Pile in pastry shell.  Chill until firm.  Spread with sweetened whipped cream before serving.



"Keeping Marital Secrets Closeted"

Click on the article title above to learn the reason a couple stayed together long after the husband announced to his wife he was homosexual. It is one of the top three reasons couples give for staying together in difficult marriages.

The question is: is this the real reason or the best reason? On the other hand, I guess any reason will do if it works for the couple.


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