You never know what is going to show up on your plate or in your pie pan for that matter. The last two months were very hard ones for me. Just when I thought my life was all figured out and neatly tucked away… it happened. The other shoe dropped. I lost the spot where I had been holding my pie classes.
Two days before Thanksgiving, in the middle of a run of fully booked classes with folks eager to have me help them bake their TDay pies, I had to cancel classes…and not just a few classes…but ALL of them through the end of 2009. Every time I picked up the phone, I took a deep breath and hoped that the tears that were streaming down my face wouldn’t leak through my voice. It took hours to call everyone and my heart was breaking with every call.
“I’m so sorry, but due to circumstance beyond my control… .”
“Do you know when you will be teaching again.” “No keep the money, I’d like to apply it to a class when you are up and running again”. “Don’t worry, Kate. We’re disappointed but we’ll wait for another class…” “You’ll be teaching again…yes?”
After I finished, I went home with my beloved and sweet 15 year old dog, Lady and her funny five year old kitty-boy, Fez. On the 3 hour journey, Fez curled up in my lap and Lady kept her head on my knee which felt like a hug that kept on coming.
When I got home and unloaded, weeping seemed about all I could do. But, I could only sustain that for a while.
So, you know what I did?
I went to my kitchen and for a time stood there. My hand instinctively pulled out a bowl, a fork, a spoon, some flour, salt, butter, lard…and started to do what I know best. I made a pie.
I made a pie full of love and hope and determination. A pie that held tons and tons of the good memories and the good fortune that I have had in my life. I thought of friends old and new.
Old friends like, Diane and Jim, who have known me and stood by me through thick and thin.
I thought of Annetta and Lance who were the first people I met when I moved to the Olympic Peninsula over 25 years ago. Annetta and I were pregnant at the same time with our babies so grown up now at 23. Our families and children have remained close over all these years.
Of Duncan, my son and the apple of my eye, who has grown into such a fine and caring man.
Of Laurel, Trevor, Jenny and Bob whose joyful music feeds my soul.
Of Maggie who has known me the longest of all, nearly 40 years. We have the kind of friendship in which the thread of a conversation can be picked up two, three of more years between visits as if it were just five minutes ago. We possibly have the longest running conversations on record.
Of Kristen and Raj whose emotional support and guidance have been a beacon of light.
Of Merrilyn who encourages me in her quiet way, to keep my chin up and my thoughts on the sunny side.
New friends like Jenise, Myra and Jeanne who make me laugh and giggle and remember that it is important to balance hard work with a healthy dose of play.
Of Omma and Joe who care so very much for me and my well being and take delight in my “big city” stories of food and fun.
And, Shauna and Danny, who know how important it is to say “Yes!” to life even when it throws you lemons again and again… and again.
So I took those life-lemons and I made my pie. Into it went my heart and a few tears, too, but by the time it went into the oven, I realized just how wealthy I am. How even if I can’t see my way on the road two feet ahead of me, these beautiful souls stand with me to lend a hand, a hankie and a heart. I am rich beyond belief.
None of us know what is really going to happen tomorrow. And, truth is, it’s probably better that we don’t. One less thing to worry about. Yes? But, having friends to walk the road with you makes it easier.
Since that day in November, Kim, the busiest of all of us and who always finds time to lend a hand, made a very wonderful connection for me which resulted in Art of the Pie finding a new home at Diane’s Market Kitchen. The first classes of 2010 started last week. Everyone loves the new space! I am grateful to these two incredible women and thank them from the bottom of my heart.
So, here’s my pie. I give it to you, dear reader. I hope you can feel a bit of the love that is inside. Thank you for being here with me, too.
Make pie and be happy!